Monday, 6 April 2009

Australian 18 Foot Skiffs: Club Championship Race 15

Gotta Love It 7, winners of the Club Championships. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

by Frank Quealey

The Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Tom Clout became the Australian 18 Footers League Club champions when they took the honours in Sunday’s Race 15 on Sydney Harbour.

After a race long battle with Southern Cross Constructions (Euan Mc Nicol, Trent Barnabas and Aaron Links) Gotta Love It 7 scored a 1m42s win when Southern Cross capsized at the final windward buoy.

Yandoo (John Winning, Andrew Hay and David Gibson) took advantage of the Southern Cross capsize to grab second place by 21s from the hapless Southern Cross.

The win gave the Gotta Love It 7 team a total of 48 points from the 15-race series.

Southern Cross Constructions was runner up on 62 points, ahead of Yandoo on 74, Rag & Famish Hotel (John Harris) on 78, Smeg (Dan Phillips) 88 and Active Air-2UE on 127.

Today’s race was sailed in a good north-east wind of 15-18 knots and fully tested the skiffs with their bigger #1 rigs.

Yandoo won the start at the boat end of the line but it was soon Southern Cross and Gotta Love It 7 which led the fleet up the first windward leg.

Southern Cross Constructions was runner up. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

Southern Cross held a narrow 5s lead over Gotta Love It 7 as spinnakers were set for the run to the Rose Bay wing mark and return to Clarke Island.

Active Air-2UE was third, followed by Keith Piggin Estate Agents (Peter Morrison), Smeg and Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Cuddihy).

Southern Cross had extended her lead to 15s at the end of the lap but the next windward leg was decisive as Gotta Love It 7 clearly had the boat speed.

7 had turned the previous deficit into a 10s lead at the second windward mark and was never headed over the remainder of the course.

The two champion crews put on a magnificent race over the next lap of the course and only one boat length separated the pair at the final windward mark.

As the spectator fleet set themselves for an epic finish, Southern Cross capsized as she went around the buoy, leaving Gotta Love It 7 to sail home a clear winner.

Gotta Love It 7 took the final race and the Championship. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

Yandoo and Active Air-2UE also staged their own personal match racing style dual for most of the course.

While Yandoo was likely to finish third anyway, an untimely swim by Active Air-2UE on the run to the wing mark made it much easier for Yandoo.

The 2008-2009 Season has now drawn to a close and the 2009-2010 Season will commence on Sunday 11 October.

Australian 18 Footers League

No comments: