18ft Skiffs - Defending champions retain JJ Giltinan trophy

close racing downwind - Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship 2012
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 Iain Jensen, 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 eight seconds at the Beashel Buoy.

The defending champion, 7 trailed Thurlow Fisher again at the bottom mark. The 7 crew gradually edged away before going on to win, 43s win ahead of 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.

Spinnakers on first downwind leg - Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship 2012

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.

The last race of the championship will be sailed tomorrow, 26 February.

Gotta Love It 7 wins race 6 - Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship 2012

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers home in second place - Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship 2012

Race to the finish - Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship 2012


www.18footers.com.au and www.flying18s.com.
Video coverage of the race can also be seen on www.18footerstv.com
Live tracking http://www.tractrac.com/index.php?page=eventpage&id=197

** If you want to see the world’s best 18ft Skiffs in action, the club has two spectator ferries following the race, leaving Double Bay Wharf alongside the clubhouse, at 2.15pm and 2.30pm.