7 comes out on top
The Gotta Love It 7 crew of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage gave a brilliant exhibition in the 14-16 knot southeast wind to dominate Race 2 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
The defending champion team grabbed the lead soon after the start and were relentless as they powered away from the fleet throughout the race.
After more than one hour sailing, Gotta Love It 7 crossed the finish line 2m32s ahead of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor, Trent Barnabas).
Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings) was 34s further back in third place, followed by Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), Appliancesonline.com au (Micah Lane) and Sydney City Marine (Dave Witt).
Consistency over the two races sailed so far gives Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (5 points) a two points lead over Gotta Love It 7 on 7 points.
Race 1 winner Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) is third on 8, Smeg on 8, Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) on 11 and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish on 11.
An even start in Taylor Bay saw Sydney City Marine and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers grab prominent positions on long starboard tacks.
Gotta Love It 7 tacked early, and along with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel took the western side of Shark Island.
The move was a winner as Gotta Love It 7 held a 15s lead over Thurlow Fisher Lawyers at the windward mark in Rose Bay.
Grant Rollerson’s Fisher & Paykel was third, followed by Appliancesonline, Coopers-Rag & Famish, Smeg, Sydney City Marine, Asko Appliances, Pure Blonde (Nick Daly), Mojo Wine and Yandoo (John Winning).
The following spinnaker run to Robertson Point, then the windward beat back across the harbour to Clarke Island told the tale of the race as Gotta Love It 7 opened up a race winning lead.
While the likely winner was evident to the large spectator fleet, the battle behind the flying red machine was tremendous as only a few secs. separated five evenly matched skiffs.
Positions among these skiffs continually fluctuated before Thurlow Fisher Lawyers finally overcame the challenge from Smeg to take second place. Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel came home strongly to finish just 5s behind Smeg.
The fleet reveled in the steady breeze and gave spectators plenty of excitement with some spectacular spinnaker action.
With three more races to come (over the next three Sundays) the scene is set for a close finish to the championship.
Full results here