Brit win in race three
Race 3 of the Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today produced a brilliant spectacle of racing action and opened up the series with the third different winner so far. In the 18-20 knot northeast wind and ‘run out’ tide against the wind, the racing produced great racing from the world’s best skiff teams and action aplenty as the skiffs raced downwind at a great speed.
UK’s Andy Budgen and his Hyde Sails team of Dan Wilsdon and Matt Wark, had to come from behind to take their victory by 19s from the consistent Red Claw Wines (Matthew Searle, Archie Massey and Mike McKenzie), with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas) a further 20s back in third place.
Defending champion Seve Jarvin and his Gotta Love It 7 team of Sam Newton and Scott Babbage had a day they would prefer to forget. The pre-championship favourites capsized twice yet still managed to finish fifth and share the championship lead with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on 8 points.
US champion Howie Hamlin and his CST Composites team of Fritz Lanzinger and Paul Allen finished fourth today and hold third place overall on 13 points.
Former Giltinan champion John Winning, Andrew Hay and Dave Gibson were sixth today and are placed fourth on 16 points.
Rounding out the top six overall are today’s winner and second placegetter Hyde Sails and Red Claw Wines on 17 points.
Two early casualties were David Witt’s Queenslander, who was OCS while Slam (Grant Rollerson) broke gear shortly after the start.
The race was only a few minutes old when Gotta Love It 7 capsized on her first tack. Red Claw Wines and Yandoo were always close to the lead on the beat to the Beashel Buoy windward mark, with Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Smeg (Nick Press), Hyde Sails, CST Composites and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.
Red Claw Wines led at the mark from Yandoo, Smeg, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Gotta Love It 7, which made a remarkable recovery to be back with the leading group.
The spinnaker run to the wing mark off Shark Island then back to the bottom mark off Clarke Island produced absolutely great action as the skiffs took off at great speed. Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings on Smeg grabbed the lead before the wing mark and turned for the second windward beat with a handy lead over the group consisting of Red Claw Wines, Hyde Sails, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Gotta Love It 7.
Queenslander, unaware of her OCS situation led the next group which included Pure Blonde (James Francis), CT Sailbattens (Alex Vallings NZ), Asko Appliances, Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty), Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Evan Walker) and WA’s Black Swan (David Gilmour).
The leaders staged an interesting battle upwind with positions changing regularly.
Smeg turned the Beashel Buoy with a 35s lead over Hyde Sails, Gotta Love It 7, Red Claw Wines, CST Composites and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and a victory was looking likely. But disaster struck as Smeg made their final gybe to the bottom mark when they capsized and all hope of a win had gone.
Hyde Sails grabbed the lead, but was coming under strong pressure from Gotta Love It 7, which was displaying an amazing recovery after her earlier swim. As the pair raced downwind to the wing mark on the final spinnaker run, Gotta Love It 7 unexpectedly capsized near Neilsen Park, leaving Hyde Sails to go on to win from Red Claw Wines.
Altogether, it was a great day’s racing and spectators went home hoping for more good breeze tomorrow and wondering if we would get a fourth winner from four races.