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18ft Skiff Sydney Spring Championship - Race 6

by Frank Quealey 14 Nov 09:15 GMT 14 November 2021

The Tech2 team of Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake survived a wild day of high winds and a late race capsize before winning Race 6 (the final race) of the 2021 Spring Championship, when the 18 footers returned to their traditional style of handicap racing for the first time in decades on Sydney Harbour today.

After nearly one and a quarter hours of battling the strong winds, Tech2 finally crossed the finish line 4m15s ahead of Yandoo (John Winning, Fang Warren and Mike Kennedy) with The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett, John Cooley and Charlie Gundy a further 2m34s back in third place.

The only other boat to complete the westerly course was Fisher & Paykel, with Jordan Girdis, Nathan Edwards and Kurt Fatouros on board.

Although they didn't complete the course, 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 Noakes Youth (Tom Cunich), which all sailed near the head of the fleet before falling in the face of the conditions.

Today's third placing was enough to give the consistent The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines victory in the championship with a final total of 22 points, followed by Yandoo on 28 points, Fisher & Paykel on 29, Tech2 34, Rag & Famish Hotel 35 and Balmain Slake (Henry Larkings) on 38.

Following the Covid-related forced delay to the start of the season, and some poor wind conditions during the earlier part of the series, officials decided to return to the traditions set by the class founder, Mark Foy, in 1892.

The Foy starting system allows the boat(s) with the greatest handicap to start first, followed progressively through 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 both the competing teams and the system as the westerly winds battered the fleet on a nearly deserted Sydney Harbour.

Burrawang-Young Henrys took the lead shortly after the start near Shark Island as the fleet set off for the top mark off Kurraba Point, but it was The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone which led the fleet under spinnaker on the leg across the harbour to the wing mark off Clark Island.

As teams fell foul of the wind and the seas, the lead changed a number of times on the following leg between Clark and Shark Islands as the fleet headed back to the bottom mark in Rose Bay.

The Australian champion Tech2 team took control over the next lap of the course and gave a wonderful exhibition of sailing as the skiff opened up a sizeable lead over her challengers.

At the final rounding mark on the third lap of the course, Tech2 set off for home with her red spinnaker driving the boat at top speed across the harbour and an easy victory in sight, before a spectacular capsize put the win in great doubt.

As the Tech2 crew struggled to get their skiff upright, Yandoo was coming fast, but the Tech2 team recovered to take out a well deserved victory.

Race 1 of the NSW Championship will be conducted next Sunday. Spectators can follow the racing on board the club's spectator ferry, however due to the Covid policy, numbers are limited. Booking online through the club's website www.18footers.com is essential. www.18footers.com.au/18-footers-sailing/spectator-ferry

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

Spring Championship Overall Results:

PosTeamR1R2R3R4R6Pts
1The Oak Double Bay / 4 Pines (Aron Everett / John Cooley / Charlie Gundy)5473322
2Yandoo (John Winning Snr / Fang Warren / Mike Kennedy)6785228
3Fisher & Paykel (Jordan Girdis / Nathan Edwards / Kurt Fatouros)41119429
4Tech2 (Jack Macartney / Charlie Wyatt / Lewis Brake)138102134
5Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price / Josh McKnight / Harry Hall)231141535
6Balmain Slake (Henry Larkings / Max Paul / Flynn Twomey)112191538
7Noakes Youth (Tom Cunich / Fynn Sprott / Jack Twomey)916511546
8The Kitchen Maker/ Ceasarstone (Lachlan Steel / Jerome Watts / Matt Doyle)3106141548
9Noakes Blue (Yvette Heritage / Tom Clout / James Turner)7214121550
1018 Footers Bar and Restaurant (Pedro Vozone / Cam Walker / Paddy Bannon)1161361551
11Burrawang‑Young Henrys (Simon Nearn / Rory Cox / Brandon Buyink)1753131553
12Shaw & Partners Financial Services (Steve Thomas / Lindsay Stead / Locky Pryor)81415101562
13Smeg (Michael Coxon Jnr / Ricky Bridge / Zac Barnabas)121312111563
14Lazarus Capital Partners (Marcus Ashley‑Jones / Jeronimo Harrison / Daniel Phillips)1099212170
15Finport Finance (Rob Greenhalgh / Keagan York / Phil Marshall)2121482175
16Birkenhead Point Marina (Felix Daverio / Alex Chittenden / Will Dargaville)151217192184
17Appliances Online (Alex Marinelli / Darcy McCraken / Tyler Creevey)141516192185
18Ilve (Nick Daly / Joel Turner / John Walton)21212072190
19Noakesailing (Sean Langman / Ed Powys / Josh Porebski)212121211599
20Lazarus Development (Hugo Stoner / Hugo Leeming / Alex Watson)2121201921102

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