Win for Smeg in borrowed boat

Nick Press' team claims 18ft skiffs' Mick Scully Memorial Trophy

Sunday October 24th 2010, Author: Frank Quealey, Location: United Kingdom

Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings are waiting for their new Smeg-sponsored skiff to be delivered, but sailing a borrowed boat in today’s Mick Scully Memorial Trophy didn’t stop them from recording a very good victory on Sydney Harbour.

Press and his crew sailed consistently throughout the race in a southerly wind which varied between 10-18 knots.

Smeg (using the Gill boat) defeated Matt Searle’s Red Claw by 2m10s with Yandoo (John Winning) a further 42s back in third place.

Jonathan Whitty’s Panasonic was fourth, followed by De’Longhi (Simon Nearn) and Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) sixth.

The new Thurlow Fisher Lawyers skiff, skippered by Michael Coxon, grabbed a narrow lead from Gotta Love It 7 at the Clarke Island windward mark then established a big break over the fleet after the long spinnaker run to Obelisk Bay.

De’Longhi, Smeg and Yandoo were in the next group, followed by Red Claw, Appliancesonline (John Winning Jr.) and Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Chapman), Pure Blonde (James Francis) and Project Racing (Andy Budgen).

Panasonic was only 11th on the run, just ahead of Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Boatmate (Jeremy Wilmot).

There was plenty of drama at the mark with at least three skiffs capsizing. Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was also forced to retire when a small fitting failed at the top of the mast.

Smeg took control at the head of the fleet as they worked into Rose Bay then benefitted further at the 3-buoys marks when Gotta Love It 7 had to sail to the furthest mark.

With Smeg a clear leader, most interest centred on the battle for second to seventh placings. Yandoo held a narrow margin over Red Claw for the next four legs of the course but lost the placing at the Rose Bay 3-buoys marks. Gotta Love It 7 was struggling in the lighter patches with her smaller #2 rig and began to fall back into the clutches of Panasonic, Rag & Famish Hotel and De’Longhi.

Red Claw and Yandoo staged a great battle on the final spinnaker run from Rose Bay to Athol Bay with Red Claw gaining the advantage from an earlier spinnaker drop.

Panasonic reveled in the lighter winds in the closing stages and powered to the finish in fourth place ahead of De’Longhi and Gotta Love It 7.

Full results here

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