Matthew Searle, Dan Wilsdon and Archie Massey officially crossed the finish line 51 seconds ahead of Rag & Famish Hotel (John Harris) in the Life Members Trophy but the margin doesn’t reflect the chaotic nature of the win.
Active Air-2UE and Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) raced alongside each other down the final leg of the course with each striving for the best angle to the line.
Under the pressure of the situation, Searle appeared to lose site of the finish as he steered Active Air-2UE to the wrong side of the line.
Just as everything seemed lost, Gotta Love It 7 capsized as the team gybed to the finish line, leaving Active Air-2UE to calmly sail back and through the line. It was one of the most amazing finishes in 18ft Skiff League history.
Southern Cross Constructions (Euan Mc Nicol) finished a further 21 seconds back in third place with Gotta Love It 7 recovering to take fourth place ahead of Ssangyong Yandoo (John Winning) and Keith Piggin Estate Agents (Peter Morrison).
The race was sailed in a north east wind which freshened throughout the race. Rookie 18ft Skiff skipper Bruce Savage ( Thurlow Fisher) sailed well up the first windward leg to lead around the blue buoy, but lost the lead to Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Cuddihy) which gained an advantage around the nearer red buoy.
Thurlow Fisher capsized on her gybe at the wing mark leaving Fisher & Paykel and Gotta Love It 7 to fight out the lead.
7 was 20 seconds ahead of Fisher & Paykel at the end of the first lap with Active Air-2UE a further 45 seconds back in third place.
The next group was led by Rag & Famish, although only ten seconds separated her from Omega Smeg (Daniel Phillips) Kinder Caring Home Nursing (Brett Van Munster) and Keith Piggin Estate Agents.
Fisher & Paykel regained the lead at the second set of windward marks but capsized shortly after rounding the red buoy. 7 again took the lead with Active Air-2UE now in second place.
For the next two legs of the course the race was a carbon copy of last week’s race until the dramatic finish.