JJ Giltinan: Defender gets first bullet
Published on March 14th, 2020
In the absence of a world title for the 18ft Skiff Class, the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship is it, held annually in Sydney, Australia. For a region that likes to go fast, and a legion of legends with names on the trophy, it’s time again to make history.
Sydney, AUS (March 14, 2020) – Defending champion Honda Marine team of David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins began their attempt to win their third consecutive JJ Giltinan Championship when they scored a come-from-behind win in Race 1 of the 2020 championship on Sydney Harbour.
It wasn’t until the seventh leg of the nine leg course that Honda Marine finally reached the lead then go on to score a 39s victory over Shaw & Partners Financial Services (James Dorron, Harry Bethwaite, Tim Westwood), which had led for most of the first half of the course.
Current Australian champion Tech2 (Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt, Trent Barnabas) showed good downwind speed on the two long spinnaker runs from the Clark Island mark to Obelisk, but lost vital time while leading into Obelisk and eventually dropped back to come home a further 1m3s behind Shaw & Partners.
Winning Group (Seve Jarvin) struggled a touch with a reef mainsail as the expected strong southerly wind faded during the race, but still managed to finish in fourth place, ahead of Smeg (Micah Lane), URM (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Finport Finance (Keagan York).
Vintec (Kirk Mitchell) continued to show a big improvement over the skiff’s early season form and finished in eighth place ahead of Noakes Blue (Yvette Heritage) which sailed a great race throughout the long course.
The predicted conditions were 26-28-knot southerly winds and early in the day there was concern in the rigging area about the race going ahead, but when the race got underway there was no sign of the winds, which eased after the rain arrived. By race-end the wind had faded even more and were extremely light.
Sean Langman’s Noakesailing team grabbed the lead at the first windward mark west of Clark Island, closely followed by Winning Group, Noakes Blue, Finport Finance, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett), and Honda Marine.
Visibility was a problem for spectators but the downwind action was sensational.
Shaw & Partners Financial Services and Tech2 were fast on the long spinnaker leg of the course to Obelisk where Shaw & Partners now held the lead over Tech2, with Noakesailing back in third place and Honda Marine in fourth.
Working back from Obelisk to the buoy off Shark Island in Rose Bay, Tech2 applied the pressure to Shaw & Partners and was within 20s as the pair headed off on a 2-sail reach back to Athol Bay East to complete the first lap of the two lap course.
Honda Marine had continued to move through the fleet and was now up to third, ahead of URM, Winning Group, Noakesailing and ‘The Oak’.
Over the next two legs of the course, the three leading teams had moved well ahead of the rest of the fleet and the second spinnaker run from Clark Island to Obelisk was spectacular as Tech2 grabbed a narrow lead over Shaw & Partners.
A small problem as Tech2 approached the mark proved costly and the team never recovered, leaving Shaw & Partners and Honda Marine to race for the win.
Honda Marine’s boat speed was excellent in the lighter air and the defending champion took the lead from Shaw & Partners as the two teams battled their way to the Shark Island mark.
There was no change over the final two legs of the course as the race finished in practically no wind at all.
Race dates are:
March 14 Race 1
March 15 Race 2
March 17 Races 3 & 4
March 18 Races 5 & 6
March 19 Race 7
March 21 Race 8
March 22 Race 9
Entries for 2020 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship:
Honda Marine: David McDiarmid, Matt Steven, Brad Collins
Winning Group: John Winning Jr., Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton
Finport Finance: Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Angus Williams
Shaw & Partners Financial Services: James Dorron, Harry Bethwaite, Tim Westwood
Smeg: Micah Lane, Ricky Bridge, Peter Harris
C-Tech: Alex Vallings, Sam Trethewey, Matt Coutts
Tech2: Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt, Trent Barnabas
Appliancesonline.com.au: Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall, Kurt Fatouris
The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines: Aron Everett, Courtney Mahar, Charlie Gundy
Noakesailing: Sean Langman, Ed Powys, Nathan Edwards
The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone: Jordan Girdis, Lachlan Doyle, Tom Quigley
Yandoo: John Winning, Mike Kennedy, Jasper Warren
Vintec: Kirk Mitchell, Pete Nicholson, Matt Wark
Maersk Line: Peron Pearse, Eli Liefting, Harry Clark
Rag & Famish Hotel: Bryce Edwards, Jacob Broom, Rory Cox
Birkenhead Point Marina: Tom Anderson, Elliot Scali, Tom Arkens
URM: Marcus Ashley-Jones, Cam Gundy, Lewis Brake
Ilve: Pedro Vozone, Matt Doyle, Jerome Watts
Queenslander: David Hayter, Nathaniel Dutton, Elliot Mahar
Dal Zotto: Jack Sprague, Josh Feldmann, Marc Chapon
Noakes Blue: Yvette Heritage, Rory Hunter, Oliver Scott-Mackie
Bird & Bear: Tom Clout, Cameron McDonald, John Walton
Lumix: Alex Watson, Cooper Richmond, Ben Roxburgh
QMC: Matt Rogers, Darren Rogers, Steve Wilson
Source: Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.