Rag takes final race

The Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship has come to a close

Sunday February 10th 2008, Author: Frank Quealey, Location: United Kingdom
Rag & Famish Hotel took out race 13 of the Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship after a thrilling battle with Asko Appliances on Sydney Harbour today.

Skippered by the 2001 Giltinan champion John Harris and crewed by his brother Peter and Scott Babbage, Rag & Famish Hotel defeated Asko Appliances (Hugh Stodart) by just four seconds after the pair had swapped the lead several times throughout the race.

Fiat (Michael Coxon) finished one minute 43 seconds further back in third place, followed by Omega Smeg (Trevor Barnabas), Macquarie Real Estate (Micah Lane) and Active Air-2UE (Matthew Searle).

Provisional pointscore, with two more races to be sailed in the series, sees Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) leading on 48 points, followed by Fiat and Rag & Famish Hotel together on 62, Ssangyong Yandoo (John Winning) 82, Club Marine (Adam Beashel) 87 and Macquarie Real Estate on 91.

Today’s race began sensationally in a southerly wind with championship leader Gotta Love It 7 tangling with Thurlow Fisher (Sean Langman) forcing both skiffs out of the contest.

Omega Smeg broke the start and was recalled while Club Marine capsized before the start and was still in the water when the race began.

The Rag won the work to the windward buoy ahead of Active Air-2UE and Asko.

This trio exchanged places on the long tight run to Obelisk Bay where Asko led from Active Air-2UE and Rag & Famish.

Fiat moved into fourth place closely followed by Macquarie Real Estate, Ssangyong Yandoo and the young American team on SX Projects, who are here for the Giltinan Championship.

The lead changed again on the work back to Shark Island where Rag & Famish led by five seconds from Asko, Active Air-2UE, Fiat, Macquarie Real Estate and Omega Smeg, which had recovered from the earlier recall at the start.

The Rag and Asko raced side-by-side under spinnaker back to the start mark where Rag & Famish had retained her five second lead. Fiat had closed to within 20 seconds of the lead at this point.

Asko won the work back to the Clarke Island mark where she led Rag & Famish by ten seconds as they reached downwind for the second time to Obelisk Bay.

Active Air-2UE had regained her third place ahead of Omega Smeg while Fiat lost touch with the leaders to drop back into fifth position.

Supporters were kept in suspense over the remainder of the course as Rag & Famish Hotel and Asko Appliances exchanged the lead three more times.

The Rag was just one boat length ahead at the final mark as the pair settled for a tacking duel to the finish. Asko put in many tacks but the Rag crew were equal to the challenge and crossed the finish line narrow winners of a great race.


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