2023-24 Spring Championship- Race 4

Andoo heading for the wing mark on lap one in today's race (SailMedia)

Trophy:  Eric Bowen Memorial Trophy  

Race Sponsor:  Rag & Famish Hotel  

Sunday, 29 October 2023  

Sydney Harbour  

The current world 18 footer champion Andoo team of John Winning Jr, Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton demonstrated their skill and experience to win Race 4 of the Australian 18 Footers League’s 2023-24 Spring Championship in a close and exciting finish on Sydney Harbour today.  

Andoo was always in or around the lead throughout the entire course and with the team’s usual high standard crew work were too good for the young Balmain and The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines teams.

In a three-boat spinnaker race between Shark Island and Clark Island to the finish line off Double Bay, Andoo gained the upper hand to cross the line and score a 10s victory over Balmain (Henry Larkings, Fynn Sprott and Flynn Twomey), with The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Jacob Marks, Alex Marinelli and Matt Doyle) a further 14s back in third place.    

John Winning’s Yandoo came from well back on the first lap of the course to finish in fourth place, ahead of the brand new ‘Put Your Name Here’ (Kirk Mitchell and Fisher & Paykel (Jordan Girdis).  

After the first four races in the Spring Championship and Season Point Score, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines leads with a total of 19 points, just ahead of Yandoo on 20, Balmain on 21, Fisher & Paykel 24, Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Emma Rankin) 29 and Smeg (Nathan McNamara) on 30.

There are two more races still to be sailed in the Spring Championship. 

A 16-18 knot North East breeze, the best of the season to date, allowed all teams to use their smaller #2 rigs for the first time and produced a race where the lead and positions within the leading group changed continually throughout the entire course.

Andoo won the start at the pin end of the line and crossed narrowly ahead of Finport Finance (Keagan York), The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines and Balmain as the fleet settled down on the first beat to the 3-buoys windward mark at the Beashel Buoy.

The Australian champion Finport Finance crew and the Giltinan world Andoo team exchanged the lead a number of times on the beat but were constantly under pressure from the young crews on The Oak-4 Pines and Balmain. 

Andoo benefitted from a white buoy mark rounding to grab the lead on the spinnaker run to the wing mark off the southern end of Shark Island then between the islands to Clark Island at the bottom mark.

The Oak was in second place throughout the run, ahead of Balmain, Finport Finance, Fisher & Paykel, Burrawang-Young Henrys (Simon Nearn), Shaw and Partners, Smeg, Yandoo, Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price) and Sixt (Nathan Edwards).

Andoo’s lead was 30s as the fleet headed up to the Beashel Buoy marks on the second lap.

Once again there were lead changes in the front group on the beat but again it was Andoo which led from The Oak-4 Pines, Balmain and Fisher & Paykel as the fleet sailed to the bottom mark for the second time.

Yandoo, after a slow start, had sailed strongly through the fleet over the two legs of the second lap and had moved into fourth place behind The Oak, Balmain and Andoo.

All four crew were up for the challenge over the final lap of the course and the winner was in doubt as the spinnakers were set for an exciting run to the finish.

Jacob Marks, the 16-year-old skipper of the Oak Double Bay-4 Pines, was  having only his fourth race in an 18 footer, and along with his team mates, led narrowly from Balmain and Andoo on the run to the wing mark.

The gybe for the run home was critical and the experience of the Andoo team was critical as the crew brought their skiff home a narrow winner over three very good performing team, with only a total of 38s separating all four boats.

Today’s result sheet, Progress Point Scores and SailMedia’s images from the racing, are attached.    

Race 5 of the Spring Championship will be sailed next Sunday, November 5.  Race 5 of the Season Point Score will be held in conjunction with the Spring Championship race.       

Don’t forget, you can join the Australian 18 Footers League’s ‘Alternative Ferry in the League’s clubhouse and enjoy all the racing action LIVE on the massive screen broadcasting the SailMedia Livestream camera cat coverage of the racing, and there will be special drinks and food offers for those attending who wish to support their favourite team.          

It’s a really unique way to celebrate the great racing we have seen at the start of the 2023-24 season and all 18 footer supporters are welcome to come down to the clubhouse ‘Alternative’ Ferry.       

If you can’t get out onto Sydney Harbour to see the action-packed racing, or come to the club’s ‘Alternative’ Ferry’, you can catch it LIVE by going to the Club’s www.18footers.com website and clicking on the TV link

Frank Quealey

Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.