Gearing up for new 18ft Skiff season

Published on October 6th, 2014

The 2014-2015 Season of 18ft Skiff Racing will begin Sunday (October 12) when the Australian 18 Footers League stages a 3-Buoys club trophy race on Sydney Harbour in Australia.

Seventeen teams have entered for the new season with the reigning champions Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage (Gotta Love It 7) the early favourites to retain their titles in the major events later in the season.

Despite the favouritism, Team Seven will be under a lot of pressure from several top teams in new boats and with new equipment.

Thurlow Compensation Lawyers, skippered by former JJ Giltinan and Australian champion Michael Coxon, and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) have been the biggest threats to ‘7’ in recent seasons and will again be the main challengers in 2014-2015.

Smeg, with a new, but experienced 18 Footer crew to the ‘Smeg’ skiff, Appliancesonline (a new skiff with former Australian champion Micah Lane at the helm), another new skiff Asko Gorenje (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) will also be strong contenders.

The current Australian 16 Footer champion Lee Knapton joins the Mojo Wine team, replacing Chris Nicholson, and ensures the team will remain at the pointy end of the fleet.

The experienced Grant Rollerson, who has been skippering 18ft Skiffs for the past decade, joins Simon Nearn’s De’Longhi-Rabbitohs crew and is expected to give this team a great boost.

2014-2015 Season Fleet (Team, Skipper)
Thurlows Compensation Lawyers, Michael Coxon
Yandoo, John Winning
Asko Gorenje, Marcus Ashley-Jones
De’Longhi-Rabbitohs, Simon Nearn, Micah Lane
Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel, Jack Macartney
Gotta Love It 7, Seve Jarvin
Smeg, David Witt
Pure Blonde, Nick Daly
Mojo Wine, Lee Knapton
Lumix, Jonathan Whitty, Keagan York
The Kitchen Maker, John Sweeny
Noakes, Sean Langman
Haier Appliances, Pedro Vozone
Ilve, Ollie Hartas
Fisher & Paykel, Rob Flanagan

Dates for the major championships:
JJ Giltina Championship, February 13-22
NSW Championship, January 11-February 1 (five races)
Australian Championship (Brisbane), March 20-23

Report by Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League


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