Daniel Phillips, Jim Beck and John Valtwies win 18ft Skiff Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy race on Sydney Harbour 26/3/07

Daniel Phillips, Jim Beck and John Valtwies gave their best performance of the season when they brought Omega Smeg home a comfortable winner of the 18ft Skiff Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy race on Sydney Harbour yesterday.

Omega Smeg defeated Asko Appliances (Hugh Stodart) by 58 seconds with CST Composites (Chris Dixon) just 15 seconds further back in third place. Rag & Famish Hotel (John Harris) was also a very good performer to finish fourth.

The race was sailed in a Number 2 sail southerly over a three-buoys handicap course. A close battle developed on the work to the first windward mark with Fiat, Asko, Appliancesonline and Gotta Love It 7 all in the leading pack.

The three-buoys system took effect with CST Composites and Southern Cross Constructions gaining from their rounding of the red (nearest) buoy. CST dominated an exciting run to Obelisk Bay while Omega Smeg also made a forward move to be in second place as the fleet turned for the work into Rose Bay.

Phillips and his crew of Omega Smeg made a great tactical decision when they stood well to windward of the fleet. The move proved a big winner as Smeg led by one minute at the following mark in Rose Bay. Smeg’s lead was reduced narrowly after a fouled spinnaker cost them about 15secs on the run across the harbour to Athol Bay.

The battle for the minor placings was a highlight with Asko, Ssangyong Yandoo, CST and Rag & Famish staging a great fight. At the 3 buoys mark on the next lap Omega Smeg was a clear leader while CST again took advantage of the (red) middle buoy to move into second place ahead of Asko and Ssangyong Yandoo.

The Smeg crew handled the conditions superbly as they continued to dominate the race over the final lap of the course. Rag & Famish’s performance should not be overlooked as this team had to sail to the white (furthest) mark each time yet finished only 1minute 30 seconds behind the winner.