JJ Giltinan Championship 2021 Preview

Despite winning the last season’s Australian 18ft Skiff Championship in the then new tech2 skiff, Jack Macartney’s 2020-2021 Season team has gone up to another level of performance and consistency as it has taken all three major championships so far this season. 

Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake have been nearly faultless with their teamwork in every race since the season began on October 11, but realise that they will have to maintain the standard if tech2 is to give the trio their first JJ Giltinan Championship victory. 

The two biggest threats to the tech2 team’s Giltinan hopes are Smeg and Yandoo Winning Group (formerly known as Winning Group). 

Smeg’s skipper Michael Coxon ‘retired’ from the 18s after winning his third JJ Giltinan Championship in 2017, and has shown over recent weeks that the hunger is there to add to his already impressive record. 

Along with his two former Giltinan-winning Smeg team mates Ricky Bridge and Trent Barnabas, Coxon pushed the red-hot tech2 team to the limit in the recently completed Australian Championship. 

Only one point separated the two teams through most of the nine-race championship, which was only decided in the final race. 

The other big threat to tech2’s favouritism for the JJs is John Winning Jr’s Yandoo Winning Group, with his crew of Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton. 

Business commitments as well as other sailing commitments for all members of the team have been reflected in the race results column on the scoreboard, but there is no doubt that the talent is there to become the 2021 champions.  

Any team with a world championship-winning skipper, an America’s Cup-winner, and crew members who have already won 14 JJ Giltinan championships must be a major threat in any regatta in the world. 

Over the season to date, the ‘big three’ teams have established a slight edge over a large group of challengers for the 2021 crown, but last weekend’s final hit-out produced at least two more strong candidates. 

Last Sunday, Keagan York, who has been around the top five placegetters in the past three JJs, won the final race of the Australian 18 Footers League’ s Club Championship in Finport Finance with Matt Stenta and Phil Marshall. 

In the same race, first-season team Jim Colley, Shaun Connor and Harry Bethwaite finished third in Shaw and Partners Financial Services after leading for some time against the very strong, and experienced opposition. 

They are definitely a team to watch as they have recorded two second placings, one third and a fourth placing in recent championship races. 

Four other teams with strong credentials are Noakesailing (Sean Langman), The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett), Andoo (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Yandoo (John Winning). 

In today's warm up Invitation Race, Yandoo took the honours by 1m19s from Finport Finance, with The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines a further 33s back in third place.

JJ Giltinan Championship, List of Entries: 

tech2   Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt, Lewis Brake 

Yandoo Winning Group   John Winning Jr., Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton 

Smeg   Michael Coxon, Ricky Bridge, Trent Barnabas 

Finport Finance   Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Phil Marshall 

The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines   Aron Everett, Courtney Mahar, Charlie Gundy 

Andoo   Marcus Ashley-Jones, Cam Gundy, Jeronimo Harrison 

Noakesailing   Sean Langman, Ed Powys, Josh Porebski 

Yandoo   John Winning, Fang Warren, Michael Kennedy 

Shaw and Partners Financial Services   Jim Colley, Shaun Connor, Harry Bethwaite 

The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone   Jordan Girdis, Lachlan Doyle, Tom Quigley 

Bird and Bear   Nick Daly, John Walton, tba 

Appliancesonline.com.au,   Simon Nearn, Brandon Buyink, Kurt Fatouros 

Vintec   Tom Cunich, Alex Marinelli, Zac Barnabas 

Queenslander   Dave Hayter, Ben Roxburgh, Elliott Mahar 

Rag & Famish Hotel   Anthony Young, Matt Pearce, Phil Harmer 

Birkenhead Point Marina   Tim Westwood, Alex Chittenden, Felix Daverio 

Noakes Blue   Yvette Heritage, Rory Cox, Oliver Scott-Mackie 

Lazarus Capital Partners   Lachlan Steel, Jerome Watts, Matt Doyle 

Ilve   Pedro Vozone, Cam Walker, Paddy Bannon 

Lumix   Alex Watson, Laughlin Prentice, Matt Rogers 

JJ Giltinan Championship, Race Dates: 

Saturday              March 6, 2021                    Race 1 

Sunday                 March 7, 2021                    Race 2 

Tuesday               March 9, 2021                    Races 3 and 4 

Wednesday        March 10, 2021                   Races 5 and 6 

Thursday             March 11, 2021                  Race 7 

Saturday              March 13, 2021                  Race 8 

Sunday                 March 14, 2021                  Race 9  

Spectators can follow the racing on board the club's spectator ferry, however due to the COVID-19 policy, numbers are limited.  Booking online through the club's website www.18footers.com is essential. https://www.18footers.com.au/18-footers-sailing/spectator-ferry/  

For those unable to make it out onto the water, the club's live broadcast team will be on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action.  Live streaming is available at www.18footers.com by clicking on the '18 Footers TV' link. 

Other ways to follow the championship are: 

Club Website           www.18footers.com 

Twitter                      @18skiff 

Instagram                 @18skiff 

Facebook                 International 18Ft Skiff   

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.