March 2, 2019


Sponsored by The Winning Group

Today’s race sponsored by Rag & Famish Hotel

The defending champion Honda Marine team of Dave McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins showed that they will be hard to beat again this year when they scored an impressive win in Race 1 of the Winning Group JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

In a controversial start to the championship, two of the leading championship contenders, Asko Appliances (James Dorron) and ASCC (Josh Porebski) were recalled for an OCS start.

With protests lodged for various incidents, provisionally, Honda Marine defeated Winning Group (John Winning Jr., Sam Newton, Seve Jarvin) by 2m34s, with Smeg (Michael coxon, Ricky Bridge, Mike McKensey) a further 18s back in third place.

The new Birkenhead Point Marina team, headed by rookie skipper, Tom Anderson, finished in fourth place, ahead of (Brett Van Munster), Yandoo (John Winning), Finport Finance (Keagan York) and The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis).

The race was sailed in a 10-15-knot NE breeze with all teams electing to use their bigger No. 1 rigs.

After a close race to the windward mark amongst the leading four or five teams, Winning Group held a narrow lead over Honda Marine as spinnakers were set for the run to the wing mark off the southern end of Shark Island.

There was little between the two skiffs for the entire downwind run and only 10s separated the pair at the bottom mark off Clark Island, where Honda Marine had gained the lead.

Smeg was in third place at the point, followed by Birkenhead Point Marina and R Marine Pittwater (Simon Nearn).

On the following windward leg back to the Beashel Buoy, Honda Marine and Winning Group elected to sail entirely different courses and Honda Marine had increased her lead to 32.

The New Zealanders increased the margin to 45s after the long spinnaker run back down the middle of Sydney Harbour to the Clark Island mark and from that point the result wasn’t really in doubt.

Encouraging performances came from the Birkenhead Point Marina team and the German team, Marinepool (Heinrich vonn Bayern), as well as R Marine Pittwater, which was in the top four placing until midway through the race.

The Winning Group 2019 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship

Race dates for the remainder of the championship are:

Sunday March 3

Tuesday March 5

Wednesday March 6

Thursday March 7

Saturday March 9

Sunday March 10

The club will have a spectator ferry following each days racing, leaving Double Bay Public Wharf at 2pm.


February 17, 2019

Asko Takes the Australian Championship Trophy for 2019

Australian Championship, Races 8 & 9
Sunday, 17 February 2019
Sydney Harbour

The Asko Appliances team of James Dorron, Harry Bethwaite and Trent Barnabas became the 2018-2019 Australian 18ft Skiff champions after a wonderful day of action-packed racing on Sydney Harbour today.

Going into today’s final two races, only four points separated the top five teams.

With a 13-15-knot North East wind, and a brilliant, sunny Sydney day, the conditions were perfect for a spectacular finale to the championship.

Asko Appliances revelled in the conditions for the first race (Race 8) and the team quickly went to the lead on the windward leg from the start off Clark Island to the windward mark off Nielsen Park.

Asko’s domination was soon evident and the team held a 35s lead over Winning Group (John Winning Jr., Sam Newton and Euan McNichol) as spinnakers were set for the run back down the harbour to the bottom mark.

The first casualty of the day happened at the start when defending champion, Smeg was recalled for being over the start line too early.

On the short 2-lap windward-return course, this spelt the end of Smeg’s chances of retaining the title.

Asko continued to lead throughout the race and finally crossed the finish line a 20s winner over Winning Group, which had pushed the winner all the way around the course.

As the wind freshened a little over the latter half of the course, Finport Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta and Charlie Gundy) began to make a move and reduced the margin from the leaders to just 21s at the finish.

The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis) and Bing Lee (Micah Lane) could do no better than 8th and 14th respectively, and lost too much ground on the points table to be likely winners of the championship.

As the fleet began Race 9, Asko Appliances held a net two points lead over Winning Group for the title and they were the only real contenders for victory.

Yandoo (John Winning) was also strong in the conditions and trailed the leader by just 12s as the fleet raced downwind, back to the bottom mark off Clark Island.

Yandoo lost time on the run (one of the departing ships certainly didn’t help the team’s chances) and she fell back into the clutches of Bing Lee and Noakesailing (Sean Langman), with The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett), R Marine Pittwater (Simon Nearn) and Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards).

Finport Finance was unstoppable on the following windward leg and maintained a comfortable lead over the final lap of the course to win by 55s from Asko Appliances, with Winning Group a further 32s back in third place.

Next Sunday is the last race of the Club Championship and the final hit out for the JJ Giltinan (world) 18ft Skiff Championship, which begins on Sydney Harbour on March 2.

March 11, 2018

JJ Giltinan Race 9

New Zealand’s Honda Marine (David McDiarmid, Matt Steven, Brad Collins) became the first Kiwi team to win the 80-year-old JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour when the team completed the championship with a total of 21 points to defeat fellow-kiwi team Maersk Line by just one point.

The final race of The Winning Group 2018 JJ Giltinan International Championship was sailed in a brilliant 12-15-knot North East wind on Sydney Harbour today in front of a large spectator fleet and the cheering crowds aboard the two Australian 18 Footers League’s Spectator Ferries.

Australia’s Finport Trade Finance (Keagan Yord, Matt Stenta, Angus Williams) finished strongly to take line honours by 13s from an unlucky Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Paul Montague, Harry Bethwaite) which led for almost the entire race.

The championship runner-up, Maersk Line (Josh, Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazzard) finish in third place today,1m54s behind Asko Appliances.

It was an emotional moment for Dave McDiarmid, who has tried for a number of years to take the title.
As he brought Honda Marine alongside the spectator ferry to receive the coveted Blue Ribbon from former Giltinan champion David Porter, McDiarmid jumped onto to ferry to cuddle his great family supporters Jana, Viktor and his mother Susan.

NSW champion The Kitchen Maker (Scott Babbage) finished behind the placegetters today, followed by Smeg (Lee Knapton) and Honda Marine.

Top six placings on the overall points table: Honda Marine 21 points, Maersk Line 22 points, Asko Appliances 35 points, Finport Trade Finance 42 points, Smeg 44 points and Harken (Riley Gibbs, USA) on 59 points.

Asko Appliances and Honda Marine shared the lead early on the spinnaker run from the Beashel Buoy, but Asko Appliances led the fleet once the fleet reached the bottom mark off Clark Island.

From that point Asko Appliances led the fleet over the nest three long legs of the course before coming under cahllenge from Finport Trade Finance.

This pair staged a great race from the Beashel Buoy, around the wing mark off Shark Island and the final run between Shark and Clark islands.

How to follow the championship:
Twitter: @18skiff
Instagram: @18skiff
Facebook: International 18ft Skiff
Youtube: 18footerstv

March 10, 2018

JJ Giltinan Race 8

Tomorrow will be an historic day in JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Racing Championship history when a New Zealand team will be the first Kiwi team to win the championship on Sydney Harbour since the first championship regatta was sailed back in 1938.

Only Mersk Line (Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazzard) or Honda Marine (David McDiarmid, Matt Steven, Brad Collins) can win the 2018 regatta.

After a dramatic day of racing on Sydney Harbour today, Australian champion Smeg (Lee Knapton, Ricky Bridge, Mike McKensey) took the honours by just 8s from Honda Marine, with Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Paul Montague, Harry Bethwaite) a further 10s back in third place.

Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York) finished fourth, with Maersk Line fifth. Only 38s separated the top five boats in a hard fought race over the Easterly course siled in 9-12-knots of breeze.

Asko Appliances led for the first lap of the course but lost out to Smeg on the second windwrd beat.

Honda Marine needed to finish ahead of Maersk Line to give the team the best possible chance of becomming the first New Zealanders to win on Sydney Harbour and was always in the top three and ahead of Maersk Line.

Going into tomorrow’s big clash, Honda Marine holds a two points advantage over Maersk Line but, if each team finishes outside the top five, then discards could change the table.

Whatever happens, there will be a first time champion and the spectators who watch the race will see a great contest, expected to be sailed over the great North-East course.

The final day of the championship will be sailed tomorrow, Sunday 11 March.

How to follow the championship:
Twitter: @18skiff
Instagram: @18skiff
Facebook: International 18ft Skiff
Youtube: 18footerstv