18 Footers Australian Championship Race 2

Gotta Love It 7
NSW champions Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Robert Bell have grabbed the lead in the Australian Championship after bringing their skiff Gotta Love It 7 home the winner of Race 2 on Sydney Harbour today.

The trio were near the lead throughout in an incident-packed race and finally crossed the finish line a 1min 6secs victor.

Omega Smeg, with replacement skipper Trevor Barnabas at the helm finished second with Rag & Famish Hotel (John Harris) a further 17secs back in third place.

Just behind the placegetters were Ssangyong Yandoo (John Winning), Club Marine (Adam Beashel), race 1 winner Asko Appliances (Hugh Stodart) and defending champion Macquarie Real Estate (Micah Lane).

Current point standing is Gotta Love It 7 on 4 points, Rag & Famish on 5, Asko Appliances 7, Club Marine 10, Ssangyong Yandoo 11 and Macquarie 13.

The race was sailed in a 20-knot North East wind and big seas and was incident-packed from the start.

First casualty was the current Giltinan (world) champion Fiat team, skippered by Michael Coxon.

Fiat was the pre race favourite but snapped a centerboard at the start and took no further part.

Asko, Ssangyong Yandoo, Gotta Love It 7 and Omega Smeg were the early leaders and maintained their advantage to the windward mark.

Asko and Yandoo went to the left under spinnakers while Gotta Love It 7 and Omega Smeg went to the right.

At the end of the run Asko held a very narrow lead over Yandoo while Omega Smeg had moved ahead of Gotta Love It 7.

There was a small break to Club Marine and Rag & Famish then another gap to Macquarie Real Estate and Maytag.

The conditions were tough as the fleet took on mounting seas.

Asko was 20secs ahead of Gotta Love It 7 at the next windward mark but her winning chances went soon after.

Stodart and his crew came off a wave and buried Asko into another before cart wheeling out of contention.

From that point Gotta Love It 7 was in control but the spectators were treated to some brilliant skills of a very talented team.

It was a great exhibition by the entire fleet as 19 of the 23 starters completed the course – although some will need gear repairs before next weekend’s race 3 of the championship.

Australian 18 Footers League

Australian Championships Race 2 Entrants: 24
1 7 GOTTA LOVE IT 7 15:57:51 1:13:51 1 1:12:51 4
2 8 OMEGA SMEG 15:58:57 1:14:57 2 1:12:57 5
3 4 RAG & FAMISH HOTEL 15:59:14 1:15:14 1 1:14:14 7
4 5 SSANGYONG YANDOO 15:59:24 1:15:24 4 1:11:24 1
5 3 CLUB MARINE 16:00:22 1:16:22 3 1:13:22 6
6 2 ASKO APPLIANCES 16:00:26 1:16:26 0 1:16:26 11
7 13 MACQUARIE REAL ESTATE 16:00:37 1:16:37 4 1:12:37 3
8 10 MAYTAG 16:02:05 1:18:05 6 1:12:05 2
9 22 PURE BLONDE 16:03:40 1:19:40 4 1:15:40 10
10 6 FISHER & PAYKEL 16:06:24 1:22:24 5 1:17:24 12
11 12 DE LONGHI 16:06:51 1:22:51 5 1:17:51 13
12 16 CST COMPOSITES 16:07:25 1:23:25 5 1:18:25 14
13 21 BELLE PROPERTY 16:08:40 1:24:40 10 1:14:40 8
14 15 NOAKES YOUTH 16:09:12 1:25:12 10 1:15:12 9
15 11 THURLOW FISHER 16:09:49 1:25:49 7 1:18:49 15
16 25 DAWN LINK FINANCIAL SERVICES 16:10:30 1:26:30 - - 24
17 23 KEITH PIGGIN REAL ESTATE 16:12:40 1:28:40 7 1:21:40 16
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