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18ft Skiff Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour - Race 2 Preview

by Frank Quealey 15 Oct 09:14 BST 18 October 2020

Following a great start to the 18-Footer season on Sydney Harbour last weekend, the Australian 18 Footers League will stage Race 2 of the seven-race Spring Championship series next Sunday, October 18.

The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines team, led by Aron Everett, showed it had lost none of its form from last season with a 17s victory of the reigning Australian champion tech2 team, skippered by Jack Macartney.

An encouraging start by the new recruit teams was a bonus to the racing and the quality of the fleet.

With early predictions of similar conditions on Sunday, the racing is sure to get even better as the crews brush off any cobwebs left over after the winter break.

The race winner on Sunday will also be the winner of the annual Alf Beashel Memorial Trophy, which honours the memory of one of the greatest, if not the greatest, club members in the 85-year history of the League.

Alf Beashel was one of the skippers in the club's fleet, made a wonderful gesture which changed the situation and secured the future of the Australian 18 Footers League clubhouse that we know today.

After being 'homeless' since its formation in the mid-1930s, the committee of the 'League', in the late-1950s, saw an opportunity to purchase the Ireland Boat Shed, which was located on the site of the present clubhouse.

It was soon obvious that the club didn't have enough funds to secure the purchase and the opportunity looked to be lost.

Mr. Beashel, who was a draftsman at the Sydney County Council, decided that he would retire prematurely and put his superannuation money into securing the purchase on behalf of the League.

Without his action, the Australian 18 Footers League clubhouse would not have the magnificent location it enjoys today.

With the site secured and the clubhouse operational from 1961, Alf Beashel became the Secretary and was active in promoting the 18ft Skiffs to both the United Kingdom and the USA in the late-1960s and early 1970s.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to Alf Beashel, a fact not lost on current President, Mr. John Winning, who had an Historical 18-Footer built and races as 'Alruth' (the combined names of Alf and his wife Ruth) every weekend during the summer months on Sydney Harbour.

Spectators can follow the racing on board the club's spectator ferry, however due to the COVID-19 policy, numbers are limited.

Booking online through the club's website is essential, via www.18footers.com.au/18-footers-sailing/spectator-ferry skiff

For those unable to make it onto the water, AeroMedia Live Broadcast team will be on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action and live streaming is available at www.18footers.com by clicking on the '18 Footers TV' link.

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