Two youg teams in close battle
With the 2022 JJ Giltinan Championship starting on Sydney Harbour next Saturday, today’s racing at the Australian 18 Footers League was a final opportunity for teams to sharpen up their crew work in preparation for the world’s biggest 18ft skiff regatta.
The club arranged to hold four very short windward-return course races for a cumulative point score but the light winds throughout the afternoon did little to show the talents of the teams or sharpen up the crews for next week’s big event.
In the first of the short races, Dave Gilmour skippered Noakesailing to victory over the German Black Knight team, skippered by Heinrich Von Bayern, after the German team had led over the first lap of the course.
Race two of the afternoon produced an easy win for Seve Jarvin’s Andoo, but the race for second place between Balmain Slake (Henry Larkings) and the Black Knight, which had taken the overall lead in the event, was close enough to maintain interest.
In both races, boats which favoured a windward course closer to Shark Island fared better than those which went to the RHS of the course.
In the third race, Tech2 (Jack Macartney) was back in the winners circle after coming from behind the early leader The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett).  Tech2 was under some pressure from Finport Finance (Keagan York) towards the finish but held on for a narrow victory.  The Oak finished third, ahead of Noakes Blue (Yvette Heritage) and Noakesailing.
The overall winner was up for grabs as the fleet went into the final race and Tech2 took an early lead on the first lap of the course.
Keagan York, Bryce Edwards and Phil Marshall were at their best in the conditions and came back strongly over the final lap to grab the race and overall victory from the Tech2 team, with Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price) in third place.
Final points in the series were: Finport Finance on 16, Tech2 on 22, Andoo on 23, Noakesailing and The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines on 24 and Black Knight on 30.
It was an impressive performance by the visiting German team which will be contesting the JJ Giltinan Championship next week.
Today’s overall result sheet, and images from the racing, are attached.
NOTE: 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
Spectators can follow the racing on board the spectator ferry.  Booking online through the club’s website is essential
For those unable to make it out onto the water, Sail Media’s live-as-it-happens broadcast team will be on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action.
Live streaming is available at by clicking on the ’18 Footers TV’ link.
Follow all the club’s racing throughout the championship and the 2021-22 Racing Season:
Club Website
Twitter     @18skiff
Instagram     @18skiff
Facebook     International 18Ft Skiff
Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.