JJ Giltinan Trophy: Gotta Love It 7 sneaks a second win

The finish as Gotta Love It 7 edges out Thurlow Fisher Lawyers - Day 3, JJ Giltinan Trophy, Race 1
Defending champion Seve Jarvin and the Gotta Love It 7 team Sam Newton and Scott Babbage scored their second win of the 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship when they took out the Re-sail of Race 1 on Sydney Harbour today.

The win gives the team a great start in defence of the title, but the win today was far from easy.

Grabbing the lead for the first time at the final windward mark, Gotta Love It 7 had to hold off strong challenges from Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor, Trent Barnabas) and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones, Jeronimo Harrison, James Dorron) before taking the honours by just 12s from Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.

Asko Appliances was a further 11s back in third place.

Appliancesonline.com.au (Euan McNicol, replacing Micah Lane) finished fourth, ahead of UK’s Rick Peacock on Haier Appliances, Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson), Yamaha (David McDiarmid, NZ) and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney).

Haier Appliances grabs a narrow lead down the first run - Day 3, JJ Giltinan Trophy, Race 1

With two races now completed, Gotta Love It 7 has a total of two points, followed by Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on five, Haier Appliances on 11, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel 12, The Kitchen Maker (Will Phillips) 15 and C-Tech (Alex Vallings, NZ).

A light shifting NE breeze was an improvement on the earlier days racing and the four lap windward-return course provided some close racing for the spectator fleet.

Asko Appliances took an early lead and was 8s ahead of Sydney City Marine (David Witt) at the windward mark.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was next, followed by Haier Appliances with Gotta Love It 7 trailing the leader by 35s.

Most of the fleet elected to sail the southern shore while Haier Appliances and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers went to the north.

The move was a success as Haier momentarily led then trailed Asko Appliances by only 11s at the bottom mark, ahead of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Gotta Love It 7.

Rounding the first windward mark - Day 3, JJ Giltinan Trophy, Race 1

There was little change in the leading group over the next lap of the course and it wasn’t until Thurlow Fisher Lawyers went to the east on the third windward leg that the lead changed.

Thurlow Fisher led the fleet down the third run but this time it was former Giltinan champion Euan McNicol, standing in for regular skipper Micah Lane. who won the tactical battle to move into second place on appliancesonline.com.au.

With one lap to go, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers had extended her lead to 25s.

Asko Appliances was third just ahead of Gotta Love it 7 and a big group of challengers.

Gotta Love It 7 was just 10s ahead of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers as they turned for home and things were uncertain as the two leaders decided to come down separate sides of the harbour.

Pica and C-Tech win the start at the windward end - Day 3, JJ Giltinan Trophy, Race 1

When they cross near the finish little had changed as Gotta Love It 7 still held a narrow advantage which she maintained to the line.

Race 3 of the championship will be sailed tomorrow (Tuesday) with the following races on each day, except Friday, until Sunday 9 March.

For full details on the championship, Race Reports, Results, Points and video coverage go to www.18footers.com.au

Pica and C-Tech win the start at the windward end - Day 3, JJ Giltinan Trophy, Race 1

Leaders at the bottom mark - Day 3, JJ Giltinan Trophy, Race 1

First spinnaker run - Day 3, JJ Giltinan Trophy, Race 1

Gotta Love It 7 is slow to drop at the bottom mark - Day 3, JJ Giltinan Trophy, Race 1

Gotta Love It 7 crosses Asko just before the finiah line - Day 3, JJ Giltinan Trophy, Race 1