Australian Championship – Race 5 and Club Championship – Race 7

18ft Skiffs
Australian Championship, Race 5
Sunday, 9 February 2014
Sydney Harbour

Gotta Love It 7 became the 2013-2014 Australian 18ft Skiff champion after another brilliant win in the final race of the championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage and Ed Smythe (replacing the regular for’ard hand Sam Newton, who was married yesterday) again proved their dominance with the #2 rig on the North-East course to win by 53s.

Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy, Peter Harris) also sailed superbly as the team pushed the 7 crew all the way.

The gap back to third was 2m48s but the race for that position produced the highlight of the day as three boats crossed the finishing line just 9s apart.

Fisher & Paykel (Grant Rollerson) and Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson) fought hard and looked to have that position between them until Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones, Jeronimo Harrison, James Dorron) flashed in on the port gybe to take third by 2s from Fisher & Paykel.

Five teams went into today’s final race with just four points separating them.

Mojo Wine and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) were equal leaders one point ahead of Gotta Love It 7, but 7’s win gave the team a final pointscore of nine points, one ahead of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, with Mojo Wine finishing third on 12 points.

It was a great finish to a closely-fought championship and makes the upcoming 2014 JJ Giltinan Championship, supported by Sydney City Marine, a must see event.

It was Seve Jarvin’s fifth Australian 18ft Skiff Championship victory.

Today’s race was sailed in a moderate North East wind which didn’t reach the strength predicted earlier in the day.

After an even start it wasn’t long before Gotta Love It 7 had taken the lead narrowly from Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel. (Micah Lane), De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn), Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Mojo Wine, Fisher & Paykel, Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) and Sydney City Marine (David Witt) were leading the next group.

Gotta Love It 7’s lead was 15s from Coopers 62-Rag & Famish at the Beashel (windward) Buoy, followed by Appliancesonline, Fisher & Paykel, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Mojo Wine, Asko Appliances and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs.

The downwind speed of the red machine is unmatched with the #2 rig and 7’s lead at the bottom mark off Clarke Island was out to 1m5s.

Thurlow Fisher’s chances of winning the title also vanished when she capsized as the crew were endeavouring to effect a penalty turn.

The second windward beat saw Coopers 62-Rag & Famish get to within a couple of boat lengths of Gotta Love It 7 and was only 12s behind the leader at the Beashel Buoy.

The 7 team gybed early and once again extended the lead over Coopers-Rag to 35s at the Clarke Island mark.

The final lap of the course saw the positions remained unchanged between the two leaders, while the group behind them were providing all the action.

Video coverage of the race can be seen on

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Race 4 of the NSW Championship will be sailed next Sunday.

The club’s regular spectator ferry will follow the race, leaving Double Bay Wharf at 2.15pm.

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League