Race Sponsor: Marine Outlet
Sunday, 12 February, 2023
The talented young Rag & Famish Hotel team of Harry Price, Josh McKnight and Harry Hall tamed a wild, windswept Sydney Harbour with some brilliant sailing to win Race 14 of the Australian 18 Footers League’s Club Championship today.
With Southerly winds gusting to 35 knots, only four of the 14 starters were able to complete the long harbour course.
Rag & Famish Hotel’s official winning margin was 4m35s from another talented young team, Noakes Youth, of Tom Cunich, Fynn Sprott and Nathan Edwards.
It was a brilliant effort from both teams.
Noakesailing, Ash Rooklyn, Ed Powys and Rhys Mara, was a further 12m28s back in third place, followed by Yandoo (John Winning, Fang Warren, Josh Porebski), which was the only other team able to complete the course.
Emphasising the team’s talent, in totally opposite conditions to today, Rag & Famish Hotel led all the way to win last week’s Race 14 of the championship in a 10-12 knot Easterly wind.
The Rag grabbed an early lead but capsized shortly after rounding the windward mark leaving Smeg (Michael Coxon) to lead the fleet down the long, high speed spinnaker run to Obelisk.
The rides were wild for the teams still on the course but conditions took a toll on many and the fleet was severely reduced for the work back to Rose Bay.
Teams such as Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Dave O’Connor), Fisher & Paykel (Jordan Girdis) and Burrawang-Young Henrys (Simon Nearn) were among those forced out, mainly through gear damage.
Smeg was maintaining her lead across the harbour from Rose Bay to Athol Bay when she capsized off Bradleys Head, leaving sheet hand Ricky Bridge with a severely gashed leg and forcing the skiff to retire.
Following Smeg’s capsize, Rag & Famish Hotel was left with a sizeable lead over Noakes Youth and the two young teams set about providing spectators with a glimpse of their talents as they completed another lap of the course in the extreme conditions.
The race included another round of the coveted season point score series which is highly competitive at the top end of the points table.
With only two more races left in the series, Burrawang-Young Henrys leads with a total of 112 points, followed by Yandoo on 118, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Alex Marinelli) on 126, Smeg 131 and Lazarus on 133.
An interesting sidelight to today’s race was the appearance of the German Black Knight team, which sailed by invitation in a borrowed skiff while waiting for their boat to arrive in Sydney for the 73rd JJ Giltinan Championship.
Today’s result sheet, progress points table and images from the race, are attached.
NOTE: 73rd JJ Giltinan World Championship will be sailed on Sydney Harbour from March 4-12.
Next Sunday (February 19) there will be no 18ft Skiff race on Sydney Harbour due to Sail GP. Racing will resume on February 26 when the Australian 18 Footers League will stage the final race of the Club Championship.
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,
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
Facebook International 18ft Skiff
Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.