The defending champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers took a tight grip on the 2012 Australian 18ft Skiff Championship after another easy victory in Race 2 of the series on Sydney Harbour today.
by Frank Quealey
After trailing the early leader Mojo Wine (Archie Massey) for the first two legs of the course, Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas grabbed the lead near the Clarke Island windward mark and were untroubled over the rest of the course. Thurlow Fisher Lawyers went on to win by 2m18s and lead the series with two wins and 2 points. Second over the line today was Gotta Love It 7, which was sailed by Nathan Outteridge, Iain Jensen and Scott Babbage.
This was an excellent effort from the team with only Scott Babbage from the regular Gotta Love It 7 crew on board. Third placing today went to Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings) which finished a further 1m3s behind Gotta Love It 7.
The result was enough to place the team in second position overall on 5 points, following their second place in Race 1 last week. Overall placings have tightened behind the two leaders. Gotta Love It 7 is third on 10 points, followed by appliancesonline.com.au on 11, Lumix (Jonathan Whitty), Mojo Wine and Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) all on 15 points. Another group of three teams are just one point back on 16 points. Pure Blonde (Tom Clout), Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Yandoo (John Winning).
Today’s race was sailed in an unpredictable south-east breeze which fluctuated in strength and direction throughout the race and made conditions tough for all teams. Mojo Wine and The Kitchen Maker (Cameron McDonald) sailed a great first windward leg to lead the fleet in Rose Bay, followed by Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Gotta Love It 7 and appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane).
Mojo Wine continued to hold a narrow lead over Thurlow Fisher at the bottom mark but once Thurlow Fisher got to the lead after a long tactical battle with Mojo and ‘7’ the race was basically over. The Thurlow Fisher crew sailed a great leg to Chowder Bay when they had to battle both the ‘tight’ wind and an incoming container ship. Lumix was a strong finisher to grab fourth place after some early gear problems saw the team well back in the fleet.
Race 3 of the Australian Championship will be sailed on Thursday, however there will NOT be a spectator ferry following that race.
Next Sunday is Race 4 of the Australian Championship. The usual spectator ferry WILL follow that race, leaving Double Bay Wharf, alongside the clubhouse and rigging area at 2.15pm. www.18footers.com.au
Full video coverage of the race can also be seen on www.18footerstv.com
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8:42 AM Sun 22 Jan 2012 GMT
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