Winnings 2024 JJ Giltinan Championship Race 7

Black Knight drops her spinnaker at the bottom mark (SailMedia)

18ft Skiffs

Winnings 2024 JJ Giltinan Championship

Race 7

Race partner:  North Sails

Bill Miller Memorial Trophy

Thursday, 7 March 2024

Sydney Harbour

An outstanding all-the-way victory to the Rag & Famish Hotel 18ft Skiff team in today’s Race 7 on Sydney Harbour has set up an exciting prospect for the weekend’s final two races of the Winnings 2024 JJ Giltinan Championship with only four points separating the three leaders in the regatta.

The Rag & Famish Hotel team of Harry Price, Josh McKnight and Finn Rodowicz went hard left out of the start in Athol Bay to grab an 8s lead over the fleet at the windward mark off Clark and were never in any real danger of defeat as they powered around the southerly course to score a 3m21s win over the series leader Yandoo (Micah Lane, Fang Warren and Lewis Brake).

Queensland’s Big Foot Bags and Covers team (Dave Hayter, Ben Roxburgh and Elliott Mahar) produced its second great performance in two days to come home in third place,  28s behind Yandoo, after racing in second place for almost the entire course.

Lazarus (Tom Cunich) had been in the top three for two-thirds of the journey before finishing a close fourth, followed by the fast-finishing Finport Finance (Keagan York) and defending champion Andoo (John Winning Jr).

With just two more races to be sailed on the weekend (Race 8 on Saturday and Race 9 on Sunday) Yandoo, with a net score of 10 points, holds a four-point advantage over the equal second-placed Andoo and Rag & Famish Hotel.

Finport Finance is is in fourth place on 32 points, followed by Germany’s Black Knight (Heinrich Von Bayern) on 40 , Big Foot Bags and Covers on 43, New Zealand’s ASCC (Eli Liefting) 44, Lazarus 46, Balmain 48, Marine Outlet (John Cooley) 50, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Jacob Marks) 57 and Vaikobi (Kirk Mitchell) on 58.

After rounding the first weather mark off Clark Island, The Rag, Lazarus and Big Foot opened up a big break over fourth-placed Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Emma Rankin), on the spinnaker run to Obelisk, followed by Black Knight, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines, Queensland’s C-Tech (Josh Sloman), Finport Finance and Andoo, in ninth place.

At the Obelisk mark Yandoo was back in 14th place, three and a half minutes behind Rag & Famish Hotel with seemingly no hope of getting anywhere near the leaders.

On the beat back into the Rose Bay mark at the southern end of Shark Island, Lazarus and Big Foot pressured The Rag but The Rag answered the challenge with some great sailing to lead Big Foot by 30s as the leaders set off on the two-sail reach across the harbour, before setting a spinnaker, to the bottom mark in Athol Bay East.

Yandoo’s time deficit and 14th place at the previous mark had evaporated and the series leader had moved up into a much closer fifth place behind Shaw and Partners.

The Rag’s lead increased to 1m25s over Big Foot, Lazarus, Yandoo, Black Knight, Balmain (Henry Larkings) and The Oak at Athol Bay and from that point increased her lead over the second half of the long southerly course.

The leading four positions remained the same after the short work to Clark Island but Yandoo was closing in on the third-placed Lazarus as the fleet set their spinnakers for the second run to Obelisk Bay.

Yandoo finally grabbed third place from Lazarus at the Rose Bay mark and then took over second place from Big Foot Bags and Covers at the bottom mark in Athol Bay East to finish second behind The Rag and go into the weekend with the four points lead.

The Rag’s performance was so emphatic that the team also took out today’s handicap section attached to the championship.

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

Further race dates for the championship are:

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

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


Racing on each day starts at 2:45pm.

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

To view Saturday’s Race 8 of the Winnings 2024 JJ Giltinan Championship, go to:

www, and click on the ’18footers TV’ button.

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.