Australian Championship, Race 4
Sunday, 2 February 2014
The Gotta Love It 7 crew of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage gave another brilliant exhibition in the 16-18-knot East wind to dominate Race 4 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.
Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson, Mike McKensey, Ricky Bridge) was 1m28s behind ‘7’, with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor, Trent Barnabas) another 36s back in third place.
Jack Macartney’s Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel finished fourth, ahead of Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Fisher & Paykel (Grant Rollerson).
Today’s result has thrown the championship wide open, after each team has discarded the worst performance to date.
Mojo Wine and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers are equal on seven points, followed by Gotta Love It 7 on eight, Asko Appliances 10, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel 11 and Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) on 14.
The Australian champion is now likely to come from the winner of next Sunday’s race.
At the first windward mark today, the margin was just 10s for Gotta Love It 7 over Grant Rollerson’s Fisher & Paykel, Lumix and Sydney City Marine (David Witt).
7s downwind leg was awesome as the team extended the lead to 1m15s over Mojo Wine, Lumix and a group including Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel, Sydney City Marine and Fisher & Paykel.
The following windward beat saw the lead go to 1m30s but Gotta Love It 7 once again proved too good downwind as the margin was pushed out to 2m.
With the race well in hand, the Team Seven crew seemed content to sail conservatively over the finallap.
While 7s lead was unchallenged, the battle behind the red machine was extremely close.
Mojo Wine and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers held a terrific battle for second place and overall lead in the championship.
Lumix, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel and Fisher & Paykel were also locked in a race long battle, while Asko Appliances recovered from a start recall to join the group late in the race.
Sydney City Marine’s chances were destroyed with a badly torn spinnaker on the middle run.
Video coverage of the race can be seen on www.18footerstv.com.
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Race 5 (the final race) of the Australian Championship will be sailed next Sunday.
The club’s regular spectator ferry will follow the race, leaving Double Bay Wharf at 2.15pm.