Please select your home edition
Edition
Leaderboard FD July August September 2023

13' and 16' Skiff Australian National Championships at St George Sailing Club - Day 1

by Adam Lucius 8 Jan 02:04 GMT 6-13 January 2023
13' & 16' Skiff National Championships Day 1 © SailMedia

Southerly leant heavily on its local knowledge to become the first St George boat in 27 years to win an Australian 16ft Championship heat on home water as the 2024 nationals roared into action on Sunday.

The Sarah Lee-skippered Southerly avoided the carnage that hit many in the fleet as a fresh nor'easter, lumpy swell, a rising tide and myriad jellyfish made for a tricky journey on Botany Bay.

Several boats at the front of the fleet came a cropper, nosediving their way out of contention as SKE Electrical (Banjo Nicholson), Southerly and Moonen Yachts (Daniel Turner) enjoyed the early advantage. Southerly led for most of the race, crossing the line more than a minute ahead of Moonen, with SKE third and Sail Racing fourth. Incredibly, it was only the second time Lee had sailed with Keagan York and Kurt Warner but the boys' knowledge of the course proved decisive.

"They've both grown up sailing at St George so they know the waterway very well," Lee said. "They know how it works with the tides and all the flat spots and knowing when to gybe. "They tell me where to go and I just made the boat go fast." Manly-based Lee didn't actually have a ride for the nationals at the start of the season but did an apprenticeship of sorts at St George as a fill-in skipper on Noakes. She said: "We only got the boat (Southerly) in November so we're a pretty new crew, but we all work well together. "The boys are pretty big and I'm quite light, so it was nice to be able to win in those conditions."

Three-time national champion Clint Bowen, in commentary for Sail Media's livestream coverage, said: "Southerly looked super comfortable and worked in unison so well. It was excellent sailing. "It's always nice to get a win up early in a nationals. They will get a lot of confidence from that."

Moonen didn't enjoy the best of starts and was 12th at one stage before Turner and his crew regained composure to work their way through the fleet and pull clear of SKE on the final run. Belmont's Nicholson joined them on the podium with Manly's Sail Racing (Felix Grech) fourth.

The top 10 featured boats from three clubs - St George, Manly and Belmont - to again underline the strength and quality throughout the fleet. Defending champion Nathan Wilmot overcame several challenges to guide Imagine Signage into sixth, while pre-regatta favourite Noakes (Lee Knapton) capsized late to surrender third spot before recovering to finish eighth. Belmont's CJK Design Management (Darby Jones) took handicaps honours from Red Pumps (Tyler Dransfield) and Southerly.

In the 13s, CyberTechGroup.org (Theo Franklin) beat defending national champion and Manly stablemate Ebix-Sail Racing (Jemma Hopkins) by almost four minutes to make a major statement.

Related Articles

Sarah Lee closes gap in Botany Bay Championship
Finishing just 3 seconds behind Nathan Wilmot's team on Imagine Signage in Saturday's race Saturday 17th February saw St. George 16ft Skiff skipper, Sarah Lee sailing 'Southerly' close the gap on the last leg of the race to get within 3 seconds of race winner 'Imagine Signage' skippered by Nathan Wilmot from Manly 16ft Sailing Club. Posted on 20 Feb
13' and 16' Skiff Australian Nationals overall
Breakthrough win for history-making 16ft skipper Sarah Lee History-making 16ft skipper Sarah Lee hopes her breakthrough win at the 2024 Australian Skiff Championship will pave the way for an avalanche of female sailors to make their mark on the sport well into the future. Posted on 14 Jan
13' and 16' Skiff Australian Nationals day 5
Over a century of history will have a brand-new chapter added tomorrow Over a century of history will have a brand-new chapter added after St George boat Southerly tightened its grip on the 2024 Australian 16ft Skiff Championship. Posted on 13 Jan
13' and 16' Skiff Australian Nationals day 4
EBIX had the title wrapped up well before the final race Twelve months ago, national 13ft skiff winners EBIX had the title wrapped up well before the final race. Posted on 12 Jan
13' and 16' Skiff Australian Nationals day 3
They don't call the fourth and fifth heats "moving day" for nothing Tuesday's double header of racing saw a new leader emerge after the drop was applied on the series pointscore for the first time, giving us a clearer picture of the title contenders. Posted on 10 Jan
13' and 16' Skiff Australian Nationals day 2
A familiar name sits on top of the pointscore A familiar name sits on top of the 2024 Australian 16ft Skiff Championship pointscore after light and flukey conditions on day two tested the patience and tactical nous of the fleet. Posted on 9 Jan
Port Jackson 16ft Skiff Championship revived
The famous event was first held just after WWII It took six years for the Port Jackson 16ft Championship to be revived - and only two hours for the fleet to be reminded just how brutal a race it can be. Posted on 26 Oct 2023
Prizemoney & subsidies to go Sydney skiff sailing
At Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club and St George Sailing Club Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club and St George Sailing Club are increasing prize money for the 13ft and 16ft Skiff Classes and also offering generous subsidies for new and 2nd hand boats including the junior pathway classes of Flying 11s and Manly Juniors. Posted on 11 Jun 2023
Finally! A proper sea breeze for the Skates
The best Nor-Easter in 2 seasons combined with a ebb tide The wind Gods finally turned up fro the Skates at St. George Sailing Club last Saturday. The best Nor-Easter in 2 seasons combined with a ebb tide made for some spectacular rides and wide grins after. Posted on 30 Jan 2023
The revival of St George Sailing Club
One of the hottest venues in Sydney's south, mirroring Manly's success in the north Ask those at Manly Skiffs the original motivation behind seeking an amalgamation with the famous old St George Sailing Club and money and profit is never at the forefront of discussion. Posted on 3 Dec 2022