NSW Championship – Race 2 Club Championship – Race 2 Syd. Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy

18ft Skiffs
NSW Championship, Race 2
Sunday, 15 December 2013
Sydney Harbour

A decision made by the Gotta Love It 7 team shortly after the start was a critical factor in the skiff’s easy victory in Race 2 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

The Gotta Love It 7 crew of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage sailed brilliantly in very testing conditions to win by 1m43s and establish a clear lead in the championship.

Dave Witt, Tom Clout and Keagan York finished second in Sydney City Marine, with Dan Phillips, Gary Phillips and Dave Ewings third in Smeg, a further 26s behind Sydney City Marine.

Gotta Love It 7 heads the pointscore on 2 points, followed by Sydney City Marine on 6, Smeg 6, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) 8, Fisher & Paykel (Grant Rollerson) 11 and Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) on 14.

Today’s race was sailed in a fluky 7-knot ENE breeze over a four-lap windward-return course.

After an even start, although Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson) returned to restart when the skiff hadn’t been recalled, the ‘7’ crew made their successful move.

While most of the fleet sailed a middle course or went left, Jarvin and his team elected to go to the RHS of the course where they picked up the best breeze and quickly opened up a 30s break over Smeg at the windward mark.

Sydney City Marine was another 30s back with the rest of the fleet floundering in extremely light air off the buoy.

Once in front the polished crew on Gotta Love It 7 quickly extended the lead to 1m20s at the bottom mark, then to 3m20s at the following windward buoy.

Smeg’s margin over Sydney City Marine was now down to just 10s and the interest was obviously on that battle.

With the wind changing direction many times, the positions behind 7 were also changing regularly.

By the third windward mark, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers got to within 1m30s of 7, followed by Fisher & Paykel, Sydney City Marine, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) and Smeg.

With second place seemingly at her mercy down the final spinnaker run to the finish, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers took a ‘swim’ and the crew had to watch the fleet sail by before she could recover for a disappointing sixth place.

Video coverage of the race can be seen on www.18footerstv.com.

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Today’s race was the club’s final race before the break over Christmas and the New Year.

Racing will resume with Race 1 of the Australian Championship on Sunday 12 January.

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

Frank Quealey