18ft Skiffs – Yandoo are the 2024 JJ Giltinan Champions

Race 9 – Race partner:  The Kitchen Maker

Sunday, 10 March 2024 – Sydney Harbour

The Yandoo team of Micah Lane, Fang Warren and Lewis Brake became the Winnings 2024 JJ Giltinan world 18ft skiff champions today on Sydney Harbour after scoring a brilliant win in the final race of what has been one of the best championship regattas in the events  86-year history.

Yandoo went into today’s race with a two points lead over their nearest rival, Rag & Famish Hotel, needing to finish within the top two placings in the race to win the title.

In a 10-12knot North-East breeze, all leading teams elected to use their smaller #2 igs for the long three-lap course, which was a perfect test to decide the best 18ft skiff team of 2024 in the world.

At the end of the race Yandoo took the honours by 1m4s from Finport Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Phil Marshall), with Andoo (Joel Beashel, Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton) a further 13s back in third place.

Balmain (Henry Larkings) was fourth, followed by Germany’s Black Knight (Heinrich Von Bayern), New Zealand’s ASCC (Eli Liefting), Vaikobi (Kirk Mitchell), Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price), The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Jacob Marks) and Marine Outlet (John Cooley).

Yandoo finished the championship with a total of 14 points, ahead of Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price, Josh McKnight and Finn Rodowicz) on 22 points, Andoo (John Winning Jr, Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton) on 23, Finport Finance 39, Black Knight 52, ASCC 53, Balmain 61, Queensland’s Big Foot Bags and Covers (Dave Hayter) 64, Lazarus (Tom Cunich) 65, Marine Outlet 71, Vaikobi 71 and The Oak-Double By-4 Pines on 76.

The final race showdown between Yandoo and The Rag was quickly dashed when the Yandoo team opened up a break over The Rag shortly after the start.

The race to the Beashel Buoy weather mark was tight and less than 10s separated Balmain, Vaikobi, Andoo and The Oak as spinnakers were set for the run to the wind mark in Rose Bay, off the southern end of Shark Island.

Yandoo was close behind the four leaders, followed by Black Knight, ASCC, Finport Finance and Rag & Famish Hotel, which was back in ninth place.

When Yandoo powered her way to the lead in Rose Bay while Rag & Famish Hotel was back in the pack, it was apparent that it would take a big comeback from The Rag’s team to have any hope of winning the championship.

Over the next lap of the course Yandoo’s lead over The Rag extended from two minutes to more than three minutes, an advantage the Yandoo team maintained to the finish.

The championship produced some fantastic racing to thrill the spectator fleet and was highly successful thanks to the competition from the top German, New Zealand and Queensland teams, which all featured strongly throughout the regatta.

The handicap section of the championship, which is highly sought after by all competitors, was won by ASCC with a total of 41 points, from Rag & Famish Hotel on 51 and Lazarus on 57.

Next Sunday is Queen of the Harbour.  Racing starts at 2:45pm.

The Australian 18 Footers League’s spectator ferry will follow the race, leaving Double Bay Public Wharf at 2.15pm, and SailMedia will livestream all the action.

Frank Quealey

Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.

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