Friday, 11 March 2011

Aussie 18 Foot Skiffs: Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan - Race 5 Dominated by Gotta Love It 7

Australian vs New Zealand crews. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

by Frank Quealey

Defending champion Seve Jarvin and his Gotta Love It 7 team Sam Newton and Scott Babbage dominated Race 5 of the Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship sailed in light winds on Sydney Harbour today.

Race 5 winner, Gotta Love It 7. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

Gotta Love It 7 defeated Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas) by 2m18s and now trails Coxon and his team by just one point, after each discarding their worst performances to date.

Third placing today went to Western Australia’s SLAM (Grant Rollerson, Anthony Young and Peter Nicholson), which finished a further 1m6s behind Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.

Series leader, by just one point, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

On the overall point score (after discards), US champion Howie Hamlin and his CST Composites team Fritz Lanzinger and Paul Allen are third on 16 points, followed by SLAM, also on 16 points.

There is a group of four boats on 23 points, including Yandoo (John Winning), Red Claw Wines (Matthew Searle), Smeg (Nick Press) and Hyde Sails (Andy Budgen).

Another light north-east breeze greeted the fleet today but the performance of Gotta Love It 7 was vastly different to yesterday.

Along with Queenslander (David Witt), Gotta Love It 7 won the critical start and was soon clearly ahead on the first beat to the windward Beashel Buoy.

Mark Kennedy’s TF Collect, Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) and Red Claw Wines followed Gotta Love It 7 along the northern shore while Thurlow Fisher Lawyers stood further into the mid harbor and led SLAM.

Tight start in light wind. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

When the both groups met, Gotta Love It 7 easily crossed Thurlow Fisher Lawyers. Rag & Famish Hotel was in third place ahead of SLAM and TF Collect.

At the Beashel Buoy, Gotta Love It 7 led by 23s from Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, SLAM, Rag & Famish Hotel and Smeg.

The next group was led by Red Claw Wines, TF Collect, Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty) and (Jeremy Wilmot).

Gotta Love It 7 gybed immediately after rounding then gybed back at Clifton Gardens for the spinnaker run to the Rose Bay wing mark.

7’s lead had edged out to 30s over Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Rag & Famish Hotel and SLAM.

Spinnaker run to the bottom mark. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

There was a big gap back to the next group, which was led by New Zealand’s Yamaha (David McDiarmid), ahead of Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Pure Blonde (James Francis), Hyde Sails, CST Composites and

Gotta Love It 7 continued to increase her lead throughout the race while Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was just as entrenched in second place.

SLAM got the better of Rag & Famish Hotel to finish third, while there was a long gap back to the remainder of the fleet.

It’s been a hard grind for competitors with a series of light and fluctuating breezes so hopes are for more of the 20-knots north-east wind seen on Race 3.

Aussie 18 Footers League