2011 JJ GILTINAN 18ft SKIFF CHAMPIONSHIP
4th-13th March 2011
A fleet of 29 teams, representing USA, UK and New Zealand, as well as Australian crews from NSW, Western Australia and Queensland will contest the Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, which begin tomorrow on Sydney Harbour.
The first event of what is the world’s top 18ft Skiff regatta is the traditional Invitation Race to allow all teams to become acquainted with the harbour conditions.
Races 1 and 2 of the championship will be sailed on Saturday and Sunday before the first of two lay days on Monday.
Pre regatta favourite is likely to be the defending champion Seve Jarvin and his Gotta Love It 7 team of Sam Newton and Scott Babbage, but there will be strong opposition from a number of top class teams.
Current Australian champions Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas (all multiple Giltinan winners) on Thurlow Fisher Lawyers have had to overcome some gear problems in recent outings but are sure to push Jarvin, and anyone else, to the limits.
Past champions, Howie Hamlin (USA), who is a two times winner (2002 and 2003) and John Winning (2000) will each be striving for another win.
Both Hamlin (CST Composites) and Winning (Yandoo) have new boats built for the championship and have displayed the type of form in lead up races to make them definite chances.
Another strong team is Smeg, which is skippered by the current Interdominion 12ft Skiff champion Nick Press.
UK’s Andy Budgen (Hyde Sails), WA’s Grant Rollerson (SLAM) and Matt Searle (Red Claw Wines) will also figure strongly in the championship as they all have proven records in previous Giltinan and other international regattas.
New Zealand’s team will be missing three of their regular skippers but Alex Vallings and his CT Sailbattens team are sure to make their presence felt and uphold the Kiwi spirit.
There are several new and young teams contesting the Giltinan Championship for the first time and the 62nd contest should be one of the best since it was first staged in 1938.
Sunday, 6 March 2011
(today’s race sponsored by Asko Appliances)
Australian 18ft Skiff champions Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas fought back strongly today in Thurlow Fisher Lawyers to score an impressive win in Race 2 of the Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan Championship on Sydney Harbour.
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers took the lead from the first windward leg of the course and put on a wonderful display of light wind sailing to defeat Race 1 winner, Gotta Love It 7, by 1m23s.
Gotta Love It 7’s Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage had set a challenge to all challengers after a brilliant win yesterday but were unable to match the light wind speed of the winners.
Former Giltinan champion John Winning and his Yandoo crew of Andrew Hay and Dave Gibson were near the head of the fleet all day and finished a further 3m17s back in third place.
Western Australia’s SLAM (Grant Rollerson) finished fourth, followed by Red Claw Wines (Matthew Searle) and TF Collect (Mark Kennedy).
The race was another light day with an easterly breeze which fluctuated between 5-12 knots.
From the start, the fleet was spread across the harbor on the windward beat to the Rose Bay mark.
Positions changed regularly before Thurlow Fisher Lawyers finally took control and led by 30s as spinnakers were set for the downwind legs.
SLAM was in second place, closely followed by Yandoo, Gotta Love It 7 and Red Claw Wines.
Pure Blonde (James Francis) led the next group, which included Queenslander (David Witt), Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty), Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) and TF Collect.
Yesterday’s placegetters Smeg (Nick Press) and CST Composites (Howie Hamlin) were buried back in the fleet – 11th and 12th respectively.
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers held her lead downwind then sailed a superb leg back to Rose Bay where the team held a 1m10s lead over Gotta Love It 7.
The other Thurlow Fisher boat TF Collect also sailed well and was in third place just ahead of SLAM, Yandoo and Red Claw Wines.
Smeg and CST Composites had made up four placings over the lap but were still 7th and 8th respectively.
On the final windward leg back to Rose Bay it was truly a two-boat race as Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Gotta Love It 7 opened up a big break over the rest of the fleet.
After two light wind days, most crews are hoping for more breeze on Tuesday for Race 3 of the seven race championship.
Early predictions are for 15-18 knot north east winds, which would be ideal conditions for great skiff action.
8 March 2011
(today’s race sponsored by SLAM)
Race 3 of the Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today produced a brilliant spectacle of racing action and opened up the series with the third different winner so far.
In the 18-20 knot north east wind and ‘run out’ tide against the wind, the racing produced great racing from the world’s best skiff teams and action aplenty as the skiffs raced downwind at a great speed.
UK’s Andy Budgen and his Hyde Sails team of Dan Wilsdon and Matt Wark, had to come from behind to take their victory by 19s from the consistent Red Claw Wines (Matthew Searle, Archie Massey and Mike McKenzie), with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas) a further 20s back in third place.
Defending champion Seve Jarvin and Gotta Love It 7 team Sam Newton and Scott Babbage had a day they would prefer to forget. The pre championship favourites capsized twice yet still managed to finish fifth and share the championship with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on 8 points.
US champion Howie Hamlin and his CST Composites team Fritz Lanzinger and Paul Allen finished fourth today and hold third place overall on 13 points.
Former Giltinan champion John Winning, Andrew Hay and Dave Gibson were sixth today and are placed fourth on 16 points.
Rounding out the top six overall are today’s winner and second placegetter Hyde Sails and Red Claw Wines on 17 points.
Two early casualties were David Witt’s Queenslander, who was over the line at the start and declared OCS, and SLAM (Grant Rollerson), which broke gear shortly after the start.
The race was only a few minutes old when Gotta Love It 7 capsized on her first tack.
Red Claw Wines and Yandoo were always close to the lead on the beat to the Beashel Buoy windward mark, with Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Smeg (Nick Press), Hyde Sails, CST Composites and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.
Red Claw Wines led at the mark from Yandoo, Smeg, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Gotta Love It 7, which made a remarkable recovery to be back with the leading group.
The spinnaker run to the wing mark off Shark Island then back to the bottom mark off Clarke Island produced absolutely great action as the skiffs took off at great speed.
Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings grabbed the lead before the wing mark and turned for the second windward beat with a handy lead over the group consisting Red Claw Wines, Hyde Sails, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Gotta Love It 7.
Queenslander, unaware of her OCS situation led the next group which included Pure Blonde (James Francis), CT Sailbattens (Alex Vallings NZ), Asko Appliances, Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty), Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Evan Walker) and WA’s Black Swan (David Gilmour).
The leaders staged an interesting battle upwind with positions changing regularly.
Smeg turned the Beashel Buoy with a 35s lead over Hyde Sails, Gotta Love It 7, Red Claw Wines, CST Composites and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and a victory was looking likely.
Disaster struck as the Smeg team made their final gybe to the bottom mark when they capsized and all hope of a win had gone.
Hyde Sails grabbed the lead but was coming under strong pressure from Gotta Love It 7, which was displaying an amazing recovery after her earlier swim.
As the pair raced downwind to the wing mark on the final spinnaker run, Gotta Love It 7 unexpectedly capsized near Neilsen Park, leaving Hyde Sails to go on to win from Red Claw Wines.
Altogether, it was a great day’s racing and spectators went home hoping for more good breeze tomorrow and wondering if we would get a fourth winner from four races.
Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan Championship
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
(Today’s race sponsored by Red Claw Wines)
Australian champions Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas gave a faultless exhibition in Thurlow Fisher Lawyers to win Race 4 of the Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
The win gives the Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team the outright lead in the series on 9 points, three ahead of defending champion Seve Jarvin and his Gotta Love It 7 team of Sam Newton and Scott Babbage.
Second today was Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings), which finished 1m20s behind the winner, while Western Australia’s SLAM (Grant Rollerson, Anthony Young and Peter Nicholson) was a further 1m5s back in third place.
Overall point scores behind Thurlow Fsiher Lawyers and Gotta Love It 7 are US champion Howie Hamlin and his CST Composites team Fritz Lanzinger and Paul Allen on 18 points, Yandoo (John Winning, Andrew Hay, Dave Gibson) and Red Claw Wines (Matthew Searle, Archie Massey, Mike McKenzie) both on 23 and Smeg on 27.
Today’s race was delayer for 1h45m due to a lack of wind, but when the light north east breeze arrived another unpredictable race was on.
Howie Hamlin’s CST Composites and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers while Gotta Love It 7 was further back in the pack.
Thurlow’s boat speed was missing yesterday with the #2 rig, but it was soon obvious that boat speed was not going to be a problem with the bigger #1 rig.
Half way up the first beat to the Beashel Buoy Thurlow Fisher Lawyers already held a good beak over CST Composites, SLAM, Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty), Spectrum Trimming (Luke Parkinson), Red Claw Wines, TF Collect (Mark Kennedy) De’Longhi (Simon Nearn) and New Zealand’s CT Sailbattens (Alex Vallings).
At the windward mark Thurlow Fisher led CST Composites by 30s with SLAM in third place, followed by Panasonic, Smeg, Spectrum Trimming, Red Claw, De’Longhi and Gotta Love It 7, which was 1m30s from the leader.
With a little more east in the breeze, all teams completed several gybes downwind to the wing mark where Thurlow Fisher Lawyers had opened up her lead to 55s. over Smeg and CST Composites, followed by De’Longhi and Gotta Love It 7.
Coxon and his crew took the lead out another few secs. At the bottom mark then went further away on the following windward beat back to the Beashel Buoy, where their lead was out to 1m30s.
While Thurlow Fisher was dominating the race, the battle for the minor placings was intense with Smeg, CST Composites and Gotta Love It 7 racing with only a few secs. Separating the trio.
On the final windward leg to the Beashel Buoy all teams elected to sail to the northern shore and SLAM gained time to be within striking distance of Smeg, Gotta Love It 7 and CST Composites.
SLAM took a different line to the other three teams competing for the minor placings on the spinnaker run to the wing mark off Shark Island.
The move paid dividends as SLAM cut out Gotta Love It 7 and CST Composites, to finish third behind Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Smeg.
Thursday, 10 March 2011
Today’s race sponsored by Fisher & Paykel
Defending champion Seve Jarvin and his Gotta Love It 7 team Sam Newton and Scott Babbage dominated Race 5 of the Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship sailed in light winds on Sydney Harbour today.
Gotta Love It 7 defeated Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas) by 2m18s and now trails Coxon and his team by just one point, after each discarding their worst performances to date.
Third placing today went to Western Australia’s SLAM (Grant Rollerson, Anthony Young and Peter Nicholson), which finished a further 1m6s behind Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.
On the overall point score (after discards), US champion Howie Hamlin and his CST Composites team Fritz Lanzinger and Paul Allen are third on 16 points, followed by SLAM, also on 16 points.
There is a group of four boats on 23 points, including Yandoo (John Winning), Red Claw Wines (Matthew Searle), Smeg (Nick Press) and Hyde Sails (Andy Budgen).
Another light north-east breeze greeted the fleet today but the performance of Gotta Love It 7 was vastly different to yesterday.
Along with Queenslander (David Witt), Gotta Love It 7 won the critical start and was soon clearly ahead on the first beat to the windward Beashel Buoy.
Mark Kennedy’s TF Collect, Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) and Red Claw Wines followed Gotta Love It 7 along the northern shore while Thurlow Fisher Lawyers stood further into the mid harbor and led SLAM.
When the both groups met, Gotta Love It 7 easily crossed Thurlow Fisher Lawyers. Rag & Famish Hotel was in third place ahead of SLAM and TF Collect.
At the Beashel Buoy, Gotta Love It 7 led by 23s from Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, SLAM, Rag & Famish Hotel and Smeg.
The next group was led by Red Claw Wines, TF Collect, Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty) and appliancesonline.com.au (Jeremy Wilmot).
Gotta Love It 7 gybed immediately after rounding then gybed back at Clifton Gardens for the spinnaker run to the Rose Bay wing mark.
7’s lead had edged out to 30s over Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Rag & Famish Hotel and SLAM.
There was a big gap back to the next group, which was led by New Zealand’s Yamaha (David McDiarmid), ahead of Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Pure Blonde (James Francis), Hyde Sails, CST Composites and appliancesonline.com.au.
Gotta Love It 7 continued to increase her lead throughout the race while Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was just as entrenched in second place.
SLAM got the better of Rag & Famish Hotel to finish third, while there was a long gap back to the remainder of the fleet.
It’s been a hard grind for competitors with a series of light and fluctuating breezes so hopes are for more of the 20-knots north-east wind seen on Race 3.