The brilliant conditions of last week’s opening race of the season were duplicated today when the Australian 18 Footers League’s Major A. Frizelle Trophy race was sailed in a 20–knot North East wind on Sydney Harbour.
Current JJ Giltinan champion Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage showed why they are the world’s best team when they dominated the fleet to score a 3m4s victory.
Backmarker Thurlow Fisher Lawyers crew (Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor and Dave Ewings) also showed their skill to finish second, with Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy, Peter Calligeros) a further 21s back in third place. Yandoo (Nick Press) was fourth, followed by Mojo Wine Lee Knapton) and Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane).
De’Longhi (Simon Nearn) looked certain to finish fourth but a capsize just 50 metres from the finish sent the skiff back into 10th place. Smeg (David Witt) also suffered a heavy loss of placings when spinnaker halyard problems forced the team back from second position to finish nineth.
Gotta Love It 7 was in the lead from the start and led the fleet down the first spinnaker run from Smeg and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.
David Witt and his Smeg team were superb on the run between Shark and Clarke islands and grabbed a narrow lead over ‘7’at the bottom mark.
Back on the wind, Gotta Love It 7 again grabbed the lead from Smeg and gradually eased away continually over the following two laps of the course.
Smeg and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers staged their own personal match race and there was little between the two teams before Smeg lost the halyard.
The next group also produced some close racing and spectacular action. Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel, De’Longhi, Yandoo, Lumix (Kevin Nixon) Appliancesonline and Mojo Wine were the most prominent of this group.
Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League