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JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff - James J. Giltinan and ‘The League'

by Frank Quealey on 25 Feb 2014
De’Longhi-Rabbitohs in action on Sydney Haebour - JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship 2014 Australian 18 Footers League © http://www.18footers.com.au
JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship 2014 is proudly presented by Sydney City Marine and proudly supported by Winning Appliances. The sporting legacy of Mr. James J. Giltinan will be experienced in Sydney next week when two of his long standing creations are featured and linked.

From 1 March the Australian 18 Footers League will conduct the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship for the James J. Giltinan trophy and on 6 March the Australian Rugby League will begin its 2014 season, which has the Giltinan Shield as its trophy for the minor premiership.

Mr. Giltinan is regarded as one of Australia’s greatest sports promoters and was a man with a magnificent vision for the future.

In the early 1900s, Mr. Giltinan took the little known English sport of Rugby League and promoted it to the eastern states of Australia.

Rugby League is now a multi million dollar a year sport with huge supporter bases throughout Australia. Massive TV audiences also make the major Rugby League matches amongst the top rating television programs in Australia each year.

When the 18 Footer sailors of the early 1930s decided to form a new club to cater for the new style boats, James J. Giltinan was again at the forefront of promotion.

The newly formed sailing club had a close relationship with Rugby League. As well as having Mr. Giltinan as its Secretary, a number of sailors were also Rugby League players during the winter months.

Two of these sailors were 'Chook' Fraser and Joe Pearce, who represented Australia in Rugby League.

This link between the two sports was such that the new sailing club was called ‘NSW 18 Footers League’ (now known as Australian 18 Footers League) in recognition of the association.

With that established, James J. Giltinan was soon at his promotional best and was determined to create a ‘world championship’ for the 18 Footers.

The ‘James J. Giltinan Trophy for the World Championship’ was created and the initial regatta staged on Sydney Harbour in January 1938.

Over the 75 years since that regatta, the association between the Rugby League and the Australian 18 Footers League has remained. In 1992, the Rugby League actually sponsored the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship.

In recent years it has been strengthened further through the efforts of De’Longhi and Kenwood management who sponsor Australia’s number one Rugby League Club, South Sydney Rabbitohs, as well as the Australian 18 Footers League.

'Like any business, De’Longhi Australia have a commercial responsibility to its employees and shareholders to provide a commercially viable return on its investments'.

'At the same time, engaging with the community and understanding a Company’s moral obligation to its employees and other stakeholders is not as easy to quantify'.

'Through sponsorships with the South Sydney Rabbitoh’s and the 18 foot skiff’s association, De’Longhi Australia has utilised its association with Sport to develop and nurture connection with the wider community'.

'Sport is a great conduit to family, youth and the values of all good things, Australian
If we want to make contributions to positively influence the community, our families and ourselves in a positive way then we have to live and breathe this at home and at work every day', Tom Mitchell said.


'Rugby League and Sailing, specifically around the South’s Sydney Rabbitoh’s is the perfect place for likeminded businesses to make a difference so getting together with the management, coaching staff, players , crews, wives, partners and siblings has become an integral part of building a positive culture within the framework of everyone around the club environment'.

'With so much negative publicity around today’s social issues like bullying, coward punches, alcohol or racial abuse, it is a joy to be involved in a sport, a club and other sponsors that are willing to do more than just sit back and be a spectator'.

Australian 18 Footers League President John Winning said: 'We are very fortunate to have such wonderful support from two organizations such as De’Longhi Australia and the Rabbitohs. They both represent the quality with which we want to be associated'.

The two skiffs, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn) and Rabbitohs-Kenwood (Brett Van Munster) will be among the world’s best 34 teams, from six nations, which will be challenging for the 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, which is being proudly presented by Sydney City Marine.

Race Dates are:

Friday 28 February Invitation Race
Saturday 1 March Race 1
Sunday 2 March Race 2
Tuesday 4 March Race 3
Wednesday 5 March Race 4
Thursday 6 March Race 5
Saturday 8 March Race 6
Sunday 9 March Race 7



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