Winners cross the finish line
Today’s Trophy: Eric Bowen Memorial Trophy
Race Sponsor: Rag & Famish Hotel
Sunday, 6 November 2022
Sydney Harbour
The Noakes Youth team of Tom Cunich, George Richardson and Jed Cruikshank took full advantage of the 3-buoys handicap system to come from behind over the final lap of the course and take out Race 4 of the 18 footer Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
Noakes Youth defeated Smeg (Michael Coxon, Ricky Bridge and Tom Anderson) by 1m1s with the early race leader Ilve (Cam Gundy, John Walton and Brendon Jenkins) a further 18s back in third place.
The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Alex Marinelli) came home in fourth place, followed by Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price) and 18 Footers Bar & Restaurant (Pedro Vozone).
Yandoo (John Winning) was well placed midway through the race but was relegated back into eighth place at the finish, but despite the incident still manages to retain the series lead, on 19 points, just ahead of The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines on 22 points.
Ilve is third on the overall points table with a total of 24 points, followed by Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Jim Colley) on 27, Smeg on 28 and today’s winner Noakes Youth on 31 points.
Almost the entire fleet elected to go with the smaller #2 rig with the expectation of a freshening NE wind, but when the wind failed to reach those expectations it played more into the hands of Ilve, which was carrying her #1 rig.
The new Rag & Famish Hotel skiff showed great boat speed in the 10-knot breeze to the first set of windward buoys and was first to set a spinnaker but had to come from behind Ilve which was favoured by the shorter rounding mark under the unique handicapping system.
It produced an exciting spinnaker race from the top mark to the wing mark off the southern end of Shark Island with Ilve maintaining her advantage over Rag & Famish Hotel by the size of her larger spinnaker.
The race behind the two leaders was tight with little separating Noakes Youth, Yandoo, Smeg and 18 Footers Bar & Restaurant.
Ilve retained her lead at the wing mark and was still 15s ahead of Rag & Famish Hotel at the bottom mark.  Yandoo was a further 15s back in third place ahead of Noakes Youth.
The upwind speed of Rag & Famish Hotel was again impressive as the team grabbed the lead, which it then held over the following two long legs of the course back to the final set of 3-buoys rounding marks.
It was there where the handicapping system showed its real potential.
While the other leading teams had to go to either the red or white markers, the young Noakes Youth team were favoured by going to the blue marker buoy and led the pack as the fleet headed back to the finish line off Clark Island.
Today’s result sheet and points table for the Spring Championship are attached, along with images from today’s racing.
Races 5 and 6 of the Spring Championship, for the Chris Webb Memorial Trophy, will be sailed next Sunday (November 13).
Spectators can follow the action on board the club’s spectator ferry, as they have done for the past 87 years, which leaves Double Bay Wharf alongside the clubhouse at 2pm.
Booking online through the club’s website www.18footers.com is essential, http://18footers.com/18-footer-racing/spectator-ferry/
For anyone who can’t make it out onto the water, the League’s live broadcast team will be out on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action.  Live streaming is available at www.18footers.com by clicking on the ’18 Footers TV’ link.
For all the club’s racing and up-to-date news:
Club Website   www.18footers.com
Twitter   @18skiff
Instagram   @18skiff
Facebook   International 18ft Skiff
For anyone who wants to take a look at Sail Media’s action videos from the 2021-22 season, including the 2022 JJ Giltinan Championship, go to www.18footers.com and click on the ’18 Footers TV’ link.
Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.