Kiwis retain lead at JJ Giltinan Champs
Published on March 7th, 2018
Sydney, Australia (March 7, 2018) – A change-up today at the Winning Group 2018 JJ Giltinan International 18ft Skiff Championship as two short-course, windward-return races were sailed on Sydney Harbour.
The first of the two races was sailed in an 11-knot South-East wind and resulted in a win for Triple M (James Ward, Adam Gillson, Tom Anderson) by 11s from the Australian champion Smeg team (Lee Knapton, Ricky Bridge, Mike McKensey), with New Zealand’s Honda Marine (Dave McDiarmid, Matt Steven, Brad Collins) a further 47s back in third place.
In the latter race, which was sailed in a flukey 8-14-knot South-East breeze, New Zealand’s Maersk Line (Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazzard) took the lead only a few hundred metres from the finish to defeat the UK’s The Time Genie (Graham Bridle, Eddie Bridle, Ed Gibbons) by 2s, with Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Angus Williams) another 10s back in third place.
After the day’s racing, Maersk Line leads the points table with 13 points, followed by Honda Marine on 14, Finport Trade Finance on 28, Knight Frank on 40, Asko Appliances (James Dorron) 40, and NZ’s C-Tech (Alex Vallings) on 44.
The course for both races was set between the start in Taylor Bay to a windward mark in Rose Bay.
The lighter wind conditions and nature of the course didn’t produce the excitement, spectacle or spinnaker/two-sail reaching we saw in the previous three days and the erratic results reflected the uncertainty of the short course racing.
In the first race, Triple M led the fleet to the top mark, and along with Quality Marine Clothing (Aron Everett) was near the lead throughout the three laps. Smeg was fourth to the top mark and held her position for most of the race before coming home in second place 47s ahead of Honda Marine.
The latter race saw UK’s The Time Genie lead the fleet to the top mark from Triple M, Peroni (Nick Daly), Panasonic Lumix (Jordan Girdis), Finport Trade Finance, Harken (Riley Gibbs) and Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster).
Conditions in this race were difficult as the wind varied in direction and strength. On the first lap of the course most of the leading championship contenders were stuck at the back of the fleet.
Appliancesonline.com.au was the leader over the second lap of the course, from Triple M, Harken, Finport and Asko Appliances. Honda Marine was in 10th place and Maersk Line 11th.
When the wind freshened on the final run to the finish a change came over the fleet when the then race leader Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) capsized and Maersk Line came through to take the victory.
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
Source: Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League