18ft Skiffs Spring Championship – Course 6 • Live Sail Die
November 14, 2021
Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake’s Tech2 team survived a mad day of high winds and a late capsize before winning Race 6 (the last race) of the 2021 Spring Championship, when the 18-footers returned to their traditional style of handicap. racing for the first time in decades in Sydney Harbor.
After nearly an hour and a quarter of fighting against the strong winds, Tech2 finally crossed the finish line 4m15 ahead of Yandoo (John Winning, Fang Warren and Mike Kennedy) with The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines ( Aron Everett, John Cooley and Charlie Gundy still 2m34s in third place.
The only other boat to complete the western course was Fisher & Paykel, with Jordan Girdis, Nathan Edwards and Kurt Fatouros on board.
Although they did not complete the course, a special mention is deserved for Burrawang-Young Henrys (Simon Nearn), Noakes Blue (Yvette Heritage), Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price), The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Lachlan Steel) and Young Noakes (Tom Cunich), who all sailed close to the head of the fleet before falling in the face of the conditions.
Today’s third place was enough to give The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines the consistent victory in the Championship with a final total of 22 points, followed by Yandoo with 28 points, Fisher & Paykel with 29, Tech2 34, Rag & Famish Hotel 35 and Balmain Slake (Henry Larkings) on 38.
Following the forced delay to the start of the season linked to Covid and some poor wind conditions at the start of the series, officials decided to go back to the traditions established by the founder of the class, Mark Foy, in 1892.
The Foy start system allows the boat (s) with the greatest handicap to start first, gradually followed in the fleet by those with the next greatest handicap, until the boat (s) ) with the smallest or no handicap start last.
Today’s conditions, however, were a huge test for the competing teams and the system as westerly winds beat the fleet over an almost deserted Sydney Harbor.
Burrawang-Young Henrys took the lead shortly after the start near Shark Island as the fleet headed for the upper mark off Kurraba Point, but it was The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone who led the fleet under spinnaker on the leg through the harbor to the wing bounding Clark Island.
As the teams fell through the wind and the sea, the lead changed several times on the next leg between Clark and Shark Islands as the fleet moved towards the bottom mark at Rose Bay.
Australian champion team Tech2 took control of the next lap of the course and put on a magnificent display of sailing as the single scull opened a considerable lead over its challengers.
On the last buoy of the third lap of the course, Tech2 set off again with its red spinnaker leading the boat at full speed through the port and an easy victory in sight, before a spectacular capsize cast doubt on the victory.
As the Tech2 crew struggled to straighten their skiff, Yandoo came quickly, but the Tech2 team pulled together for a well-deserved victory.
Race 1 of the NSW Championship will take place next Sunday. Spectators can follow the races aboard the club’s spectator ferry, but due to COVID-19 policy, numbers are limited. Online booking on the club’s website www.18footers.com is essential. http://www.18footers.com.au/18-footers-sailing/spectator-ferry/
For those who can’t make it on the water, the club’s live broadcast team will be in Sydney Harbor to capture all the action. The live stream is available at www.18footers.com by clicking on the ’18 Footers TV ‘link.
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