Manly Skiff Club – Longcourse Race 9 – Moonen Leads Start to Finish
Manly 16ft skiff skipper Daniel Turner had one message for the Sail GP fraternity dealing with the chaos on Sydney Harbour at the weekend: Welcome to our world.
The Manly fleet has cut its teeth on Sydney’s temperamental summer weather – where a pleasant nor’ east day can quickly turn foul on the back on an angry southerly – and know to expect the unexpected. The 16s managed to get the season’s ninth long course race done and dusted before the change came through on Saturday, avoiding the carnage the Sail GP mob encountered as boats were literally tossed in the air as wild winds took hold.
Turner piloted Moonen Yachts to yet another win – its fourth long course triumph of the season – to take a stranglehold on the overall pointscore tally. It’s a similar story in the short course category, while Turner and crew Matt Stenta and Gus Williams also enjoy a strong grip on the club championship with three heats remaining.
“I don’t know what these Sail GP guys are on about – that’s just a normal day of mayhem on the harbour,” Turner joked. “We had a pretty textbook Sydney Harbour nor’easter where you get everything from guys in their huge power boats trying to race you to ferries and other fleets getting in your way and then a storm approaching. “The storm was kind of lingering all day but luckily it didn’t hit us because we were having a pretty good race.
“We had a really good start and managed to lead all the way, so all-in-all it was a good day. “It’s a lot of fun sailing at this time of the year. The states and nationals are over and the pressure is off a little and you can really get into the club races.”
But don’t be fooled into thinking the boys on Moonen have hit cruise control. After failing to land major silverware at NSW and Australian level, they are now eyeing the last three titles on offer in clubland. Turner said: “It only took us half an hour and few beers to get over (the Australian titles). We were actually pretty happy with that (second-place) finish. “We will be maintaining focus for the rest of the season and looking to finish with the trifecta (short course/long course/club championship).
“There is still a lot to play for.” IMEI (Sarah Lee) was the first boat in after Moonen, with Cunninghams (Nick Connor) third and Sail Racing (Felix Grech) fourth. Former national champion Fluid Building (Clint Bowen) headed handicap honours from Cunninghams, IMEI and Shebang (Anthony King).