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18ft Skiff Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour - Race 1

by Frank Quealey 13 Oct 11:05 BST 13 October 2019
Some of the fleet on the windward leg to Rose Bay © Frank Quealey

The Noakesailing team of Sean Langman, Ed Powys and Nathan Edwards had to come from behind over the final lap of the course to grab a narrow victory in Race 1 of the Australian 18 Footers League's Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

After trailing the race leader The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone for most of the day, Noakesailing grabbed the lead at the final windward set of marks to score a 32s. victory.

The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis, Lachlan Doyle and Tom Quigley) took a 25s lead at the first windward mark and led at every rounding mark over the Easterly course, but couldn't hold onto the lead at the final mark when the Noakesailing team were favoured by going to the middle buoy while The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone had to go to the furthest buoy.

With John Winning Jr. unable to skipper Winning Group today, former Giltinan champion Seve Jarvin took the tiller, and along with Sam Newton and Joel Turner, came home strongly to finish third, 2m33s. behind The Kitchen Maker, after having to go to the furthest mark on every lap of the course.

Yandoo (John Winning) also finished strongly to grab fourth place, ahead of Vintec (Kirk Mitchell), RMarine (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster), and defending champion Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards).

The Easterly breeze fluctuated throughout the latter part of the race which produced a big change to many of the overall placings.

The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone took the early lead at the first set of windward marks, with Vintec in second place, followed by Noakesailing, Apppliancesonline and Birkenhead Point Marina (Tom Anderson).

The TKM-Caesarstone lead was 25s at the bottom mark, but over the next lap of the course the margin had increased to 1m15s as the fleet set off on the final lap of the course.

Despite their attempts to cover their challenger, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone team couldn't shake off the hard-charging Noakesailing team and were 20s plus the distance between the middle and back marker buoys as the pair headed for home on the run between Shark and Clark Islands.

Only one boat-length separated the pair off Double Bay before the Noakesailing team finally took the honours.

With a number of new teams in the fleet and two more teams to join the competition in the coming weeks, the season the racing looks promising as the Australians prepare to mount a challenge to win back the Giltinan Championship Trophy.

Today's results are attached, along with images from the race.

The Australian 18 Footers League's 2019-2020 Season continues next Sunday with Race 2 of the Spring Championship.

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