The sun returned to Sydney Harbour yesterday afternoon for the final heat of the New South Wales 18 foot Skiff Championship, which was sailed in an easterly breeze that proved to be even more difficult than yesterday's southerly.
The 16 boat fleet got away to a fairly even start in a breeze of 9 to 10 knots, and quickly spread out across the width of the harbour as the crews tried to find an advantage on the long windward leg to the Rose Bay turning mark. 'Newport Arms Hotel', skippered by Matt Felton, made the best job of reading the shifts to take the lead, followed by Alistair Saunders on 'Computer Associates'. Stephen Quigley, who took the place of skipper Graham Turner on 'Terry Hogan Prestige Cars' today, was also well up, along with Greg Paterson on 'Vodka Cruiser'.
'Newport Arms Hotel' increased her lead downwind, and 'Vodka Cruiser' also had a good spinnaker leg, before 'Terry Hogan Prestige Cars' made significant gains on the second work to Rose Bay, finally slipping past 'Newport Arms Hotel' along with 'Vodka Cruiser' when the early leader seemed to have a momentary gear problem.
'The Arms' eventually recovered second position to finish 20 seconds behind 'Terry Hogan', with 'Vodka Cruiser' taking a good third place ahead of 'Computer Associates'.
Stephen Quigley enjoyed his come-back victory, and sailed an excellent tactical race. Not so fortunate was another retired skipper, Peter Sorensen, who was at the helm of 'Terry Hogan' yesterday, but had a couple of swims.
John Harris on 'Rag & famish Hotel' finished in eight spot, his lowest of the championship, but he had done enough to take the NSW title, with Daniel Phillips on 'Derwent Racing' second and Matt Felton on 'Derwent Arms Hotel' third.
The 18 footers now take a break until the JJ Giltinan International Championship, which will also be held on Sydney Harbour from the 5th to the 13th January.
New South Wales Championship, Heat 5 result:
1. 'Terry Hogan Prestige Cars', Stephen Quigley
2. 'Newport Arms Hotel', Matt Felton
3. 'Vodka Cruiser', Greg Paterson
4. 'Computer Associates', Alistair Saunders
5. 'SP Systems-Team Alfa', Tim Webster
6. 'Total Recall', Clynton Wade-Lehman
7. 'Derwent Racing', Daniel Phillips
8. 'Rag & Famish Hotel', John Harris
9. 'Sunday Telegraph', Michael Coxon
10. 'Aristocrat', Gary Phillips
Final positions, after discard:
1. 'Rag & Famish Hotel', John Harris, 22.5 points
2. 'Derwent Racing', Daniel Phillips, 30.4 points
3. 'Newport Arms Hotel', Matt Felton, 35 points
4. 'd'Albora Marinas', John Winning, 35.7 points
5. 'Sunday Telegraph', Michael Coxon, 37.4 points
6. 'Terry Hogan Prestige Cars', Stephen Quigley, 40 points
7. 'Express Post', Hugh Stodart, 42 points
8. 'Computer Associates', Alistair Saunders, 42 points
9. 'SP Systems-Team Alfa, Tim Webster, 47.7 points
10. 'Bell Partners', 48.5 points