The 2014-2015 Season of 18ft Skiff Racing will begin next Sunday (12 October) when the Australian 18 Footers League stages a 3-Buoys club trophy race on Sydney Harbour.
Seventeen teams have entered for the new season with the reigning champions Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage (Gotta Love It 7) the early favourites to retain their titles in the major events later in the season.
Despite the favouritism, Team Seven will be under a lot of pressure from several top teams in new boats and with new equipment.
Thurlow Compensation Lawyers, skippered by former JJ Giltinan and Australian champion Michael Coxon, and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) have been the biggest threats to ‘7’ in recent seasons and will again be the main challengers in 2014-2015.
Smeg, with a new, but experienced 18 Footer crew to the ‘Smeg’ skiff, Appliancesonline (a new skiff with former Australian champion Micah Lane at the helm), another new skiff Asko Gorenje (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) will also be strong contenders.
The current Australian 16 Footer champion Lee Knapton joins the Mojo Wine team, replacing Chris Nicholson, and ensures the team will remain at the pointy end of the fleet.
The experienced Grant Rollerson, who has been skippering 18ft Skiffs for the past decade, joins Simon Nearn’s De’Longhi-Rabbitohs crew and is expected to give this team a great boost.
2014-2015 Season Fleet:
Thurlows Compensation Lawyers Michael Coxon
Yandoo John Winning
Asko Gorenje Marcus Ashley-Jones
De’Longhi-Rabbitohs Simon Nearn
Appliancesonline.com.au Micah Lane
Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel Jack Macartney
Gotta Love It 7 Seve Jarvin
Smeg David Witt
Pure Blonde Nick Daly
Mojo Wine Lee Knapton
Lumix Jonathan Whitty
Compassmarkets.com Keagan York
The Kitchen Maker John Sweeny
Noakes Sean Langman
Haier Appliances Pedro Vozone
Ilve Ollie Hartas
Fisher & Paykel Rob Flanagan
Dates for the major championships are:
JJ Giltinan Championship 13-22 February
NSW Championship 11 January-1 February (five races)
Australian Championship (Brisbane) 20-23 March
– Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League