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Gotta Love It 7 looking good for Giltinan title

'JJ Giltinan International Championship 2008'    Christophe Favreau ©

Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Robert Bell have tightened their grip on the SLAM-Winning Appliances J.J. Giltinan International 18ft Skiff Championship following an all the way win with Gotta Love It 7 in Race 5 on Sydney Harbour today.
The talented trio have swept all before them this season and continued their performance today by scoring a 52secs win from Asko Appliances, skippered by Hugh Stodart.

Defending champion Fiat (Michael Coxon) finished just 5secs further back in third place. Brett Van Munster’s Kinder Caring Home Nursing put in a great effort to finish fourth, with New Zealand’s CT Sailbattens (Phil Airey) fifth and TMF Group (Euan Mc Nicol) sixth.

With two more races to be sailed in the regatta Gotta Love It 7 has a total of 7 points lost, Asko Appliances 16, Fiat 18, Club Marine (Adam Beashel) 36, CT Sailbattens 40 and Rag & Famish (John Harris) and Kinder Caring Home Nursing on 45.

The 7 crew won the start in today’s race, which was sailed in a light south-east breeze, and quickly established a lead over Fiat, Club Marine and Asko as the fleet worked in to the Rose Bay windward buoy. Most of the fleet had chosen the traditional course on the eastern side of Shark Island, while several teams also elected to sail a course west of the island.

When the fleet rejoined near the mark, Gotta Love It 7 held the lead with Kinder Caring Home Nursing 15secs back in second place ahead of Fiat and Wild Oats (Howie Hamlin, US), which had also sailed to the west of the island. The breeze was flukey on the long spinnaker run to Robertson Point with teams taking a number of different courses to try and capture maximum wind.

Jarvin and his Gotta Love It 7 crew maintained their lead while Fiat moved ahead of Kinder Caring Home Nursing with Asko Appliances back in fourth place. Gotta Love It 7 accelerated away from the chasers on the windward leg to Clarke Island where the skiff had gone to a 45secs lead over Fiat and Kinder Caring, which rounded the buoy alongside each other.

From that point the result was never in doubt as 7 held a comfortable lead over Fiat for the rest of the journey. Kinder Caring was mostly third, although Asko was always close behind in fourth place.

The four skiffs had opened up a big break over the remainder of the fleet, which was headed by CT Sailbattens, TMF Group, SLAM (Grant Rollerson) and CST Composites (Chris Dixon). There were few positional changes throughout the race but the final windward leg to the finish line produced the biggest change when Asko edged Fiat out for second place behind the winners.

Race 6 will be sailed on Saturday and the final race on Sunday.

JJ Giltinan Trophy and 18Footer Championships 2008 H5 Inclusive -  Frank Quealey?nid=42028_©_-Australian 18 Footers League  

Today’s race sponsored by Delonghi and Red Bottle

by Frank Quealey - Australian 18 Footers League


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6:00 PM Thu 21 Feb 2008 GMT

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