Game time for JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship 2023
Published on March 4th, 2023
The Winning Group 73rd JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship is the highlight of the 2022-23 season as the unofficial world title is held March 4-12 in Sydney, Australia.
Racing over the earlier part of the season has produced a number of variable results and there are at least five, or six, teams who have strong credentials for the title on Sydney Harbor. However, the pre-series favorite is the defending champion Andoo, which will be skippered by John Winning Jr with Seve Jarvin on the sheet and Sam Newton in the bow.
Andoo was particularly strong during the first half of the season and secured the 2022-23 NSW Championship in January prior to finishing 4th in the weather-shortened Australian Championship.
Strongest challenger to the experienced Andoo team is Rag & Famish Hotel. In total contrast to Andoo, the Rag & Famish Hotel team of Harry Price, Josh McKnight, and Harry Hall are only having their second season in the 18s.
The Rag team showed in its rookie season that it is up for the contest against the world’s best when it finished 3rd behind Andoo and Jack Macartney’s Tech2 at the 2022 JJs.
Four more strong contenders are all very experienced teams led by very experienced skippers: Finport Finance (Keagan York), Yandoo (John Winning), Smeg (Michael Coxon) and Big Pete (Sean Langman).
York, Angus Williams and Phil Marshall only began sailing the new Finport Finance in December but were quickly on the pace to win the Australian Championship on Sydney Harbour in late January.
Smeg was runner-up to Andoo in the NSW Championship then to Finport Finance in the nationals, but suffered a set-back recently when regular sheet hand Ricky Bridge was injured in a wild capsize and has been forced out of the Giltinan Championship.
Yandoo has been consistent throughout the entire season and won two races before finishing third, behind Andoo and Smeg, in the NSW Championship.
Big Pete is the former Noakesailing skiff, which was launched just 12 months ago. Skipper Sean Langman and his crew have spent most of the summer in New Zealand and will be racing for only the second time this season when they line up for Race 1 on Sydney Harbour tomorrow.
Queensland’s Big Foot Bags & Covers (Dave Hayter) and Germany’s Black Knight will lead the challenge to the local stars. Both showed good form in the 2022 championship and each team has a more competitive skiff than they had last year.
The competition for the Giltinan Handicap Trophy, which is conducted in conjunction with the championship, will be more hotly contested than in previous years with many new teams predicted to challenge strongly for the trophy.
Burrawang-Young Henrys (Simon Nearn) is leading the League’s Season Point Score and will be one of the favourites, but there are many teams in contention and the likely outcome is likely to go right down to the final race.
March 4 Race 1
March 5 Race 2
March 7 Races 3 and 4
March 8 Races 5 and 6
March 9 Race 7
March 11 Race 8
March 12 Race 9
Team rosters – Event reports – Results
Source: Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.