18ft Skiffs – 2024 JJ Giltinan Championship – Race 2

Race partner:  Breene & Breene Solicitors – Cliff Monkhouse Memorial Trophy

Sunday, 3 March 2024 – Sydney Harbour

The Winnings 2024 JJ Giltinan Championship produced another cracking 18ft skiff race on Sydney Harbour today when the defending champion Andoo team scored a brilliant, but narrow, victory over a gallant Rag & Famish Hotel in Race 2 of the international regatta.

Only seconds separated the two highly-talented teams as they raced under spinnaker at top speed from the Beashel Buoy to Clark Island where Andoo took the race honours by a mere 6s from The Rag.

After a sensational Race 1 yesterday with the lead changing consistently, today’s race was a classic match-race style contest with the defending champion crew of John Winning Jr, Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton holding off everything the challenging crew threw at them in a heart-stopping finish.

The performance of The Rag’s crew (Harry Price, Josh McKnight and Finn Rodowicz) was outstanding and was responsible for the tremendous action we witnessed on the spinnaker run to the finish.

With a big break between the second and third placed teams, the Rag & Famish Hotel crew could have easily settled for a comfortable second placing after trailing Andoo by 25s at the final weather mark.  Instead they continually applied pressure to the leader as the pair raced to the wing mark off the southern end of Shark Island then applied as much pressure as possible on the run between the islands.

A great performance by two great 18ft skiff crews.

Race 1 winner, Yandoo (Micah Lane, Fang Warren and Lewis Brake) finished a further 4m5s behind Rag & Famish Hotel, but that statistic doesn’t reflect the team’s true performance, which was marred by a reckless power boat driver whose actions forced Yandoo to capsize at the wing mark, while holding a close third place behind The Rag, on the first lap of the course.

Another terrific performance came from the fourth-placed Marine Outlet (John Cooley) which, after a great start, sailed consistently well throughout the entire race.

The young, but obviously talented, New Zealand ASCC (Eli Liefting) team also put in another very good performance on unfamiliar waters to finish in fifth place, ahead of Balmain (Henry Larkings), and the Queensland pair of Big Foot Bags and Covers (Dave Hayter) and C-Tech (Josh Sloman).

The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Jacob Marks) and the rookie 18 footer crew on Team Vic (Scott Cunningham) rounded out the top-10 .

After the first two races, Andoo leads the championship points table on three points, followed by Yandoo on four, Rag & Famish Hotel on six, Balmain on 12, ASCC on 13, with both Finport Finance (Keagan York) and The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines on 16.

Andoo’s crew were soon in the lead after a good start and held a 30s lead over Rag & Famish Hotel at the Beashel Buoy.  Yandoo was in third place just ahead of Lazarus and Marine Outlet, followed by ASCC, Team Vic and Vaikobi (Kirk Mitchell).

Andoo maintained her lead at the wing mark off Shark Island and was 25s ahead of The Rag at the bottom mark off Clark Island.

What followed over the next two laps of the course was a ‘match race’ that spectators will remember for years.

Match race ‘specialist’ Harry Price and his team took on the great Andoo crew on the second windward beat to the Beashel buoy but still trailed by 28s.  Down wind it was reduced to 25s, and remained at 25s when the pair reached the Beashel Buoy for the third (and final) time before the fabulous run to the finish.

Three teams had their day spoiled by gear problems.  Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Emma Rankin) was forced out shortly after the start, Lazarus (Tom Cunich) was in third place as she approached the bottom mark on the first lap and a massive spinnaker problem forced the crew to capsize and rectify the problem.

The German Black Knight (Heinrich Von Bayern) team, which finished fifth in yesterday’s Race 1, was also in the top 10 placings today before a jib problem relegated the skiff back to a disappointing 19th place.

Handicap section of today’s race was won by Marine Outlet, ahead of Team Vic and C-Tech.

Further race dates for the championship are:

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 Tuesday’s Races 3 and 4 of the JJ Giltinan Championship, go to:

www.18footers.com and click on the TV button

Frank Quealey

Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.

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