The Yandoo team of John Winning, Mike Kennedy and Fang Warren lead the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship following a dominating performance to take out Race 3 of the championship on Sydney Harbour today.
Yandoo grabbed the lead early in the race to hold a 20s advantage at the first windward mark in Rose Bay and steadily increased her lead throughout the SE course.
At the finish, Yandoo crossed the line 3m13s ahead of her nearest rival, defending champion Tech2 (Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake).
The Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Steve Thomas, Lindsay Stead and Shaun Connor) produced the best performance in its rookie season to finish in third place, 31s behind Tech2.
Race 1 winner Noakesailing (Sean Langman) finished fourth, followed by Fisher & Paykel (Jono Whitty) and Lazarus Capital Partners (Marcus Ashley-Jones).
Progress points after today’s race has Yandoo leading the championship with a total of 6 points, followed by Noakesailing on 7 points, Tech2 on 8. Fisher & Paykel is in fourth place with a total of 14 points, followed by Shaw and Partners Financial Services on 19 and Burrawang-Young Henrys (Simon Nearn) on 26.
Yandoo’s crew elected to sail to the western side of Shark Island soon after the start, a tactic that enabled the skiff to grab the lead as the fleet approached the windward mark off the southern end of the island in Rose Bay.
Tech2 was in second place, behind Yandoo, as spinnakers were set for the leg across the harbour to the bottom mark off Robertson Point, followed by Noakesailing, Lazarus Capital Partners, Shaw and Partners, Fisher & Paykel and The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Lachlan Steel).
The leading four positions remained unchanged at Robertson Point, although Yandoo had increased her lead, the big break came on the next leg of the course, which was a windward work to the mark east of Clark Island.
By that point, Yandoo’s crew had extended the lead to 1m45s, however, the other big improver was Shaw and Partners, which had moved into second place ahead of Noakesailing and Tech2.
A split developed in the fleet at the Clark Island mark when several boats were involved in an incident that saw them ‘tangled’ for more than one minute.
While the Yandoo team was extending its lead on every leg of the course, the race for the next three placings was intense as positions changed regularly between Tech2, Noakesailing, and Shaw and Partners with less than 30s separating the three boats.
At the finish line, Tech2 won the battle from Shaw and Partners and Noakesailing with only 39s between them.
Today’s result sheet and progress points are attached, along with images from the racing.
The annual Supercup race, featuring many past 18ft Skiff champions, will be conducted on Sydney Harbour next Friday (December 10).