Last gasp victoryDefending champion Seve Jarvin led his Gotta Love It 7 team back from a seemingly hopeless position to take out race one of the New South Wales 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today, Sunday.
Jarvin, Sam Newton and Tom Clout had trailed the race leader Rag & Famish Hotel(John Harris) by nearly two minutes half way through the course. After grabbing the lead from Rag & Famish only 500 metres from the finish line, Gotta Love It 7 went on to win by 20 seconds. Third place went to John Winning’s Yandoo, which finished a further 38 seconds back. Southern Cross Constructions (Euan Mc Nicol) was fourth, followed by Active Air-2UE (Matthew Searle) and Pure Blonde (James Francis).
Today’s race was sailed in an east north-easterly breeze over the four-lap windward-leeward course.
Southern Cross Constructions, Smeg (Daniel Phillips), Macquarie Real Estate (Micah Lane) and Rag & Famish won the start at the pin end of the line. Gotta Love It 7 was mid fleet and tacked shortly afterwards towards the right hand side of the course.
Rag & Famish and Southern Cross edged ahead of the fleet while the UK Project Racing Team (Andy Budgen) was making a strong challenge on the right.
The Rag was 40 seconds ahead at the windward mark with Project Racing in second place. Pure Blonde was third, followed by Yandoo and Gotta Love It 7, which was one minute from the lead. Project Racing reduced the lead at the bottom mark after the spinnaker run but Rag & Famish was still a clear leader.
The race for minor placings held the majority of spectator interest as positions were changing regularly amongst a group of five or six teams.
Rag & Famish extended her lead consistently and looked likely to score an easy victory. Her leading margin was well over one minute at every mark to the end of lap three. Second place at that stage was being fought out amongst Yandoo, Gotta Love It 7, Southern Cross and Active Air-2UE, which had made a remarkable recovery after a dreadful start.
The final windward leg created the biggest turnaround of the race as Gotta Love It 7 edged ever closer.
At the final windward mark Rag’s lead was down to just three seconds and a great finish was certain. The two leaders took separate courses after rounding the mark with Rag going to the right and 7 to the left. When the pair met off Clarke Island Gotta Love It 7 crossed The Rag to take her narrow victory.