Coxon wins NSW 18ft Skiff Championship with a perfect 4 points

The Thurlow Fisher-City team of Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas became the 2009-2010 NSW 18 Footer champions when they completed the series with a perfect score of four points after discarding a sixth placing in today's last race on Sydney Harbour.

Current Australian champions Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Tom Clout produced their best form of the championship in Gotta Love It 7 to take out today's race by 2m30s in a 2nd sail nor'easter wind.

Smeg, skippered by Hugh Stodart – standing in for regular skipper Nick Press, and crewed by Dan Phillips and Jim Beck finished second with Yandoo (John Winning, Andrew Hay and Dave Gibson) just 16s further back in third place.

Gotta Love It 7's win today out them into second place overall on 9 points, with Smeg third on 16 points.

Fourth place overall went to the consistent (John Winning Jr.) on 20 points, ahead of his father John Winning in Yandoo on 26 points.

After a number of races sailed in poor conditions so far this season, today's race was sailed in a 15-18 knot north east wind against a run out tide which produced action packed spinnaker runs as the skiffs took off over the chop.

Thurlow Fisher-City, Gotta Love It 7, Pure Blonde (James Francis), Smeg and appliancesonline were well served at the start, while defending champion Rag & Famish Hotel (John Harris) was forced out with a broken mast prior to the start.

Gotta Love It 7 soon showed an upwind edge over her opposition to take a narrow lead over Thurlow Fisher-City, with Smeg, Pure Blonde, Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Cuddihy) and Kinder Caring Home Nursing (Brett Van Munster) heading the rest of the fleet.

Gotta Love It 7 was a 10s leader over Smeg at the Beashel Buoy windward mark with Thurloe Fisher-City in third place and Fisher & Paykel fourth.

Smeg turned the tables on Gotta Love It 7 downwind and grabbed a narrow lead at the wing mark then held her lead at the bottom mark the first time.

Thurlow Fisher-City was still third ahead of Fisher & Paykel, Kinder Caring Home Nursing, Yandoo and appliancesonline.

De'Longhi (Simon Nearn), Pure Blonde and Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty) were close behind this group but all capsized on the gybe to the mark.

On the following windward leg Gotta Love It 7 continued to impress upwind and was a clear leader at the Beashel Buoy the second time.

From that point the ‘7' team were never really challenged although the winning margin could have been less but for the spectacular capsize by Thurlow Fisher-City off Nielsen Park on the final spinnaker run to the wing mark.

– Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

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