The Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage grabbed the lead back in the 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, sponsored by Sydney City Marine, with a marvelous win in Race 4 on Sydney Harbour today.
After being buried deep in the pack at the start, the champion team were soon in contention and challenging the leaders half way up the windward beat.
Gotta Love It 7 took the lead on the following windward leg and edged away to take the honours by 1 minute 37 seconds from a gallant Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson, Mike McKensey, Ricky Bridge), with Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips, Dave Ewings) a further 1 minute 9 seconds back in third place.
Race three winner C-Tech (Alex Vallings, NZ) was always in the leading group and came home in fourth place, ahead of fellow New Zealander Yamaha (David McDiarmid), Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane), Fisher and Paykel (Grant Rollerson) and former series leader Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) in eights place.
Points leader Gotta Love It 7 has a total of 15 points, followed by Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on 17, C-Tech on 22, Mojo Wine 26, Coopers 62-Rag and Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) on 28 and The Kitchen Maker (Will Phillips) on 32.
Following some disappointing wind conditions over the earlier days, today’s race was sailed in a 2 rig North-East breeze.
Mojo Wine, C-Tech and Smeg were all well placed at the start and soon were vying for the lead, along with Fisher and Paykel.
At the Beashel Buoy, Mojo Wine held a narrow lead over C-Tech and Gotta Love It 7, with Fisher and Paykel, Smeg, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, and Yamaha close behind.
In the 18-knot wind, the 34-boat fleet made a magnificent spectacle as the skiffs raced downwind at great speed.
Mojo Wine still held the lead at the bottom mark but couldn’t hold off the Gotta Love It 7 challenge when the pair crossed off Clifton Gardens.
As the cloud built, the wind may have dropped a little but it made no difference as Team Seven continued to lead the fleet over the final lap of the course.
Race 5 of the championship will be sailed tomorrow (Thursday). The last two races will be sailed on Saturday, 8 March at 4p.m. and Sunday 9 March at 3p.m.