Asko Appliances wins race 6 but the Fiat team take the overall series win 3/4/07
Hugh Stodart’s Asko Appliances took the honours in Race 6 of the Australian 18 Footers Club Championship on Sunday but it wasn’t quite enough to take the title from defending champion Michael Coxon and his Fiat team.
Stodart, Niall Kinch and Paul Schulz again showed their light wind skills to score a 1min 2secs victory from Rag & Famish Hotel (John Harris) with Belle Property (Joe Turner) just 16secs further back in third place. Fiat could manage only eighth place which was enough to tie the final points with Asko Appliances on 18 points and take the championship on a count back. Fiat won three races in the championship against Asko Appliances two victories.
Rag & Famish Hotel finished third overall on 24 points, followed by Ssangyong Yandoo (John Winning) 37, Omega Smeg (Daniel Phillips) 40 and Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) on 53 points.
The race was sailed in a fading south-east breeze but while the progress at times was a little slow the action and excitement level was tops as the teams continually changed places over the entire course.
Ssangyong Yandoo was the early leader and opened up a break of 45secs over Asko Appliances after the first spinnaker run. Macquarie Real Estate was a close third ahead of Rag & Famish, Gotta Love It 7, Pure Blonde, Southern Cross Constructions, Belle Property and Fiat (which had been recalled at the start). Macquarie grabbed the lead from Ssangyong Yandoo on the following windward leg then continued at the head of the fleet over the next three legs.
The battle for the minor placings was intense with nine boats exchanging positions continually.
These were led by Asko, Rag & Famish and Ssangyong Yandoo, with Belle, Maytag, Gotta Love It 7 and Pure Blonde in hot pursuit.
With just two legs of the course left to sail the race result was not the only close and exciting battle. Asko had taken the lead while Fiat was back in 10th place.
If these positions were to remain then Asko would take the title. Fiat had to finish no more than seven placings behind Asko. The race home was a struggle all around. Asko held on against all challengers to take the victory while Fiat improved enough to finish eighth and take the title.