Kiwi battle rolls at JJ Giltinan Champs
Published on March 8th, 2018
Sydney, Australia (March 8, 2018) – Australian champion Smeg team were back to their best for the first time in The Winning Group 2018 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship when they took points honours today on Sydney Harbour.
Lee Knapton, Mike McKensey and Ricky Bridge scored a win in Race 6 and finished second in Race 7 to score three points on the day and move into fourth position overall in the championship.
In Race 6, Smeg took the honours by 12s from New Zealand’s C-Tech (Alex Vallings, Sam Trethewey, Matt Coutts), with series leader Maersk Line (Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazzard) a further 24s back in third place.
In the latter race (Race 7 of the championship), Honda Marine (David McDiarmid, Brad Collins, Matt Steven) took an early lead and were never headed over the ESE windward-return course.
Smeg finished 10s behind Honda Marine, with Maersk Line again finishing in third place, another 10s behind Smeg.
With two more days of competition, the championship should go down to the final race on March 11 as the two New Zealand teams Maersk Line and Honda Marine are separated by just one points and each has an almost identical discard.
Both New Zealand teams have total points of 19, but allowing for discards (at this time) Maersk Line leads the championship on 14 points, followed by Honda Marine on 15, Asko Appliances (James Dorron) on 30, Smeg 37 and Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York) 37, with another New Zealander, Knight Frank in sixth place on 38 points.
The improved form of Smeg and Asko Appliances could play an important part in the overall winner as every points is critical and each of these two teams is more than capable of finishing on the podium in both races over the weekend.
Background: In the absence of an official world championship, the JJ Giltinan Championship is the highest honor for the 18-foot skiff class. The 2018 edition on March 3-11 brings together on Sydney Harbor 25 elite international teams to vie for the class’s most esteemed trophy.
March 3 – Race 1
March 4 – Race 2
March 6 – Race 3
March 7 – Race 4 and 5
March 8 – Race 6 and 7
Source: Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League