In the bag for Junior
After a week of extremely high temperatures brought about by N-NW winds, a southerly change swept through Sydney on Saturday evening leaving the fleet in Race 3 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship with a light, shifting southeast wind on the harbour today.
John Winning Jr., David Ewings and Tim Austin went to the right hand side of the course from the start in appliancesonline.com.au, a move which was to prove the winning factor as they held the lead throughout to record a 2m41s win.
Defending champion Seve Jarvin and his Gotta Love It 7 crew had to fight hard to take second place on the day but the placing enables them to retain the series lead.
Third place today (and second overall in the championship) was Southern Cross Constructions, skippered by Euan Mc Nicol, which finished a further 43s behind Gotta Love It 7.
Overall Gotta Love It 7 has a score of 5 points, followed by Southern Cross on 7, Rag & Famish Hotel on 10, appliancesonline 15, Smeg 17 and Yandoo on 23.
The move by the appliancesonline crew at the start saw the talented trio open up a 1m10s lead over Keith Piggin Estate Agents (Tim Webster), followed by Smeg (Hugh Stodart), Southern Cross and 7, which was 1m45s from the leader.
The shifting SE wind and some close battles on the long spinnaker run saw the fleet take a variety of courses to the bottom mark, .
appliancesonline was untroubled to retain the lead and continued to set the pace over the following leg to the Clarke Island windward buoy, wher the lead was still 1m10s. The crew set a spinnaker for the tight run to Chowder Bay while the now second placed Southern Cross elected to two sail reach. Initially, it appeared that the latter’s move would see them grab the lead, but the young crew didn’t panic and they continued to lead as they began the ‘loop’ back and forward across the harbour for the next three legs of the course.
At Rose Bay, the lead had stretched to 1m50s and from that point there was never any doubt about applianceonline’s victory.
The battle was on for the minor placings as Gotta Love It 7 edged ever closer to Southern Cross. Smeg, Rag & Famish and Keith Piggin were also closely bunched in the race for fourth place. Gotta Love It 7 could make no impression on the leader, but was proving too quick for Southern Cross in the ever fading breeze.
Race 4 of the Championship will be sailed tomorrow (Monday, 26 January – Australia Day) with the last race scheduled for next Sunday.
More photos on the following pages...