In the bag for Asko

Hugh Stodart and his team take SP Systems 18ft skiff Australian Championship

Sunday January 29th 2006, Author: Frank Quealey, Location: Australasia
Hugh Stodart, Niall Kinch and Paul Schulz became the new Australian 18ft Skiff champions when they brought Asko Appliances home in second place behind defending champion Michael Coxon in Casio Seapathfinder in Race 5 of the SP Systems-sponsored Australian Championship on Sydney Harbour.

With three wins, one second and one third for a total of 8 points they cannot be beaten with just one more race to be sailed next Sunday. Closest to Asko on points is Rag & Famish with a net score (after discarding their worst performance) of 9 points followed by Casio with 12 and Club Marine on 13.

Race 5 was sailed in a 10-15 knot north east breeze.

DeLonghi took a narrow lead from Asko, Club Marine and Casio soon after the start and continued to hold a slight advantage upwind to the Beashel Buoy windward mark. At that mark DeLonghi was 5 secs ahead of Club Marine with Asko a further 5 seconds back in third place and Casio a similar distance back fourth.

The downwind leg saw a major change come over the race as Asko grabbed the lead at the wing mark after DeLonghi lost a man overboard as she sped along near Shark Island in Rose Bay. Positions changed again at the Clarke Island leeward mark when Casio established a 20 secs lead over Club Marine with Asko dropping back to third. A large group headed by Rag & Famish was close behind.

On the second windward leg Casio retained her 20 secs margin although Asko was now in second position and Toshiba third. Belle Property had also improved her position to be fourth with Rag & Famish back to fifth in a tight battle Asko reduced Casio's lead to just 8 secs at Clarke Island the second time but Coxon and his crew were superior upwind to re-establish a 25 secs break as they headed for home.

The final race of the championship will be sailed next Sunday and the Australian team to contest the JJ Giltinan Championship (17-26 February on Sydney Harbour) will be announced after that race.

Results:

Pos Skiff Elapsed Time Handicap Place Aust C'ship Points
1 Casio Seapathfinder 1.19.24 6 16
2 Asko Appliances 1.19.41 9 8
3 Toshiba 1.21.06 1 48
4 Rag & Famish Hotel 1.21.21 15 13
5 Appliances Online 1.21.47 2 44
6 Ssangyong Yandoo 1.21.50 12= 42
7 Club Marine 1.22.43 18 36
8 Omega Smeg 1.23.08 10= 57
9 Belle Property 1.23.18 3 60
10 Maytag 1.23.22 8 50
11 CST Composites 1.23.51 7 66
12 AAPT 1.24.01 14 43
13 Fisher & Paykel 1.24.08 10= 67
14 DeLonghi 1.25.27 17 61
15 Rosemount 1.26.10 5 92
16 Southern Cross Constructions 1.26.38 4 83
17 Active Air 1.29.04 16 71
18 Panasonic 1.29.50 12= 81
19 SX Projects 1.31.29 19 78
20 Noakes Youth 1.35.35 20 75
21 Aristocrat 1.37.56 21 104
22 Wentworth Courier 1.45.06 22 104

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