7 comes from behind

The latest from the 18ft skiffs on Sydney Harbour

Sunday February 20th 2011, Author: Frank Quealey, Location: Australia

The Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage scored an 11th hour win in the Ferry Patrons 18ft Skiff race sailed on Sydney Harbour today.

Pure Blonde’s crew of James Francis, Brad Phillips and Cameron McDonald had withstood a fast-finishing burst by Gotta Love It 7 to win the race, but later James Francis realised that they had misread their handicap and had actually shortened their course roundings and withdrew from the race.

It was unfortunate as Pure Blonde had grabbed the lead at the first set of 3-buoys windward mark and opened up a lead of two minutes during the race.

Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage sailed a great race in the light, fluctuating SE breeze, to bring Gotta Love It 7 home seemingly in second place as they had to go to the furthest windward mark on each of three occasions. They failed to catch Pure Blonde by only 12s after picking up a favourable breeze on the final windward leg to the finish.

Third place, originally, went to TF Collect (Mark Kennedy, Tom Anderson and Ryan Houston), which finished a further 44s back.

Pure Blonde took an early lead, after skipper James Francis elected to go west of Shark Island while Gotta Love It 7 and others went to the east. Advantaged by the red buoy rounding, Pure Blonde soon opened up a break under spinnaker while 7 had to fight her way through the boats that also went to the nearer marks.

Amongst the traffic, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) and appliancesonline.com.au (Jeremy Wilmot) had a collision causing Thurlow Fisher Lawyers to capsize and appliancesonline to retire.

Down at the bottom mark, Pure Blonde had increased her lead to 1m30s over Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Craig Ferris), Red Claw Wines (Matt Searle), TF Collect, Gotta Love It 7, Yandoo (John Winning), Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty) and The Kitchen Maker (Brett Van Munster).

Pure Blonde’s lead increased to 1m50s at the following windward mark off Clarke Island and the skiff continued to hold a big lead until the final burst by Gotta Love It 7.

Grant Rollerson’s Slam, which finished third, following Pure Blonde's withdrawal, gave an outstanding performance after losing up to 2m when she was recalled at the start.

Race 13 of the Club Championship will be sailed next Sunday. The JJ Giltinan Championship will commence the following week with the Invitation Race on Friday 4 March and the Championship races beginning on 5 march. The last race of the championship is 13 March.

Full results here


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