Queen of the harbour

Smeg helm Samantha Milner wins the annual female helm Australian 18 Footers League race

Sunday March 20th 2011, Author: Frank Quealey, Location: none selected

Samantha Milner became the Australian 18 Footers League’s Queen of the Harbour when her 18ft Skiff Smeg took line honours in the race, which was sailed over the Easterly course on Sydney Harbour today.

Milner, along with skipper Nick Press, Dan Phillips and John Valtwies had some sensational rides in the 25 knot winds that swept across the harbor course before taking line honours by 1m2s from Red Claw Wines (Matthew Searle, and queen Susie McKenzie). Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, and queen Emma Links) was a further 3m34s back in third place.

With each boat’s crew consisting of one female as their queen for the coveted title, the conditions were even more demanding than usual.

For the girls it was a day to remember as they were in skiffs racing at near top speed. Unfortunately for some it wasn’t so lucky as one young lady Nicky Waller (wife of crewman Drewe Waller) on Rag & Famish Hotel, who was taken to hospital after the mast broke and the crew were thrown into the water.

Others weren’t so unlucky but still didn’t manage to complete the course when their skiffs were forced out of the race with broken gear. John Winning (Yandoo) retired after finishing due to a pre start collision with De’Longhi (Simon Nearn), which was forced out with a broken spinnaker pole.

From shortly after the start, Rag & Famish Hotel (Micah Lane), Smeg and Red Claw Wines were vying for the lead. Red Claw Wines grabbed the lead at the three buoys windward marks from Smeg and the pair then settled down for a close contest over the next two legs of the course.

After Red Claw Wines capsized off Point Piper on the second windward leg, Smeg was never likely to be beaten and went on to score a convincing victory.

Results here

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