ERIK HOT SHOTS
Every year we are treated to some wonderful 18ft Skiff photos by Erik Simonson, who covers the International 18ft Skiff Regatta in San Francisco.
In particular, Erik's aerial photography has captured some brilliant images and he has been very generous in making them available to us for use on this website.
Two of Erik's images appear below, however, to get a real look at the skill of his photography go to:
Erik's bio is also fascinating and is worth a look too at www.h2oshots.com/Bio/Bio.htm.
‘LEAGUES’ COMBINE FOR A GREAT DAY AT THE 18s
From the time James J. Giltinan introduced the football code of Rugby League to Australia in 1908, the summer sport of many Rugby League players was to sail in 18 Footers on Sydney Harbour.
The association between the two sports was such that in 1935 when Australia’s 18 Footer sailors formed their own club they named it the NSW 18 Footers League and held their meetings in the Rugby League’s headquarters in the city.
The sailing club’s first secretary was also the same James J. Giltinan.
Mr. Giltinan’s drive was such that the major trophies in both sports carried his name – ‘Giltinan Shield’ in Rugby League and ‘Giltinan Trophy’ in 18ft Skiff Racing.
South Sydney (famously known as the ‘Rabbitohs’) was one of the original Rugby League clubs in Australia and won the first ever premiership for the Giltinan Shield in 1908. The club has since won more competitions than any other club in the League’s history.
Since the sailing League’s origin in 1935, it has become the world’s leading 18ft Skiff Racing organization and boasts the honour of having some of the world’s greatest sailors and designers pass through its racing ranks.
In recent years, the professionalism and technology in both sports has been heavily dependant on corporate sponsorship to enable it to retain the high standards they have set over such a long period.
With the links already established between the two sporting organizations, it is not surprising that they also share two corporate sponsors, which allows each to retain its position of excellence in their respective sports.
De’Longhi Australia and Kenwood ‘Create More’ are major sponsors to both sports and have linked the two ‘Leagues’ even closer with their co-sponsored skiffs – De’Longhi-Rabbitohs and Rabbitohs-Kenwood – in the Australian 18 Footers League fleet.
Driving force behind the ‘co-sponsorship’ and sporting link is the De’Longhi’s General Manager – Sales and Marketing, Mr. Tom Mitchell.
Never one to stand back and wait for something to happen, Tom was determined to strengthen the link even further and organized a ‘family-style get together’ day for the Rabbitohs at the sailing club in Double Bay.
The champion NRL Rabbitohs team began the day with a two hour training session in the park adjacent to the sailing club and stunned onlookers and locals with the club’s level of intensity and degree of professionalism.
Following a morning tea in the sailing clubhouse with their families, several players and coach Michael Maguire went for a sail on Sydney Harbour in the two Rabbitohs skiffs.
The day was an outstanding success and showed how sporting organizations can work together with their corporate sponsors to provide mutual benefits and to show how much their support is really appreciated.
Tom Mitchell’s passion, drive and vision is beginning to make him look a little like a modern day James J. Giltinan.
Summing up, Tom commented:
“To introduce the De’Longhi and Kenwood brands into sponsorship several years ago was one thing but to be associated around good people doing great things through sport has been the key driver to continue what is a unique relationship.
As a company over the last several years, we have grown through passion. Our new theme is passion with discipline.
The South Sydney Football Club and 18 foot skiff clubs have this in spades, so we are mutually benefiting whilst learning to be better every day.”
18s SUPPORT 'WHITE RIBBON CAMPAIGN' DAY
Last Sunday, each team in the Australian 18 Footers League’s 18ft Skiff fleet carried white ribbons on the boats and competitors as part of ‘White Ribbon’ campaign day.
‘White Ribbon’ is an organization that works to prevent male violence against women and believes in the capacity of the individual to encourage a change in others. The ‘White Ribbon’ annual campaign seeks to change the attitudes and behavior that leads to violence against women.
Alexandra (Alex) South, a former world and Australian champion in the Laser Radial class before joining the 18s for this season, approached the League about supporting the campaign. President John Winning and his Australian 18 Footers League team immediately agreed and are totally supportive of the concept and the need to publicly show their support for such a worthy cause.
Alex, who skippers Lomax Financial Group, and her ‘Skiff Chicks’ team of Saskia Tidey and Lizzi Rountree, were joined by the male competitors on Sunday to swear the oath before the 18ft Skiffs race on Sydney Harbour. Nineteen of the world’s best skiff teams then made a great display on the harbour as they showed their support.
18ft SKIFFS: AEG 3-BUOYS CHALLENGE IS WIDE OPEN
The 18ft Skiffs AEG 3-Buoys Challenge reaches the halfway mark on Sunday when Race 4 of the series will be sailed on Sydney Harbour.
Concept of the series and the 3-Buoys system is to provide an equality of competition in individual races as well as the overall pointscore, and so far this concept has certainly been upheld.
While the individual race winners have been Pure Blonde (Tom Clout), Rabbitohs-Kenwood (Brett Van Munster) and Mojo Wine (James Dorron), the overall leader at this stage is Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon).
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers has a total of 15 points, and is followed on 18 points by Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Chapman) and Mojo Wine, Rabbitohs-Kenwood on 19, Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) 20 and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) on 21.
As a protest resulting from an incident in Race 2 is due to be held prior to Sunday’s race and every team is permitted to drop their worst performance after the eight races of the Challenge, most teams are still well in contention for a part of the $10,000 prizemoney.
The racing so far has been staged in light and fluctuating breezes and, as the winners and overall points indicate, there has been no dominating performer in the fleet.
Sail Registration last Sunday will mean the fleet is sporting their new sails and masts this week, which could further complicate form.
Two important changes will also take place. Five times Giltinan champion Trevor Barnabas will skipper Thurlow Fisher Lawyers as a one week replacement for Michael Coxon and Olympic Gold Medalist Malcolm Page will skipper his 2012-2013 Season skiff, The Kitchen Maker, for the first time.
Former Australian 16ft Skiff champion James Dorron is having only his fourth race as an 18ft Skiff skipper but will be out to prove last Sunday’s win in Mojo Wine was just the first of more to come.
Two newcomer teams have already shown they have the ‘toughness’ to be real 18ft Skiff competitors.
Ollie Hartas’ Team Southern Cross crew, Daniel Watson and Rob Polec, have already finished sixth in Race 2 of the Challenge and are soon to inherit some big rig sails from John Winning’s Yandoo.
‘Skiff Chicks’ Alexandra South, Fran Dargaville and Saskia Tidey have finished each of the three races so far while using some older equipment. Thanks to the support of their sponsor, Lomax Financial Group, the ‘Chicks’ will be sporting some brand new sails as well as the #1 rig and working sails off last season’s Giltinan Championship-winning Gotta Love It 7.
KEEPING UP THE ‘RABBITOHS’ STANDARD
Australia’s most famous Rugby League club, South Sydney is also known as the ‘Rabbitohs’ and has the highly recognized image of the rabbit as their emblem.
The Rugby League team has just completed a very successful campaign which resulted in the team securing a prestigious ‘top four’ position in the 16-team competition and finishing just one match short of contesting the Grand Final.
The Rugby League club’s sponsors, De’Longhi and Kenwood are also in association with the Rabbitohs as sponsors of two skiffs in the Australian 18 Footers League’s 2012-2013 Season fleet on Sydney Harbour.
Determined to maintain the high standard set by the Rugby League team, the skiffies started well when both Kenwood-Rabbitohs and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs finished in the ‘top four’ last Sunday in Race 1 of the AEG 3-Buoys Challenge series.
Brett Van Munster, Kieryn Cowan and Joel Castle brought Kenwood-Rabbitohs home in second place, while John Sweeny (standing in for injured Simon Nearn), Keegan York and James Smithers came in fourth in the 19-boat fleet.
Competition in the Australian 18 Footers League fleet is extremely close this season and regularly finishing near the top will not be easy, but the two skiff ‘Rabbitohs’ teams are determined to keep the ‘Rabbitohs logo’ flying high.
(Rugby League photograph courtesy of www.rabbitohs.com.au)
HOT FLEET FOR THE AUSTRALIAN 18s SEASON
The Australian 18 Footers League’s 2012-2013 Season fleet promises some great racing on Sydney Harbour when the 19 teams begin their campaign in the $10,000 3-Buoys Challenge on Sunday.
Several previous Giltinan and Australian Championship winners are aiming to add to their records, but they will be under pressure from a number of young teams looking to take the honours away from their more experienced rivals.
Twice Australian 16 Footer champion James Dorron (Mojo Wine) and three-times Inter-dominion 12ft Skiff champion Nick Press (Smeg) are two skippers with serious chances to add the Giltinan Championship to their already impressive records.
There will also be great interest centred on two new teams.
Malcolm Page, the Gold Medal winning 470 champion at Beijing and London Olympics, will skipper The Kitchen Maker skiff team and Alexandra South heads the rookie all-girl ‘Skiff Chicks’ team.
The 2012-2013 Season Fleet is:
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers
Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor, tba
John Winning, Andrew Hay, Jim Beck
Marcus Ashley-Jones, Ash Rooklyn, Geronimo Harrison
Simon Nearn, Keegan York, James Smithers
Micah Lane, Paul Montague, Tom Anderson
Rag & Famish Hotel
Jack Macartney, David Witt, Harry Bethwaite
Gotta Love It 7
Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage, Peter Harris
Nick Press, Dan Phillips, Dave Ewings
Tom Clout, Matthew Wark, Rob Bell
Fisher & Paykel
Andrew Chapman, Tim Baraclough, Ewan Duckworth
James Dorron, Ricky Bridges, Mike McKensey
Jonathan Whitty, James Hozack, tba
Brett Van Munster, Kieryn Cowan, Joel Castle
The Kitchen Maker
Malcolm Page, Darren McKavanagh, Cameron McDonald
Nick Daly, Daniel Nixon, John Walton
Southern Engineering Services
Adam Barnes, Ian Henderson, tba
Pedro Vozone, Sam Ellis, James Slee
Lomax Financial Group
Alexandra South, Frances Dargaville, Saskia Tidey
Team Southern Cross
Oliver Hartas, Daniel Watson, Rob Polec
‘SKIFF CHICKS’ TAKE ON THE 18s BIG GUNS
It was announced recently that Alexandra ‘Alex’ South (daughter of former Giltinan champion Adam South) would skipper an 18ft Skiff during the Australian 18 Footers League’s 2012-2013 Season on Sydney Harbour.
19-year-old Alex has now named her ALL-GIRL TEAM of 23-year-old Frances Dargaville and 19-year-old Saskia Tidey, who are known as ‘Skiff Chicks Racing’.
The trio will be only the second all-girl crew to attempt a season of competition in the 18s, which will begin with the $10,000 3-Buoys Challenge on 14 October.
Alex is confident her team will be more successful than the original. “The previous all-girl crew split up early in the season. We intend to become the first all-girl team to contest the Giltinan Championship since it began in 1938”.
‘Skiff Chicks Racing’ has already attracted sponsorship interest. “We expect to be able to name a sponsor prior to our first race of the season”, Alex added.
While the girls are confident of becoming the first all-girl team to contest the Giltinan, they also realize that taking on the world’s best skiff sailors will be a tough task as most rookie teams have to overcome the lack of experience in such a demanding class.
That aside, the three girls are all talented young sailors and Adam South’s experience as their coach will be invaluable.
Adam has already been busy since taking over the boat. “I’ve been checking and preparing the boat and sourcing the best available sails and rigging” .
“We’re getting two new headsails and a new #1 (big) spinnaker plus a new boom, and expect to have the #1 mainsail off last season’s champion Gotta Love It 7”, Adam said.
Alex, who is presently studying (Bachelor of Political, Economic and Social Sciences), at the University of Sydney, has already achieved many goals in her sailing career.
She has been a Member of the Australian Sailing Squad since 2008, has been a Silver Scholarship holder, NSW Institute of Sport since 2009 and was a Finalist in Yachting Australia Female Sailor of the Year 2010, 2011.
She was placed second in the Laser Radial Australian Olympic Trials for London 2012and has been National Champion on six occasions between 2006 an 2012.
Frances Dargaville is also a student (Bachelor of Planning at the University of New South Wales) with a strong sailing record.
Third member of the team is Saskia Tidey, a full time sailor/coach from Dublin, Ireland.
Saskia, who arrived in Australia only a few weeks ago, is a member of the Irish Sailing Academy, Olympic Development Squad and is first ranked Irish Female 470 team in 2011 and 2012.
The team is aware of the challenge but is excited about the campaign.
“We know the enormity of the challenge ahead of us but we are confident of our sdailing abilities and are determined to succeed”.
OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST TO 18ft SKIFFS
Olympic Gold Medalist Malcolm Page has announced he will skipper an 18ft Skiff with the Australian 18 Footer League in the 2012-2013 Season on Sydney Harbour.
Malcolm has a marvelous record over several years of international competition and was rightly honoured at the London 2012 Olympics when he was chosen to be Australia’s Flag Bearer at the Closing Ceremony.
He will team with Darren McKavanagh and Cameron McDonald on THE KITCHEN MAKER in what promises to be a very competitive challenger for the major 18ft Skiff championships.
Malcolm, who is the most successful 470 Mens sailor in the 49 years history of the class, is looking forward to his campaign in the 18s.
“I’m happy to be back into the 18s after a successful Olympic career. I see this as a great way to have fun with the sport I love”.
Aside from his Gold Medals at each of the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics, Malcolm has won seven 470 World titles (ten 470 medals in total) as well as numerous Australian 470 titles, and has been Australian Sailing Team captain since 2005.
He received further national honours in 2009 when he was named Australian Yachtsman of the Year.
Sheet hand on THE KITCHEN MAKER, Cameron McDonald is an extremely experienced 18ft Skiff sailor with an impressive record in three separate skiff classes.
He began sailing the 18s in Sydney in 1996 (going into his 17th skiff season) and was runner up in the 2000 Giltinan Championship.
Cameron also won the 2007 Interdominion 12ft Skiff Championship and was placed 3rd at the 2008 International 14 World Championship in Germany.
For the third member of the team, bowman Darren McKavanagh, it is a unique situation as he also doubles as sponsor of the skiff through his company, THE KITCHEN MAKER.
Darren has been sailing the 18s on and off since 2001 and has taken over the skiff which was previously sailed by Andy Budgen, of the UK, as Project One Racing.
“I have enjoyed sailing 18ft Skiffs since 2001 and I have sailing to thank for a lot of good times and opportunities it has given me with work”, Darren said.
“I have done a lot of work for other sailors, (League) club members, their friends and families and the club itself”.
To make sure his talented team had its best chance of achieving a top result in the season’s major championship events, Darren has purchased a number of new sails and two new masts.
Speaking of his sponsorship Darren added: “I have to thank my suppliers for helping me to sponsor the boat. They give me free material which is as good as cash to my business and is less impact to their bottom lines”.
“I hope that by incorporating a number of companies in the deal I have brought another way of sourcing sponsors to the fleet”.
The team’s first race together will be on Sunday 14 October in the Australian 18 Footer League’s 3-Buoys Challenge on Sydney Harbour.
CHAMPION 16ft SKIFF TEAM JOINS THE 18s
One of the crews likely to be among the top contenders for the major 18ft Skiff championships on Sydney Harbour this season are champion sailors from the 16 Footer ranks.
With the backing of MOJO WINE, 24-year-old James Dorron will skipper the skiff with Ricky Bridges and Mike McKensey adding to a powerful combination of ability and experience.
While it will be the first season in the 18s for James and Ricky, Mike has already had two seasons in the skiff and recorded excellent fourth placings in each of the 2011 and 2012 Giltinan Championships.
James Dorron is a two-time winner of the Australian 16 Footer Championship as well as winner of the NSW Championship in the 16s.
In 2008, as a 19-year-old, he became the youngest skipper to win an Australian 16 Footer Championship when he scored the first of his two victories in FIRE STOPPING.
He successfully defended his national title in 2009 and also won the 2010 NSW Championships before taking a year off from sailing.
James recently got a Moth and sailed his first Moth Worlds at Lake Garda (August 2012) in which he finished 12th in the Gold fleet.
Previously, he was an Australian and NSW Flying 11 champion in 2004-2005.
“I’ve been looking at the 18s for a while now, so I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to sail the Mojo”, Dorron said.
“I’m looking forward to the new challenge an 18ft Skiff brings and I think we have the crew and the boat capable of mixing it with the top players”.
“I’m also looking forward to sailing against some old rivals from junior classes”.
Ricky Bridges teamed with Lee Knapton and Peter Mackie to win the 2010-2011 Australian 16 Footer Championship and has filled in on occasions in the 18s.
He was also VJ Junior Australian champion in 1993-1994.
“I’ve always had aspirations to be part of a competitive 18 footer campaign”, Bridges said.
“I’m looking forward to this year’s season as I know quite a few of the guys sailing the 18 footers, and they are a great bunch of blokes”.
“We have put a lot of work into preparing the boat during the off season and are hopeful that Team Mojo will be a contender in the 2013 JJ Giltinan”.
Mike McKensey’s two seasons in the skiff will be invaluable to the team as it strives for top placings in the major titles.
Mike sailed with Matt Searle and Archie Massey (as Red Claw) to finish fourth at the 2011 Giltinan then teamed with Archie Massey and Dan Wilsdon (Mojo Wine) to finish fourth again in the 2012 Giltinan.
“Following last year’s result in the JJ, we’ve made further improvements to the boat with a new deck and a couple of new sails”, McKensey said.
“I’m looking forward to the new team quickly finding its feet and starting the season where we finished the JJ last year”.
“With the new format of the 3-Buoys Challenge there is plenty of incentive to have the boat and team sorted early in the season”.
18ft SKIFFS FIRST IN 100 YEARS
When Alexandra (Alex) South becomes the latest skipper to join the Australian 18 Footers League fleet for the 2012-2013 18ft Skiff season on Sydney Harbour she will create history and a lot of interest and attention when the season gets under way on 14 October.
19-years-old Alex is not only a highly talented sailor with impressive local and international records, but she also creates history in the century-old class as she becomes the first daughter of a former Giltinan champion father to skipper an 18ft Skiff.
Her father, Adam South is a two-times Giltinan (world) 18ft Skiff champion and currently a coach in the 18s as well as coaching with the Double Bay Sailing Club.
Alex has been a Member of the Australian Sailing Squad since 2008, has been a Silver Scholarship holder, NSW Institute of Sport since 2009 and was a Finalist in Yachting Australia Female Sailor of the Year 2010, 2011.
She was placed second in the Laser Radial Australian Olympic Trials for London 2012 and has been the National Champion on six occasions between 2006 and 2012. She attended her first World Laser Radial Championship in 2008 at the age of 14 years.
In 2011, Alex won the World Under-19 Laser Radial Championship and was second ranked in the Under 21 section. She also won the silver medal at the World University Games.
Alex realizes the challenge ahead, but is looking forward to her first season in the 18s.
“I’ve got the best support possible. Dad being a two-time JJ champion is really helping me make the transition from Olympic sailing to skiff sailing”.
“It’s definitely a big change. From a Laser, where I’m managing myself and the logistics of one boat (with arguably minimal rigging and boat work) to three people, two rigs, a bigger boat and a massive trailer”
“Dad also coaches Lumix, skippered by Jonathan Whitty, and previously coached Andy Budgen’s Project One, so I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time watching all the different courses and seeing a few of the danger spots”.
“I’m not looking forward to getting over the top of Shark Island in a fresh Nor’easterly”.
Adam, who was for’ard hand in the champion ‘Chesty Bond’ team which won the 1987 and 1988 Giltinan Championships, believes (as a coach) that Alex has all the attributes to successfully campaign an 18ft Skiff.
He added: “As her dad, I’m very proud of her ambitions”.
“It’s also very exciting to welcome a female skipper back to the class. Over my 30 years of association with the 18ft Skiffs, Alex ranks now as one of only four female skippers to attempt the 18s challenge”.
Alex added: “Dad and I talk about all the aspects of the campaign and try to see the best way we can approach situations in my rookie year”.
“We have to factor a lot into the campaign, like being lighter than other crews, but we try to compensate for these short comings in other ways”.
Alex concludes: “I’ve grown up hearing the stories of the 18s days and I’m looking forward to having some of my own after this season … because I know all of dad’s off by heart (laughs)”.
Alex is due to announce her team shortly and their first event will be Race One of the $10,000 3-Buoys Challenge Series on 14 October.
One of the top contenders for the Australian 18 Footer League’s 18ft Skiff 2012-2013 Season on Sydney Harbour is the Nick Press-skippered SMEG.
The combined Smeg team, sponsor and crew members, boast a long and successful association with the class and are certainly strong competitors for top honours in the 2013 Giltinan and Australian Championships.
Smeg Australia, “technology with style”, began sponsorship of 18ft Skiff Racing in 1996-97 when the company sponsored five-times Giltinan champion Trevor Barnabas.
Allan King, National Commercial Manager of Smeg Australia Pty Ltd, says: “When we agreed to the original sponsorship, we thought that we would do it for one, maybe two seasons (our MD at the time was a car nut, knew nothing about sailing, so he took some convincing”.
“Here we are now some 17 years later”.
“It is a wonderful vehicle for us to entertain our clients, overseas guests and even our own staff. They enjoy the colourful spectacle from the rigging of the skiffs in the park beforehand to the exciting racing against a backdrop of beautiful Sydney Harbour. No wonder we keep coming back”.
League President John Winning said “We are extremely fortunate to have an association with such a quality company, which is internationally recognized for its great tradition in creating fine products”.
Three of Barnabas’ Giltinan wins came via the Smeg company sponsorship:
1997 Omega Smeg-2UE
1997 Smeg (northern hemisphere)
1998 Omega Smeg-2UE
When Barnabas retired from ‘full time’ 18ft Skiff Racing, Dan Phillips took over the Smeg sponsorship and secured Nick Press to skipper Smeg in the 2009-2010 season.
Nick is a member of the famous Press family which has been associated with skiff sailing in Australia for 100, or more, years.
He manages to sail both 18ft Skiffs and the demanding 12ft Skiffs each season and is the present Interdominion 12ft Skiff champion. In fact, Nick has won the last three Interdominions – 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Dan Phillips is also a member of a very talented skiff racing family.
His first race in an 18ft Skiff came in 1994 when he was a last minute replacement for his brother Gary as skipper of Parke Rota Shear, and immediately showed his talent when he won the race.
He later went on to represent Australia at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney when he teamed with Chris Nicholson in the 49er class.
Third crewmember of the 2012-2013 Smeg team is Dave Ewings, who joined Nick and Dan in 2010
Dave began crewing in the 18s as a teenager in the late 1980s.
He quickly showed his talent and ability to handle pressure situations and was soon in demand by all the top teams, a situation which has continues ever since.
The Smeg team are regularly near or in the lead in major championship races and this is unlinkely to change during the coming season – particularly when they line up against the world’s best 18ft Skiff teams for the Giltinan 2013 next February.
The skill of Nick, Dan and Dave ensures that Team Smeg is at its best when the Sydney Harbour Nor’Easter is blowing at 15-knots or more.
'OLD FOES' MEET IN SAN FRANCISCO
Back in the late 1970s-early 1980s, Australians Iain Murray and John Winning were the two leaders in 18ft Skiff Racing.
While Murray won six consecutive Giltinan Championships, Winning had to be content with runner-up results in two Giltinan and three Australian Championships.
The pair met again at San Francisco during the recent Nespresso International 18ft Skiff Regatta. Murray as The America's Cup Regatta Director and Winning as the leading Australian competitor at the regatta.
Iain Murray and John Winning get together at San Francisco Pic: Rich Roberts
HOT SHOTS FROM SAN FRANCISCO
Every year we see some great aerial photography By Erik Simonson of the 18s competing on San Francisco Bay in the International 18ft Skiff Regatta conducted by St. Francis Yacht Club.
This year was no different and a small selection follow.
If you want to see more of Erik's work, go to www.pressure-drop.com and www.h2oshots.com
NESPRESSO INTERNATIONAL 18ft SKIFF REGATTA
The C-Tech New Zealand team of Alex Vallings, Chris Kitchen and Josh McCormack took out the Nespresso International 18ft Skiff Championship, conducted by St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, California.
Their win was assured after Friday's racing, but they put together a win and a second placing on the final day for an overall total of 10 points - 14 points ahead of defending champion Howie Hamlin (CST Composites, USA0 in second place.
Australia's Yandoo (John Winning) continued her consistency over the regatta to finish third on 28 points, ahead of Mounts Bay WA (Grant Rollerson, Aust) on 29 and Yamaha (David McDiarmid, NZ) on 44 points.
A lot of the Kiwi success is a result of the efforts and support of Graham Catley, who has been heavily involved in the resurgence, improvement and transportation of New Zealand teams to major international regattas.
The talent of Alex Vallings should not be overlooked as he has been a top 18ft and 12ft Skiff competitor for several years and is also heavily involved in rig construction in the 18s, through his company.
Australia and New Zealand are 'friendly rivals' in most sports, but Australia's John Winning was happy to see the New Zealanders win this regatta.
"It's great. The class is coming of age. They have the technology, and we want to keep the money equation out of it. We have fun competing against each other".
(Thank you to Rich Roberts for his comprehensive reports which have enabled us to follow the regatta)
NOW THAT'S A CAPSIZE !!!
for more shots from this capsize and other images from the regatta
Erik Simonson: www.h2oshots.com www.pressure-drop.us
NESPRESSO INTERNATIONAL 18ft SKIFF REGATTA
(From Rich Roberts report): New Zealand's C-Tech, skippered by Alex Vallings with crew of Chris Kitchen and Josh McCormack, are the pacesetters after Day Three of the Nespresso International 18ft Skiff Regatta, conducted by St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, California.
The team recorded a win and a second placing (also a sixth, which is their discard) in the 15-20 knots winds for an overall total of eight points from the six races sailed so far.
Defending champion Howie Hamlin of the US and his CST Composites team of Matt Noble and Matt McKinlay recorded two thirds and a fourth for a total of 15 points to hold second place overall, just one point ahead of Australia's Grant Rollerson, Justin Healey and Marco Schurman on Mounts Bay WA.
The Mounts Bay WA team won the first race on Day Three then finished second in the next race. Unfortunately, they capsized while leading in Race Three and failed to finish.
CT Sailbattens, a local team skippered by US 49er Olympic Tieals runner-up Jonny Goldsberry, won the day's last race to move from seventh up to fourth.
After tomorrow's lay day, racing will resume with an 18s race on Friday, followed by the traditional 7.5 mile Ronstan Bridge to Bridge Race from the Golden Gate to the Oakland Bay.
The final two races of the 10-race regatta will be sailed on Saturday.
NESPRESSO INTERNATIONAL 18ft SKIFF REGATTA
(from report by Rich Roberts) The last boat standing (literally the only one that stayed upright) won Day Two of the Nespresso International 18ft Skiff Regatta at San Francisco.
Defending itself against all the ferocity that San Francisco Bay had to offer, CST Composites, skippered by six-time winner Howie Hamlin, with crew Matt Noble and Matt McKinlay, collected a runaway win in the fierce conditions that measured 25 knots of wind sweeping the other teams into a meanly opposing ebb tide.
Howie Hamlin's CST Composites was the only boat to stay upright on Day Two Pic: Rich Roberts
New Zealand's Alex Vallings (C-Tech) finished third, after capsizing three times, but retains the overall lead after his two wins on Day One.
Hamlin's win jumped his CST Composites team from fifth to second place, while Jonathan Whitty's Lumix followed Day One's pair of seconds with a seventh to sit in third place.
With Marcus Ashley-Jones (crew on Lumix) on the sick list, Mike Martin joined Jonathan and James Hozack in Lumix.
NESPRESSO INTERNATIONAL 18ft SKIFF REGATTA
New Zealand's C-Tecch, skippered by Alex Vallings, took the points lead after Day One racing in the Nespresso International 18ft Skiff Regatta conducted by St. Francis YC, San Francisco.
C-Tech passes Mounts Bay WA to grab the lead on Day One Pic: Rich Roberts
With two winds from the two races sailed on Day One, C-Tech leads Lumix, skippered by Jonathan Whitty from Australia, which finished second in both races.
Two other Australian teams, Mounts Bay WA (Grant Rollerson) and Yandoo (John Winning) are in third and fourth placings respectively, with defending champion Howie Hamlin (CST Composites) of the US in fifth place.
Downwind action on the bay during Day One racing Pic: Erik Simonson, www.pressure-drop.us
NARROW LOSS FOR SCOTT
Giltinan 18ft Skiff champion Scott Babbage (Gotta Love It 7) was a close second behind fellow Australian Josh McKnight in the 2012 Zhik Nautical Moth World Championship at Lake Garda, Italy.
Josh Mc Knight finished on 17 points (including 4 wins) with Scott Babbage on 20 points, from 3 wins.
The two Australians dominated the regatta with another Australian Rob Gough third on 51 points.
Scott Babbage in action at 2012 Moth Worlds Photo: Juerg Kaufmann/www/go4image.com
LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC SUCCESS
The Australian 18 Footers League has congratulated the Australian Olympic Sailing Team and their success at the recent London 2012 Olympics.
The League took a keen interest in the results as well as the TV coverage of the racing.
Three of the Gold Medalists, Tom Slingsby, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, all sailed with the League at various times during the 2011-2012 Season. In fact, Iain was in the Gotta Love It 7 crew when the skiff won Race 6 to guarantee victory in the 2012 Giltinan Championship.
Iain (left) and Nathan at the 18s in 2011-2012 Season
470 Gold Medalist and Closing Ceremony flag bearer for Australia, Malcolm Page previously sailed Bell Partners at the League as well as other skiffs in the Grand Prix Sailing Series.
Silver Medalist Lucinda Whitty was a part of the Womens Match Racing Team which performed so well and was unluckily beaten in the final. Lucinda is the sister of Lumix 18ft Skiff skipper Jonathan Whitty.
TV coverage of the Sailing Olympics showed that sailing can be an interesting product for TV – if it is done to entertain the masses.
Iain Jensen on Gotta Love It 7 at Giltinan 2012
Short courses, easy to follow racing, colourful teams with identifiable signage and in easy view of the spectators were the main reasons ‘non sailing’ fans followed the racing on TV. In other words it was a very “professional” sporting spectator and TV product.
Seems Mark Foy had similar ideas back in the 1890s when he created the strong spectator base of formerly ‘non sailing’ fans that has remained the life blood of the 100-plus years of 18ft Skiff Racing on Sydney Harbour.
Hopefully, this coincidence won’t be lost on the present day administrators who are always looking to widen the exposure and increase sponsorships within the class.
DANES WIN GERMAN GRAND PRIX
Denmark’s Original Chia took out the German 18ft Skiff Grand Prix from UK’s Hyde Sails and Germany’s Magic Marine at Travemunde, Germany 21-24 July.
The Danish team finished the regatta on 16 points, followed by Hyde Sails on 20 and Magic Marine on 25 points.
Eleven teams from five countries contested the event in a variety of conditions.
On Day One all teams used their small rigs in a gusting 24 knots wind.
A capsize by Magic Marine only 200 metres from the finish of Race One plus gear damage to Kaltenberger Ritter and Steinlechner Bootswerft were costly to the top German teams.
Original Chia led Hyde Sails and UK’s Gill after the first day’s racing.
Day Two became a lay day when there was a lack of wind which kept the fleet ashore.
Day Three (final day) presented the fleet with perfect big rig conditions of 10-16 knots and flat water.
Germany’s Magic Marien took out three of the four races with overall winner Original Chia taking out the fourth race to wrap up the Grand Prix.
ANDREW CHAPMAN & JESSICA HANSEN
18ft Skiff skipper/sail maker Andrew Chapman (Fisher & Paykel) is never one to ‘rest on his laurels’ with anything sailing so it’s not surprising to see him take on another project during the Australian off-season.
Although he will be building new sails for Smeg and Kenwood-Rabbitohs, as well as his own Fisher & Paykel skiff, he is competing with Jessica Hansen in the 2012 29er World Championship at Travemunde, Germany from 22-28 July.
Andrew is Youth Sailing Team coach for Yachting NSW and 19-year-old Jessica, of Southport YC, Queensland, an experienced up-and-coming young sailor.
Chapman is a former Australian champion in both the F11 and Cherub classes as well as 12ft Skiff Junior champion in 2006.
Hansen is an Australian Womens Match Racing champion with extensive competition in the 29ers and offshore racing (as helm & bow) over the past three years.
Jessica has packed many other classes into her 19 years. These include Sabots, B14, Optimist, 420, 470, Sailboard, Hobie 16, Nacra 5.8, 29erXX, Moth, Etchel, and more.
She was also 2011-2012 team coach for NNSW at the Sabot nationals.
Andrew said: “We haven’t done much sailing together, but we are both looking forward to the challenge of competing against around 200 boats in the event”.
For Jess: “It’s a rare opportunity and I am super excited for the experience”.
Jess at the helm of Fisher & Paykel 18ft Skiff
During the recent 2011-2012 Australian season, Jessica got a taste of sailing an 18ft Skiff when she joined Andrew and the crew of Fisher & Paykel in the annual Queen of the Harbour race on Sydney Harbour.
After competing as crew throughout the race, Andrew handed over the helm to Jessica after crossing the finish line and Jessica showed her class by steering the skiff home to Double Bay under the big #1 rig.
Andrew’s next 18ft Skiff event will be on 14 October when he skippers Fisher & Paykel in Race 1 of the $10,000 3-Buoys Challenge at the Australian 18 Footers League.
Who knows, maybe we get to see Jessica back in an 18 at some time in the future, but in the meantime we wish them good luck at the 29er World later this month.
DATES SET FOR 2012-2013 AUSTRALIAN 18ft SKIFF SEASON
The Australian 18 Footers League has announced the dates for its major 18ft Skiff events for the coming 2012-2013 Season on Sydney Harbour.
Opening the season is the 8-race $10,000 3-Buoys Challenge series from October 14 to December 9.
Following the traditional Christmas-New Year break, the season resumes with the five-race Australian Championship from January 13 to February 3.
Highlight of the season (as usual) is the world’s premier 18ft Skiff event, the 64th JJ Giltinan Championship since 1938, which will be sailed on Sydney Harbour from February 15-24.
The Giltinan 2013 is expected to attract a fleet of more than 30 of the world’s best teams from USA, New Zealand and UK, as well as the leading Australians from NSW, Queensland and West Australia.
Defending champion, and five times winner of the Giltinan, Seve Jarvin will defend his title in Gotta Love It 7 but will be without his long-time sheet hand Sam Newton, who is presently competing in The America’s Cup.
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UK TEAM TAKES EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP
The UK team of Jamie Mears, Tristan Hutt and Stewart Mears took out the European 18ft Skiff Championship at Lake Garda, Italy with 21 points from six wins, two 2nd placings, one 3rd and two 4ths from the eleven races which counted for the regatta.
US champion Howie Hamlin and his team of Matt McKinlay and Scott Babbage were runner-up on 28 points with two wins, four 2nds, two 3rds and three 4th placings.
Third placing overall went to the Australian team of John Winning, Grant Rollerson and Andrew Hay on 30 points. This team actually recorded three wins in the regatta, but some inconsistency throughout the event proved costly.
Another UK team of Jarrod Simpson, Adam Minter and Tim Paull finished fourth on 44 points. Their best efforts were four 2nd placings.
WORLD’S RICHEST 18ft SKIFF EVENT
The success of the inaugural 3-Buoys Challenge series in 2011 has encouraged the Australian
18 Footers League to stage an even bigger event on Sydney Harbour in 2012.
There will be more races, more prize money and a bigger video coverage to bring out the best of all competing 18ft Skiff teams.
LIVE Tracking will also be a feature of the 2012 series.
The 2011 Challenge was a 5-race event and paid prize money of $5,000. In the 2012 event, there will be 8 races with prize money totaling $10,000 – making it the world’s richest 18ft Skiff event.
The 3-Buoys concept allows for progressive handicapping throughout each race as there will be four sets of rounding marks where there are staggered (white, blue and red) buoys intended to advantage those teams with larger pre-determined handicaps.
All races in the ‘Challenge’ will be sailed over four-lap windward-return courses with ‘twin’ bottom rounding marks. Handicaps are re-adjusted for the first three placegetters after each race.
Australian 18 Footers League President, and leading competitor, John Winning is a strong supporter of the event and the man behind the original 3-Buoys concept. “The aim of the system is to give all teams the opportunity to win each race”.
“It also creates a much more interesting race for spectators as the positions tend to change regularly throughout each race and usually features the backmarker boats making a late challenge on the run to the finish”.
To support Winning’s comments, the 2011 five-race event produced five different race winners and the overall winner was decided only after a count back.
Most of last years teams will be back again for 2012-2013, but there are also a couple of new teams still to be announced by the League. There will also be one or two critical crew changes amongst the top group from 2011-2012.
An added feature of the 2012 Challenge Series is the result of a new League rule which has brought its SRD (Sail Registration Date) forward from 16 December to 28 October.
This change will ensure all teams have to use their new sails for at least six of the eight races in the Challenge.
THURLOW FISHER LAWYERS FLYING HIGH
The Thurlow Fisher Lawyers crew of Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas were flying high in the 25 knot southerly winds that battered Sydney Harbour during Race 3 of the 2012 Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship.
The Australian champions defeated defending champion and series leader Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage) by just 8s in a thrilling 18ft Skiff race which had spectators marvelling at the skills of these champion teams.
The Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team were literally 'flying' on the 2-sail tight run across the harbour from Rose Bay on the south side to Athol Bay on the north. (see the photo below).
HARBOUR 18 FOOTER FANS
Sydnay Harbour on a sunny Sunday afternoon watching the world's best 18ft Skiff teams racing for the Giltinan Championship. Is there anything better to do ??? Obviously not for these young ladies on board the 'Highlander' cruiser following their favourite teams during Race 2 of the 63rd Giltinan Championship regatta.
RABBITOHS CHASE ANOTHER GILTINAN TROPHY
James J. Giltinan was responsible for introducing the sport of Rugby League football into Australia more than 100 years ago, then, as Secretary of the Australian 18 Footers League, introduced the JJ Giltinan Worlds Championship Trophy to 18ft Skiff Racing in 1938.
Rugby League’s most famous club, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, won the first competition in 1908 and have since gone on to win the Giltinan Shield 20 times - more than any other club in the League’s history.
While Rugby League’s Giltinan Shield has represented the highest honour a club could achieve each season, the sailing equivalent (Giltinan Championship) represents the pinnacle of world 18ft Skiff Racing.
Now the Rabbitohs club, in association with its sponsors De’Longhi and Kenwood, has its sights set on winning the sailing Giltinan Trophy with two high tech racing machines ready to tackle the Championship, which begins on Sydney Harbour on Saturday.
De’Longhi-Rabbitohs, skippered by Simon Nearn, and Kenwood-Rabbitohs, skippered by Brett Van Munste, will each represent Australia in the regatta.
30 teams representing USA, New Zealand and UK, along with Australian teams from NSW and Queensland will contest the championship.
SAM’S THE MAN
JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff champion Seve Jarvin (Gotta Love It 7) is always quick to acknowledge the talents of his long time for’ard hand Sam Newton, with whom he has won three Giltinan Championships, for not only his skills on the water but his expertise in preparing the skiff for racing.
Sam and Seve have sailed together since 2001 in everything from a range of match racing boats, to 18ft Skiffs and yachts.
Their record includes four Australian Match Racing championships, two Australian 18ft Skiff Championships and numerous state titles as well as their three Giltinan victories.
Seve says “Sam has a great feel for a boat and knows how to get it going very fast”.
“He has an easy going personality and we get on so well together. We are best mates”.
The pair, along with the extremely experienced and talented sheet hand Scott Babbage, present an outstanding team which combines so well in all conditions and under pressure from their championship rivals.
Sam’s value to the Gotta Love It 7 team was clearly evident recently when he missed four races during the Australian Championship on Sydney Harbour.
Gotta Love It 7 still managed to finish third in the Nationals behind Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) and Smeg (Nick Press) and performed well, but the return of Sam in Race 5 was obviously a strong reason for the team’s awesome 1m43s win over Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.
Sam’s absence on Gotta Love It 7 during the Nationals was brought about by an adventurous trip he took with his father, Greg.
They contested a 14,500km/29 days Rally across three continents from London to Cape Town.
Their journey in a 1980 Holden Commodore car took them through 14 countries like Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and Tanzania, just to name a few.
Later this year, Sam is rumoured to be heading off to the US where he will join Oracle Racing’s Sailing Team in defence of the 34th America’s Cup.
Along with Sam’s busy sailing schedule, he runs a very successful yachting business, trading under the name “All Marine” (www.allmarine.com.au).
Seve, Sam and Scott are strongly favoured to defend their Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship title in Gotta Love It 7, ahead of a 30-boat fleet on Sydney Harbour.
The warm up Invitation Race will be sailed on Friday, with the championship’s first race to be sailed on Saturday.
The seven-race series will conclude on Sunday 26 February.
NEW ZEALAND’S 18ft SKIFF CHALLENGE
New Zealand’s 18ft Skiff sailors will make their strongest challenge in recent years when they contest the JJ Giltinan Championship on Sydney Harbour from 17-26 February.
Since the time James J. Giltinan first conceived the idea of holding a world’s championship for 18ft Skiffs, New Zealand has not only been a regular and successful competitor in the event, but has also been a leading innovator in the class.
The most famous of these Kiwi innovators is Bruce Farr, whose designs dominated the class during the 1970s, but others to stamp their name on innovations are the Mander brothers (Peter and Graham), Jack Logan and Russell Bowler.
New Zealand were represented from the first regatta on Sydney Harbour in 1938 then held and won the 1939 event (Manu, skippered by Geo. Chamberlain) at Auckland.
Jack Logan was next in the 1950 series in a radically designed snub nosed skiff named Komutu before the Manders (Intrigue) made a sensational breakthrough with the first trapeze men to become the first two-time winners of the championship in the 1952 and 1954 events.
Although they were always competitive the only New Zealand winner between 1954 and the early 1970s was Bern Skinner, who took the 1960 series in Surprise.
The most successful New Zealand 18ft Skiff designer came into the 18s in 1969/1970 when Bruce Farr boats represented USA, UK and Australia as well as New Zealand.
Don Lidgard took the 1972 series for New Zealand with Smirnoff and Terry Mc Dell (Travelodge New Zealand) also won for New Zealand in 1974. Both in Farr designed boats. Bob Holmes (Travelodge in 1973) and Dave Porter (KB in 1975) also won for Australia in Farr designed boats.
Russell Bowler was the next Kiwi to progress the evolution in design with the super lightweight hull construction of Benson & Hedges for the 1977 regatta at Auckland.
Escalating costs over the next two decades has seen the Kiwi challenge suffer in comparison to the earlier years, although the deeds of skippers such as Chris Skinner, Phil Airey and Scott Kennedy can’t be underestimated as they have put up some excellent performances against the might of Australian, USA and UK teams.
Hard work and dedication by Graham Catley and Alex Vallings has seen a heartening revival in the class in New Zealand. Only one month ago, Alex Vallings won the 2012 Mark Foy Trophy regatta at Auckland in his brand new C-Tech skiff - one of two hulls built by Van Munster Boatbuilders late in 2011 for both Alex and Graham (Maersk Line).
The New Zealanders have six boats (including the two new skiffs) entered for the 2012 Giltinan:
C-Tech (Alex Vallings), Yamaha (David McDiarmid), Maersk Line (Graham Catley), Stunt Academy (Chris Hirst), Cutting Shapes (Ed Ross) and Bridge Marina Travelift (Kez Cameron).
Graham Catley, who was also a crew member with Russell Bowler on Benson & Hedges, looks back at the struggle the Kiwis have had since the 1980s but is confident that the present position of the class in New Zealand suggests it will only get stronger in the future.
“The New Zealand fleet went into decline and subsequently died out when the Grand Prix 18 circuit effectively made the cost of competition prohibitive for our participation”, he said.
“Phil Airey relocated back to Auckland and teamed with Alex Vallings in 2003, then I imported three more boats in 2005”.
“We began to refurbish the boats and commence local racing on a regular basis. We had three boats at the 2007 Giltinan Championship, which was the beginning of the renaissance in the New Zealand fleet”.
“In 2011 our effort intensified with the launching of the two new boats for Alex and me, which has brought our fleet up to nine good boats for regular club racing”.
“Alex and I have fitted our boats with strong participation from New Zealand sail and spar makers. Alex’s win in the recent Mark Foy Trophy international regatta gives an early indication that the New Zealand fleet continues to grow in maturity and competitiveness”, Catley concluded.
The New Zealand resurgence can only be good for the class as it continues its international progression.
GLAMOUR ON THE SPECTATOR FERRY
The Australian 18 Footers League spectator ferry follows all the 18ft Skiff Racing on Sydney Harbour. It has been doing it for more than 70 years.
For most of those 70 years the crowd was more interested in betting on their favourite team, but now the ferry has an appeal to all ages and all tastes.
To see more of the crowd on yesterday's ferry go to 'photos' link and click on the 'general' page.
We'll continue to publish some photos after each race. Hope you like them.
'THE RAG' TEAM CONTINUES THE CULTURE
It’s no surprise the Rag & Famish Hotel 18ft Skiff team is continuing to grow into one of the top competitors for the 2012 Giltinan Championship, which will be sailed on Sydney Harbour from 17-26 February.
The three members of the team are not only experienced 18ft Skiff sailors, but each has family members who are part of 18 Footers culture.
Skipper Jack Macartney was part of the 2007 Australian Championship-winning Macquarie Real Estate team and is presently having his second season as skipper in the class.
His father Bill Macartney was the driving force behind Grand Prix Sailing in the 1990s and is the man responsible for the most spectacular 18ft Skiff videos ever seen.
Sheet hand Mark Kennedy won the 2000 World 29er Championship and, since coming to Australia three years ago from New Zealand, has been skippering his own skiff before joining ‘The Rag’ team this season.
Mark’s brother Scott has been a top New Zealand 18ft Skiff skipper for several seasons (although he is not sailing an 18 this season). His father Lindsay was also a top 18ft Skiff skipper in the late 1970s and represented New Zealand at Giltinan Championship regattas.
Third member of the team is for’ard hand Peter Harris, who has crewed with top teams for nine seasons and won the NSW Championship in 2009.
Peter’s brother is John Harris who has won Giltinan and Australian championships in the 18s and was 2008 World Moth champion.
The combination came together only in October but have already won two of the eleven races sailed so far, and figured prominently to finish 6th in the NSW Championship.
In the inaugural 3-Buoys Challenge Series, they finished 2nd behind the 2011 Giltinan Champion Gotta Love It 7 team – losing only to ‘7’ on a count back.
Their 3-year-old Rag & Famish Hotel boat was brought up to current specification only six months ago when class builder Van Munster Boats added a new deck to the existing hull.
They recently added a revolutionary new #1 rig, in conjunction with Bruce Hollis from Ullman Sails.
“We assessed the current developments at length with reference to everything getting stiffer and bigger”, Macartney said.
“We opted to go with a ‘round’ head mainsail as we felt it has potential for better end-plating (or air flow) than the typical bat wing. Like all things in the skiffs the development requires time on the water to fine tune the rig and find the sweet spots. We are starting to get there”.
“Working with Bruce is excellent, he is not about quantity but rather quality. His input this season has been great and we have a huge amount of confidence in his knowledge and ideas”.
“We are improving each week. The 18s are very much about time-on-the-water, building your team and learning to tune the boat properly, which is where our minds are now. We have a great boat and platform to work off and we’re looking forward to the rest of the Aussies and, of course, the JJs”, Macartney added.
The Rag & Famish Hotel sponsorship also has a strong family association with the 18s.
Peter Calligeros has continued the sponsorship started by his late father George in the 1990s and which produced the 2001 Giltinan Championship winner.
It would be a great result if the Rag & Famish Hotel team could win Race One of the upcoming Giltinan Championship as the winner also has the name added to the George Calligeros Trophy.