113th Botany Bay 16ft Skiff Championships – Typhoon takes the honours
Half of Nathan Wilmot wants the 16ft skiff season to go on forever – the other half is craving a well- deserved breather.
The Typhoon skipper added another piece of silverware to the collection on Saturday, combining with Mal Page and Brett Davis to take out the 113th running of the Botany Bay Championship. It means the Manly boat has picked up an Australian 16ft championship, the Belmont Bay Championship and now the Botany Bay title in the space of a month. Rivals are joking team owner Craig “Ed” Nicholls may soon be able to give away the air conditioning business and live off the prizemoney Typhoon is picking up along the way.
It’s been a long season but a rewarding one for Typhoon, which again had regular nemesis and eventual runner-up Noakes (Lee Knapton) close in the rear-view mirror throughout Saturday’s race at St George.
“I’m exhausted but it’d be nice if we can keep the winning run going for a few more weeks,” Wilmot said. “They were some of the toughest conditions I’ve encountered on a skiff (during the Botany Bay Championships) and credit to Brett and Mal for getting us through. “It was a 20-plus knot nor easter and coming down that big, long run off all the way through to Yarra Bay back into St George with an outgoing tide, it was terrifying. “It’s probably one of the hardest runs I’ve ever done and somehow we survived what should have been a proper cartwheel. “We were conservative when we had to be and took advantage when we hit the flat water.”
The winning margin was nearly three minutes but that didn’t tell the whole picture of a tough 90-minute race. Wilmot said: “We led from start to finish but Noakes came right back at us and were right on our stern for the last work before we sailed away from them again.
“We were quick upwind and on the last run to the finish, we were really quick.” The in-form Botany Access (Gerard Smith) finished third with Red Pumps Red (Tyler Dransfield) next in from IMEI (Sarah Lee) and Musto (Hugh Stodart).
Five Manly boats filled the top six spots. Outback Marine (Georgia Clancy) claimed handicap honours from Musto and Typhoon.
It’s just another indication of how competitive the finish to Manly’s club championship promises to be over the next few weeks.
Typhoon, currently third, has some ground to make up on the leaders but don’t write off their chances.
“That would be a good icing on the cake. The way everything’s falling into place for the last two months, a club champs win would be the perfect way to finish,” Wilmot said.
by Adam Lucius