18 FOOTERS – Gotta Love It 7’s Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage and Peter Harris became the 2013 champions when the took out Race 7 of the Winning Group JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
Following yesterday’s wipe out in Race 6 of the championship it all came down to today’s final race in a strong North-East wind with Gotta Love It 7 and Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel level on a net 8 points.
Allowing for discards being introduced, Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, David Witt and Mark Kennedy) had to finish within the first three placings today and ahead of Gotta Love It 7 to win the title.
A great start by the ‘7’ crew saw the red flying machine quickly take the lead from The Rag as the fleet sped off towards Bradleys Head.
Gotta Love It 7 maintained her advantage over Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel, and when the latter team capsized near the Beashel Buoy the title was as good as won by ‘7’.
With their main challenger out of contention, the ‘7’ crew appeared to sail more conservatively (if you can sail an 18 conservatively in a 25-knot North East wind) as Thurlow Fisher Lawyers led the fleet down the spinnaker legs back to Clarke Island.
Spectators aboard the two club controlled ferries and others in a variety of vessels following the race were treated to some of the most spectacular action the 18s can provide.
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Trent Barnabas, Dave O’Connor) led until the final rounding mark at Rose Bay but put on a performance to be remembered.
They had capsized on the second windward leg but came back to lead the fleet home, before a spectacular capsize on the gybe as the crew ‘gunned’ it hard.
7’s crew saw the swim and quickly pulled their kite down for the run between the islands to the finish.
New Zealand’s C-Tech (Alex Vallings, Josh McCormack and Peter Burling) finished 34s behind Gotta Love It 7, with Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel coming home another 3m15s back in third place.
The final placings in the championship gave Gotta Love It 7 (9 points) a two points victory over Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel, with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers third on 19 points.
C-Tech also finished the series on 9 points but lost to Thurlow Fisher on a countback.
Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips, Dave Ewings) was fifth on 21 points and Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane, Paul Montague, Tom Anderson) sixth on 34 points.
The Australian 18 Footers League would like to thank all media and followers for their support of the championship.
Australian 18 Footers League