18ft Skiffs 3-Buoys Challenge Series Race 1 win to Gotta Love It 7

Gotta Love It 7 and Lumix vying for the lead - 18ft Skiffs: Beko 3-Buoys Challenge Series, Race 1
Race 1 of the 18ft Skiffs Beko 3-Buoys Challenge Series was sailed on Sydney Harbour today in a ten knot south-easterly.

Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage kept Gotta Love It 7 near the lead throughout the race. They scored a brilliant 1m40s victory, despite the backmarker status in the 3-buoys handicapping system. But the win will also come at a price as the skiff will receive a further three minutes penalty for her performance today.


Second placing went to new Lumix skiff with Jonathan Whitty, Greg Dixon and James Hozak on board. Asko Appliances, Marcus Ashley-Jones, Keiran Cowan and Stewart Wells, finished a further 1m17s behind Lumix, with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) fourth, Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Chapman) fifth and Pure Blonde (Tom Clout) sixth.

Close racing on the first spinnaker run - 18ft Skiffs: Beko 3-Buoys Challenge Series, Race 1

Gotta Love It 7 led the fleet to the first set of windward marks but lost the lead when she had to go to the white buoy. Suddenly Asko Appliances (red buoy) became the new leader ahead of Lumix (blue) as spinnakers were set for the long spinnaker run from Rose Bay to Robertson Point. Collect (Dave Haseldine) was in the next group with Pure Blonde, Gotta Love It 7, Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), Mojo Wine (Archie Massey) and Fisher & Paykel.

At the end f the run Asko retained her lead over Lumix whle Pure Blonde had moved into third place ahead of Mojo Wine, Gotta Love It 7, Fisher & Paykel and Yando (John Winning). Gotta Love It 7 grabbed the lead at the Clarke Island windward mark from a closely bunched fleet headed by Lumix, Asko, Mojo, Yandoo and Thurlow Fisher. Once in front, the champion Gotta Love It 7 team managed to increase their lead over the remainder of the course.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers came from a long way back to finish fourth - 18ft Skiffs: Beko 3-Buoys Challenge Series, Race 1

Even the penalty of two more 3-boys mark roundings couldn’t stop ‘7’ as she powered away from the fleet for a convincing win. Conditions played a big part through the fleet with many positions fluctuating for several of the top teams. Most affected were Yandoo, Smeg (Nick Press) and Mojo Wine. Several teams are also still waiting for new sails and masts so the racing will be eve closer in the series as the fleet becomes more settled.

Race 2 of the five-race Beko Challenge Series, for the Yandoo Trophy, will be sailed next Sunday with the next three races each Sunday until 13 November.

photographers get a close up of Mojo Wine - 18ft Skiffs: Beko 3-Buoys Challenge Series, Race 1

tight finish on Sydney Harbour - 18ft Skiffs: Beko 3-Buoys Challenge Series, Race 1

Rag & Famish Hotel under spinnaker - 18ft Skiffs: Beko 3-Buoys Challenge Series, Race 1

Asko appliances team have to avoid extra traffic on Sydney Harbour - 18ft Skiffs: Beko 3-Buoys Challenge Series, Race 1


More images will appear on www.18footers.com.au, www.flying18s.com and www.sailingimages.net. Full video coverage of the race can also be seen on http://www.18footerstv.com
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