Race three of the SP Systems Australian Championship
Asko Appliances took out Race 3 and has the overall lead of the SP Systems Australian 18ft Skiff Championship following a brilliant performances in a 22knot north-east wind on Sydney Harbour on Sunday.
Skipper Hugh Stodart and his crew of Niall Kinch and Paul Schulz came from behind to take out a narrow victory from John Harris’ Rag & Famish Hotel by just 11secs.
Giltinan champions Euan Mc Nicol and Club Marine were third a further 1min41secs back while defending champions Michael Coxon and Casio Seapathfinder were fourth.
At the halfway mark in the championship Asko Appliances holds a one point lead over Club Marine with Rag & Famish a further point back in third place. Casio is the only other skiff in strong contention at this stage, another five points back.
The strong winds caused havoc even before the start and prevented three skiffs from crossing the line.
Casio and Club Marine were quickly in a tight battle at the head of the fleet soon after the start with AAPT and Rag & Famish in close pursuit.
The pair were rarely separated on the long windward leg with Casio rounding the Beashel Buoy just a couple of boatlengths ahead.
Asko was back in fifth place.
The large crowd on the spectator ferry were treated to one of the best downwind sailing exhibitions seen for many years with Casio and Club Marine side by side at top speed.
They looked out of control on the tight run into Rose Bay with Casio just one or two secs ahead just before disaster struck when Casio capsized just at the Totem Pole.
The crew skills were being put to the test in tough conditions as Club Marine led the fleet back upwind.
Club Marine led Rag & Famish by around 15secs at the Beashel Buoy (second time) from Rag & Famish. Asko had moved into third place with De Longhi fourth.
Once again the downwind leg provided sensational action for the spectators.
At the bottom mark Club Marine still led but Asko had gained significant ground to be just 10secs back in second place. Rag & Famish was just another 8secs away third.
Positions at the head of the fleet changed dramatically when Club Marine capsized off Bradley Head on the final windward leg.
Asko quickly grabbed the lead and as the fleet turned the final buoy and headed home Stodart and his crew had established what proved to be a winning break of more than 30secs.
1 Asko Appliances
2 Rag & Famish Hotel
3 Club Marine
4 Casio Seapathfinder
5 De Longhi
7 SX Projects
9 Appliances Online
10 Ssangyong Yandoo
11 Southern Cross Constructions
12 Omega Smeg
14 Fisher & Paykel
16 Belle Property
17 Noakes Youth
18 Active Air
19 CST Composites
21 Wentworth Courier