18 FOOTERS – The champion Gotta Love It 7 skiff continued her domination of the Australian 18 Footer League’s 2014-2015 Season with another brilliant victory in Race 3 of the Club Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
Usual skipper Seve Jarvin and for’ard hand Sam Newton were joined in the team by James Wierzbowski for today’s race and led from shortly after the to defeat defending champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor, Dave Ewings) by 38s.
Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy, Peter Harris) was a further 21s back in third place.
Gotta Love It 7 leads the progress pointscore on three points, followed by Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel on 7, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 17, Compassmarkets.com (Keagan York) 18, Yandoo (John Winning) and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) each on 21 points.
The rig selection prior to the race created much interest as Gotta Love It 7, Mojo Wine (Brett Van Munster) and Pure Blonde (Nick Daly) elected to go with smaller #2 rigs while the rest of the top liners went big in the 12-15k North East wind.
At the start, Team 7 (pin end) seemed to be buried beneath a group of bigger rigged skiffs but when the fleet tacked off Bradleys Head the flying red machine was already in the lead.
Shortly after, the breeze freshened and from that point Gotta Love It 7 was always in the lead, although Thurlow Fisher Lawyers made a desperate last leg attempt to bridge the gap when the breeze changed direction and strength three times within a few minutes.
By the first windward mark, 7 led Thurlow Fisher Lawyers by 25s, followed by Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel and Smeg (David Witt).
The three leading positions remained unchanged on the spinnaker run back to Clarke Island where Pure Blonde had shown the advantage of her #2 rig to move up into fourth place.
On the following windward leg, Gotta Love It 7 and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers elected to sail vastly different courses as ‘7’ went to the RHS of the course while Thurlow went to the north side.
It made little difference as the placings remained unchanged, then Gotta Love It 7 had an amazing spinnaker run back to the bottom mark where her lead had been extended to 1m20s.
Mojo Wine (Brett Van Munster) narrowly grabbed third place from ‘The Rag’ at the Clarke Island mark but a near capsize shortly after allowed the black Rag skiff back in to third as the pair headed back up the third windward leg to the Beashel Buoy.
When 7’s lead was still 50s as the fleet headed for home it was going to be an easy victory but the wind changes over the final few minutes of the race gave spectators an exciting finish to the race.
Today’s result sheet and ten photos are attached.
Next Sunday is a 3-Buoys race for the W.C. ‘Trappy’ Duncan Memorial Trophy with the club’s usual spectator ferry leaving Double Bay Wharf at 2.15pm.
Race 4 of the Club Championship will be sailed on Sunday 7 December.
Australian 18 Footers League