The NSW 12ft Skiff Fleet contested the Port Jackson Championship yesterday in 14-18 knots Westerly on an unusually empty Sydney harbour. The event marks the last interclub of the season and a final tune up before next month’s Australian Championship in Brisbane.
The crew from Abbotsford Arrogant Frog (Peter Hill & Steve Hill) nailed a classic port hand start to lead the fleet away. Terms and Condition (Brad Phillips & Tim Barraclough) showed some blistering speed to gain the lead by the top mark closely follow by Geotherm (Brett Hobson & Jeremy Jones) in 2nd and LCC Asia Pacific (Jono Temple & Richard Jones) in 3rd.
The first run was epic with the breeze clocking WSW making it a tight run from Kurraba point all the way down to Roe Bay. Sydney Sailmakers (Nick Press & Andrew Hay) had a great run getting carted low just scrapping over Bradleys head and dropping their kites hot on the heals of the leaders to come up around shark island. Running over the top of both LCC Asia Pacific and Terms & Conditions to lead around the bottom mark. Sydney Harbour played its usual hand – A Manly ferry rounded Bradleys head just as the lead 4 boats were also rounding, blinded by the headland until the last minute. Geotherm had to gybe to avoid a ferry half way down the run pushing them back to 4th. At the bottom mark rounding, Skoll (Nick Bernard & Robbie Polec) still sitting in 5th had made significant gains on the lead pack.
Sydney Sailmakers turned on the speed on the short work back to Clarke Island, opening up a significant lead on the rest of the fleet. They were never troubled over the next lap and half of the race and went on to record a well-deserved victory in some tricky conditions.
The race for 2nd place was a lot closer. LCC Asia and T&C were quite unlucky heading back to Rose Bay. Both boats were becalmed for several minutes, allowing Geotherm to move into 3rd and close significantly on LCC in 2nd.
Up the long final work to the finish at Karraba, Geotherm and LCC were neck and neck, closely followed by T&C. Geotherm jumped ahead of LCC with only a few hunderd meters before the finish, T&C 4th, only a few seconds separating the 3 boats.
The mid field battle was hard fought with The Bird (Jamie McCrudden & Glen Farguar), Gizmo (James Birdsall & Ewan Duckworth) and Arrogant Frog crossing tacks for most of the race.
Proving the handicapper doesn’t always win Term & Conditions took out the handicap trophy.
Both Southport Sailmakers (Murray Press & Scott Lanham) and Custom Cover (Joel Aynscough & Brad Madders) had DNFs after gear failures.
Today’s presentation was attended by Phil Colless (Curlys son) representing Colless family. Phil handed out the trophies and enjoyed a few stories about a true legend of our class