Garde (Brett Hobson & Brad Phillips) took out the State championships on Sunday, winning heat 5 and not needing to sail heat 6.
Heat 5 was delayed on shore for 40 minutes to let the 30-40knot southerly settle in.
Garde lead up the first work and mark rounding, closely followed by Lincoln Crowne (Jono Temple & Richard Jones) and Gemmell Sails (Murray Press and Scott Lanham).
Both the latter skiffs came to grief on the downwind leg, allowing Garde to get away, and Geotherm to come through to second place.
Arrogant Frog sailed a great race to finish 3rd, pressuring for 2nd place midway around the track.
Lincoln Crowne chased hard on the last leg and gained on Arrogant Frog, but remained in 4th place.
Gemmell Sails retired after breaking both tiller extensions and both crew members.
Only 5 boats made it to the start of heat 6, with the breeze kicking in again. Lincoln Crowne led the charge up the first work, from Gemmell Sail with stand in Skipper and Crew (Nick Press and Dan Phillips). Most skiffs capsized once or twice on the work in the strong gusts.
Variety (Adam Forbes and Richie Johns) were running in third place before coming unstuck on a jibe leading out of the bay.
Geotherm and Hey Charger were both forced to down spinnakers to get around Cabaritta Marine and lost time on the leaders.
The course was shortened at the next mark, with instructions to proceed to the finish.
Gemmell Sails snuck thru Lincoln Crowne on the leg to the finish to steel the victory.
Geotherm picked up a third to cap off a great series (and won the handicap), Hey Charger 4th and Variety 5th.
With a forecast building nor’easter, all bar a few skiffs elected for the 3rd rigs.
It would turn out the right call as the breeze got in and was gusty, reminiscent of a few heats of the interdominions 2 years ago at Lane Cove.
Right from the start two skiff in Gemmell Sails (Murray Press with stand in crew, and son, Nick) and Geotherm (Scott Hobson and Mitch Deane) got a small jump on the fleet.
Lincoln Crowne (Jono Temple and Richard Jones) and Variety (Adam Forbes and Richard Johns) not far behind them, the former skiff lagging slightly after an altercation with Garde (Brett Hobson and Brad Phillips) soon after the start.
The rest of the pack were all mixed together heading down the river, consisting of Vantage Real Estate (Brett Phillips and Jack Winning), Hey Charger (Nick Bernard and Robbie Polec) and Vintage (Cam Gundy and Cam McDonald).
Once out of the river, Gemmell and Geotherm extended their lead on the fleet.
Vantage Real Estate had an early capsize on a strong gust, Vintage and Garde gained on Variety after they were forced to drop their kite to round Clarkes point.
At the bottom mark, the top three remained unchanged, Gemmell, Geotherm and LCC, and Garde getting past Variety.
By the top mark at Manns Point, Gemmell still held the lead, but LCC had now overtaken Geotherm, Garde holding 4th.
Down to the bottom mark again, and Garde overtakes Geotherm. The breeze starting to get very wind at times and many skiffs retiring due to damage. Vantage with a broken rudder fitting and Hey Charge breaking a mast in 4 places and current 5th place Variety also retiring.
The next leg of the race was a hairy two sail across Cockatoo Island from Valentia Street Wharf to Cove Street. Garde had just got by LCC, both skiffs electing to use their spinnakers early on to gain some time on Gemmell. Both were forced to pull the spinnakers back down again to pass the island.
The top 4 positions remained the same for the next lap.
Arrogant Frog (Peter and Steve Hill) and Madonna (Dave Winning and Pete Bevis) where making there way through the fleet, and damage boats, after both having bad starts. Now holding positions 5th and 6th respectively.
Garde gained more time on Gemmell on the next downwind, bring more breeze with them that Gemmell missed.
Up the next work, Garde overtook Gemmell and held a lead at the final top mark.
The breeze continued to freshen and clock to the North.
This forced Garde to down spinnaker around Cockatoo island, Gemmell were able to hold, pass Garde and again lead the fleet.
LCC were a comfortable 3rd, 3min back, and Geotherm a few minutes further back in 4th.
Gemmell led Garde back into the river for the finish, only 10 seconds separating the two. A thrilling finish was on the cards until a rushed tack on board Gemmell caused a capsize, handing the victory to Garde.
Heat 1 Results (Top 10)
1st – Garde
2nd – Linclon Crowne & Co
3rd – Gemmell Sails
4th – Geotherm
5th – Variety
6th – www.skiff.org.au
7th – Vantage Real Estate
8th – Madonna
9th – Hood
10th – Arrogant Frog
1st – Hood
2nd – www.skiff.org.au
3rd – Vantage Real Estate
4th – Geotherm
5th – Lincoln Crowne
6th – Variety
7th – Gemmell Sails
8th – Garde
9th – Arrogant Frog
10th – Datacall