Age ahead of beauty
Five times Giltinan champion Trevor Barnabas turned the clock back more than a decade when he won the resail of Race 3 of the Giltinan Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
The 18ft skiff veteran, Barnabas took over as replacement skipper on Fisher & Paykel for this regatta and showed that despite his ‘retirement’ he has lost none of his skills. Along with crewmen Gerard Smith and Brent Dennis, Barnabas came with a late challenge to win by 21s from series leader Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links, Trent Barnabas). Project Racing (Andy Budgen, James Barker, Matt Mc Govern) was a further 15s back in third place, with Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton, Tom Clout) fourth. Sharks/Coldwell Banker Real Estate (Evan Walker) was fifth and Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty) sixth. These placings are provisional at this stage as there are protests pending.
With discards taken into the pointscore, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers leads on 8 points, followed by Project Racing on 10, Gotta Love It 7 on 13 and Rag & Famish Hotel (John Harris) on 18. Western Australia’s Slam (Grant Rollerson) is next on 26 points, followed by Smeg (Nick Press) on 28, Yandoo (John Winning) 30 and Fisher & Paykel 32.
Today’s race was the re-sail of last Tuesday’s Race 3, which had to be postponed due to strong winds. Ironically, today’s race was sailed in a 5-knot ENE wind over a three-lap windward-return course.
Most of the fleet favoured the southern side of the harbour with Project Racing, Fisher & Paykel and Gotta Love It 7 sharing the lead at the windward mark. This is where the pending protests are centred.
After the downwind leg to conclude the first lap, Project Racing held a narrow lead over Gotta Love It 7, followed by Sharks/Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Fisher & Paykel and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.
Gotta Love It 7 picked up a shift along the southern shore to grab the lead from Project Racing off Steel Point. 7’s margin was 30s over Project Racing at the windward mark while Fisher & Paykel had edged ahead of Sharks/Coldwell Banker Real Estate.
At the bottom mark the second time Gotta Love It 7 was just 7s ahead of Project Racing, Fisher & Paykel, Sharks/Coldwell Banker Real Estate and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, which was 1m15s from the lead. The race took another turn on the final windward leg as Project Racing led by 30s from Fisher & Paykel. Gotta Love It 7 was now 1minute from the lead.
Down the spinnaker run to the finish the race took yet another turn as Gotta Love It 7 and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers gained rapidly on Project Racing.
Trevor Barnabas took Fisher & Paykel to the northern side of the course while Project Racing, Gotta Love It 7 and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers were all close together off Rose Bay.
When the two groups met near the finishing line, Barnabas’ move had paid dividends as Fisher & Paykel crossed the line as the others jostled in the almost non-existant wind.