NEW TEAM’S FIRST START IN NSW 18ft SKIFF CHAMPIONSHIP

After a two-year break from sailing in the 18ft Skiffs, Jack Macartney returns to the class full time this season as skipper of a new skiff, sponsored by tech2, which will have its first race on Sunday in Race 2 of the NSW Championship on Sydney Harbour.

Macartney was twice runner-up in the JJ Giltinan Championship, behind Gotta Love It 7 in 2013 and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers in 2017, is back with the determination to go one better when the 2020 JJs are conducted on Sydney Harbour next March.

After missing the first race of the 5-race NSW Championship series, winning the title may be difficult for the new tech2 team, but a race win is well within the team’s capability and victory in the other big championships later in the season is certainly possible.

Jack Macartney’s record in big 18ft Skiff championship regattas is very good. In seven JJ Giltinan Championship, he has never finished worse than 8th and was part of the Macquarie Real Estate team, which won the 2006-2007 Australian Championship.

Obviously last Sunday’s Race 1 victory by Winning Group (John Winning Jr.) and top placings to the series hot shot teams, defending champion Shaw and Partners Financial Services (James Dorron), Finport Finance (Keagan York), The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett), appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster) and Smeg (Micah Lane) sets these teams up as most likely to become overall champions for 2019-2020.

Strangely, Tom Clout, who sailed as replacement sheet hand on Winning Group’s victory last Sunday, should line up on Sunday as skipper of another new skiff, sponsored by Bird and Beer, if that skiff is ready to race.

Like Macartney, Tom Clout, who was sheet hand on the 2010 JJ Giltinan champion Gotta Love It 7, is returning to the 18s after a few seasons break to go ocean racing.

While most of the leading teams have long been at the pointy end of regatta placings, the great improver in the 2019-2020 Season has been The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines team of Aron Everett, Courtney Mahar and Charlie Gundy.

Everett and his team were improving continually over the 2018-2019 season then began strongly this year when runner-up to appliancesonline.com.au in the recently concluded Spring Championship.

‘The Oak’ had five Top-5 finishes in the seven-race series but no other team came close to appliancesonline.com.au, which had two wins, two second placings and a fifth place, to dominate the event.

In last Sunday’s first race of the NSW titles, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines recovered from a moderate first leg of the course to be in second place behind Winning Group as the fleet headed for home.

Defending NSW champion James Dorron’s Shaw and Partners Financial Services team showed its best form of the season so far and finished strongly to pass ‘The Oak’, which came home in third place.

Three of the normally strong teams Noakesailing (Sean Langman), Yandoo (John Winning) and The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis) were not amongst the top placegetters in Race 1 and will be expected to improve their standings in the championship after Sunday’s race.

Light winds which have been present for all but one race this season are predicted to continue again on Sunday with North-East winds of around 11-14 knots likely.

Spectators can see all the teams while they are rigging, then follow the racing on board the club’s spectator ferry, which leaves Double Bay Wharf, alongside the rigging area, each race day at 2pm.

Book online through the club’s website www.18footers.com

The AeroMedia Live Broadcast team will also be out on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action for those who can’t make it onto the water. The livestreaming is available at www.18footers.com by clicking on the ’18 Footers TV’ link.

As well as watching the livestreaming coverage, you can also follow all the club’s racing throughout the entire 2019-2020 Racing Season:

Club Website www.18footers.com

Twitter @18skiff

Instagram @18skiff

Facebook International 18Ft Skiff