Gotta Love It 7 stronger than ever

A new boat and the full crew returns

Friday October 11th 2013, Author: Frank Quealey, Location: Australia

With the Australian 18 Footer League’s 2013-2014 Season about to start next Sunday on Sydney Harbour, Gotta Love It 7 team starts the new season in championship fit state.

A new hull (replacing the previous five years old hull) and the return of long time crewman Sam Newton from The America’s Cup, will give skipper Seve Jarvin an excellent opportunity to equal the legendry Iain Murray’s six victories in the JJ Giltinan Championship next March.

The Jarvin-led Gotta Love It 7 team has won five of the last six Giltinan championships and will start the new season as early favourite to retain the crown.

Seve said: “It will be incredible to equal Iain’s score with another JJ win this season. This time, however, it will be so much harder with Chris Nicholson coming back, and guys like Michael Coxon and Jack Macartney pushing us for every race”.

The new Van Munster-built hull has only just been completed and it will be a couple of weeks before the team hits the water as all three crewmen are presently overseas.

Jarvin (China Cup), Scott Babbage (World Moth Championship in Hawaii) and Sam Newton (touring USA) will all be back early in November.

Before leaving for Hawaii, Scott said they weren’t too concerned about the late start: “With the same rigs and a few new sail changes, we shouldn’t see a dramatic departure from last season, which will see us have more time to develop and tune it. Obviously the hull shape is the same and the new boat takes advantage of some of the improved deck and internal framing. The previous skiff finished its fifth season at the end of the 2012-2013 Season and we certainly expect to avoid the problem we had just prior to the 2013 Giltinan”.

Although there are few improvements to be done, Sam is sure to bring back plenty of ideas from his time working with Oracle Team USA. He is also going to bring back enthusiasm. “I am looking forward to being back racing on Sydney Harbour this summer," he said. "It was tough watching from the sidelines last season."

Scott has been with Seve and Sam now for three seasons and says: “It’s an honour to be part of such a strong team”.

Aside from his successes with the ‘7’ team, Scott has also won 18ft Skiff titles with other teams and is a former World Moth champion and runner-up.

CEO and 2013 Regatta Director of The America’s Cup, Iain Murray adds his magnificent knowledge of the 18s as Team Manager so it’s not hard to see why Team Seven will again be “the team to beat in 2013-2014”.

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