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Mark Foy Trophy - Lazarus wins for Australia

by Frank Quealey 7 Aug 03:14 BST 18-22 July 2022

The Lazarus team of Marcus Ashley-Jones, Angus Williams and Phil Marshall became the 2022 Mark Foy Trophy 18 footer champion when it defeated a 16-boat fleet on Italy's Lake Garda.

A 4-boat team representing the Australian 18 Footers League took on a fleet representing six nations and filled three of the first four placings with an outstanding performance.

Lazarus scored five race wins, four second placings and two thirds for an overall total of 16 points, a clear ten points ahead of its nearest rival, Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price, Josh McKnight and Harry Hall), also representing the League.

Rag & Famish Hotel finished equal on 26 points with the German Black Knight team of Heinrich von Bayern, Tom Martin and Andy Martin, but secured second place by way of her four race wins, ahead of the Germans' three wins.

League club Commodore Simon Nearn led the Burrawang-Young Henrys team, including Fang Warren and Grant Rollerson, into fourth place with eleven consistent placings between second and sixth place from the twelve-race regatta.

Australia's fourth team, Fisher & Paykel (Jordan Girdis, Charlie Gundy and Elliott Mahar) finished in ninth place.

The regatta was the fourteenth Mark Foy Trophy and Marcus Ashley-Jones joins 18 footer champions like Rob Greenhalgh, Seve Jarvin, John Winning, Alex Vallings, Howie Hamli, David McDiarmid, James Dorron and Michael Coxon, who have previously won the title.

The German Black Knight team's third placing earned it the title of European champion for 2022.

Lazarus' winning skipper, Ashley-Jones had high praise for his team, the regatta, its organisers and the European scene. "To win a prestigious trophy like the Mark Foy is such an honour. It wasn't an easy road as we broke our mast in training the day for the regatta and pulled an all-nighter just to make the start of the first race."

"Angus, Phil and I came together as a team for the first time at the event. We clicked right away and sailed a consistent regatta in the 20- 28 knot challenging conditions. The consistence and performance has to be credited to Gus and Phil. Both very talented sailors."

"Sylivia and her team at Arco Yacht Club put on an amazing event. This regatta should be on every skiff sailors' bucket list. It has fast racing, great food, amazing scenery and cool people."

"The 18 foot skiff fleet is gaining momentum in Europe with super competitive racing and growing in numbers and we look forward to welcoming the Kiwis and quite a few of the Europeans to Sydney in March 2023 for the JJs, which is shaping up to be a really competitive regatta."

The Lazarus victory was also a worthy reward for the sponsor, which has been involved with the League's Sydney fleet for the past two seasons.

According to the company's Managing Director Dale Klynhout, "The extended Lazarus family are ecstatic to win the 2022 Mark Foy Trophy, held in Italy, after only two full seasons as a sponsor of the 18 Footers. This victory is a great honour to have our beloved brand listed among both previous winners and the namesake of this trophy."

"I'd like to personally give much deserved recognition to our skipper, Marcus Ashley-Jones, who has worked harder than anyone to get the Lazarus skiff up there with the best of the class domestically and internationally within 12 months."

"His vigour alone shows us all just what is possible through sheer hard work and determination. We also thank and appreciate Angus Williams and Phil Marshall for their contributions to the result."

"We eagerly anticipate the upcoming 2022-23 season on Sydney Harbour, as the combined Lazarus and wider 18 footers community can only imagine just how eager Marcus and the team will now be to get out there among the best of the Sydney fleet."

The annual Mark Foy Trophy regatta honours the name of the man who was the 'father' of the class on Sydney Harbour back in 1892.

Mark Foy is regarded as one of the most significant historical figures in Australian sailing history. An innovator and visionary who wanted to take sailing to a national and international level, Foy was the first Australian entrant in an international sailing competition when he took his 22ft boat, 'Irex', to England in 1898.

Six years before his historic journey to England, Foy staged an incredible spectator-driven regatta on Sydney Harbour in January 1892 with colourful, fast boats, handicapped to produce exciting finishes, in front of thousands of spectators gathered on his island 'grandstand'.

It was the fore-runner of the championship we see with today with the flying 18 footer machines.

Racing in the 2022-2023 Australian 18 Footer League season will begin on Sunday, October 16 when the club will stage Race 1 of the Spring Championship, in conjunction with the Major Arthur Frizelle Trophy.

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