Smeg Wins JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship 2016

Published on February 21st, 2016

Sydney, AUS (February 21, 2016) – The Smeg team of Lee Knapton, Ricky Bridge and Mike McKensey are the world’s top 18ft Skiff team following the team’s victory appliancesonline.com.au-sponsored 2016 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Champions, which concluded on Sydney Harbour today.

Smeg finished the championship with a total of 18 points to take the title by just one point from New Zealand’s Yamaha (David Mc Diarmid, Matthew Steven, Bradley Collins).

Third place went to appliancesonline.com.au (David Witt, Tom Clout, Tom Anderson) on 24 ahead of defending champion Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, John Winning Jr., Nick Catley), on countback, after also finishing on 24 points.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Trent Barnabas, Dave O’Connor) was fifth on 25 points and Peroni (Nick Daly, John Walton, Steve Thomas) sixth on 47

Today’s race began in a 7knot Easterly breeze with interest centered on the battle between Smeg and appliancesonline.com.au, the only two teams possible of becoming the champions.

Appliancesonline is a noted heavy weather team and the day’s conditions were heavily in favour of the Smeg team, which had a handy discard up the sleeve for the tricky wind.

From the outset Yamaha’s boat speed was unmatched by the opposition and the team’s crew work was faultless as it approached the first windward mark in Rose Bay.

With a 35s lead over Alcatel One Touch (Stephen Quigley), and a one minute break over third placed Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Yamaha was in a commanding position as the fleet made its way to the wing mark off Clarke Island.

Gotta Love It 7 had been in fourth place at the windward mark but lost all hope when forced to sail up into the lee of Shark Island.

Triple M (John Sweeny) and Asko Appliances were next followed by the bulk of the fleet.

In a light, unpredictable wind over the lengthy course, the leading group maintained the advantage with Yamaha taking line honours by 1m21s from Peroni, with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, just 2s back in third place.

Alcatel One Touch finished fourth, with Triple M fifth and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) in sixth place.

Compassmarkets.com (Keagan York) came from well back early to finish seventh.

Class websiteRace 7 resultsScoreboardPhotos

RACING SCHEDULE
Race 1 … 13 February
Race 2 … 14 February
Race 3 … 16 February
Race 4 … 17 February
Race 5 … 18 February
Race 6 … 20 February
Race 7 … 21 February

Report by Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League.

Background: The 2016 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on February 13-21 was the 77th anniversary of the world’s greatest 18 Footer event, held annually on Sydney Harbour and providing spectators (both on the water and along the harbour foreshores) with the world’s most spectacular racing.

In 1937. Mr. James J. Giltinan, Secretary of the Australian 18 Footers League, planned a world’s championship for 18 foot open boats and the League presented a trophy (popularly known as the JJ Giltinan Trophy) to celebrate the event.

Since the first regatta on Sydney Harbour in 1938, the championship has always been regarded as the world’s premier 18 Footer championship and many of its competitors have become world, Olympic and national champions in a variety of yachting classes.

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