New Zealand win first JJ Giltinan Champs
Published on March 11th, 2018
Sydney, Australia (March 11, 2018) – 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.
The Kiwi 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 championship was sailed today in a brilliant 12-15-knot North East wind 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) finished 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.
Note: This isn’t the first win for a Kiwi team of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, but it is the first time a Kiwi team has won the event on Sydney Harbor. All previous wins were in Suva, Fiji, Brisbane River, or Auckland Harbour NZ. Up until 1990, the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship was sailed on a rotation basis between Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland, with a few ‘specials’ at Suva and Perth, WA From 1990, none of the other areas had the financial capacity to stage the championship so it has been held annually on Sydney Harbor.
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
March 10 – Race 8
March 11 – Race 9
Source: Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League