March 11, 2012

Queen of the Harbour

Christina Giles became the 2012 18ft Skiff Queen of the Harbour when she teamed with Brett Van Munster, Shaun Moran and Rob Flannigan on Kenwood-Rabbbitohs to win the title on Sydney Harbour today.

Kenwood-Rabbitohs took line honours by 1m40s from Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Peter Harris, Mark Kennedy and Diane Macartney). Mojo Wine (Warren Sare, Dan Wilsdon, Mike O’Shea and Emma Spiers) were a further 54s back in third place.

Conditions were perfect for the ladies. A big sail 5-10-knot ENE breeze over a 3-laps 3-buoys course between Taylors Bay and Watsons Bay.

Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) led the fleet to the first mark from De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn), Kenwood-Rabbitohs, Mojo Wine, Rag & Famish and Pure Blonde (Tom Clout).

The downwind leg back to the bottom twin-marks saw Lumix challenged by Kenwood-Rabbitohs while Pure Blonde led a tightly bunched group including Mojo Wine, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs, Smeg (Nick Press) and Rag & Famish.

On the second lap Lumix raced away to a 45s lead over Kenwood-Rabbitohs, Mojo Wine and Rag & Famish and looked a certain winner as the fleet headed back downwind.

As the skiff gybed off Steele Point they capsized and the race became a battle between Kenwood-Rabbitohs and Rag & Famish, which went around the bottom round only a couple of boatlengths apart.

Mojo Wine was third, followed by Pure Blonde, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs and Lumix.

Taking advantage of a red windward buoy rounding on the final lap, Kenwood-Rabbitohs increased her lead to finish with an easy victory.

It was an excellent result all round for the Kenwood company as today’s winner Christina Giles is also the National Sales Co-ordinator for Kenwood.

February 26, 2012

Giltinan Championship, Race 7

Congratulations to the Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage for their brilliant performance in successfully defending their title in the Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Gotta Love It 7 dominated the regatta with six wins from the seven races to finish with an overall score of six points

Second overall was Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas) on 22 points, followed by Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane, Paul Montague and Tom Anderson) on 23.

Mojo Wine (Archie Massey) was fourth on 26, then Smeg (Nick Press) 30 and Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) on 34.

Today’s race was sailed in a 15-knot North East breeze with most crews electing to go with their big #1 rigs.

Gotta Love It 7 took the honours again, this time by 2m14s from Thurlow Fisher, with Mojo Wine a further 14s back in third place.

Appliancesonline, Smeg and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) completed the top six placings

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers won the start at the pin end of the line and led for most of the windward beat to the Beashel Buoy.

The crew work on Thurlow Fisher was faultless but the skiff couldn’t match the speed and height Gotta Love It 7 was producing and trailed 7 by 10s as spinnakers were set for the run to the wing mark off Shark Island.

Appliancesonline was third, followed by Mojo Wine, Pure Blonde (Tom Clout), Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Brett Van Munster), Maersk Line (Graham Catley), Asko and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn).

The first four placings were unchanged at the bottom mark but Yandoo (John Winning) had moved up to be fifth ahead of Pure Blonde, Asko and C-Tech (Alex Vallings).

As 7 powered to a 1½m lead at the second windward mark the battle for second in the race and overall in the championship was on in ernest between Thurlow Fisher and Appliancesonline.

Only 10s separated the pair over the next two legs of the course before Thurlow won the battle.

Gotta Love It 7 was 2½m in front as she set sail for the finish and cruised home an easy winner again.

February 25, 2012

Giltinan Championship, Race 6

Defending champion Gotta Love It 7 wrapped up the 2012 Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship with another brilliant win in Race 6 of the regatta on Sydney Harbour today.

Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage and Ian Jenson, who was standing in for regular for’ard hand Sam Newton, trailed Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Euan McNicol, standing in for injured Trent Barnabas) for most of the first windward beat before finally leading by just 8s at the Beashel Buoy.

7 trailed Thurlow Fisher again at the bottom mark but once in front the 7 crew gradually edged away before going on to a 43s win over Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.

Lumix (Jonathan Whitty, Greg Dixon and James Hozack) were a further 44s back in third place ahead of C-Tech (Alex Vallings), Yandoo (John Winning) and appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane).

With just one more race to be sailed, Gotta Love It 7 has a net score of five points and with a worst place second to discard can’t be beaten.

Competition behind 7 is extremely tight with five boats separated by just six points and little between the teams on the race track.

Appliancesonline has 19 points, followed by Thurlow Fisher on 20, Mojo Wine (Archie Massey) 23, and Smeg (Nick Press) and Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) tied on 25.

The 20-knot nor’easter today provided spectators with another exciting display of speed sailing as the fleet raced down wind.

One casualty was Mojo Wine which capsized while attempting a gybe off Rose Bay.

Strangely, while the fleet sped along Shark Island on the first lap, the breeze at the southern end of the island was fickle and a number of positions changed rapidly.

One of the big casualties was De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn) which had been well placed early but was relegated several placings at the wing mark.

Rag & Famish Hotel capsized early in the race and came back strongly on the second lap (could have possibly finished third) before ending her challenge with a broken centerboard.

At the bottom mark the first time, New Zealand’s C-Tech had gone into third place behind 7 and Thurlow Fisher, with Yandoo, Yamada (David McDiarmid), Lumix, appliancesonline, CST Composites (Howie Hamlin, USA), Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Brett Van Munster) and Smeg all close behind.

While Gotta Love It 7 has dominated, the race behind her has been tight and will hold most of the interest in tomorrow’s last race.

February 23, 2012

Giltinan Championship, Race 5

Gotta Love It 7’s domination of the Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship continued on Sydney Harbour today when Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage brought the red hulled flyer home an easy winner of Race 5 in the regatta.

The champion team trailed appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane, Paul Montgomery and Tom Anderson) by 5s. at the first windward mark, but a quick gybe soon after spinnakers were set for the run to the wing mark off Shark Island saw Gotta Love It 7 take the lead and from that point were never headed.

7 gave no other team a chance from that moment and finally crossed the finish line 3m16s ahead of appliancesonline.com.au.

New Zealand’s C-Tech (Alex Vallings, Nick Catley, Joshua McCormack) was a further 20s back in third place, ahead of Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), Smeg (Nick Press) and Mojo Wine (Archie Massey).

With each team’s worst performance to date discarded, the progress pointscore is Gotta Love It 7 on four points, Appliancesonline.com.au on 13, Mojo Wine 15, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) 18, Smeg 18 and Rag & Famish Hotel on 19.

While 7’s win is likely, the race for second place should be the real highlight of the final two races on the weekend.

In a 12-15-knot North East breeze today, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Gotta Love It 7 and Rag & Famish Hotel won the start at the pin end of the line.

Under strong pressure from the 7 team, appliancesonline held on to lead at the windward ,ark but once Gotta Love It 7 took the lead the margin continually increased throughout the race.

By the second windward mark, the margin was out to 1m24s, then 2m12s after the following spinnaker run and finally 3m16s at the finish.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Rag & Famish were third and fourth at the top mark the first time with each improving their position by one placing as appliancesonline dropped back to fourth after the first spinnaker run.

While Gotta Love It 7 was dominating the race, all interest centred on the battle behind.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and The Rag were re-joined by appliancesonline with C-Tech, Mojo Wine and Smeg also joining the battle.

With second placing seemingly sealed, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers hit a wave and the spinnaker dragged her into a capsize while saw the skiff drop back to finish eighth.

Appliancesonline took full advantage of the situation and finished second to also take second placing overall in the championship standings

February 22, 2012

Giltinan Championship, Race 4

Defending champions Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage tightened their grip on the 2012 Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship crown in Gotta Love It 7 when they absolutely destroyed the fleet in an awesome performance on Sydney Harbour today.

The team scored their third win from the four races sailed so far in the regatta and did it in such a manner that the winning margin was an incredible 5m2s in the 8-12-knot SE breeze.

Archie Massey, Dan Wilsdon and Mike McKensey finished second in Mojo Wine, a further 2m14s ahead of the third placed Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings).

Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane) was fourth, ahead of Yandoo (John Winning) and Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney).

Race 3 winner Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) failed to reproduce her previous boat speed and finished seventh more than 8½ minutes from the winner.

A number of protest hearings before the race gave ‘average points’ to Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Brett Van Munster) in Race 1, Yandoo in Race 2 and CST Composites (Howie Hamlin) and Pure Blonde (Tom Clout) in Race 3.

The leading teams after four races are Gotta Love It 7 on 5 points, followed by Mojo Wine on 17, Appliancesonline.com.au on 18, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 19, Smeg 21 and Rag & Famish Hotel 21.

In today’s race, the fleet split into two groups on the beat to the first windward mark in Rose Bay as some elected to go to the west of Shark Island while the rest went to the east side.

Gotta Love It 7 led the group which went to the west and the move was a winner as she led Mojo Wine by 25s.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was a further 10s back in third place ahead of a group including Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Smeg, Appliancesonline, CST,

Pure Blonde, Yandoo, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn) and C-Tech (Alex Vallings).

Although positions remained unchanged at the front of the fleet after the long spinnaker run from Rose Bay to Robertson Point, 7’s lead had increased a little, but the big change came on the following windward beat back to Clarke Island.

Gotta Love It 7’s margin had blown out to 1m50s over Mojo Wine, Appliancesonline, Smeg, Asko, Yandoo and Thurlow Fisher.

On the tight run to Chowder Bay, 7’s lead increased a little, however the loop from Chowder Bay (north) to Rose Bay (south) to Taylors Bay (north) and back to Rose Bay Gotta Love It 7 stretched the margin to more than four minures.

As the breeze faded over the concluding stages 7 revelled in the conditions and increased her margin further to the 5m2s win.

The main centre of spectator attention was focused on the positional changes from third to eighth throughout the race.

February 19, 2012

Giltinan Championship, Race 3

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers won Race 3 of the Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today, but the other winners were those lucky spectators on the harbor who witnessed two great crews tame the elements in a wonderful sailing display.

Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas on Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage on Gotta Love It 7 were superb in the 25-knot (gusting to 27 knots) Southerly wind which tested the skills of every competitor in the regatta.

After more than one hour of sailing in such conditions, Thurlow Fisher crossed the finish line just 8s ahead of Gotta Love It 7.

Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings) were never too far from the lead and finished a further 1m26s back in third place.

The strong wind took a heavy toll on the fleet with only 16 boats completing the course. Some even failed to make the start.

Incidents during the race are also likely to lead to several protests being lodged so all progress pointscores are provisional at this stage.

There are at least five protests, which will all be heard tomorrow morning.

Gotta Love It 7 has four points, followed by Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on 12, Smeg on 14, Mojo Wine (Archie Massey) on 15, Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) on 15 and Smeg on 16.

At the first windward mark Gotta Love It 7 led by 10s from Thurlow Fisher, with Rag & Famish Hotel third and US champion Howie Hamlin (CST Composites) in fourth place.

The spinnaker run to Obelisk was sensational with the skiffs ‘flying’ down the harbor ahead of the strong southerly wind.

7 extended their lead over Thurlow Fisher to 30s while The Rag and CST held their positions ahead of Smeg, NZ’s C-Tech (Alex Vallings), Yandoo (John Winning), Mojo Wine and Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane).

The two leaders edged further ahead of the fleet over the next two legs of the course and gave a thrilling exhibition on the two sail reach to the bottom mark.

At one point, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was practically airborne as she chased the flying red ‘7’.

7’s lead was down to just 10s as the pair headed for Clarke Island, but a shock came over the lead when Gotta Love It 7 unaccountably capsized on a wind to leave Thurlow with the lead.

Despite another great challenge from the 7 crew, Thurlows team were great under pressure and provided spectators with an exciting finish.

One incident under protest involved the leading US and New Zealand teams of CST Composites and C-Tech, which collided on the second spinnaker run to Obelisk.

February 18, 2012

Giltinan Championship, Race 1

Defending champion Gotta Love It 7, skippered by Seve Jarvin and crewed by for’ard hand Sam Newton and sheet hand Scott Babbage, had to come back from a seemingly hopeless position to win Race 1 of the 2012 Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Gotta Love It 7 was more than two minutes behind the leader Mojo Wine (Archie Massey, Dan Wilsdon and Mike McKensey) midway through the race but excelled in the light South-East breeze to defeat Mojo Wine by 1m9s, with Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Peter Harris and Mark Kennedy) a further 37s back in third place.

Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane) finished fourth ahead of De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn) and Pure Blonde (Tom Clout).

US champion Howie Hamlin (CST Composites) was first of the internationals with a seventh placing.

The race to the first windward mark was tight and traffic at the buoy was chaotic as nearly half the fleet approached with 15 secs.

Rag & Famish Hotel led narrowly from Mojo Wine, with a large group headed by The Kitchen Maker (Cameron McDonals), Kenwood-Rabbitohs, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs, appliancesonline.com.au and New Zealand’s Yamaha (David McDiarmid) close behind.

Mojo took a narrow lead over The Rag at the end of the long spinnaker run, while appliancesonline.com.au moved up to third ahead of The Kitchen Maker. 7, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon), Yamaha, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs and CST Composites.

The three leading positions were unchanged on the beat back to Clarke Island where Mojo had increased her lead to more than one minute.

At Chowder Bay this margin has gone out to around 1½ minutes, but a major change was about to come over the race.

Mojo Wine went to the right while 7 elected to go left on the work across the harbor into Rose Bay.

When the three leaders set spinnakers for the run back across the harbour to Taylor Bay they were less than 30s. apart.

This was reduced to only 15s. at Taylor Bay and it was obvious that Gotta Love It 7 was going to be hard to hold out as the breeze became lighter.

The champion crew on 7 showed why they are so hard to beat when they went away over the next three legs of the course for an outstanding victory.

Two of the more favoured teams, Yandoo and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers had poor results by their standards with 14th and 9th placings respectively.

Gear failure forced Yandoo to miss the start then a breakage on Thurlow Fisher led to her capsize on the spinnaker run from Clarke Island to Chowder Bay.

February 19, 2011

Giltinan Championship, Race 2

Defending champion Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage totally dominated Race 2 of the 2012 Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship to score an easy all-the-way win over Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on Sydney Harbour today.

After leading by nearly two minutes at the final windward mark, Gotta Love It 7 cruised home to defeat Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas) by 1m19s.

Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane, Paul Montague and Tom Anderson) was a further 2m3s back in third place.

Top international boat today was C-Tech (Alex Vallings) which came home fourth, ahead of Mojo Wine (Archie Massey) and Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney).

Gotta Love It 7 heads the points table on 2 points, followed by Mojo Wine and Appliancesonline.com.au on 7, Rag & Famish Hotel on 9, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on 11 and Smeg (Nick Press) on 15.

All teams carried their big rigs in the 10-15 knot North East breeze.

Gotta Love It 7 was soon in front and it wasn’t too long before the champion crew had their skiff powering away from the rest of the fleet.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Rag & Famish Hotel trailed ‘7’ at the Beashel Buoy with De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn) and C-Tech leading a tightly bunched fleet behind the leading group.

Rag & Famish had some gear problems on the spinnaker run past the wing mark at Shark Island to the bottom mark at Clarke Island and dropped back to seventh on the second work to the Beashel Buoy.

Gotta Love It 7 had already extended her lead to more than one minute while Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was holding a comfortable second position.

Most spectator interest centred on the battle for third place and once again it was tight with Mojo, C-Tech, Appliancesonline, Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Brett Van Munster) and Rag & Famish Hotel most in contention.

Two great battles developed over the final lap of the course.

Appliancesonline and C-Tech raced head-to-head for third and fourth placings while Mojo Wine and Rag & Famish Hotel did the same for fifth and sixth.

John Winning’s horror start to the regatta in Yandoo continued today when the Yandoo team were forced to retire after a collision with another competitor.

Today’s incident is subject to protest and follows a pre race centerboard problem which saw Yandoo miss her start by three minutes yesterday.

Ironically, both incident occurred less than 100 metres apart.