Race 13 of the 2016-17 Season and Race 1 of the Historic 18 Footer Australian Championship.  8 skiffs were on hand to contest this event with skippers and crews taking a keen interest in the weather before making the all critical rig choice.  The overnight southerly change had moderated and was showing signs of moving around to the south-east, albeit a bit patchy with alternate periods of light and fresh breeze.  All skiffs opted for no.2 rigs, most with the smaller no.3 jib.   Good to see Myra Too back in action for the first time this season, and Michael Chapman back on the helm as stand-in skipper for John Winning on Aberdare.


The race got underway from a scratch start off Kurraba Point on the no.3 SE course and small run-in tide, with Yendys, Myra Too and Aberdare starting near the committee boat and then sailing a long starboard leg towards Bradley’s Head, while Australia IV, Alruth and The Mistake tacked away early to head for the Garden Island shore.  On approach to Clark Island, as they crossed tacks, Aberdare held a slight lead over Yendys and Myra Too, and then rounded in that order, for the tight reach to Taylor Bay, followed by Australia IV, Alruth, The Mistake, Tangalooma and Britannia.

Half way down the first reach Myra Too broke a rudder fitting and was forced to retire, Australia IV had some spinnaker issues and lost several places.   Aberdare was first around the Taylor Bay mark followed by Yendys.  With the approach of an incoming Manly Ferry, Aberdare was forced to tack onto port and head towards Bradley’s Head and then negotiate an outgoing Manly Ferry, while Yendys continued on starboard tack.  When Aberdare was able to tack back in clear air / water she picked up a useful lift from the south and extended her lead.   Aberdare rounded Shark Island with a comfortable lead followed by Yendys, The Mistake, Alruth, Tangalooma, Australia IV and Britannia.

Aberdare carried a big spinnaker to good effect on the long free run back to Kirribilli to extend her lead, for the final beat up to Clark Island.   At this stage of the race the fleet had spread out significantly, while The Mistake and Alruth continued to have a good tussle for the 3rd place.

Aberdare was first around Clark Island for the square run back to the finish running under spinnaker only.  Yendys was next to round followed by The Mistake and Alruth, with all 3 skiffs setting ringtails on the final run, followed by Tangalooma, Australia IV and finally Britannia also under ringtail, and finishing in that order.

The AHSSA Rating result for the “Galloping Ghost” trophy went to Aberdare, Yendys, Alruth, The Mistake, Britannia, Tangalooma and Australia IV.   While the handicap result, for the “Raw Meat” trophy went to Aberdare, The Mistake, Alruth, Tangalooma, Britannia, Australia IV, and Yendys.

The remaining races 2 and 3 of the Australian Championship will be held on Friday 27 and Sat 28.

With thanks to our on-water support team of Barley, Rob, Stu, Russell, Peter, Adrienne, David, Chuck, Louise, Eva, Bill, and the rest of our tireless volunteers, along with the dedicated team at Rosman Ferries.  We look forward to seeing you down at the Squaddie.

Results for Sat 21st January 2017.