Race Sponsor: Birkenhead Point Marina
Saturday, 4 March, 2023
The recently crowned Australian champion Finport Finance team of Keagan York, Angus Williams and Phil Marshall totally dominated Race 1 of the Winning Group JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship with an outstanding display of light weather sailing on Sydney Harbour today.
Finport Finance grabbed a 20s at the first weather mark in Rose Bay, after a frustrating leg from the start off Clark Island, and quickly raced away from the rest of the fleet to lead by several minutes throughout the entire race.
At the finish, Finport Finance crossed the line a 2m15s winner from Smeg (Michael Coxon, James Dorron and Tom Anderson), with Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Dave O’Connor, Trent Barnabas and Tom Quigley) a further 4m31s back in third place.
Lazarus (Marcus Ashley-Jones) finished strongly over the latter half of the course to finish in fourth place, ahead of Yandoo (John Winning), Andoo (John Winning Jr), Big Pete (Sean Langman), Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price), Fisher & Paykel (Jordan Girdis) and Balmain Slake (Henry Larkings).
The race was sailed in a variable 8-10 knot Easterly breeze which tested the fleet on the first windwards beat to Rose Bay.
Burrawang-Young Henrys (Simon Nearn), Balmain Slake, Andoo and Yandoo were amongst the leaders early, along with Noakes Youth (Tom Cunich), Finport Finance, Smeg and Lazarus as the fleet made its slow journey near Shark Island.
With the usual variable breeze in Rose Bay, Finport Finance grabbed a 20s lead from Shaw and Partners as spinnakers were set for the run to the wing mark off Clark Island, followed by Yandoo, Balmain Slake, Smeg, Burrawang-Young Henrys and Noakes Youth.
As Finport Finance raced away from the rest of the fleet on the leg to the wing mark, the Smeg team outsailed their rivals to move into a clear second place ahead of Shaw and Partners.
The three teams easily held those placings for the remainder of the race, several minutes ahead of the pack.
Conditions changed as most of the fleet reached the wing mark and racing became a little chaotic as positions changed rapidly and many positions were turned upside-down as the fleet headed for the bottom mark off Kurraba Point.
Over the final two laps of the course, the leading three positions remained unchanged and most interest centred on the tight battle for the next five placings.
Lazarus was back in sixth place at the second weather mark in Rose Bay but a strong spinnaker run back to the bottom mark off Kurraba Point put the team into fourth place, ahead of Yandoo, Andoo and Rag & Famish Hotel.
Conditions are expected to be entirely different for tomorrow’s Race 2, which should provide supporters with a great spectacle and a wonderful platform to launch a hard-fought regatta.
Today’s result sheet, and images from the race, are attached.
NOTE: Race dates for the Winning Group 73rd JJ Giltinan World 18 footer Championship are:
Sunday March 5 Race 2
Tuesday March 7 Races 3 & 4
Wednesday March 8 Races 5 & 6
Thursday March 9 Race 7
Saturday March 11 Race 8
Sunday March 12 Race 9
An Australian 18 Footers League spectator ferry will follow the racing on all days, leaving Double Bay Public Wharf, alongside the clubhouse, at 2pm.
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.