RMW Marine pipped at the post

As Howie Hamblin's General Electric gain 11th hour win in 18ft skiffs JJ Giltinan Trophy in Sydney Harbour

Sunday January 12th 2003, Author: Peter Danby, Location: Australasia
A clarification of the method to be used for scoring a dead heat resulted in an amended points table being issued this morning prior to the start of Heat 7. As a consequence, the points advantage of series leader RMW Marine (having been one of the boats involved in the dead heat for second place in Heat 5) was reduced by 1.35 points - not a great amount, but significant for the fact that their nearest rivals, General Electric, could now retain the championship with either a first or second place in the final heat, instead of needing to finish in first position to take the overall victory as we believed yesterday. However, it would still be necessary for General Electric to beat RMW Marine by a couple of places, which increased the pressure on them even more.

The wind was again from the south east, fairly similar in strength to yesterday, but generally a little lighter in the lulls. The number two rig was again the popular choice, with RMW Marine on this occasion going along with the majority.

After the only general recall of the series, the leading group comprised Tony Hannan on Total Recall, Howie Hamlin on General Electric, Jack Young on Computer Associates and Rob Greenhalgh on RMW Marine. There was quite a lot of place changing among the group, according to the roundabouts and swings of the breeze as it fluctuated in both direction and pressure, but Total Recall retained the lead most of the time. Gradually, the General Electric team began to make second place their own, and it was up to RMW Marine to keep on their tail and perhaps overtake if they could.

Surprisingly, after the many late surges made by the Brits in earlier heats, they just did not seem to have the necessary gas today, and not only failed to make any forward progress, but lost what had seemed a safe fourth position which would have given them the championship. The late charger on this occasion was Hugh Stodart on Express Post, who passed both RMW Marine and Computer Associates, and then for good measure Michael Coxon on Casio Seapathfinder also overtook RMW Marine.

It was a great disappointment for the British team, who had worn the orange jerseys of series leaders from the third to the seventh heat, and had their hearts set on winning this famous trophy, only to see it slip through their fingers by 0.35 of a point. Were they robbed? No, certainly not - they had their chances, but did not quite manage to take them.

2001 Champions Howie Hamlin, Mike Martin and Rod Howell on General Electric had looked rather shaky at the beginning of the series, and seemed unlikely to be able to retain the championship. Then they came good, and secured two excellent victories and a second place when it mattered, making them worthy winners.

Heat 7 results:

1. Total Recall, Tony Hannan AUS
2. General Electric, Howard Hamlin USA
3. Express Post, Hugh Stodart AUS
4. Computer Associates, Jack Young AUS
5. Casio Seapathfinder, Michael Coxon AUS
6. RMW Marine, Rob Greenhalgh GBR
7. Omega Smeg, Trevor Barnabas AUS
8. Avaya, Peter Morrison AUS
9. Sunday Telegraph, Clynton Wade-Lehman RSA
10. Yandoo, John Winning AUS
other British:
12. Radii, Andy Richards
15. Base 1, Rob Dulson
19. Computacenter, Neale Fitzgerald
20. Hermes, Ed Browne
21. Ovington Boats, Dave Ovington
24. Ronstan, Geoff Carveth

Final overall positions:

1. General Electric, Howard Hamlin USA, 28.7 points
2. RMW Marine, Rob Greenhalgh GBR, 29.05 points
3. Total Recall, Tony Hannan AUS, 32.4 points
4. Express Post, Hugh Stodart AUS, 42.7 points
5. Omega Smeg, Trevor Barnabas AUS, 50.05 points
6. Casio Seapathfinder, Michael Coxon AUS, 61.7 points
7. Computer Associates, Jack Young AUS, 70.1 points
8. Aristocrat, Gary Phillips AUS, 70.7 points
9. Yandoo, John Winning AUS, 78 points
10. Asko Appliances, David Lumb AUS, 104 points
other British:
14. Radii, Andy Richards, 125 points
19. Ovington Boats, Dave Ovington, 148 points
20. Computacenter, Neale Fitzgerald, 154 points
22. Link Associates, Tim Penfold, 158 points
23. Base 1, Rob Dulson, 160 points
24. Ronstan, Geoff Carveth, 168 points
26. Hermes, Ed Browne, 175 points
28. Ernst & Young, Jarrod Simpson, 180 points

See www.UK18footer.org

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