18ft Skiffs JJ Giltinan Championship Race 7 - Countback title win
by Frank Quealey on 13 Mar 2011
18ft Skiffs Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan Championship Race 7 on Sydney Harbour.
Start - Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan Championship - Race 7 Frank Quealey © /Australian 18 Footers League http://www.18footers.com.au
For Gotta Love It 7, today's race was 'do or die' .. their Championship hanging in the balance after a controversial morning.
The Gotta Love It 7 crew of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage put it all behind them to take out the championship with an impressive win on Sydney Harbour.
Gotta Love It 7 was disqualified after yesterday’s Race 6 win and was conceding series leader Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas) three points going into the last race.
They needed to win the race and hope that Thurlow Fisher Lawyers would not finish within the top three.
The final points for the championship were tied when Gotta Love It 7 won today’s race by 27s from a gallant Rag & Famish Hotel sailed by Jack Macartney, Tom Clout and Drewe Waller, while Thurlow Fisher Lawyers finished only fifth.
Gotta Love It 7 took the title on count back with three wins against Thurlow’s two.
Western Australia’s Grant Rollerson, with his Slam team Anthony Young and Peter Nicholson, was seventh today but their consistency over the seven race regatta was enough to get them third place overall on 27 points, ahead of Red Claw Wines (Matthew Searle, Archie Massey and Mike McKenzie) on 28, CST Composites sailed by US champion Howie Hamlin, Fritz Lanzinger and Paul Allen on 29 and Yandoo (John Winning, Andrew Hay and Dave Gibson) sixth on 35 points.
With a building north east breeze, the rig decision within the fleet was split between the bigger #1 rig and the #2.
The crucial contest between Gotta Love It 7 and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was included in the split with Gotta Love It 7 making the correct choice (#2 rig) when the wind freshened to around 18-20 knots.
Jack Macartney and his Rag & Famish Hotel crew gave a great display to lead for most of the race – only to be run down by the championship winners on the final windward leg.
While Jack Macartney is an Australian 18ft Skiff champion as crew with Micah Lane, this is his first season as skipper and the team has been a big improver over the season.
Today’s race attracted a large spectator fleet onto the harbor, including at least three ferries full of supporters as well as hundred of power boats and yachts of all sizes.
It was a spectacular finish to a closely contested championship which has been viewed throughout the world following the introduction of live tracking for the first time. Live tracking is the way of the future and is definitely here to stay.
Flying 18s 18 Footers website
Video coverage of today’s race can also be seen on 18 Footers website – ‘video’.
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