Smeg secures 2021 JJ Giltinan
Published on March 13th, 2021
In the absence of an official world championship, the JJ Giltinan Championship is the highest honor for the 18-foot skiff class. The 2021 edition on March 6-14 brings together 20 teams on Sydney Harbor to make their mark in the 83-year history of the world’s premier 18-Footer championship.
Sydney, Australia (March 13, 2021) – A second place finish in today’s Race 8 on Sydney Harbour was enough to give the Smeg team of Michael Coxon, Ricky Bridge, and Trent Barnabas an unbeatable points lead and victory in the 2021 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship.
It is skipper Michael Coxon’s fourth victory in the 83-year history of the championship. For sheet hand Ricky Bridge, it is his second title at the JJs, and it is the fifth for bowman Trent Barnabas.
While the championship belongs to Smeg, today belonged to the tech2 team of Jack Maacartney, Charlie Wyatt, and Lewis Brake.
Following a disappointing week of racing for the Australian champion tech2 team, it was back to business as usual again as the crew gave a faultless exhibition to score a brilliant 1m35s victory over Smeg in the 17-21 knots North East wind.
Smeg had trailed tech2 and Noakesailing at the final windward mark but the new champ put on a high speed performance to grab Noakesailing on the spinnaker run between Shark Island and the finish line off Clark Island and take second place by just 5s.
It was another very good performance by the Noakesailing team (Sean Langman, Ed Powys, and Josh Porebski) which has been consistent throughout the entire regatta.
Yandoo Winning Group (John Winning Jr.) came from well back early in the race to finish in fourth place, ahead of Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Jim Colley), Finport Finance (Keagan York), Andoo (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Yandoo (John Winning), The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett), and Bird and Bear (James Dorron).
With the final race of the championship to be sailed tomorrow, the present point scores are: Smeg on 13, Yandoo Winning Group on 27, Noakesailing 30, Shaw and Partners Financial Services 34, tech2 on 37, Andoo 38, and Bird and Bear on 40.
Right from the start, tech2 was at the head of the fleet and led for almost the entire long beat to the windward mark at the Beashel Buoy, but it was Noakesailing which held a 12s advantage as the fleet rounded the mark and set off for the wing mark off the southern end of Shark Island.
Smeg was in third place, 30s from the lead, followed by Yandoo, Bird and Bear, Finport Finance, and Shaw & Partners.
The fleet put on a spectacular exhibition of speed sailing under spinnakers, despite some close moments with several other classes and cruise craft which were scattered over the NE course.
tech2’s speed was awesome and the team soon grabbed the lead from Noakesailing and opened up a clear break on the fleet at the bottom mark.
On the second beat to the Beashel Buoy, tech2’s crew continued to favour the left hand side of the course and showed the same teamwork they have shown for most of the season as they powered away to a 45s lead before the spinnaker run back down the middle of the harbour to the bottom mark off Clark Island.
Noakesailing was still in second place ahead of Smeg with Winning Group, Shaw & Partners and Finport Finance rounding out the top six.
Over the final lap of the course, tech2 had extended her lead to 1m5s over Noakesailing at the Beashel Buoy.
The spinnaker run to the finish produced some incredible rides for the teams and thrilled the spectator fleet as the skiffs raced across the finish line at top speed.
Race 9, the final race of the championship, will be sailed tomorrow.
Background: Defending champions are Honda Marine team of David McDiarmid, Matt Steven, and Brad Collins who won their the third consecutive title in 2020.
JJ Giltinan Championship, Race Dates:
March 6, Race 1
March 7, Race 2
March 9, Races 3 and 4
March 10, Races 5 and 6
March 11, Race 7
March 13, Race 8
March 14, Race 9
JJ Giltinan Championship, List of Entries:
• tech2 – Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt, Lewis Brake
• Yandoo Winning Group – John Winning Jr., Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton
• Smeg – Michael Coxon, Ricky Bridge, Trent Barnabas
• Finport Finance – Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Phil Marshall
• The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines – Aron Everett, Courtney Mahar, Charlie Gundy
• Andoo Marcus – Ashley-Jones, Cam Gundy, Jeronimo Harrison
• Noakesailing – Sean Langman, Ed Powys, Josh Porebski
• Yandoo – John Winning, Fang Warren, Michael Kennedy
• Shaw and Partners Financial Services – Jim Colley, Shaun Connor, Harry Bethwaite
• The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone – Jordan Girdis, Lachlan Doyle, Tom Quigley
• Bird and Bear – Nick Daly, John Walton, tba
• Appliancesonline.com.au – Simon Nearn, Brandon Buyink, Kurt Fatouros
• Vintec – Tom Cunich, Alex Marinelli, Zac Barnabas
• Queenslander – Dave Hayter, Ben Roxburgh, Elliott Mahar
• Rag & Famish Hotel – Anthony Young, Matt Pearce, Phil Harmer
• Birkenhead Point Marina – Tim Westwood, Alex Chittenden, Felix Daverio
• Noakes Blue Yvette Heritage – Rory Cox, Oliver Scott-Mackie
• Lazarus Capital Partners – Lachlan Steel, Jerome Watts, Matt Doyle
• Ilve Pedro Vozone – Cam Walker, Paddy Bannon
• Lumix – Alex Watson, Laughlin Prentice, Matt Rogers
Source: Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.