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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gotta Love It 7 Rocks - 18ft Skiffs, Sydney Harbour

18ft Skiffs, Club Championship, Race 3
Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy
Sunday, 23 November 2014, Sydney Harbour
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The champion Gotta Love It 7 skiff continued her domination of the Australian 18 Footer League’s 2014-2015 Season with another brilliant victory in Race 3 of the Club Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Usual skipper Seve Jarvin and for’ard hand Sam Newton were joined in the team by James Wierzbowski for today’s race and led from shortly after the to defeat defending champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor, Dave Ewings) by 38s.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy, Peter Harris) was a further 21s back in third place.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Gotta Love It 7 leads the progress pointscore on three points, followed by Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel on 7, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 17, Compassmarkets.com (Keagan York) 18, Yandoo (John Winning) and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) each on 21 points.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The rig selection prior to the race created much interest as Gotta Love It 7, Mojo Wine (Brett Van Munster) and Pure Blonde (Nick Daly) elected to go with smaller #2 rigs while the rest of the top liners went big in the 12-15k North East wind.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
At the start, Team 7 (pin end) seemed to be buried beneath a group of bigger rigged skiffs but when the fleet tacked off Bradleys Head the flying red machine was already in the lead. Shortly after, the breeze freshened and from that point Gotta Love It 7 was always in the lead, although Thurlow Fisher Lawyers made a desperate last leg attempt to bridge the gap when the breeze changed direction and strength three times within a few minutes.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
By the first windward mark, 7 led Thurlow Fisher Lawyers by 25s, followed by Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel and Smeg (David Witt). The three leading positions remained unchanged on the spinnaker run back to Clarke Island where Pure Blonde had shown the advantage of her #2 rig to move up into fourth place.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
On the following windward leg, Gotta Love It 7 and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers elected to sail vastly different courses as ‘7’ went to the RHS of the course while Thurlow went to the north side. It made little difference as the placings remained unchanged, then Gotta Love It 7 had an amazing spinnaker run back to the bottom mark where her lead had been extended to 1m20s.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
 Mojo Wine (Brett Van Munster) narrowly grabbed third place from ‘The Rag’ at the Clarke Island mark but a near capsize shortly after allowed the black Rag skiff back in to third as the pair headed back up the third windward leg to the Beashel Buoy.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
When 7’s lead was still 50s as the fleet headed for home it was going to be an easy victory but the wind changes over the final few minutes of the race gave spectators an exciting finish to the race.

Frank Quealey

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