Please select your home edition
Edition
Predictwind - Iridium

18ft Skiffs- Sam Newton compares AC72's with the Flying 18's

by Frank Quealey on 15 Jan 2014
Sam Newton in action ACWS, Newport USA June 28, 2012 Oracle Team USA media

Two of the highest profile sailing classes for more than 100 years have been The America’s Cup and the 18ft Skiffs.

While the 18ft skiffs have been famous for their spectacular speed and wild rides and capsizes, the America’s Cup has been contested mainly by large, slow moving yachts of various lengths.

This has changed in recent years with the introduction of high-tech catamarans for the last America's Cup, and the 2013 Match reached a high point with the 72 ft foilers racing on San Francisco Bay.

Comparing these two vastly different, high profile racing machines is far from easy but the best person to make the comparison must surely be Sam Newton.

Sam, who is one of Australia’s most talented sailors, was part of the 2013 winning US Team Oracle in The America’s Cup and is also a four-times JJ Giltinan (world) champion on Gotta Love It 7 in the 18ft Skiffs.

Now back in Australia on Gotta Love It 7 in search of a fifth JJ Giltinan title, Sam took time out to discuss what he sees as the differences in the two boats.

'The 18’s and Cats have many obvious differences but a lot of similarities as well'.

'I had the pleasure of doing a lot of sailing and racing on the AC45’s and AC72’s over the past 2 years and between them I also experienced a lot of similarities to the 18ft Skiff'.

'When Oracle set the Protocol for the 34th Cup, their concept had a lot of similarities to what the 18ft skiffs have been doing for decades'.

'It was all about creating a spectacle for sponsors and fans, something the skiffs have done well for a long time. The racing is short and intense and the venue is close to vantage points to ensure it encourages a big following'.

'On board the boats, the main difference between the Skiff and the cat is obvious. Two hulls and a wing sail compared to the single hull and a conventional mainsail. Another is the much larger team of eleven sailors on the AC72, which brings in a whole new dynamic'.

'All the boats are fast, they are all wet and they all get the adrenaline going when the breeze is up, which is what I love. They all feel like your sailing on the edge in the higher winds, which keeps you on your feet and thinking ahead as you become fully aware of the consequences if it goes wrong'.

'One thing still remains; the 18ft skiff is by far the hardest to bear away at the top mark in 20+ knots. The 45’s give good action to the sailors and spectators at the top mark as we saw through the AC World Series, and the 72ft Cats are a lot easier by using the foils to create lift in the bow which we don’t have the option of in the skiff'.

'It‘s been great to be back out sailing on Sydney Harbour. From my travels, it’s still the best harbour in the world to sail and play and I’m enjoying being back with my long time sailing partner Seve (Jarvin)'.

'Now it’s all about getting the new '7' skiff up to speed to challenge in the upcoming JJ Giltinan Championship, which is looking like being the most competitive line up in recent years'.

The Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve, Sam and Scott Babbage will go into the 2014 JJ Giltinan Championship as favourites in March, but face a challenge of more than 30 skiffs from six countries in the regatta, which will celebrate 75 years of the world’s greatest 18 Footer championship.

PredictWind.comNaiadBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best Eyewear

Related Articles

Have you tried foiling yet? Top tips from Marko at Wildwind
Wildwind invested in foiling kits for some of their Laser fleet, converting the standard Laser in to a flying machine. In 2016 Wildwind invested in foiling kits for some of their Laser fleet, converting the standard everyday Laser in to a flying machine. ‘Can it be that easy?’ we here you cry, well you’re right but fortunately the Wildwind staff are not ones for turning down a challenge and have put a lot of time in to finding the optimum techniques so that you can be flying as soon as possible.
Posted on 19 Feb
18ft Skiffs - Thurlow Fisher take another win as JJ's loom
Today’s Race 11 of Australian 18 Footers League’s Club Championship on Sydney Harbour took on even greater importance With the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship just six days away, today’s Race 11 of the Australian 18 Footers League’s Club Championship on Sydney Harbour took on even greater importance than usual for the 19 teams contesting the event. A 10-15 knots ESE wind allowed all teams to set their big number one rigs.
Posted on 19 Feb
A great excuse for FINNtastic racing – Finn Masters Magazine
It must be close to the start of the European Finn season, with the publication of the Finn Masters Magazine this week. It must be close to the start of the European Finn season, with the publication of fourth edition the Finn Masters Magazine and Yearbook this week.
Posted on 17 Feb
RS Aero Florida State Championships at Martin County US Sailing Center
The setting proved spectacular in terms of facility, race management, hospitality, location and weather for 18 racers The setting proved spectacular in terms of facility, race management, hospitality, location and weather for the eighteen racers that signed up for this second largest US East Coast RS Aero event.
Posted on 16 Feb
Miami Winter Series Event Two - Tropical conditions in Miami
Ryan DeVos and team XS Energy won the Miami Winter Series Event #2 in the final race. Ryan DeVos and team XS Energy won the Miami Winter Series Event #2 in the final race. A windy northerly for the practice day and two sunny hull-flying race days was enough to make competitors smile!
Posted on 14 Feb
Miami Star Winter Series - Levin Memorial - Final
The wind had difficulty materializing this morning but we finally got one race going around 12:40 in six knots The wind had difficulty materializing this morning but we finally got one race going around 12:40 in six knots of wind from the southeast.
Posted on 13 Feb
Seventeen O'pen BIC sailors now selected for the America's Cup
Seventeen O’pen BIC sailors have now been selected to participate in the America’s Cup Endeavour O’pen Seventeen O’pen BIC sailors have now been selected to participate in the America’s Cup Endeavour O’pen, held in conjunction with the America’s Cup Finals, June 15-18 in Bermuda.
Posted on 12 Feb
18ft Skiffs - Thurlow Fisher throws down the gauntlet with big win
It was a day of thrills and spills for the 18 Footers as they battled across Sydney Harbour in a 22-28knot Southerly It was a day of thrills and spills for the 18 Footers as they battled across Sydney Harbour in a 22-28knot Southerly today. The conditions tested even the best of sailors as they completed three windward/leewards for the President’s Trophy. Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor and Trent Barnabas, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers won the race by over five minutes after a flawless performance
Posted on 12 Feb
Miami Star Winter Series - Levin Memorial - Overall report
A relatively large fleet of 33 boats were on the race track this morning ready to take on the mild easterly winds. Three races were held today on Biscayne Bay for the Star class. A relatively large fleet of 33 boats were on the race track this morning ready to take on the mild easterly winds.
Posted on 12 Feb
Treasures of the sailing scene united in 'hidden class connection'
Joining the hidden class connection means getting connected with a Magic Marine store nearby the home base of the class. Joining the hidden class connection means getting connected with a Magic Marine store nearby the home base of the class.
Posted on 8 Feb