Gotta Love It 7 back in the driving seat

The second round of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship

Sunday January 16th 2011, Author: Frank Quealey, Location: Australia

Defending champion Seve Jarvin and his Gotta Love It 7 crew of Sam Newton and Scott Babbage came back strongly after a disastrous Race 1 to take out the second race of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

In last Sunday’s first race of the championship, Gotta Love It 7 collided with the starter’s boat, but today there was no problem as the champion team led all the way to record a brilliant 5m 27s win in the light easterly breeze.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, skippered by John Harris (replacing the injured regular skipper Michael Coxon) and crewed by Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas, finished second and holds the points lead by 6 points after the first two races of the championship.

Third place today and now second overall (8 points) was Red Claw with Matthew Searle, Archie Massey and Mike McKenzie, which finished a further 15s behind Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.

Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Evan Walker) is third on 10, Western Australia’s Slam (Grant Rollerson) is fourth on 12 points, ahead of Yandoo (John Winning) also on 12 points and first race winner Smeg (Nick Press) on 14. De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn) is in seventh place, also on 14 points.

The fleet was spread across the harbor on the first windward leg from the north shore to Rose Bay where Gotta Love It 7 led by one minute from Jack Macartney’s Rag & Famish Hotel, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Project Racing (Andy Budgen), Red Claw and Yandoo (John Winning).

Gotta Love It 7 opened up a big break on the rest of the fleet downwind and from that point led by more than three minutes at every mark in a devastating performance.

While the 7 team raced clear of the fleet, the battle for the next five placings was tight.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers narrowly moved ahead of Rag & Famish Hotel at the first wing mark and held that place throughout, although De’Longhi-Rabbitohs challenged strongly on the final windward leg.

The Rag’ continued to hold onto third place over the next lap of the course but dropped back in the fickle breeze on the long spinnaker run from Rose Bay to Kurraba Point. Yandoo and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs staged a tight struggle on that run with Red Claw close behind that pair.

The last work saw Yandoo drop off the pace and Red Claw come back to edge ahead of De’Longhi-Rabbitohs, Project Racing and Yandoo.

Next Sunday’s third race of the championship should start to sort out the major contenders in what promises to be a tight regatta.

Full results here


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