Sunday, March 10, 2019

Honda Marine Wins 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship

18ft Skiffs - 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship, Race 9
Sunday, 10 March 2019 - Sydney Harbour

New Zealand’s Honda Marine 18ft Skiff team of David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins became the Winning Group 2019 JJ Giltinan champions today, when they successfully defended the title they won last year on Sydney Harbour.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Honda Marine completed the regatta with an incredible score of 13 points, which was made up of five wins, two second placings, and one fourth placing.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
After a last race battle, second placing overall in the championship, finally went to Winning Group (John Winning Jr., Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton) on 26.6, followed by Smeg (Michael Coxon, Ricky Bridge, Mike McKensey) on 30.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Fourth place in the championship went to ASCC (Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazard) with a total of 33 points, followed by Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Harry Bethwaite, Trent Barnabas) on 39, and Finport Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Charlie Gundy) on 57 points.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Not content to sit on the fact that the championship had already been decided yesterday, Honda Marine came from behind ASCC over the final lap of the course to win the last race of the championship on Sydney Harbour today.
ASCC led from midway down the first spinnaker leg and looked a likely race winner, but the incredible Honda Marine team finished too strongly to take out the race by 33 seconds from ASCC.
Finport Finance finished in third place, a further one minute 46 seconds behind ASCC, followed by Winning Group, Smeg and Bing Lee (Micah Lee).

Honda Marine led Finport Finance by 12 seconds at the top mark, followed by ASCC, Noakesailing (Sean Langman), Bing Lee, Winning Group, Asko Appliances, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis), Yandoo (John Winning) and Smeg.

ASCC then dominated the downwind leg to the south end of Shark Island, then the run to the bottom mark off Clark Island.

Honda Marine was still ahead of Finport Finance, with Winning Group fourth, followed by Smeg, Noakesailing, and Bing Lee.

Over the second lap of the course, the two New Zealand teams continued to lead the fleet as ASCC led clearly from Honda Marine, while Finport Finance, Winning Group and Smeg were close together and battling to become the second and third teams on the podium.

It was on the final windward leg when Honda Marine made their challenge to ASCC and the two great teams turned for home with just two boat length between them.

Frank Quealey

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Kiwis Win Race 8 at JJ's - Sydney Harbour

18ft Skiffs - 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship, Race 8
Saturday, 9 March 2019 - Sydney Harbour

The New Zealand champion ASCC team of Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazard, produced a brilliant performance to win Race 8 of the Winning Group 2019 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Despite the brilliance of the ASCC victory, the defending champion Honda Marine team (David McDiarmid, Matt Steven, Brad Collins) sealed the overall championship victory with an amazing 17 points (15 points, net) from the eight races sailed to date.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
ASCC won the start and quickly dominated the fleet, in the light South wind, to lead by 45 seconds after a short beat across the harbour to the windward mark off Clark Island.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The skill of the ASCC team was on display throughout the race as each challenge was repelled before ASCC crossed the finish line two minutes three seconds ahead of Honda Marine, with Finport Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Charlie Gundy) just 6s further back in third place.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The consistent Winning Group (John Winning Jr.) finished in fourth place, followed by the Australian champion Asko Appliances (James Dorron), and Smeg (Michael Coxon).
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
With only tomorrow’s race still to be sailed to complete the championship, Honda Marine leads with a net 15 points, followed by Winning Group on 22, Smeg on 25, ASCC 31, Asko Appliances 32, and Finport Finance on 53 points.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
ASCC maintained the lead on the long spinnaker run to the Obelisk Bay mark, ahead of Honda Marine, Asko Appliances, Finport Finance, Winning Group, C-Tech (Alex Vallings), Vintec (Kirk Mitchell), Birkenhead Point Marina (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Brisbane 18s (Dave Hayter).
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The long work back from Obelisk to Rose Bay produced a close battle in the leading group but the ASCC crew were always in control and maintained a 40 second advantage over Honda Marine. Finport Finance was now in third place, however Finport was more than two minutes behind the leader.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Positions at the front of the fleet didn’t change over the next two legs of the course before Finport Finance made a move which saw her trail ASCC by just a couple of boat-lengths on the second run to Obelisk.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Once again the skills of the ASCC crew was evident as they held off both Finport Finance and Honda Marine and still led by 15s after the fleet reached the Rose Bay mark.
The battle between Honda Marine and Finport Finance continued over the final two legs of the course but ASCC was in a race of her own as she powered away for a great victory.
Early wind predictions for tomorrow are for 18-20 knot NE winds which should some of the most spectacular racing of the entire championship.

Frank Quealey

Thursday, March 7, 2019

ASCC and Honda Marine Rack Up Wins on Day 5 of JJ Giltinan Championship in Sydney

18ft Skiffs - 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship, Races 6 & 7
Thursday, 7 March 2019 - Sydney Harbour

The New Zealand 18ft Skiff teams ASCC and Honda Marine shared the honours with comfortable wins in Races 6 and 7 on Day 5 of the Winning Group 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
ASCC (Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazard), the current NZ champion, easily won the first race of the day, then defending JJ Giltinan champion Honda Marine (David McDiarmid, Matthew Steven, Brad Collins) won the latter race.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
With just two more races to be sailed in the championship over the weekend, Honda Marine has a net score of 10 points, and a discard of only four points, and holds a strong grip on the title.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Conditions were far from perfect as a light, shifting SE breeze, which faded a little over the day, made things difficult for all teams.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
In today’s first race, ASCC dominated the latter half of the race to go on to a two minute 13 second win over the early race leader Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Harry Bethwaite, Trent Barnabas), with Winning Group (John Winning Jr., Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton) just 12 seconds further back in third place.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Honda Marine tightened the grip on the trophy in Race 7 when the team produced an unbelievable recovery to defeat ASCC by 17 seconds, with the consistent Winning Group another one minute and 19 seconds back in third place.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Progress Net points with only two more races left in the regatta show Honda Marine on 10 points, Winning Group on 18 points, Smeg 19, Asko Appliances 27, ASCC on 30, and Bing Lee (Micah Lane) on 47 points.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The day started well enough for the Australians as Asko Appliances held the lead over the first half of Race 6, but was unable to hold off the ASCC challenge when the two teams chose to go opposite ways (around Shark Island) to reach the top mark on lap two of the course.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
There was a great (and welcomed) surprise in the latter race when Heinrich von Bayern’s German Marinepool team led the 25-boat fleet to the top mark with a 30 second break over ASCC and Smeg.
Smeg was too fast downwind but the German team remained competitive to be in the top three to round the bottom mark.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The Smeg team went to the left of Shark Island on the beat back into the top mark in Rose Bay but the move didn’t pay off as the two New Zealand teams went to the right and grabbed the leading two spots, which they maintained on the run back to the finish.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
It was an impressive day’s sailing by the Kiwis, who proved far too good for their Australian opponents.

Racing continues on Saturday with Race 8 and concludes on Sunday afternoon when the blue ribbon will be presented to the championship winner after Race 9.

Frank Quealey

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Honda Marine On Fire at JJ Giltinans

18ft Skiffs - 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship, Races 5 & 6
Wednesday, 6 March 2019 - Sydney Harbour

With a lack of wind at the scheduled race start time, and the prediction of more wind due later in the afternoon, race officials decided to hold the teams on shore until a firm decision could be made about the day’s racing on Sydney Harbour.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
When the first wind from the south came in around 2:00pm the decision was made by the race officials and the race got underway one-and-a-half-hours after the scheduled time.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Following a race which could best be described as ‘being in the right place at the right time’ the Honda Marine team of David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins crossed the finish line one minute 17 seconds ahead of Smeg, to score their third win of the regatta.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Smeg (Michael Coxon, Mike McKensey, Ricky Bridge) continued their consistent form from yesterday to take second place 43 seconds ahead of the Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Harry Bethwaite, Trent Barnabas).
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Honda Marine heads the points table with a score of nine points, followed by Smeg on 13 points, Winning Group (John Winning Jr.) on 16 (includes an average in Race 2), Asko Appliances on 28, ASCC (Josh Porebski) on 42 and Finport Finance (Keagan York) on 43.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Conditions were light as the fleet sailed from the start off Steel Point and the fleet quickly spread out as each team searched for the best conditions.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
At the top mark, Winning Group led narrowly from Asko Appliances with Honda Marine in third place, followed by The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis), Noakesailing (Sean Langman), and Smeg.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The following leg back to the bottom mark was nothing short of crazy as Winning Group sailed into a lull off Bradleys Head and went from the lead to near last midway through the run.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
As different teams found themselves in some breeze, the lead changed a number of times before Honda Marine finally reached the bottom mark 45 seconds ahead of The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone, with Smeg a further 15 seconds back, followed by Asko Appliances and Winning Group.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Over the second lap of the course the breeze settled more to the SE and the Honda Marine team had little difficulty retaining the lead to score a relatively comfortable win.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Due to the conditions, race officials decided not to sail the second race, and a decision on when it will be sailed will be made tomorrow.

Frank Quealey

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Smeg Sneak into Second at JJ Giltinans

18ft Skiffs 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship, Races 3 & 4
Tuesday, 5 March 2019 - Sydney Harbour

Australia’s Smeg team of Michael Coxon, Ricky Bridge and Mike McKensey starred on Day 3 of the Winning Group 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship with a win and third placing in the two races today, to move into clear second placing after four races of the regatta.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
With a perfect 19-20 knot NE breeze on Sydney Harbour, the New Zealand teams again produced some spectacular sailing to take out first and second placings in Race 3 when C-Tech (Alex Vallings, Sam Trethewey, Matt Coutts) defeated defending champion Honda Marine (David McDiarmid, Matt Steven, Brad Collins) by 10 seconds in a thriller.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Smeg led early in the race but the skiff hit a wave, fell into a lull, and had to make a good save to stay in contention with the leading group. The loss of momentum sent the skiff back into 7th place at the bottom mark before the team came back through the fleet to finish third, 20 seconds behind Honda Marine.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Winning Group (John Winning Jr., Sam Newton, Seve Jarvin) held the lead at the windward mark from Smeg, C-Tech and ASCC (Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazard) in Race 3, but it was the two Kiwi teams, C-Tech and Honda Marine, which dominated the spinnaker run back to the bottom mark off Clark Island.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
At the windward mark on the second lap, C-Tech were 15 seconds ahead of Honda Marine, and despite a strong challenge from Honda, C-Tech held on for the narrow 10 second victory.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The NE breeze freshened a couple of knots for Race 4 and the Smeg team gave the fleet no chance as the skiff raced ahead at every mark to defeat fellow Australian team, Winning Group, by 31 seconds, with ASCC a further 12 seconds back in third place.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Honda Marine came home in fourth place, ahead of Bing Lee (Micah Lane), Vintec (Kirk Mitchell) and Asko Appliances (James Dorron).
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
After being granted redress and average points for the incident in Race 2, Winning Group’s position become more complicated on the pointscore board.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The three leaders, either including, or without discard, are Honda Marine on 8 points (net 4), Smeg 11 points (net 7), and Winning Group 11.5 points (net 7.5)
With two more races to be sailed tomorrow, and a 20-knots SSE wind predicted, the racing is certain to continue to excite the spectators and the changes on the leader board could continue.

Frank Quealey

Monday, March 4, 2019

Honda Marine Win Race 2 - JJ Giltinan Championship - Sydney Harbour

18ft Skiffs - 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship, Race 2
Sunday, 3 March 2019 - Sydney Harbour

Defending champion Honda Marine won its second race of the Winning Group 2019 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship today, after another eventful day of racing on Sydney Harbour.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
After trailing Winning Group (John Winning Jr.) for half the NE course, Honda Marine (David McDiarmid, Matt Steven, Brad Collins) grabbed the lead when the Winning Group spinnaker was torn in an incident with a yacht and the skiff had to retire from the race.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Once in the lead, Honda Marine held a handy lead over the fleet and looked set for a good win, but Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall, Kurt Fatouris) put in a wonderful last lap of the course to finish just 10 seconds behind Honda Marine in a great finish for the large spectator fleet.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
After a dramatic pre-race incident, Smeg (Michael Coxon, Mike McKensey, Ricky Bridge) finished third, one minute 20 seconds behind Appliancesonline.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Australian champion Asko Appliances (James Dorron) came in fourth after being well back in the fleet on the first lap of the NE course. Simon Nearn’s R Marine Pittwater produced another excellent performance to finish in fifth place, after being with the leading group throughout the race.

Bing Lee (Micah Lane) was sixth, followed by The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett), Finport Finance (Keagan York). Yandoo (John Winning) and New Zealand’s C-Tech (Alex Vallings).
With protests pending from Race 1 of the championship, and another one today by Winning Group requesting redress, the pointscore won’t become realistic until after tomorrow’s hearing.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Following Honda Marine’s impressive win in Race 1, there was an expectation that the team would again be hard to beat in relatively similar conditions, but it was the Winning Group which led the fleet from the start until the incident with the yacht.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Winning Group lead Honda Marine by 20 seconds at the first windward mark, with Smeg, R Marine Pittwater, Bing Lee, Appliancesonline and ASCC following close behind.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
At the bottom mark, Winning Group had opened up a break over the fleet while Honda Marine had dropped back to sixth place.
Honda Marine was still trailing Winning Group by 15 seconds as the fleet had returned to the top mark, but just as the spectators were settling down to watch a great race between the two champion teams Winning Group was put out of the race.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Skipper John Winning Jr. said later; “There was a yacht under motor, we were on starboard and at the last moment the yacht turned at the last minute and we had to ‘flog’ our kite to avoid a collision. As we did that the spinnaker caught some of the rigging and it was badly torn’”
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The top teams in the championship have had a dramatic start to the regatta in the first two races.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Smeg hit a moored boat on the way out to the start and hard to return to shore to make hasty repairs with the race start on 15 minutes away. With a five foot piece of timber, a quick repair was made onshore and the team did remarkably well to come home in third place.
With so much depending on the protest hearings tomorrow, then Tuesday’s two races over windward-and return courses, there could be a dramatic change in the championship points.

Frank Quealey