Young guns get up

Racing was hectic and hard in Race 2 of the 18ft Skiffs Spring Championship competing for the Alf Beashel Memorial Trophy.

24 October 2022


The young Oak Double Bay-4 Pines team of Alex Marinelli, Matt Doyle and Darcy McCracken won their first 18 footer race when they led home the 16-strong Australian 18 Footers League fleet in Race 2 of the Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour Sunday 23 October.

It was a day for the young teams as The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines took the victory by 15s from the Noakes Blue team of Nathan McNamara, Peter McLeod and Conor Hay who were having only their second start in an 18 footer race.

The third placed team of Cam Gundy, John Waltin and Markus Sampson, sailing the former Ilve skiff, finished a further 1m41s back in third place. Cam is experienced in the 18 footer fleet however it was only his second start as a skipper.


It was a far different situation for the fourth placed Yandoo, whose skipper John Winning is presently having his 37th season as skipper in the 18s.

Fifth on the day was 18 Footers Bar & Restaurant (Pedro Vozone), followed by Birkenhead Point Marina (Kirk Mitchell).

After the first two races of the championship, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines and Yandoo share the point lead on seven points, followed by Ilve on 11, Noakes Blue on 13, then Birkenhead Point Marina and Burrawang-Young Henrys (Simon Nearn) tied for fifth place on 16 points.

The Oak team’s decision to sail to the west of Shark Island soon after the start set up the victory as the team was always in or near the lead throughout the entire.

A spinnaker problem on the drop at the end of the second lap of the three lap course put the team under pressure as the fleet headed back to the top mark for the final time but the skiff was powering on the windward leg back to Rose Bay and was never in danger of defeat despite a great finishing burst by the rookie Noakes Blue team.

Conditions were extremely difficult for all crews as there were many ‘holes’ in the 6-8knots ESE breeze.

Michael Coxon’s Smeg team was beginning to put pressure on the leaders on the first spinnaker run but found one of the ‘holes’ and was never back in contention before finishing in 13th place.

Another casualty was Lachlan Steel’s The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone team.

Approaching the finishing line, the team was in a clear fourth place only to lose all breeze and be forced to sit and watch as the following five skiffs sent them back to ninth place.

Race 1 of the Club Championship will be sailed next Sunday.  Points for Race 3 of the Spring Championship will be scored based on the handicap section of the Club Championship.

The 7-race Spring Championship has a cumulative, NO DROP pointscore, with the 2022-23 champion not being determined until after Race 7 on Sunday, November 20.

Spectators can follow the action on board the club’s spectator ferry, as they have done for the past 87 years, which leaves Double Bay Wharf alongside the clubhouse at 2pm.

Booking online through the club’s website is essential.

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