Photo: Frank Quealey

7's winning streak ends

All change at the 18ft skiffs' JJ Giltinan Championship

Thursday February 19th 2015, Author: Frank Quealey, Location: Australia

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers broke Gotta Love It 7's domination to win race five of the 2015 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship today.

Sailing a four lap windward-return course, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael coxon, Trent Barnabas, Dave O’Connor) won the start at the pin end of the line and sailed brilliantly in the light ENEerly breeze to lead the bunched fleet behind her by 50 seconds.

Her lead increased to 2 minutes 10 seconds at the halfway mark before a freshening breeze over the final lap of the course saw the margin reduced to 52 seconds at the finish.

Defending champion Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton, Scott Babbage) crossed in second place, 1 minute 20 seconds ahead of the third placed USA skiff Harken (Howie Hamlin, Dan Phillips, Skip McCormack), and will retain the title if the team can finish in the first eleven placings in either of the weekend’s races.

With two races still to be sailed, the current points table after each team discards their worst performance to date, is: Gotta Love It 7 on four points, Mojo Wine (Lee Knapton) 17, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 18, Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) 23, Harken 24 and De’Longhi (Simon Nearn) 30.

After a series of #2 sail northeast races, today saw all teams go with their big rigs.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers held a big lead at the bottom mark the first time and things could have been disasterous when sheet hand Dave O’Connor went overboard as the skiff rounded the buoy.

Apart from this one incident, the Thurlow team sailed immaculately and was never in any serious doubt of victory.

For the previously unbeaten Gotta Love It 7 team it was a race they would prefer to forget. She couldn’t match the Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team’s boat speed up the first windward leg and was buried deep in the pack on the first spinnaker run. Trailing in eighth place at the bottom mark the first time, Team Seven were still more than two minutes behind the leader after two laps.

As the breeze freshened, naturally the time margin decreased and Gotta Love It 7 got back to 52 seconds behind the winner but Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was just too good on the day.

Results: Today - overall.


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