Game, set and match to 7
The Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage scored their fifth race win of the 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, presented by Sydney City Marine, when they easily won Race 6 on Sydney Harbour today.
Along with today’s win, they also secured the title as the only other team capable of equaling their score, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, David O’Connor, Trent Barnabas) would not match the Team Seven score on count back.
Gotta Love It 7 defeated Thurlow Fisher Lawyers by 53 seconds today, with Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson, Mike McKensey, Ricky Bridge) only 3 seconds further back in third place.
While Seven’s wins was clear cut, the race for the minor placings went right down to the wire as only 14 seconds separated the next three teams - Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Mojo Wine and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney).
After discarding their worst performances to date, Gotta Love It 7 has a total of five points - ie five bullets - followed by Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on 16, New Zealand’s C-Tech (Alex Vallings) on 24, Mojo Wine also on 24, Yamaha (David McDiarmin, New Zealand) on 32 and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel on 32.
One thing that has come out of the regatta is the closeness of the competition...with the exclusion of Gotta Love It 7.
The race started in a 10 knot easterly wind and clear sky with all teams rigged in their bigger #1 rigs.
UK teams Pica (Jamie Mears) and Haier Appliances (Rick Peacock) led the fleet across the harbour on a long port tack, while Smeg (Nick Press), Gotta Love It 7 and Layline Automation (Chip McCormack) were close behind.
The champion 7 team elected to go closer in to the shore and picked up a shift which took it to the lead over Haier, Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel, Knight Frank (Riley Dean, NZ) and Smeg at the Rose Bay windward mark.
Haier Appliances applied pressure to Gotta Love It 7 on the spinnaker run to the wing mark off Clarke Island, but the ever-reliable ‘7’ opened up a break as the fleet rounded the bottom mark of the course. Once in front, it was a sure thing that, barring an accident, no team was going to catch the red boat.
The race then centred on the race for the minor placings and this was a race well worth watching as positions changed regularly all the way to the finish line.
At the windward mark on the second lap of the course, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel edged ahead of Haier Appliances, C-Tech, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Mojo Wine, Pure Blonde (Nick Daly), Asko Appliances and Knight Frank.
Mojo had her turn of chasing the leader when she took over second place from Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel midway up the final beat.
While those two teams battled it out, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers sailed a great race and joined Mojo Wine as the pair set spinnakers for the run home.
In a wonderful finish for the minor placings the result was in doubt until the very end as Thurlow Fish Lawyers, Mojo Wine and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel thrilled the large spectator fleet on the harbour.