Gotta Love It 7 back in the chocolates
Jarvin, Sam Newton and Tom Clout led immediately after the start and were clearly the masters of the 10-12knot NE-ENE breeze which prevailed. The winning margin was a comfortable 1m52s, but the race for the minor placings was exciting as Rag & Famish Hotel (John Harris) grabbed second by just 8s from Southern Cross Constructions (Euan Mc Nicol).
The win has Gotta Love It 7 leading the regatta on 3 points, ahead of Race 1 winner Southern Cross Constructions on 4 points. Consistency by the NSW champions Rag & Famish Hotel has that team in third place just one point further back. Kinder Caring Home Nursing (Brett Van Munster) is fourth on 11 points, followed by Smeg (Daniel Phillips) on 13, with DeLonghi (Simon Nearn) and appliancesonline equal on 14 points.
James Francis’ Pure Blonde shared the early lead with Gotta Love It 7 and trailed by just 5 secs at the windward mark. The margin was extended to 15s at the bottom mark but Gotta Love It 7 accelerated away shortly afterwards and was never in danger from that point.
Former Australian champion Micah Lane showed a return to form in Macquarie Real Estate as his team moved into second place on the spinnaker run. Unfortunately for the team gear failure forced them out just 100 metres from the mark.
Gotta Love It 7 led by more than one minute at the second windward mark then more than two minutes on the final lap before coasting to their win.
The Rag & Famish Hotel team gradually overhauled Pure Blonde and looked likely to finish a clear second, but at the finish the crew had to use all their skills to keep out the fast finishing Southern Cross Constructions.
There was plenty of close racing throughout the fleet and the spectators were kept happy with many exciting finishes.
A number of teams were sporting new No. 1 rigs for the first time and the racing is certain to get even closer as the Giltinan Championship looms closer (13-22 February).
Next weekend two races will be conducted as the fleet will contest Race 3 on Sunday and Race 4 on (Australia Day) Monday.
The championship will then conclude after Race 5 on Sunday, 1 February 2009.