The Appliancesonline team of Micah Lane, Paul Montague and Tom Anderson were brilliant in very difficult conditions and virtually had the race won with one lap of the course still to be sailed.
Second over the line today was last week’s winner Rag & Famish Hotel with Jack Macartney back on board as skipper and his team of Peter Harris and Mark Kennedy, while Mojo Wine (Archie Massey, Dan Wilsdon and Mike McKensey) finished a further 1m10s back in third place.
The series pointscore was turned upside down when the two leaders going into today’s race both recorded maximum points.
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) had to retire before the start with gear failure, while Fisher & Paykel was forced out with gear failure after being in second place at the first set of windward marks.
Going into next week’s last race of the series, Rag & Famish Hotel leads with a total of 19 points (and collects $500), ahead of Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) on 22 points, TBA (sponsor to be announced soon) Brett Van Munster on 25, Mojo Wine on 26, Yandoo (John Winning) 28 and Appliancesonline.com.au on 29.
Today’s race began in a light-moderate North East breeze with crews split between their #1 and #2 rigs.
Gotta Love It 7 won the start and demonstrated amazing speed with her #2 on the first leg across the harbor from Double Bay to Bradleys Head.
The race for the next six placings was close with De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn), TBA, Fisher & Paykel and Yandoo leading the group.
When Gotta Love It 7 had to go to the furthest (white) mark the lead changed and Appliancesonline.com.au became the leader from Fisher & Paykel and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs.
Gotta Love It 7 was shuffled back to fourth, ahead of TBA, Smeg (Nick Press), Mojo Wine and Yandoo, but showed sensational downwind speed to once more regain the lead at the bottom mark.
On the second lap, the breeze shifted and became lighter and this time Appliancesonline.com.au reveled in the new conditions to set up a lead of more than 2 minutes over Smeg and Rag & Famish.
This margin was extended to more than five-and-a-half minutes at the bottom mark and the race was virtually over at that point.
Appliancesonline was in Rose Bay approaching the wing mark south of Shark Island as the second boat (Rag & Famish Hotel) was rounding the windward mark.
While Gotta Love It 7’s finishing position was seventh today, the ‘7’ team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage must be rated as a very hot favourite for the upcoming major championships.
Six images from today’s race are attached, along with the official result sheet.
More images will appear on www.18footers.com.au and www.flying18s.com.
Full video coverage of the race can also be seen on http://www.18footerstv.com.
The last race of the Beko Challenge series, for the Yandoo Trophy, will be sailed next Sunday when the top four finishers in the series will split another $3,000.
We also thank Scott Babbage for his expertise in fixing a computer problem which enabled this report to go out to our supporters.