Photo: Garrick Cameron

Inter-Dominions warm-up

Australian national champions continue to dominate 12ft skiff racing

Saturday October 9th 2010, Author: Di Pearson, Location: Australia

In a prelude to the 12ft Skiff Interdominion Championship to be held in January, the current Australian national champion, Garde (Brett Hobson/Alex Johnson), has won the Vantage Real Estate Upper Harbour Championship sailed on the Parramatta River today.

While D Unit (Adam Forbes/Richard Johns) was quickest off the start line after two general recalls due to a big tide, Garde got away reasonably well and had a blinder to establish a lead up the first work of the long easterly course on the upper part of Sydney Harbour. Hobson and Johnson were never threatened after that that and came home in fast fashion to claim the Championship.

The Lincoln Crowne crew of Jonathan Temple/Richard Jones were second overall, while Michael Spies/Damien Vlotman sailed Andrew Short Marine to third place in what Spies described as “a light and shifty race,” with a predominantly 6-7 knot north-easterly breeze testing all crews.

Reigning Interdominion champions, Nick Press and Brad Yabsley (Dimension Polyant) finished fourth overall and will be on the start line to defend their title in January.

Like a few others, Dimension Polyant see-sawed up and down the top placings, Michael Spies recalling how second to eighth places changed with monotonous regularity: “It was hard to keep track because the places changed so often, but that shows how close racing will be when the Interdominions are on,” he said.

Today’s course and course area are those that will be used at the Interdominions from 6-15 January, was shortened at the Drummoyne mark due to fading winds, but everyone got a good workout nevertheless.

“Despite the day being a long an unexciting one, but it was a good trial for race management and all crews in the lead-up to the Interdominions and we feel confident it (the Interdominions) will be a success,” Spies stated.

Today’s event was the official Australian test event for the Interdominion Championship, so Garde’s win was an important one and good training for all the Aussie crews who will contest the upcoming Interdominion, which is alternately hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

Lane Cove 12ft Sailing Skiff Club is hosting the 51st Interdominions, to be held from 6-15 January 2011, with the co-operation of Hunters Hill Sailing Club, which is generously loaning its facilities for the event.

Some famous names have won the Interdominions, including Aussies Dave Porter, John Winning and Iain Murray, and Kiwis John Chapple (three times) and yacht designer Bruce Farr.

Included in the Interdominion Championship week will be a 12ft skiff reunion to be hosted by Lane Cove 12ft SSC on Friday January7 at the Hunters Hill Sailing Club, following on from the first successful reunion hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron last year.

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