18ft Skiffs Ferry Patrons Trophy
It was a nostalgic day on Sydney Harbour when some of the greatest names in 18ft Skiff Racing history skippered boats in the Haier Appliances Ferry Patrons Trophy race.
The legendary Iain Murray, six-time-undefeated Giltinan champion between 1977 and 1982, five-time champion Trevor Barnabas and 2000 winner John Winning all skippered top contenders.
Murray was in charge of present Giltinan champion Gotta Love It 7, Barnabas on Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and ‘Woody’ Winning was skippering his own Yandoo skiff.
Olympic Gold Medalists Malcolm Page and Nathan Wilmot were also on the helm of The Kitchen Maker and Appliancesonline.com.au respectively, although Malcolm’s day was short-lived with rigging failure in the park.
A 16-20-knot ESE wind gave all teams good conditions and provided the spectator fleet with more action.
Former Australian 16 Footer champion James Dorron, Ricky Bridges and Mike McKensey were always near the lead in Mojo Wine before taking out the race by just 7s from De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Andrew Cuddihy, Simon Nearn, Keegan York).
Third over the line was Smeg (Dan Phillips, Dave Gibson, Dave Ewings), which was a further 45s back.
Right from the start Murray and Barnabas renewed old rivalry at the boat end of the line, but it was Murray in Gotta Love It 7 who dominated the first windward leg.
Mojo Wine trailed ‘7’, but took full advantage of the 3-buoys rounding to grab the lead from Team Daly (Michael Carter), Yandoo, Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Smeg and Gotta Love It 7.
At the bottom mark, Mojo Wine was 15s ahead of Asko Appliances and Gotta Love It 7, but Yandoo moved through the fleet on the second beat to take the lead at the following windward mark.
Yandoo and Mojo Wine then staged a good battle over the next two laps of the course with less than 20s between them at any stage.
At the final windward mark De’Longhi-Rabbitohs had a slow spinnaker set and the Mojo Wine crew pounced to take the lead and hang on for the narrow victory.
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