Gotta Love It 7 team take Alf Beashel Trophy on Sydney Harbour yesterday 15/10/07

The new 18ft Skiff season got off to a great start yesterday in a 12kt north-easterly wind and a 21-boat fleet on hand on Sydney Harbour.

The Gotta Love It 7 team, skippered by Seve Jarvin with crew of Sam Newton and Robert Bell, showed they were again going to be a force to be reckoned with when they took out the Alf Beashel Trophy by 41seconds.

Pure Blonde (James Francis) finished second with Southern Cross Constructions (Chris Pomfret) a further 44seconds back in third place.

Right from the start Gotta Love It 7 took the lead as the fleet headed for the triple windward marks near the Beashel Buoy. Closely bunched behind the leader were Fiat, Asko Appliances, Rag & Famish Hotel and Active Air-2UE.

Nearing the windward marks, Rag & Famish crossed 7 to grab a narrow lead but it was the “C/Red” mark skiffs which came out on top as the fleet headed downwind.

Southern Cross Constructions led Maytag which “B/Blue” marker skiffs Gotta Love It 7 and Maytag led the chasers. Fisher & Paykel was fifth, followed by CST Composites, with Rag & Famish (the leading “A/White” marker) seventh just ahead of Fiat. Pure Blonde gybed inside Southern Cross at the wing mark to take the lead then held her lead at the end of the first lap – but it was now Gotta Love It 7 in second place.

Gotta Love It 7’s upwind speed was enough to lead narrowly at the three-buoys windward marks the second time and the pair staged a good duel on the straight run back to the leeward mark. Although Pure Blonde’s crew continued to pressure the Gotta Love It 7 team, the t crew maintained their advantage over the final lap of the course to score a good first up win.

Many new teams were having their first race start and once they have gained a little more experience we are in for another great season.

Next weekend we stage another three-buoys handicap race for the Life Members Trophy.