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JJ Giltinan 18fters- Kiwis doing well in very competitive fleet

by Cutter Media on 19 Feb 2013
C-Tech in action during Heat 1. Lyn Holland © http://www.facebook.com/pages/Auckland-Skiff-League/226670420679146

The first two races of the JJ Giltinan Trophy have been completed and the New Zealand boats have had some positive results in a very competitive fleet. The opening race was completed in a dying 10-15 knot South East, while Sunday produced a tricky 5-10 knot Easterly for race 2.

The unofficial World Championship of the class has attracted a 32 boat fleet from four countries, including seven from New Zealand.

C-Tech is best placed after coming from deep in the pack to finish sixth and fifth respectively in the opening races. The sixth placing on Saturday was helped by a cruise liner splitting the fleet on the last leg and allowing C-Tech to gain 10 places before the finish.

C-Tech’s gain was Yamaha’s loss however as they went from running fifth the whole race to finish a disappointing 11th after overlaying the finish to miss the cruise ship. Luck was again not on Yamaha’s side during race 2 after a ferry wake caused the boat to violently nose dive and send the crew around the forestay when running in the top five half way through the race, with such a strong field Yamaha got pushed back to finish 15th.

Events Clothing had a tough race 1 after an average start and first leg. Showing good up wind pace and tactics they clawed their way back up the fleet, however a bad drop at the last mark cost them the chance to challenge the pack just ahead and finished 20th. A good start in race 2 allowed Events Clothing to mix it up near the front of the fleet. Rounding the first mark in fifth place a solid second leg allowed them to climb to first around the bottom mark. With many ups and downs till the finish Events Clothing continued to mix it up front and finished sixth on line and first on handicap.

Maersk Line has had a tougher than usual start to the regatta after having bad starts in both the first and second races and finished 19th and 20th respectively. With such a strong fleet at this years JJ’s it is tough to make inroads when behind. Only two races in however so plenty of time to push on and improve.

ASCC had a tough first race with a capsize on the second leg forcing them to play catch up in a tough fleet and finished 25th. Race two was a better race for ASCC. After a rough start the team worked its way through the fleet to be with the leading bunch at the top mark off the back of some smart tactics by Rowan Swanson and Matt Randell. The top mark rounding was not successful for the team as they were rolled by a number of boats to windward while the fleet experienced light winds. The team battled back to a credible 17th place and third on handicap.

Yamaha 2 has struggled to get underway in their first JJ series. After missing race one as the result of a tickle-up with an old 12-metre yacht, they were feeling a bit tense as they started race two. They got away to a good start but a poor first tack left them stuck at the back of the fleet. The light and flukey airs didn’t do them any favours upwind and despite good speed downwind they failed to make inroads until the breeze filled in on the final beat. Finally finding their groove on the last lap Yamaha 2 were chuffed to roll one of the other kiwi boats towards the end to finish 27th.

Bridge Marina Travelift had a solid race one after a good start and boat work. Managing to keep it up right and in the right direction the team continued their improving form and finished a commendable 26th. Race 2 was disappointing for the team after a planned crew swap saw the team slip back in the fleet and finish 28th.

Many thanks to Maersk Line for getting the boats to Sydney and to Tour de Fizz Ltd for sorting all off the water details.

To keep up to date with the New Zealand team follow us on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Auckland-Skiff-League/226670420679146

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