January 9, 2020

THE OCEAN CHALLENGE

When the Australian 18 Footers League’s 2019-2020 Season resumes racing on Sunday, January 12, it will be 35 years since the club celebrated its 50th Anniversary in January 1985 by staging a unique event, which produced, as it’s finale, one of the most spectacular 18ft Skiff races in the sport’s more than 125-year history.

 

The regatta, ‘The State Bank Gold Cup’, was conducted over the weekends of January 5 & 6, and 12 & 13, and carried total prizemoney of $7,500 as well as a gold cup to the winner.

 

There were seven races in the event.  The first six races were sailed over specially designed courses on Sydney Harbour.  Prizemoney for the top six placegetters in those races was $5,500.

 

The final race, The Ocean Challenge, was undoubtedly the highlight of the series.

 

With $2,000 prizemoney up-for-grabs, 19 boats lined up for the Le Mans-style start on the Pittwater side of Palm Beach.

 

Skippers had to run to their boats, which were being held ready by the other two crew members, sail around the Palm Beach headland, go to sea, then head south along the shoreline to the ‘Heads’ at the opening to Sydney Harbour.

 

Once inside the harbour, the 18s had to race to the finish line, which was positioned east of the Sydney Opera House.

 

It was the first ocean-going 18ft Skiff race ever staged and came with all the fanfare expected from such a unique contest.

 

Sponsored by the NSW Government’s State Bank of New South Wales, the start followed a spectacular air display over the waters at Palm Beach.  Local television covered the festivities with pre-race interviews, helicopter coverage as the skiffs raced down the coast, over the 26-mile course, and down Sydney Harbour to the finish line.

 

All that was needed to make the day a total success was a perfect North-East wind to push the skiffs down the coast at top speed.

 

When the starter sent the fleet away, the organisers’ prayers were answered as the breeze was 15-18 knots from the North-East.

 

The fleet included some of the greatest names in the history of 18ft Skiff Racing in Australia, including six JJ Giltinan (world) champions: Trevor Barnabas (Chesty Bond), Julian Bethwaite (Prime Computer), Peter Sorensen (Tia Maria), Robert Brown Bradmill), John Winning (Flora Margarine) and Michael Walsh (Stubbies).

 

Bradmill, Chesty Bond and Tia Maria were the three top skiffs of that season.  Along with Anthony Scali’s Nick Scali Furniture, they were the leaders as the fleet cleared Barrenjoey headland, set their spinnakers and headed south towards Sydney Harbour.

 

Once clear of the headland, Bradmill stayed close to the shore, Chesty Bond was further away from the shore, and Tia Maria was even further out to sea.

 

According to Chesty Bond’s skipper, Trevor Barnabas, “We had our #3 rig on while Tia Maria had her bigger #2 rig.”

 

“Our tactics were to set the spinnaker as soon as we cleared the Barrenjoey headland.  Tia Maria, with the larger rig, headed out to sea before setting a wire luff spinnaker.”

 

Little separated this leading group before Bradmill broke her rudder off Collaroy, leaving Chesty Bond and Tia Maria to vie for the lead.

 

Because she was closer to the shore, Chesty Bond’s crew had some anxious moments in the unfamiliar waters.

 

Barnabas says, “We didn’t know the depth, or if there were rocks, or shallows that stuck out, and at one stage we weren’t confident about clearing Long Reef.”

 

“Fortunately, the breeze eased slightly and, keeping the boat heeled, we were able to clear it.  We all breathed a sigh of relief once we could see the bottom under us.”

 

“Despite the nerves off Long Reef, it was the most thrilling ride of my life.”

 

“Experienced yachting identity, Bill Buckle told us later that he estimated our average speed on the 26ft wide wings was around 20 knots.”

 

Despite the speed of the ride, there was still another hurdle for the Chesty Bond team to overcome.

 

Once again, Barnabas and his team were concerned.  “We weren’t going to clear North Head, but as we approached it, the breeze lightened a little and again we managed to be able to clear the cliffs.”

 

A large group of spectator craft was waiting for the fleet to arrive at the Heads into Sydney Harbour, and they weren’t disappointed when Tia Maria and Chesty Bond arrived with just a couple of boat-lengths separating them.

 

The NE wind meant that it was going to be a spinnaker run down the harbour, but both teams would have to gybe several times in a match race-style battle to get the victory.

 

Tia Maria’s team dropped the wire luff spinnaker and changed to the normal #2 spinnaker for the harbour run.

 

As the two skiffs met, Tia Maria held a two boatlengths lead over Chesty Bond.

 

Tia Maria, with her #2 rig, had the bigger sails, which was the correct rig for the spinnsker run down the harbour to the finish line just east of the Sydney Opera House.

 

Barnabas recalls, “Tia Maria was the first to gybe to enter the harbour.  We chose to stay on our course a bit longer because the breeze was lighter under North Head.”

 

“When we gybed, we had made a gain and were now in front of Tia Maria as we prepared for the run to the finish.”

 

“We knew Peter Sorensen didn’t like being covered so, when we approached the first cross, we gybed in front of him.  His only was past us was to windward, which he couldn’t do because we luffed him.”

 

Despite the sail area disadvantage, the Chesty Bond crew were able to stay between Tia Maria and the finish line as the two skiffs raced almost side-by-side down the entire length of the harbour – from the Heads to the Sydney Opera House.

 

Barnabas added, “Phil (sheet hand) and Adam (bow) sailed faultlessly, and together we were able to gybe and pick the shifts to stay ahead of Tia Maria all the way down the harbour to the finish line, where it was barely 8-10 knots.”

 

Asked how the Chesty Bond team managed to hold off Tia Maria in the light air near the finish line, Barnabas said, “Both boats were on starboard tacks and still needed to gybe twice to cross the finish line.”

 

“When Tia Maria gybed, we decided not to gybe in front of her as we thought we would get rolled in the light breeze.”

 

“We kept on the starboard tack then gybed onto port so the final gybe would be closer to the finish line.  We were able to complete our final gybe and crossed the finish line just ahead of Tia Maria.”

 

Incredibly, after 1hr43m15s and 26 miles of top speed ocean racing down the coast, followed by a spinnaker match race down Sydney Harbour, Chesty Bond’s crew of Trevor Barnabas, Phil Barnett and Adam South grabbed the honours by just 1s. from Tia Maria’s team of Peter Sorensen, David ‘Big Kite’ Stephens and Mark Peelgrane.

December 7, 2019

WINNING GROUP SETTING THE STANDARD

The Winning Group 18ft Skiff team has set the standard with its domination of the first two races of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship, presently being sailed on Sydney Harbour, and has brought into focus the possibility of her skipper John Winning Jr. and his father John ‘Woody’ Winning becoming the first father-and-son JJ Giltinan (world) Championship-winning skippers in the 81-year history of the prestigious championship.

John ‘Woody’ Winning had been runner-up twice to the legendry Iain Murray, Color 7, in the late 1970s before finally taking the prestigious Giltinan (world) title with AMP Centrepoint in 2000.

John Winning Jr. (aka ‘Herman’) won the 2002 World 29er Championship with Euan McNicol, when the pair defeated another ‘gun’ team of Nathan Outteridge and Grant Rose on Sydney Harbour.

‘Herman’ joined the 18ft Skiff ranks in 2008 when he skippered a new skiff, sponsored by appliancesonline.com.au, an online company he formed as part of his family’s business, and with his team of Dave Ewings and Tim Austin, finished fourth in a 32-strong fleet of teams from New Zealand, USA, UK and Canada.

Under the pressures of business, when John Jr. stepped up to become CEO of the 113-year-old family business, which has grown to become the ‘Winning Group’ with around 1,000 employees, he retired from regular 18ft Skiff Racing.

He came back into the 18s to compete in the Australian 18 Footers League’s 2018-2019 Season and the 2019 JJ Giltinan (world) Championship, but the team’s outlook seems far more determined in 2019-2020.

With seven-times JJ Giltinan Championship-winning skipper Seve Jarvin on the sheet and six-times JJ-winning bowman and Team Oracle America’s Cup winner, Sam Newton on board, Winning Group is looking like an early favourite to tackle the dominance the Kiwis have had at the JJs for the past two years.

Ironically, ‘Herman’ will be contesting the 2020 JJs against his father and against the skiff sponsored by the company he formed, appliancesonline.com.au, which will be skippered by the class boat builder Brett Van Munster.

Defending NSW champion James Dorron and his team of Harry Bethwaite and Tim Westwood had a slow start to the season but have shown a big improvement over the past two weeks to be runner-up in both races in their Shaw and Partners Financial Services-sponsored skiff.

After the first two races of the five-race NSW Championship, Winning Group leads the 18-boat fleet with a perfect score of 2, followed by Shaw and Partners Financial Services on 4, appliancesonline.com.au on 8, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett) on 9, Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) on 11, Smeg (Micah Lane) 15, Yandoo (John Winning) 18, Noakes Blue (Yvette Heritage) 18, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone 18.

Race 3 of the NSW Championship will be sailed from the Australian 18 Footers League on Sunday.

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, 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 by going to www.18footers.com and 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

November 30, 2019

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

November 22, 2019

18ft SKIFF CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON BEGINS ON SUNDAY

When the Australian 18 Footer League’s fleet lines up for Race 1 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sunday it will be the first tentative step by the Aussies to try and win back the JJ Giltinan (world) Championship title on Sydney Harbour next March.

To date, early season racing has been confined to the League’s Spring Championship, which is a series of races conducted over unique 3-Buoys courses.

In addition to the 16 skiffs which contested the Spring Championship series, two brand new skiffs will join the fleet for former 18 Footer champions, Jack Macartney (Tech2) and Tom Clout (TBA), who are returning to the 18s after a two seasons break away.

The recent boat speed shown by the Spring Championship-winning Appliancesonline.com.au team of Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall and Kurt Fatouris, has set the bench mark for the fleet as the skiff has been impressive with both the #1 and #2 rigs, which cover all conditions.

Predicted wind conditions for Sunday’s opening race of the NSW Championship is 10-12 knots from the SE, which should provide all teams with an ideal opportunity to display their potential.

On form shown during the Spring Championship, together with past championship performances by experienced crews, there are at least six or seven teams with very strong chances to take the title.

Aside from Appliancesonline.com.au, other teams with a strong chance of becoming NSW champion for 2019-2020 include the defending NSW champion, and Australian champion, James Dorron, who has a new sponsor, Shaw & Partners Financial Services, for his defence of the two titles.

John Winning Jr. finished runner-up to David McDiarmid’s Honda Marine at the 2019 J.J. Giltinan Championship and lines up again this season with the same skiff and multi-Giltinan Championships winning crew members, Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton.

Keagan York’s Finport Finance has been a strong, and consistent performer over the past two seasons, and the skiff has shown good pace throughout the Spring Championship.

Sean Langman’s Noakesailing goes into the championship season with the same team as he had in 2018-2019, and this team also showed good pace by winning two of the seven races in the Spring series.

Only one of last season’s Smeg team is back this year but the new team is strong and the boat has shown good form in the early season races. The 2006-2007 Australian Championship-winning skipper Micah Lane replaces Michael Coxon in 2019-2010, although Coxon will stand-in for Lane in Sunday’s Race 1 of the NSW Championship.

Impressive, consistent form shown by The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines team, led by Aron Everett, and Yandoo (John Winning) during the Spring Championship marks both teams as two more to watch, while at least three other teams are expected to improve on their Spring title form.

R Marine Pittwater, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone, and Rag & Famish Hotel all have the crews capable of causing problems for the top contenders and winning races during the titles.

Dal Zotto, Birkenhead Point Marina, and Vintec, have all shown good form at times so far this season while Ilve and Noakes Blue both had their best races last Sunday.

Naturally, the two new skiffs having their first race on Sunday, will lack the race-hardened teamwork of the crew and rig trimming, but it will be interesting to see what longer term potential each has, as both have very strong, experienced teams.

Entries for the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship are:

Boat Name: Team:

Smeg Micah Lane, Ricky Bridge, Peter Mackie

Yandoo John Winning, Michael Kennedy, tba

Shaw & Partners Financial Services James Dorron, Harry Bethwaite, Tim Westwood

R Marine Pittwater Marcus Ashley-Jones, Jeronimo Harrison, Ben Piggott

Appliancesonline.com.au Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall, Kurt Fatouris

Rag & Famish Hotel Bryce Edwards, Rory Cox, Jacob Broom

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

Birkenhead Point Marina Tom Anderson, Elliot Scali, Tom Arkens

Vintec Kirk Mitchell, Reece Goldsmith, tba

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

Dal Zotto Jack Sprague, Tim Narborough, Josh Feldmann

Noakesailing Sean Langman, Ed Powys, Nathan Edwards

Finport Finance Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Angus Williams

Ilve Pedro Vozone, Matt Doyle, Jerome Watts

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

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

TBA Tom Clout, Nick Daly, John Walton

Tech2 Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt, tba

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

November 16, 2019

APPLIANCESONLINE SET FOR SPRING CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORY

The Australian 18 Footers League’s annual Spring Championship, which is raced over unique 3-Buoys courses on Sydney Harbour, and with handicap reviews after each week’s racing, regularly ensures a close finish on the final day of the series to determine the champion team.

The 2019-2020 series was shaping up to be no different to the past championships as the fleet went into last Sunday’s twin races on the harbour, but all that changed when the Appliancesonline.com.au team produced a totally dominant performance to comfortably win both races and virtually seal the 2019-2020 championship victory.

Appliancesonline’s team has built up such a lead in the series that the skiff only has to appear at the starting line on Sunday to ensure the title win.

The teamwork of Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall and Kurt Fatouris was outstanding as they raced ahead of the 16-strong fleet in both races to record wins of 2m22s and 1m34s in the 10-12 knots ESE breeze, which prevailed on the day.

Appliancesonline.com.au had incredible boat speed with the big #1 rig. The team were able to build up a lead on the windward legs of the course then extend the margin downwind.

Going into Sunday’s last race of the series, Appliancesonline.com.au has a total of 18 points, 17 points clear of her nearest rivals The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett, Courtney Mahar, Charlie Gundy) and Finport Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Angus Williams), which are both in equal second place on 35 points.

Sean Langman’s Noakesailing is fourth placed on 39 points, followed by Yandoo (John Winning) on 47, with Dal Zotto (Jack Sprague) and Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) both on 48 points.

Although the Spring Championship may be decided, Sunday’s race in the series won’t be any less competitive as the teams continue to build up to the 5-race NSW Championship, which begins on Sydney Harbour the following Sunday (November 24).

All teams must register the new sails they are planning to use over the rest of the championship season, which will add another dimension to the day’s racing.

James Dorron’s team will be defending their NSW title under its new sponsorship of Shaw & Partners Financial Services, however the consistently good performances by Finport Finance, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines, Noakesailing and Yandoo throughout the Spring Championship will keep the defending champs on their toes.

Two of the teams still to produce their true form are Winning Group (John Winning Jr.), which has the multi-JJ Giltinan Championship-winning Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton in the crew, and Smeg, which is skippered this season by the 2006-2007 Australian champion Micah Lane.

A still to be launched brand new skiff, Tech2, for Jack Macartney, who is returning to the 18s this season, will be another to also watch, as will The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis) and Rag & Famish Hotel.

On Sunday, spectators can see all the teams rigging prior to the race, then follow the racing on board the spectator ferry, which leaves Double Bay Wharf, alongside the rigging area at 2pm.

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

The Aero Media 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 by going to www.18footers.com and 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

November 8, 2019

WEEKEND WARRIORS LEAD THE SPRING CHAMPIONSHIP 2019

Going into Sunday’s two races of the Australian 18 Footers League’s 2019-2020 Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour, the series is wide open with the consistent Appliancesonline.co.au team of Brett Van Munster, Kurt Fatouris and Phil Marshall leading the 18-boat fleet by just four points.

With two runner-up placings, a fifth placing and a seventh placing, from the four races sailed so far, Appliancesonline.com.au has a total of 16 points.

Second placed Noakesailing team of Sean Langman, Ed Powys and Nathan Edwards, won the first two races of the championship and finished fifth in last Sunday’s extreme conditions on Sydney Harbour, but a 13th place finish in Race 3 of the championship has been costly, and leaves the team on 20 points.

Keagan York’s Finport Finance holds third place on 26 points, followed by The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett) on 28, Yandoo (John Winning) on 29, Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) 32, Smeg (Micah Lane) 34, Birkenhead Point Marina (Tom Anderson) 35, Dal Zotto (Jack Sprague) 36 and The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis) on 39 points.

The nature of 3-buoys racing and a two-race program on the harbour on Sunday will test every team in the fleet and placings could change dramatically if the racing is held in either very light or strong winds.

Brett Van Munster is well aware of the battle ahead over the next two weeks but is satisfied with the team’s early season progress to date: “It’s pleasing that we are going well enough to lead the series as we’re ‘weekend warriors’ who are tied down with work commitments and haven’t had time to do any practice.”

“We’re happy with the way the boat is going and just need to sharpen our starts and some team-work as we get more time on the water.”

“This is only our second season together and I am confident we will be performing at a high level as we move towards the JJs on Sydney Harbour next March.”

Brett Van Munster (Van Munster Boatbuilders) is also in a unique position as the class builder of all 18ft Skiff hulls.

Since 2006, he has not only produced the boats for everyone in the fleet, but also had the task of making repairs to hulls, during the week between races, if one of his competitors had an unfortunate mishap on the racetrack.

The quality of the hulls produced by Van Munster Boatbuilders has been a great boost to 18ft Skiff Racing generally, as well as to the Australian 18 Footers League, in particular.

Van Munster’s outstanding construction ability and techniques, along with the expertise of the League’s Stephen Quigley, has dramatically changed the quality and longevity of the high-performance hulls.

A new hull was once critical to success in the major championships. Now, the latest hulls are so well constructed that the longevity of a championship-winning hull has been increased to around 5-6 seasons.

Brett Van Munster says: “Our challenge is to build boats which are very light yet strong enough to meet the high demands of 18ft Skiff Racing. We only have a small team but we’ve got the expertise to work with the same materials as those used in Formula One Racing and the aircraft industry.”

Brett is known as someone who drives his skiff hard off the wind. Guess it’s not surprising as he knows the strength and reliability of the product.

With Races 5 & 6 of the 2019-2020 Spring Championship to be sailed on Sunday over windward-leeward courses on Sydney Harbour, club officials are hopeful of good racing conditions as the points scored in the two races will be vital before the final race of the championship on November 17.

Spectators can see all the teams in the rigging area before Sunday’s racing, then follow all the action from on board the spectator ferry, which leaves Double Bay Wharf, alongside the rigging area, every race day at 2pm.

The livestream video team will also be out on Sydney Harbour to capture Sunday’s racing action for those who can’t make it onto the water. Livestreaming is available by going to www.18footers.com and 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

November 2, 2019

SEAN LANGMAN’S WIDE WORLD OF SAILING

Sean Langman, one of Australia’s best-known and most versatile sailors, has set himself for another wide-ranging program in the 2019-2020 Australian summer with a season of 18ft Skiff Racing on Sydney Harbour, as skipper on Noakesailing, as well as skippering the 69ft Naval Group in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2019.

Langman’s season has already tasted success with the Noakesailing team of Langman, Ed Powys and Nathan Edwards winning two of the first three races so far in the Australian 18 Footers League’s Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour.

Powys is a highly credentialled sailor from the UK who has competed in the 49er class, the Extreme Sailing Series, British team for the 35th America’s Cup and SailGP. Edwards is a young, local skiff sailor who is having his third season sailing in the League’s 18ft Skiff fleet on Sydney Harbour.

Never one to sit back and watch the world go by, Sean has achieved many successes both on, and off, the water, and has always been prepared to put his money where his mouth is, and has assisted so many young and talented sailors along the way.

Sean, Noakes Group’s Managing Director, claimed he primarily introduced Noakes Youth to assist young people make their way in the world, and once said “I called it opportunity and choice.” Sean’s daughter, Nicki, was the first youth co-ordinator.

Sean’s original Noakes Youth involvement came in the 18s in 2007 when he supported Jacqui Bonnitcha with her campaign to contest the 2007 JJ Giltinan (world) Championship on Sydney Harbour. Ash Rooklyn later had similar support for two seasons in the 18s.

Sean’s latest recruit to the 18s is Yvette Heritage, who is presently competing against her ‘sponsor’ under the Noakes Blue banner. The Noakes Blue theme represents the Recreation business side of Noakes, which has an approach of inclusiveness within the business and the community.

The 2019 journey south to Hobart on Naval Group, built as Money Penny, will be a different one to those in recent years when Sean skippered the 1932-built, 30ft gaff-rigger, named Maluka of Kermandie.

Sean says: “We are supported by the French company Naval Group, who are building submarines in Australia. The purpose of the Naval Group yacht is to facilitate Team building within the Australian-French Naval Group work force.”

A real highlight of an incredible nautical career must be the Sydney to Auckland record set by Sean and his crew of the 60ft trimaran Team Australia (nicknamed ‘Big Bird’) in October 2013.

Sean predicted afterwards that he believed their elapsed time of 2 days 19 hours 2 minutes 45 seconds and 18.8 knot average speed for the Trans-Tasman ocean crossing would stand for decades.

“We had perfect conditions, essentially we beam reached on port to the tip of NZ, gybed, parked for a couple of hours then beam reached on starboard to the finish, a scenario that is basically unheard of.”

It was Team Australia’s second speed record in eight months. The 60ft trimaran had set a new fastest elapsed time of 29 hours 52 minutes 23 seconds for the passage from Sydney to Hobart in February 2013.

In addition to his sailing talent and business acumen, Sean has a natural talent as a promoter.

The inclusion of high-profile sporting champions and a variety of media personalities over the years has helped to promote whatever nautical event in which Sean was competing.

With such an incredible variety of craft in his illustrious nautical career, from high-tech, record-breaking racing machines to the 1932-built gaff-rigger, when asked which boat he would prefer to sail, not surprisingly Sean said: “I love Sailing all the boats I’m involved in. Each has their unique challenges!”

On Sunday, the Noakesailing team will go into Race 4 of the Australian 18 Footers League’s 2019-2020 Spring Championship just one point behind the series leader appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall, Kurt Fatouris).

Both teams have been consistent in the races sailed so far, but the Noakesailing crew will have to be at its very best as they are conceding start to every other team in the fleet on Sunday.

Progress points so far in the championship are: appliancesonline.com.au on 14, Noakesailing – 15, Birkenhead Point Marina – 18, Dal Zotto – 19, Finport Finance – 22, Yandoo – 23, Winning Group – 23, RMarine – 25, Rag & Famish Hotel – 25, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines – 25, Vintec – 28, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone – 31, Smeg – 33, Ilve – 34, Team Dorron – 36, Noakes Blue – 39.

Two new teams yet to compete in the championship are Tech2 and Team Clout.

Spectators can see all the teams in the rigging area, then follow the racing on board the 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 livestream video team is also out on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action for those who can’t make it onto the water. Livestreaming is available by going to www.18footers.com and 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

Frank Quealey

Australian 18 Footers League

www.18footers.com

October 25, 2019

ENTHUSIASM AND DETERMINATION MAKE JACK A WINNER

Jack Sprague was a Laser class sailor, who had a stint on a 16ft Skiff out of Manly, but once he had tasted sailing on the 16, all he wanted to do was to sail an 18ft Skiff each weekend on Sydney Harbour.

In 2016 he was given Brett Van Munster’s name (Brett is the class boat builder and a skipper in the League’s fleet) who advised Jack to contact the Australian 18 Footers League to see if there was an opportunity to sail a skiff in the 2016-2017 Season.

After submitting a CV of his sailing record, League Club Commodore, Simon Nearn, provided Jack with a hull and some gear to get him on the water.

Living around 75 kms north of Sydney at Point Claire on the Central Coast of NSW meant that Jack would have to trail the skiff to-and-from his home to the League’s Double Bay rigging area but that was no barrier to the enthusiastic Sprague, who was always one of the first skippers to arrive with his boat each Sunday.

A rookie season in the 18s is difficult enough for any team, but when you add the travel, putting together a new crew to the 18s and ‘sorting out’ the gear in an older boat, Jack was facing a massive task.

Jack also recalls: “The early part of that particular season was dominated by really strong winds so that only added another dimension to the task.”

“One thing which was a big positive was to meet another team who were also having their first season in the 18s. Bryce Edwards, Rory Cox and Jacob Broom.”

“We have become good friends and the boys (now the crew of Rag & Famish Hotel) have been a great help as we have progressed over the three seasons.”

Despite Jack’s first season in the 18s being tough, the Australian 18 Footers League administrators were impressed by his attitude and Jack was rewarded by being allocated with a better boat.

League Club President, John Winning said: “Jack’s attitude towards his sailing and the club was exceptional and in keeping with the values we want to see in our fleet.”

As a self-employed electrician, things weren’t made any easier for Jack however his enthusiasm, dedication to the sport and an attitude built on family ‘values’ as a ‘real club man’ at the Gosford Sailing Club has seen Jack progress steadily over the three seasons in the 18s to date.

When Dal Zotto, a family owned wine maker based in Victoria’s King Valley, came aboard as a sponsor in 2018-2019, team Dal Zotto began to get some improved equipment and better results soon began to reward the young team.

Jack and the Dal Zotto team won a race, and produced a number of minor placings during the Spring Championship then backed it up with a victory in the annual Queen of the Harbour race on the final day of the 2018-2019 Season.

Naturally happy with his team’s continued improvement on the water, Jack was even happier with life at the 18s. “I am over-whelmed with the amount of support and comradery given to Josh, Tim and myself, the new kids on the bay, from the more knowledgeable skiff sailors.”

“The 18s are action-packed and give a sailor the best and toughest ride he can have.”

“I now feel that I have made it to where I wanted to be, and hopefully one day become a good 18ft Skiff sailor, learning from the likes of John Winning and Michael Coxon.”

Now, for the 2019-2020 Season, Jack has the sponsor support of Dal Zotto, a settled crew of Tim Narborough and Josh Feldmann, plus a supportive partner, Lisette Luijten, and parents, Elizabeth and John, on race days.

After the first two races of the new 2019-2020 Season, Dal Zotto’s team has already shown further improvement on 2018-2019 and is placed equal seventh in the 18-boat fleet, following an impressive fourth placing in last Sunday’s Race 2 of the Spring Championship.

Jack says the team haven’t set specific goals for the season: “We just want to continue to improve as a team. As someone who spent so much time in an individual sailing class, like the Laser, I really enjoy the friendship associated with being in a team.”

“I would also like to thank Dal Zotto’s Patrick, Michael and Christian who are great believers in us as a team, which makes us feel we are giving the company the result they want from their sponsorship.”

John Winning’s final comment: “Every club needs people like Jack Sprague.”

The Australian 18 Footers League’s 2019-2020 Season continues Sunday when the club will stage Race 1 of the Club Championship.

Spectators can see all the teams in the rigging area, then follow the racing on board the 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 livestream video team is also out on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action for those who can’t make it onto the water. Livestreaming is available by going to www.18footers.com and 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:

October 18, 2019

THE KITCHEN MAKER-CAESARSTONE LOOKS SET FOR A BIG SEASON

Since the young The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone team of Jordan Girdis, Lachlan Doyle and Tom Quigley came together last year, their progress in the highly-competitive Australian 18 Footers League fleet has been spectacular, and the team’s performance in last Sunday’s opening race of the 2019-2020 Season on Sydney Harbour shows that their progression has taken another step forward.

One highlight of their rookie year together was an outstanding third placing, behind two of Australia’s most experienced 18ft Skiff teams, in the 2018-2019 National Championship on Sydney Harbour.

The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone team got off to an impressive start to the new season when it was on the pace from the start in last Sunday’s Race 1 of the Spring Championship. The boys led the fleet around the Easterly course before surrendering the lead to the eventual winner, Noakesailing, at the final windward mark under the 3-buoys handicap system.

Their close second placing will now see The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone become ‘scratch boat’ on Sunday, alongside Winning Group and its champion crew of John Winning Jr., Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton.

As Jordan Girdis said: “We’ve come a long way from the 10-minute boat two seasons ago to lining up on Sunday as the scratch boat.”

“Micah Lane (now skipper of Smeg) took me for my first 18 ride about 15 years ago when I was sailing Manly Juniors. It’s great now to compete against Micah and those teams we looked up to as junior sailors”

Jordan credits part of his team’s development to the experience of competing in the European Championship at Lake Garda during the off-season.

“Garda, as always, was not just a brilliant training regatta, but also some of the best sailing conditions we’ve ever experienced. Adam Gilson, who filled in for Lachlan Doyle, brought his skiff experience into the team which really helped our on the water close quarter racing as well as switching gears.”

“We’ve packed on about 15kgs this season, which seems to be helping already.”

“Our team works well both on and off the water and we are privileged to have a long-time sponsor, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone, supporting us and being actively involved with our campaign.”

Steve Quigley, former JJ Giltinan (world) champion and father of bowman Tom Quigley, has been a great mentor to the young team and is looking forward to the new season after watching the performance in last Sunday’s opening race of the season: “It was a great start to the season and hopefully an indication of things to come as the competition gets more serious.”

“I didn’t think their boat speed was at the level of say the Winning Group and Noakesailing, who were setting the pace, but they sailed a good tactical race in tricky conditions, and they’re showing positive signs of being able to contend at the top level in their second season together. The boat speed thing we can work on and we have 3 new North sails to add in the coming weeks so that will improve.”

The Australian 18 Footers League’s 2019-2020 Season continues Sunday with Race 2 of the Spring Championship.

Spectators can see all the teams in the rigging area, then follow the racing on board the spectator ferry, which leaves Double Bay Wharf, alongside the rigging area, each race day at 2pm. Purchase tickets online at:

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/spring-championship-race-1-tickets-69976974013?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

The livestream video team will also be out on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action.

For those who can’t make it onto the water:

Live streaming is available by going to www.18footers.com and 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

October 11, 2019

LIVESTREAMING 18ft SKIFF RACING ON SYDNEY HARBOUR

LIVESTREAMING 18ft SKIFF RACING ON SYDNEY HARBOUR

Livestreaming of 18ft Skiff Racing on Sydney Harbour reached a new high during the 2018-2019 Australian Season when the talented video team produced sensational coverage of all local club events and every race of the JJ Giltinan (world) Championship.

Viewers around the world were taken up close to the racing skiffs as they sped across the harbour while managing to avoid the heavy commercial and private traffic.

As two-times JJ Giltinan (world) champion, America’s Howie Hamlin, says about the coverage: “I love watching the live skiff racing. It is almost as good as being there.” to avoid the traffic hazards.

The video team had previously captured all the action from water level and from on-board racing skiffs, then last season introduced a new perspective with drone coverage from above the fleet.

The 2018-2019 Season coverage is expected to be even better in the 2019-2020 Season and is a great leap forward from the beginning, back in the early 2000s, when Kerrie and John Winning, together with the late Bob (Killo) Killick, had the vision of presenting 18ft Skiff Racing on Sydney Harbour to the world.

This visionary trio couldn’t have imagined how far, and how quickly, their idea would have developed to where it is today.

From the ‘humble’ beginning when Bob Killick became the sole hands-on member of the original team, the concept has grown steadily to the point where the present team controls the livestreaming of 18ft Skiff Racing on Sydney Harbour each week to a worldwide audience.

The Australian 18 Footers League’s 2019-2020 Season commences on Sunday when 18 skiffs line up for Race 1 of the Spring Championship, and the video team will be out on Sydney Harbour again to capture all the action.

Everyone in the world can share the live stream experience by going to 18FootersTV

18 Footers TV

Spectators can get up close and personal with the teams in the rigging area, then follow the racing on board the spectator ferry, which leaves Double Bay Wharf, alongside the rigging area, each race day at 2pm. Purchase tickets online at:

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/spring-championship-race-1-tickets-69976974013?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

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