18ft Skiffs – 2024 JJ Giltinan Championship

Races 3 and 4 – Race partner:  Vakaros/Harken – Alan Cole Memorial Trophy

Tuesday, 5 March 2024 – Sydney Harbour

Following two days of brilliant 18ft skiff racing action, Day 3 of the Winnings 2024 JJ Giltinan Championship was sailed in 8-12knots North Eastwind conditions over two, three-lap, short-course races (Races 3 and 4), which were conducted by the Australian 18 Footers League on a sunny Sydney Harbour today.

With two more short-course races scheduled for Day 4 (tomorrow), Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price, Josh McKnight and Finn Rodowicz) holds a one point lead over defending champion Andoo (John Winning Jr, Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton), with New Zealand’s ASCC (Eli Liefting, Adam Mustill and Josh Schon) in third place.

The top-10 provisional placings on total points to date are: Rag & Famish Hotel on nine points, Andoo on 10, ASCC on 25, Marine Outlet (John Cooley) 31, Finport Finance (Keagan York) 31, Yandoo (Micah Lane) 34, Balmain (Henry Larkings) 34, Black Knight (Heinrich Von Bayern) 36, The Oak Double By-4 Pines 37 (Jacob Marks), and jointly Big Foot Bags & Covers (Dave Hayter) and Fisher & Paykel (Jordan Girdis) on 43. points.

There are protests pending after the day’s racing and the current progress points table could alter significantly if any are upheld.

The scores all include every race for each team and discards after tomorrow’s two races are likely to also change several positions in the top half of the fleet.

In the first of today’s races (Race 3) defending champion Andoo led all the way to score a 1m24s win over Rag & Famish Hotel, with Vaikobi (Kirk Mitchell, Andrew Stephenson and Daniel Barnett) a further 12s back in third place.  Finport Finance was fourth followed by Germany’s Black Knight and Lazarus.

In the later race, Rag & Famish Hotel came back over the final lap of the course to defeat Yandoo by 27s with Marine Outlet (John Cooley, Cam Gundy and Charlie Gundy) a further 38s back in third place.  After leading for much of the race, Lazarus finished fourth ahead of ASCC and Andoo, which had gear problems over the final lap of the course.

Yandoo was called ‘OCS’ in Race 3 but continued to sail the course and actually sailed the course at the head of the fleet, even though (at present) it was a non-starter – pending a protest.

Andoo, officially, dominated Race 3 from the beginning and established a lead of 30s over The Rag at the first weather mark.

Vaikobi was a further 20s back in third place, ahead of Sixt (Nathan Edwards), Finport Finance, Black Knight, Lazarus, Big Foot Bags & Covers and Burrawang-Young Henrys (Simon Nearn).

The Rag made a move on the first downwind leg and reduced Andoo’s lead to just 12s, but once the skiffs ‘turned the corner’ it was all Andoo as the defending champion Andoo raced to a 1m5s lead at the weather mark on lap two.

Most interest then centred on the battle for the rest of the podium positions between Rag & Famish Hotel, Vaikobi, Finport Finance and Black Knight., and positions further back remained relatively unchanged.  Two exceptions were Lazarus and ASCC which both improved to finish sixth and seventh respectively.

After finishing in third place in Race 3, Vaikobi was forced out of the following race with a broken boom before the start of the following race.

Unlike the earlier race, the battle for the lead was close with Lazarus (Tom Cunich) holding a 7s lead over ASCC, followed by Yandoo, Balmain, Smeg (Nathan McNamara) Denmark’s Bloody Dane (Jesper Brondum) and The Rag,

Lazarus continued to hold her lead over the next lap of the course but was under pressure from Andoo, which was only 3s back at the second weather mark.

At the bottom mark Lazarus had extended her lead slightly over Yandoo which had moved in to second place just ahead of Andoo and Rag & Famish.

When the breeze freshened a touch over the concluding lap of the course, The Rag began to make a move and by the time the fleet had reached the last weather mark she was 25s ahead of Yandoo and headed for victory on the spinnaker run to the finish line.

Lazarus won the overall handicap section of today’s racing from the consistent Team Vic (Scott Cunningham).

Further race dates for the championship are:

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 follows each day’s racing during the championship, leaving Double Bay Public Wharf at 2.15pm, and SailMedia livestreams all the racing.

To view Wednesday’s Races 5 and 6 of the Winnings 2024 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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