7 takes the lead
Defending champion Seve Jarvin and his Gotta Love It 7 team of Sam Newton and Scott Babbage have grabbed the lead in the Winning Appliances 18ft Skiff Championship with just one more race to sail tomorrow, but it will be an anxious wait as there is a protest pending on the result of today’s race.
Subject to any decision of the protest (to be heard tomorrow morning), Gotta Love It 7 holds a two points lead over Australian champions Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas in Thurlow Fisher Lawyers – the protesting boat.
Gotta Love It 7 took the lead shortly after the start and was not headed over the entire course before going on to a 1m2s win over Matthew Searle, Archie Massey and Mike McKenzie in Red Claw Wines, with Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings) another 56s back in third place.
Gotta Love It 7 led narrowly from Smeg up the first beat and went around the Beashel Buoy windward mark with a 12s advantage. The pair had opened up a good break over the rest of the fleet as Red Claw Wines was 40s from the lead in third place.
Slam was in fourth place, followed by Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty), Yandoo (John Winning), De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn), Peters & May (Jarrod Simpson, UK) and Brett Van Munster’s The Kitchen Maker.
7’s downwind boat handling was superb in the light northeast breeze and her lead had been extended to 30s over Smeg at the bottom mark.
Red Claw Wines trailed Smeg by 25s with Slam next, Yandoo fifth and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers sixth – 2m from the leader.
There was no change in the order of the three leading teams, however they had opened up a very big break over fourth placed Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Slam, Hyde Sails (Andy Budgen, UK) and Yandoo.
With Gotta Love It 7 holding a 40s marging at the bottom mark the second time, the interest settled on the tight race for second placing.
Smeg and Red Claw Wines were separated by just a few seconds. As they went around the Clarke Island Mark and headed off for the final lap of the course.
The northeast breeze freshened a few knots over the final lap of the course and Red Claw Wines overhauled Smeg to take second place.
Today's results - overall