Winnings 2024 JJ Giltinan Championship Race 1

Obelisk mark rounding (SailMedia)

18ft Skiffs

Winnings 2024 JJ Giltinan Championship

Race 1

Race partner:  Fisher & Paykel

George Calligeros Trophy

Saturday, 2 March 2024

Sydney Harbour

Race 1 of the Winnings 2024 JJ Giltinan Championship set the regatta off on the highest possible note on Sydney Harbour today with one of the best 18ft skiff races seen on the harbour for several seasons as four of the world’s best 18ft skiff teams exchanged the lead several times throughout the entire course.

With 27 of the best skiffs teams from five countries and three Australian states vying to win the coveted JJ Giltinan World 18 Footer Trophy, the spectator fleet was treated to an incredible battle of tactics in continually changing wind conditions and directions.

The race can best be described as “it had everything you could ask for, and more”.

After  one hour 28mins 53secs. of racing over the long southerly course, the Yandoo team of Micah Lane, Fang Warren and Lewis Brake lost the lead just 500 metres from the finish, then snatched victory back by just 3s from the defending champion Andoo team of John Winning Jr, Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton.

Finport Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta and Phil Marshall) finished a further 34s back in third place, ahead of Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price), Germany’s Black Knight (Heinrich Von Bayern), Balmain (Henry Larkings) and The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Jacob Marks).


After a delay due to, firstly a lack of wind then two general recalls, the race finally began in very strange wind conditions which quickly divided the fleet as boats headed for the windward mark off Clark Island.

Finport Finance won the battle to grab a 15s lead over New Zealand’s ASCC (Eli Liefting), with Andoo and Black Knight close behind and just ahead of The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines.  Yandoo was in sixth place ahead of Fisher & Paykel (Jordan Girdis), followed by Rag & Famish Hotel and Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Emma Rankin).

The first long spinnaker run to Obelisk tested the crews to the max and it was the young New Zealanders in ASCC, without Sydney Harbour experience, who outshone the locals to lead Black Knight by two boat lengths at Obelisk with Finport Finance a further 10s back in third place.

Yandoo gained on the run to move into fourth place ahead of The Oak, Andoo and The Rag which had also gained on the run,

The experienced crew on Andoo went hard left on the work back into Rose Bay and the tactic was a winner as Andoo had gone from sixth place at Obelisk to a 45s lead over Rag & Famish Hotel at the mark on the  southern end of Shark Island.  Yandoo was now up into third place ahead of a four-boat group of The Oak, ASCC, Back Knight and Finport Finance all battling for fourth place.

Just when it looked as if tAndoo’s lead may be hard to peg back, The Rag put in a brilliant spinnaker run back to the Athol Bay East mark and suddenly Andoo’s lead was dragged back to just 7s.

This race had everything.  On the work back to Clark Island fro Athol Bay, The Rag not only took the lead off Andoo, she opened up a 25s break over the defending champion.  Finport Finance had fought her way ahead of Yandoo which was now back into fourth place ahead of The Oak and ASCC.

The next long spinnaker run to Obelisk was far removed from the first.  This time the fleet had more than enough breeze and the racing was sensational as the leading group arrived at the Obelisk mark with little between the four leaders.

The Rag was now only 4s ahead of Andoo, with Finport and Yandoo not far behind.  ASCC arrived next but, unfortunately for the young crew, capsized just ahead of Black Knight and The Oak.

It was all about tactics as the leaders next headed for the next mark off the southern end of Shark Island.  Again, the lead changed.  This time it was finally Yandoo’s turn, as the team set the spinnaker for the run to Athol Bay East with a 20s lead over Andoo and Finport.

At the final rounding mark as the leaders headed for home, Yandoo was now just 3s ahead of Andoo which, despite the lead change near the finish, was enough to give the Yandoo team a magnificent victory on a memorable day of 18ft skiff racing.

Today’s result sheet, together with images from the race, are attached

Further race dates for the championship are:

Sunday                 March 3, 2024                   Race 2, Cliff Monkhouse Memorial Trophy

Tuesday               March 5, 2024                   Races 3 & 4, Alan Cole Memorial Trophy

Wednesday         March 6, 2024                   Races 5 & 6, A.J. Reynolds Trophy

Thursday              March 7, 2024                   Race 7, Bill Miller Memorial Trophy

Saturday              March 9, 2024                   Race 8, Big Kite Memorial Trophy

Sunday                 March 10, 2024                 Race 9, Ribbon and JJ Giltinan Trophy

NOTE: Half-price ferry tickets on Thursday 7 March 2024

Racing on each day will start at 2:45pm

(On multiple race days, the second race will be as soon as practical after the completion of the previous race)

The Australian 18 Footers League’s spectator ferry will follow each day’s racing during the championship, leaving Double Bay Public Wharf at 2.15pm, and SailMedia will livestream all the racing.

To view tomorrow’s Race 2 of the JJ Giltinan Championship, go to:

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.