Overall victory for Gotta Love It 7
Following their narrow win over defending champion Micah Lane in Macquarie Real Estate in Saturday’s race four, the young team needed to finish only fifth or better today to take the title with still one more race to sail (next Sunday).
It looked a simple task based on their previous performances and victory in today’s race also looked easy as Gotta Love It 7 approached the final rounding (wing) mark at Shark Island with a 30 second lead over Fiat and Fisher & Paykel.
Things changed dramatically as Gotta Love It 7 tangled with an historic 18 Footer sailing in that class’ Australian Championship.
Gotta Love It 7 capsized and the crew had to work frantically to right their skiff in fifth place as the charging fleet approached.
This left Fiat (Michael Coxon) with a narrow lead over Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Cuddihy) on the run between the islands to the finish.
Fiat appeared to have the race won but lost out by just three seconds when Fisher & Paykel gybed beneath Fiat to grab a last second victory.
It was a great effort by the Fisher & Paykel crew of Andrew Cuddihy, Cameron Mc Donald and Tim Austin.
Allowing for each skiff discarding her worst performance to date the progress pointscore has Gotta Love It 7 on six points, followed by Fiat on 11, Macquarie Real Estate on 14, Rag & Famish Hotel (John Harris) 17, Club Marine (Adam Beashel) 18 and Omega Smeg (Trevor Barnabas) on 21.
Today’s race started dramatically with Rag & Famish Hotel, Omega Smeg and Asko Appliances (Hugh Stodart) all being recalled at the start.
Fisher & Paykel, Fiat and Gotta Love It 7 quickly set up a battle for the lead soon after the start.
Fiat went to the middle of the harbour – a move which saw them lead by just five seconds from Gotta Love It 7 and Fisher & Paykel at the windward mark.
7 and Fiat sailed slightly different courses downwind to the wing mark with 7 coming out on top to grab a narrow lead. 7s margin was ten seconds over Fiat at the end of the first lap.
Fisher & Paykel was still third, followed by Macquarie Real Estate, Active Air-2UE (Matthew Searle), Club Marine and Thurlow Fisher (Sean Langman).
Gotta Love It 7 increased her lead over the next lap of the course and held a margin of 35 seconds over Fiat, which had exchanged placings with Fisher & Paykel in an exciting battle.
Jarvin and his crew maintained their advantage until the Shark Island incident. The final race of the championship will be sailed next Sunday.