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Sydney Historic 18 Foot Skiffs

Here’s a good look at historic 18-footer Yendys on her way to a 2014 season championship win in the Sydney Flying Squadron with far too little mainsail on…Look at that boom!  Congrats to our good friend, sailing cheerleader, camera cat owner and all-around lover of sailing Bob Killick on the victory, and here’s a report from the Squaddie.  Bob Ross photo and full results here.

Race 27 (the final race) of the 2013-14 Season and Heat 7 of the Autumn Point score. The forecast for the day was anything but encouraging with the influence of an east coast low expected to produce extreme weather conditions. Consequently, skippers and crews rigged for the worst whilst hoping for the best as they prepared their skiffs amidst showers of rain. 8 skiffs under their smallest no.4 rigs and 1 GP18 set off for the start in Athol Bay. Whilst the breeze was quite fresh earlier in the day by the time the race got underway conditions had moderated significantly, with the prospect of more bursts of strong wind under the approaching banks of rain clouds on the southern horizon.

The race got underway from a handicap start on the #5 westerly course, with the breeze in the south to south-western sector. This is the shortest of the SFS courses and in comparison to the other courses is sailed in a confined section of the harbour. The limit markers all got away to a good start and soon settled in for a close race as they worked towards the Kirribilli mark. Alruth was first to round followed by Top Weight, Scot, Britannia and Tangalooma, for a tight reach down to Point Piper. Meanwhile there was a long gap before the back markers were on their way.

When the skiffs turned at Point Piper for the reach back to Kirribilli, it appeared that Top Weight was just ahead of Alruth with Britannia 3rd, then Scot and a break back to Tangalooma, then The Mistake, Aberdare and Yendys. At this stage we should point out that the rounding mark for the SFS course is the YA mark off Point Piper (a faded yellow and robust steel cylinder), and that the Double Bay S.C. was running a Laser class race with their start-line nearby (ie 200 metres to the west) that used a very bright yellow and skinny inflatable cylinder mark. In addition, it has been quite a long time since the SFS last ran a race on the #5 course.

When the skiffs turned at Kirribilli for the leg to Clark Island, Top Weight was just ahead of Alruth as they continued their 2-boat dual, followed by Britannia and Scot. The back markers had made up some time on the lead group but on such a short course the lead group would never be challenged with only the final leg to sail to the finish off Kirribilli.

Top Weight continued to lead down the final reach to cross the finish line just 4 secs ahead of Alruth, then a few minutes back to Britannia, another 3 mins to Scot, 2 mins to Tangalooma, then The Mistake, Aberdare and Yendys. However, Tangalooma was declared the race winner. It appears the first 4 skiffs did not round the YA mark off Point Piper, they used another mark nearby, sailed a shorter course and hence did not sail the course as prescribed in the Sailing Instructions. Aberdare took fastest time, completing the course in less than 1 hour.

It’s on again next season; we look forward to seeing you down at the Squaddie, and thanks for your ongoing support.

 

April 16th, 2014

Gunboat 60 sailing in Annapolis, MD.

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