Annual gathering of 18-foot skiff giants
Published on March 5th, 2022
In the absence of an official world championship, the JJ Giltinan Championship is the highest honor for the 18-foot skiff class. The 2022 edition on March 5-13 brings together 25 teams on Sydney Harbor to make their mark in the 84-year history of the world’s premier 18-Footer championship.
Sydney, Australia (March 5, 2022) – The Andoo team of Seve Jarvin, Matt Stenta and Sam Newton stamped itself as a clear favorite for the 2022 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship with a brilliant victory in Race One of the regatta on Sydney Harbour today.
Andoo trailed the early leader Balmain Slake (Henry Larkings) for the first lap of the North-East course before gaining the upper hand on the second beat to the Beashel Buoy, then powered away to score a 2m17s victory over Tech2 (Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake), with the defending champion Smeg team (Michael Coxon, Ricky Bridge and Zac Barnabas) a further 51s back in third place.
Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price) finished strongly to take fourth place ahead of Balmain and Birkenhead Point Marina (Tim Westwood).
Today’s race started in a light NE wind, with a run-out tide, giving each team an opportunity to take a variety of preferred courses and the 25-boat fleet was spread across the harbour as it made its way to the Beashel Buoy.
Balmain Slake, Burrawang-Young Henrys (Simon Nearn), Birkenhead Point Marina and Finport Finance (Keagan York), along with Smeg and Noakesailing (Sean Langman) were prominent throughout the long windward leg before Balmain Slake grabbed a 20s lead from Burrawang-Young Henrys, Birkenhead Point Marina and Noakesailing.
The rookie Balmain Slake team retained the lead on the spinnaker run into the wing mark off the southern end of Shark Island, and continued to hold the fleet off between Shark and Clark islands.
Andoo was the very big improver on the run from the Beashel Buoy.
The team was only in ninth place, behind Finport Finance, Smeg, Yandoo (John Winning) and Tech2, as spinnakers were set but was vying for the lead by the time the fleet reached the wing mark.
At the end of the first lap, Birkenhead Point Marina was in third place ahead of Smeg, Tech2, Rag & Famish Hotel, Burrawang-Young Henrys and Black Swan (Luke Parkinson).
Once Andoo grabbed the lead, the team began to dominate the race and extended the lead to 55s on the following beat to the top mark at the Beashel Buoy. Tech2 had moved into second place with Balmain Slake holding on narrowly ahead of Smeg and Birkenhead Point Marina.
Andoo extended the lead to 1m15s on the downwind leg back to the bottom mark off Clark Island, then increased the margin to 1m45s at the top mark on the final lap of the course.
Andoo’s skipper Seve Jarvin has already won seven JJ Giltinan Championships as a skipper and one as part of the 2005 champion Club Marine team, and after today’s performance has every chance to extend the record.
While Andoo’s performance was impressive, there were many teams in the fleet which performed strongly., including the three teams which finished behind the very experienced top three placegetters.
The Birkenhead Point Marina team of Tim Westwood, Will Dargaville and Alex Chittenden gave their best performance since coming together this season and won the handicap section of the race.
The 2022 JJ Giltinan Championship will be sailed on Sydney Harbour, from March 5-13.
Race dates are:
March 5 – Race 1, George Calligeros Trophy
March 6 – Race 2, Cliff Monkhouse Memorial Trophy
March 8 – Race 3, Alan Cole Memorial Trophy
March 9 – Races 4 & 5, A.J. Reynolds Trophy
March 10 – Races 6 & 7, Bill Miller Memorial Trophy
March 12 – Race 8, Big Kite Memorial Trophy
March 13 – Race 9
Source: Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.