March 4, 2018

JJ Giltinan Race 2

New Zealand's domination of the 2018 Winning Group 2018 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship continued on Sydney Harbour today when Honda Marine proved too good for the 25-boat fleet of the world's best 18 Footer teams.

David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins grabbed the lead soon after the start and led for most of the course before going on to a 2m6s win from a determined Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Paul Montague, Harry Bethwaite) team.

Race 1 winner, and overall points leader, Maersk Line (Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazzard) battled all throughout the race with Asko Appliances and finished a further 32s back in third place.

While the top three teams broke away from the rest of the fleet, the battle for the minor placings was intense in the 25-30-knot Southerly which battered the harbour course.

Brett Van Munster's Appliancesonline.com.au finished fourth, followed by Knight Frank (Riley Dean), Yandoo (John Winning), Ilve (Oliver Hartas) and Triple M (James Ward).

After the two races sailed so far, Maersk Line leads with a total of four points, followed by Honda Marine on5, Asko Appliances on 7, Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York) on 11, Knight Frank and Appliancesonline on 13 and Harken (Riley Gibbs) on 15.

Honda Marine led a group, in cluding Harken, Asko Appliances and Knight Frank, to the first windward mark off Clark Island, then had to withstand a great challenge by the Maersk Line, Asko Appliances and Appliancesonline.com.au teams on the long spinnaker run to Obelisk.

The following windward leg back into the teeth of the wind to the Rose Bay mark saw a wonderful battle develop between Asko Appliances and Honda Marine with Asko leading by 5s as the pair sped off on a two-sail reach back to the bottom mark.

Both teams were superb in very difficult conditions and Honda Marine regained her lead for the work back across the harbour to the windward mark off Clark Island.

While the two leaders were producing a terrific contest, the group behind them was also providing the large crowd with some close racing.

Appliancesonline and Maersk Line, Ilve and Yandoo, Knight Frank and Triple M had three individual battles as the wind took a heavy toll on the fleet.

One of the most outstanding performances was the effort by the Knight Frank team (Riley Dean, Luke Stevenson and Tim Snowden) who recovered from a spectacular capsize off Shark Island to finish an incredible fifth on the day. (see Suellen Davies image attached and AeroMedia.com.au aerial images attached).

Back at the front, Honda Marine was able to hold off Asko Appliances over the final lap of the course and edged away for a good victory.

Race 3 of the JJ Giltinan Championship will be sailed on Sydney Harbour on Tuesday 6 March

Race dates for the rest of the championship are:

Race 4 Wednesday March 7
Race 5 Thursday March 8
Race 6 Saturday March 10
Race 7 Sunday March 11

How to follow the championship:
Website: www.18footers.com
Twitter: @18skiff
Instagram: @18skiff
Facebook: International 18ft Skiff
Youtube: 18footerstv

March 3, 2018

JJ Giltinan Race 1

The young New Zealand Maersk Line team of Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson and Dave Hazard was a shock, but well-deserved winner of Race 1 of The Winning Group JJ Giltinan International 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Maersk Line grabbed the lead on the first spinnaker run, after The Kitchen Maker capsized at the wing mark, and was never headed over the next two laps of the course.before going on to win by 16s.

Australia's Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Angus Williams) trailed Maersk Line for the entire two laps and finished strongly on the final two spinnaker runs but the young team were strong under the prtessure and held on for the victory.

America's Harken (Riley Gibbs, Dan Phillips, Peter Harris) was a further 1m5s back in third place, followed by Honda Marine (David McDiarmid, NZ), Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Aust) and C-Tech (Alex Vallings, NZ).

The race, which was sailed in a 15-18-knot North East wind, produced some spectacular downwind rides for the crews but it also produced disappointment for some of the leading contenders for the title.

The Kitchen Maker (Scott Babbage, Aust) sailed a brilliant course up the first windward leg to the Beashel Buoy mark and led narrowly from Vintec (Kirk Mitchell, Aust) and Maersk Line, while Finport and Knight Frank (Riley Dean, NZ) headed the rest of the fleet.

Conditions were tricky as the leaders headed to the wing mark off Skark Island and took a toll on both The Kitchen Maker and Vintec.

Series favourites Smeg (Lee Knapton, Aust) and Honda Marine were both well back in the pack.

Maersk Line dominated on the next windward leg back to the Beashel Buoy and held a good lead over Finport and Harken, which had settled into a good battle for second place. These three teams had opened up s break over the rest of the fleet, although both Smeg and Honda Marine were making progess through the fleet.

Smeg's day came to a spectacular end when the skiff appeared to hit the wake of a power vessel and the skiff nose dived. The Australian champions recovered but came home a distant 15th and will now have to make sure there are no more potential discard results over the rest of the regatta.

Honda Marine's recovery was much more successful as the New Zealanders came home in fourth place, a mere 1s ahead of Asko Appliances.

It's been an unfortunate start for the European teams, who were forced to use borrowed boats when their skiffs were impounded, temporarily we hope, on arrival in Sydney.

Conditions are expected to be much different tomorrow as a Southerly wind is predicted before the start of Race 2.

Race 2 of the JJ Giltinan Championship will be sailed on Sydney Harbour tomorrow, Sunday 4 March

Race dates for the rest of the championship are:

Race 3 Tuesday March 6
Race 4 Wednesday March 7
Race 5 Thursday March 8
Race 6 Saturday March 10
Race 7 Sunday March 11

How to follow the championship:
Website: www.18footers.com
Twitter: @18skiff
Instagram: @18skiff
Facebook: International 18ft Skiff
Youtube: 18footerstv