A final win secures overall victory for Casio Seapathfinder at the Ssangyong JJ Giltinan International Champs in Sydney 27/2/06

Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Nathan Ellis are the new 18ft Skiff champions following their Race 7 victory in the Ssangyong JJ Giltinan International Championship which concluded on Sydney Harbour yesterday.

The trio brought their 18ft Skiff Casio Seapathfinder home 35 seconds ahead of Hugh Stodart and his Asko Appliances team who also finished runners up in the championship. Third place in the race and third overall was last year’s winners, Euan MC Nicol and Club Marine, who finished a further 20 seconds behind Asko.

Final placings were Casio on 16 points, Asko 18, Club Marien 21 and Rag & Famish Hotel (John Harris) also on 21 in fourth place.

Howie Hamlin (USA) finished fifth in Pegasus Racing on 40 points with Andrew Cuddihy’s Fisher & Paykel rounding out the top six with 50 points.

It was another top start by Coxon and his crew which set up an early lead. Club Marine went ahead after the first spinnaker run but Casio regained the lead at Rose Bay. Asko was 50 seconds behind Casio at that point and in fourth place.

Club Marine was in front again downwind after Casio was unable to clear Bradleys Head under spinnaker. Asko also gained from this problem but was still 20 seconds behind Casio.

Casio and Club Marine exchanged the lead over the next three legs of the course with Casio’s bigger rig enabling her team to lead at Rose Bay with just two more legs of the course to sail.

The big danger now was Asko which had moved to within 10 seconds of Casio and it was now a case of a race in two for the title – winner takes all.

On the final windward leg to the finish the pair raced tack for tack with Casio’s team withstanding the pressure superbly to go on to their 35 seconds victory.

It was a wonderful conclusion to the regatta and a fitting spectacle for the large spectator fleet which packed Sydney Harbour on vessels of all sizes.

Overall Results

1 Casio Seapathfinder, Michael Coxon 16pts

2 Asko Appliances, Hugh Stodart 18pts

3 Club Marine, Euan Mc Nicol 21pts

4 Rag & Famish Hotel, John Harris 21pts

5 Pegasus Racing, Howie Hamlin 40pts

6 Fisher & Paykel, Andrew Cuddihy 50pts