Aussies lead Hamlin into final day

Published on August 29th, 2014

San Francisco, CA (August 29, 2014) – Skip McCormack spoke for all competitors after Friday’s fourth day of the 13th annual 18′ Skiff International Regatta hosted by the St. Francis YC.

“It was a tough day,” said the American skipper of the New Zealand boat Events Clothing.

Tough even for the leaders. While McCormack was able to finish only one of the day’s three races, Australia’s ASCC skippered by Brett Van Munster suffered two of the fleet’s countless capsizes but moved into first place with a day’s finishing log of 1-3-2, four points ahead of America’s Howie Hamlin, who steered CST to a 4-1-1 performance.

ASCC’s edge was discarding its worst finish—a disqualification for an early start line in Race 2 Monday—after the five races.

Hamlin, on the other hand, skippers the only boat among nine entries that has scored an official finish in all seven races so far.

But it hasn’t been easy. San Francisco Bay has shown the 18s a mean streak this week with Golden Gate winds up to 25 knots, a vicious ebb tide the first three days and churning channels even in the flood tide they had looked forward to Friday.

Despite suffering one of his flips, Van Munster drove ASCC to third place in Friday’s second race because only three boats were able to finish.

Hamlin said, as he helped crew Matt McKinlay and Cameron McDonald onto the beach afterward, “It’s so hard … but that’s what makes it so much fun. You have to be on it all the time because by the time something happens it’s too late to do anything about it.”

With the ebb tide shifting to a flood in step with the wind, there were fewer whitecaps, but the pitfalls were there in wind gusts and frequent chop.

“We were really working at the [windward] mark,” Hamlin said. “It had to be 30 knots.”

It was reported after Thursday’s racing that the skiffs would be scored for their non-starts fin the Ronstan Bridge to Bridge Race. But the race committee then scrubbed that clean and scheduled six races—-three on each of the last two days—to complete the schedule of 10.

Saturday’s racing will start an hour earlier than usual at 12 noon, conditions permitting.

The boats are launching off the beach bordering Crissy Field west of the host St. Francis Yacht Club.

Friday’s weather: Wind W 14-25k; overcast, high temp. 66F.
Saturday’s forecast: Wind W 15-25k; sunny, high temp. 73F.

Current results (after 7 of 10 races; one throwout)
1. ASCC, Brett Van Munster/Paul Montague/Harry Thurston, Australian 18 Footers, 1-(9/OCS)-3-1-1-3-2, 11 points.
2. CST, Howie Hamlin/Cameron McDonald/Matt McKinlay, Newport Harbor YC, 3-(5)-4-2-4-1-1, 15.
3. Maersk Line, Graham Catley/Tom Peet/Brad Collins, Auckland Sailing Club, 2-2-2-(10/DNF)-3-2-10/DNF, 21.
4. Events Clothing, Skip McCormack/Nick Catley/Josh McCormack, Auckland Sailing Club/San Francisco YC, 4-1- 1-(10/DNF)-2-10/DNF-10/DNF, 28.
5. Only 18, David Liebenberg/Dan Morris/John Grey, Richmond YC, 7-6-5-4-(10/DNF)-2-10/DNF-10/DNF, 37.
6. WWW.FLYTAC.COM, John Gilmour/Cooper Dressler/Matt Van Rensselaer, Richmond YC, 5-4-7-(10/DNF)-6-10/DNF-10/DNF, 42.
7. Yandoo, Nick Press/Andrew Hay/James Beck, Double Bay 18′, (10/DNC)-10/DNC, 6-3-10/DNC-10/DNC-10/DNC, 49.
8. Lightning, Chad Freitas/Dan Brandt/Corey Lynch, Skiff Sailing Foundation, 6-3-(10/DNC)-10/DNC-10/DNC-10/DNC-10/DNC, 49.
9. Sparkle Motion, Dan Roberts/James Clappier/Patrick Lewis, Richmond YC, (10/DNF)-7-8-10/DNF-7-10/DNF-10/DNF, 35.

Event information

Report and photo by Rich Roberts.

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