Sunday’s 18ft Skiff race on Sydney Harbour will decide the Australian 18 Footers League club champion for 2019-2020 season.
It will also be the final hit-out for the JJ Giltinan Championship, which begins on Saturday, March 14.
The defending championship Shaw & Partners Financial Services team of James Dorron, Harry Bethwaite and Tim Westwood goes into Sunday’s race equal with the consistent The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines team of Aron Everett, Courtney Mahar and Charlie Gundy, on 75 points.
With no discard applying in the 16-race championship, each team will be watching the other carefully as the first one of them to finish could become the championship winner.
Newly crowned Australian champion Tech2 team of Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Trent Barnabas could spoil the day for both teams, as Tech2 trails the pair by just five points.
As one point is allocated for each finishing position, Tech2 will need to finish five placings ahead of both Shaw & Partners Financial Services and The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines to win the championship on a count back.
Should Tech2 tie with either Shaw & Partners or ‘The Oak’, Tech2 would become the champion on a countback, having won more individual races than the others.
Dorron’s Shaw & Partners team won the last race sailed over a full, championship course only two weeks ago but lost the title won in 2018-2019 when runner-up to Tech2 after last weekend’s racing.
‘The Oak-4 Pines’ was runner-up in both the NSW Championship (behind Winning Group) and the Spring Championship (behind Appliancesonline.com.au) and will be desperate to finally grab a title after such strong performances throughout the season.
The top six placings, and their points, going into Sunday’s race are: Shaw & Partners Financial Services and The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines on 75, Tech2 on 80, Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster) on 101, Smeg (Micah Lane) on 104, and Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) on 112.
On Sunday, if the 12-knots South-East wind eventuates, all teams will have a wonderful opportunity for a final to test the speed of their big #1 rigs as they prepare to challenge the defending JJ Giltinan champion Honda Marine team of David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins from New Zealand.
Spectators can see all the teams while they are rigging, then follow the racing on board the club’s spectator ferry, which leaves Double Bay Wharf, alongside the rigging area, at 2pm.
Book online through the club’s website www.18footers.com