Up until last weekend, Honda Marine had dominated 18-foot skiff racing for some time but were knocked off their perch at the New Zealand championships by a crew who have designs on doing the same thing at March's JJ Giltinans.
The ASCC team of Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson and Dave Hazard took out the New Zealand title sailed over three days last weekend. The trio were second at last year's JJ Giltinans, considered the world championships of 18-foot skiff racing, and want to go one better this year.
The current title holders, Honda Marine (Dave McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins), had a weekend to forget, with capsizes and gear breakages and they failed to make the start line for the final two races due to their rudder gudgeon exploding. They were third on countback behind C-Tech (Alex Vallings, Sam Trethewey and Matt Coutts)
“Not ideal, but we’re just happy it happened now and not in Sydney [at the JJ Giltinans],” Honda Marine skipper Dave McDiarmid told Live Sail Die.
Nine races were completed over three days of racing on Auckland Harbour. There was plenty of traffic on the water, given it was Auckland Anniversary weekend and the last weekend of cruising before school goes back, which is similar to what they can expect on Sydney harbour in March.
“It’s tough out there when you don’t really know what’s going on,” Porebski said. “We had a hard regatta because we haven’t really done much training leading up to this, and now our boat's getting packed up in a few days, so we are going into the JJs a little raw this year.”
It was the same last year, with Porebski's team having only 12 days together before the JJ Giltinans and it didn't stop them finishing one point behind Honda Marine.
Results from the 18-foot skiff New Zealand championships at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club last weekend:
1st: ASCC – Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazard
2nd: C-Tech – Alex Vallings, Sam Trethewey, Matt Coutts
3rd: Honda Marine – Dave McDiarmid, Brad Collins, Matt Steven
4th: Maersk Line – Peron Pearse, Harry Clark
– Live Sail Die