Mixed fortunes

Andoo took out Race 17 of the 18ft Skiffs Club Championship finals held Sunday, 20 February on Sydney Harbour.

Written by Frank Quealey

22 February 2022


Jack Macartney, skipper of Tech2, became only the fifth skipper in the 87-year history of the Australian 18 Footers League to win three consecutive Club Championship titles when he teamed with Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake to win the 2022 series, despite being disqualified for an OCS in Sunday’s final race of the 17-race championship.

In the 18 to 22-knot NNE winds on Sydney Harbour today, and with Tech2 disqualified, the Andoo team of James Dorron, Matt Stenta and Angus Williams, gave a faultless display to take Race 17 of the Club Championship by 2m29s from Smeg (Michael Coxon, Ricky Bridge and Zac Barnabas).

Noakesailing (Sean Langman, Ed Powys and Josh Porebski) was a further 28s further back in third place, ahead of Finport Finance (Keagan York), The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett) and Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price).


Tech2 finished with a final total of 90 points, followed by Yandoo (John Winning) on 101, Noakesailing on 116, Smeg 125, Rag & Famish Hotel 125 and Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Steve Thomas) on 148.

The only other skippers to win three consecutive Australian 18 Footers League Club Championships are Cliff Monkhouse (1959-61), Dave Porter (1975-77), Trevor Barnabas (1999-2001) and Lee Knapton (2016-18).

The good NNE wind and run-out tide provided the teams with great racing conditions and the large spectator fleet with even better viewing action as the fleet raced downwind in the choppy harbour conditions.

Tech2 was recalled for being OCS (on course starter) and failed to return, and despite leading by 40s at the top mark at the Beashel Buoy, Shaw and Partners Financial Services, skippered by replacement skipper for the day Leo Takaheshi, was the official leader by 15s from Yandoo, Andoo, Rag & Famish Hotel, Finport Finance and Noakesailing.

Andoo grabbed the lead from Shaw & Partners on the spinnaker run to the wing mark off the southern end of Shark Island, but Shaw & Partners fought back to lead narrowly at the bottom mark off Clark Island.

A large group, including Rag & Famish Hotel, Yandoo, Finport Finance, Noakesailing and Smeg were close behind the leaders.

With Tech2 2mins ahead of the fleet on the second beat to the top mark, the battle for the official lead was tight as Andoo again took the lead away from Shaw & Partners.

Just when it looked as though there would be an exciting battle downwind back to the mark off Clark Island, Andoo was left with a clear lead when the second, third and fourth boats (Shaw & Partners, Yandoo and Rag & Famish Hotel) all capsized shortly after rounding the Beashel Buoy.

An interesting highlight in the race was the appearance of the German team (Heinrich Von Bayern, Thomas Martin and Andy Martin) which is in Sydney for the upcoming JJ Giltinan Championship.

Sailing a chartered skiff, by invitation today, the team was always well in the mix with many local teams and was the sixth team to cross the finish line, just behind The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines.

Next Sunday is the ‘Super Sprint Sunday’. Spectators can follow the racing onboard the club’s spectator ferry; however, due to the COVID-19 policy, numbers are limited. Booking online through the club’s website is essential.

For those unable to make it out onto the water, the club’s Sail Media live-as-it-happens broadcast team will be on Sydney Harbour each day to capture all the action. Live streaming is available online by clicking on the ’18 Footers TV’ link.

The 2022 JJ Giltinan Championship will be sailed on Sydney Harbour, from 5 to 13 March.



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