Harris masters the strong conditions

As 18ft skiffs contend 30 knot conditions for the Syd Barnett Jnr Memorial Trophy on Sydney Harbour

Sunday December 10th 2006, Author: Frank Quealey, Location: Australasia
John Harris, Trent Barnabas and Chris Cleary were the masters of the gusty 30-knot northeast wind and big seas as they brought their skiff Rag & Famish Hotel home an easy winner of the Syd Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy race on Sydney Harbour today.

Rag & Famish Hotel finished 8 mins 25 secs ahead of second placed Omega Smeg (Daniel Phillips) with Fiat (Michael Coxon) a further 1min 44secs back in third place.

Behind the major placegetters were Club Marine (Euan Mc Nicol), Delonghi (Grant Rollerson) and sixth placed Asko Appliances (Hugh Stodart).

SX Projects, Fisher & Paykel and Gotta Love It 7 won the start and continued to lead the fleet to the three windward marker buoys which effectively determine the ‘handicap’ for the race. SX gained the advantage of only having to round the red (nearest) buoy while Fisher & Paykel and Gotta Love It 7 had to go to the blue (middle) buoy. Southern Cross Constructions, Kinder Caring Home Nursing and Panasonic were others to gain from the nearest buoy rounding.

Rag & Famish had sailed consistently up the windward leg to be close to the leaders while Fiat and Club Marine had to battle on to the furthest white buoy. The spinnaker run back to the start mark took a heavy toll on the fleet in the demanding conditions. SX broke a spinnaker pole while leading and Gotta Love It 7 capsized on the first gybe. The wind strength combined with the choppy water saw several other skiffs capsize. Those that survived provided the spectator fleet with some great action as the skiffs bounced over the chop.

Rag & Famish led as the fleet headed back to the windward marks for the second time with Delonghi and Maytag in hot pursuit. Once more the three-buoys handicap played its part with Delonghi being the first to head back downwind. The brilliant crew work on Rag & Famish saw them regain the lead and for the remaining lap of the course they were untroubled to record their big win.

Ssangyong Yandoo, Active Air-2UE, Noakes Youth, Gotta Love It 7 and Maytag made up the 11 teams to comple the course.

Full results: 18ftskiff results.pdf

More of the maestro Carlo Borlenghi's top images over the next pages....

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