Down to the wire
After a controversial morning when a protest by Michael Coxon's Thurlow Fisher Lawyers against Seve Jarvin's Gotta Love It 7 was upheld causing them to be disqualified from Race 6, the Gotta Love It 7 crew of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage put it all behind them to claim today's race and overall victory in the Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour.
Following their Race 6 disqualification the 7 team needed to win the race and hope that Thurlow Fisher Lawyers would not finish within the top three if they were to come out on top.
The final points for the championship were tied when Gotta Love It 7 won today’s race by 27s from a gallant Rag & Famish Hotel sailed by Jack Macartney, Tom Clout and Drewe Waller, while Thurlow Fisher Lawyers finished only fifth.
Gotta Love It 7 took the title on count back with three wins against Thurlow’s two.
Western Australia’s Grant Rollerson, with his Slam team of Anthony Young and Peter Nicholson, was seventh today, but their consistency over the seven race regatta was enough to get them third place overall on 27 points, ahead of Red Claw Wines (Matthew Searle, Archie Massey and Mike McKenzie) on 28, CST Composites sailed by US champion Howie Hamlin, Fritz Lanzinger and Paul Allen on 29 and Yandoo (John Winning, Andrew Hay and Dave Gibson) sixth on 35 points.
With a building north east breeze, the rig decision within the fleet was split between the bigger #1 rig and the #2.
The crucial contest between Gotta Love It 7 and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was included in the split with Gotta Love It 7 making the correct choice (#2 rig) when the wind freshened to around 18-20 knots.
Jack Macartney and his Rag & Famish Hotel crew gave a great display to lead for most of the race – only to be run down by the championship winners on the final windward leg. While Jack Macartney is an Australian 18ft Skiff champion as crew with Micah Lane, this is his first season as skipper and the team has been a big improver over the season.
Today’s race attracted a large spectator fleet onto the harbour, including at least three ferries full of supporters as well as hundred of power boats and yachts of all sizes.