Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy

18ft Skiff Racing resumed on Sydney Harbour today when the Australian 18 Footers League conducted the Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy race over a 3-buoys North-East wind course.

With the wind up around 18-20 knots the fleet was split on the decision whether to go with the bigger #1 rig or the #2.

The Rag & Famish Hotel team of Jack Macartney, Peter Harris and Mark Kennedy elected to go with the #2 rig and the decision proved a winner as they scored an easy win after leading for most of the race.

The NSW champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team of Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas finished 3m47s behind Rag & Famish with Lumix (Jonathan Whitty, James Hozack and Greg Dixon) a further 3m8s back in third place.

Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Rag & Famish Hotel won the start but Rag & Famish was soon in the lead on the first windward beat to the 3-buoys marks at Beashel Buoy.

‘The Rag’ held a 35s advantage over Archie Massey’s Mojo Wines with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers third ahead of Lumix, Smeg (Nick Press), Yandoo (John Winning Jr.), (Micah Lane) and Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Chapman).

After a spectacular first spinnaker run, Rag’s leading was extended to 1½m over Mojo Wine, which was just ahead of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Lumix, Smeg and Yandoo.

There was no competitor able to match the speed of Rag & Famish Hotel which went to a 2m lead at the second set of windward marks.

From there her victory was never in doubt as the team sailed brilliantly in the testing wind to go further ahead at each rounding mark.

The Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team also did a great job under the pressure of carrying their bigger #1 rig as well as giving ‘starts’ to most of the fleet.

Strong winds between Shark and Clarke islands on the run to the finish saw a number of ‘hairy’ moments for the crews as they battled under spinnakers to make the finish line.

A special mention must also go to Nick Press (skipper of Smeg), who returned to Australia just before the race after winning his third successive 12ft Skiff Interdominion Championship in New Zealand yesterday.