Club Championship – Heat 6
Friends turned foes for a couple of hours on Saturday as national championship-winning 16ft skiff skipper Sarah Lee took on old crew mates Keagan York and Kurt Warner in the crucial sixth heat of St George’s Club Championship.
It was just two weeks ago the trio combined to secure St George’s first national crown in 26 years after a stand-out regatta aboard Southerly. With skipper Lee calling the shots and York and Warner using every inch of their experience on Botany Bay, Southerly won three races and compiled two seconds to have the title in the bag with a heat to spare.
But back in clubland on Saturday, they eyeballed each other at the start line as Lee jumped back onboard her usual ride (Noakes) to take on Southerly – guest skippered by Drummoyne’s Nathan McNamara. Southerly is well out of title contention after a late start to their Club Championship campaign but is keen to make life as uncomfortable as possible for front-runners Noakes and TTR Civil (Phil Bower).
And they did just that, finishing eight seconds ahead of Lee with Bower a further 11 seconds behind in third.
The light southerly breeze shifted nor east, making for a NASCAR-style reaching/downwind race in which you could throw a blanket over the front three boats.
“It was a bit of fun and laughs for us and no pressure as we aren’t a chance to win the club championship since Kurt only got the boat in late November,” York explained.
“We were in front most of the race and also on the last leg, but only just.
“Sarah pushed us all the way. She’s a great helm. She’s calm, has great feel, safe boat handling and she’s light as well.”
Lee said: “It was a very up and down race. Every time we got in front something went wrong on our boat (tangled crew, bad kite drops) and they’d get in front of us again.
“It was a good race with lots of friendly banter.”
With three heats of the club championship remaining, Noakes is ahead of TTR Civil, Tribeca and Toogara.
Attention now turns to this weekend’s Belmont Bay Sprint Championships.
Club Championship – Heat 6 courtesy of MrFlemo13 YouTube.