18ft Skiffs AEG 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 5

18ft Skiffs
AEG 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 5
Sunday, 11 November 2012
Sydney Harbour

A gusty 25-knot North East wind pounded the 18ft Skiff crews as they contested Race 5 of the AEG 3-Buoys Challenge series on Sydney Harbour today.

Conditions were so demanding on both boats and crews that only five of the 19 entries were able to complete the four-lap course and none, including the winner, avoided at least one capsize.

After nearly 1½ hours, former Australian champion Micah Lane, along with his crew of Paul Montague and Tom Anderson, crossed the finish line as winner in their Appliancesonline.com.au skiff.

It was 6m33s later until second placed The Kitchen Maker, skippered by Olympic Gold Medalist Malcolm Page, and crewed by Cameron McDonald and Darren McKavanagh, finished.

Nick Press and his crew of Dave Ewings and Andrew Stevenson were third in Smeg, 31s behind The Kitchen Maker.

The only other skiffs to complete the course were Pure Blonde (Tom Clout) and Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney).

Right from the outset, it was obvious that the conditions were going to take a heavy toll on the fleet.

Australian champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) was forced out after only a few minutes sailing then shortly after Giltinan champion Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) was gone with a broken mast.

Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel led at the first windward mark from Smeg but carnage struck behind them as both De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn) and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) nose dived on the bearaway.

Appliancesonline took advantage of the two capsized boats to move into third place, ahead of Pure Blonde, The Kitchen Maker and Rabbitohs-Kenwood (Brett Van Munster).

The spinnaker run proved too much for most boats as Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel, Smeg, Rabbitohs-Kenwood and Yandoo (John Winning) all capsized before the bottom mark.

Over the second lap of the course Pure Blonde and The Kitchen Maker were well ahead of the other skiffs still on the course.

When Pure Blonde capsized on the gybe to the bottom mark The Kitchen Maker was left with a good lead, although Smeg had recovered and began to put in a strong challenge by the third windward marker.

A spinnaker set problem on The Kitchen Maker allowed Smeg to draw level on the following run back to Clarke Island and spectators were treated to a magnificent ‘match race’ between the two talented teams.

Only 5s separated the pair as they began the final lap of the course.

When The Kitchen Maker had her first swim of the day, Smeg was left as the likely winner – but this was not a day for taking things for granted.

With less than 100 metres to sail and only the final gybe to be made, Smeg capsized in the mouth of Double Bay, leaving Appliancesonline.com.au to complete the course as the winner.

Seven photos and today’s result sheet are attached.

More photos will be published later on http://www.18footers.com.au and http://www.flying18s.com. A video coverage of the race can be seen on http://www.18footerstv.com

Spectator Ferry photos will also be published on http://www.18footers.com.au and http://www.flying18s.com during the coming week.

Don’t forget ‘Pick the Podium’ again this season with prizes to be won by just making some selections on which teams you think will fill the placings in Sunday’s race. For full details go to http://www.18footerstv.com/18-promo

Race 6 of the AEG 3-Buoys Challenge will be sailed next Sunday with the Spectator Ferry leaving Double Bay Public Wharf at 2.15pm.

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League
www.18footers.com.au
www.flying18s.com
www.18footerstv.com

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Spectator ferry promotion

When A young lady decided to go for a paddle in her kayak on Sydney Harbour last Sunday afternoon she got a little more excitement than she could have expected.

Her quiet little world got a rude shock when she found herself directly in the path of two 18ft Skiffs racing each other under spinnaker to the finish line off Double Bay.

Marcus Ashley-Jones (Asko Appliances) was in the windward position and able to quickly avoid the young lady, but The Kitchen Maker was under a lot more pressure to avoid a nasty collision.

Fortunately for the startled kayaker, The Kitchen Maker was in the very experienced hands of Olympic Gold Medalist Malcolm Page and his crew of Cameron McDonald and Darren McKavanagh.

Despite Cameron being forced up into the spinnaker of Asko Appliances in a sudden manouvre, The Kitchen Maker crew managed to avoid the collision leaving the young lady with a tale to tell her friends later.

Cameron McDonald had praise for her after the race: “She was caught in a very difficult situation but handled it really well”.

“She didn’t panic and we were able to go past her without too much worry”.

The Australian 18 Footers League has a spectator ferry following each race and it may be a safer and much more pleasant way for her to watch future races.

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League
http://www.18footers.com.au

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