First blood to 7
Defending champion Seve Jarvin and his Gotta Love It 7 team of Sam Newton and Scott Babbage gave an awesome performance to win Race 1 of the Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
The champion USA team of Howie Hamlin, Fritz Lanzinger and Paul Allen finished second on CST Composites, 3m34s behind the winner.
Third place went to the early race leader Smeg, sailed by Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings, which was a further 37s behind CST Composites.
Australian champions Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas finished fourth in Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, with UK skiff Hyde Sails (Andy Budgen, Dan Wilsdon and Matt Wark) fifth, just ahead of Western Australia’s Slam (Grant Rollerson, Anthony Young and Peter Nicholson).
Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) won the start at the pin end of the line while Gotta Love It 7, CST Composites, Smeg and Western Australia’s Black Swan (David Gilmour) tacked early and went to the right hand side of the course. This move proved a winner as Black Swan was a shock leader at the windward mark from Smeg, Gotta Love It 7, CST Composites, Slam and Queenslander 1 (Q1), skippered by David Witt.
After the long spinnaker run to Robertson Point, Smeg held the lead from CST Composites and Gotta Love It 7. These positions then remained unchanged at the following windward mark off Clarke Island.
Little separated the three teams as they began the two-sail reach to Chowder Bay but there was a gap back to Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Appliancesonline.com.au (Jeremy Wilmot), Slam, Yandoo (John Winning), Queenslander 1, Black Swan, Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) and Hyde Sails.
Gotta Love It 7 edged to the lead over Smeg and CST Composites on this leg then opened up a 50s lead on the beat into Rose Bay.
From that point in the race it was all 7 and most interest centred on the close battle between CST Composites and Smeg.
The performance by the Gotta Love It 7 team has set a high standard and it will be interesting to see how the other top teams respond to the challenge in tomorrow’s second race of the championship.
Full results here