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.comSouthern Spars - 100Naiad

Related Articles

JJ Giltinan Trophy - Waka wall helps Yamaha to Hat-Trick in Race 1
A group of 20 wakas paddling across the course for the opening race helped New Zealand's Yamaha to win A group of 20 wakas paddling across the course for the opening race of the JJ Giltinan Trophy helped New Zealand's Yamaha to win the first race of the seven race series. 'The wakas were massive,' said Yamaha skipper Dave McDiarmid. 'We couldn't get to the bottom mark. They were in a solid line - about four deep - there was no gap.
Posted on 25 Feb
JJ Giltinan 18fters - Yamaha wins first race in rain and murk
New Zealand champion Yamaha came from behind to score a brilliant win in race one of JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship New Zealand champion Yamaha came from behind to score a brilliant win in race one of the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, sponsored by The winning Group, on Sydney Harbour today.
Posted on 25 Feb
JJ Giltinan Trophy - ILVE in action ahead of the JJ's - Video
The ILVE 18ft Skiff Team are back and in a brand new boat. Now see it in action! The ILVE 18ft Skiff Team are back and in a brand new boat. We brought you the video of how they turned it into a silver bullet with a mirror-finish chrome vinyl wrap. Now see it in action!
Posted on 24 Feb
18ft Skiffs - JJ Giltinan Trophy - Invitation Race runs out off puff
2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship began on Sydney Harbour when Australian 18Ft League conducted Invitation Race The 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship regatta began on Sydney Harbour today when the Australian 18 Footers League conducted the traditional Invitation Race for all 26 regatta entrants. Unfortunately for the crews, there was little, or no, wind for the duration of the race and the course had to be shortened to just three legs as the fleet was almost becalmed.
Posted on 24 Feb
Spectacular new self-catering villas in Vassiliki
Now Wildwind not only provide top spec equipment but can also offer luxury villa accommodation. Now Wildwind not only provide top spec equipment, highly experienced RYA qualified instructors and a location with one of the most reliable wind patterns in the sailing world, but can also offer luxury villa accommodation.
Posted on 23 Feb
RS Aeros at the Frigid Digit Regatta, Seattle, USA
This year the event featured Lasers, Opti's and RS Aeros hosted by the Seattle Laser Fleet, Seattle's Frigid Digit regatta started as the major midwinter Laser event back 1974. This year the event featured Lasers, Opti's and RS Aeros hosted by the Seattle Laser Fleet, Corinthian YC and West Coast Sailing.
Posted on 23 Feb
Sanya awarded Youth Sailing World Championships
World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport is pleased to announce that Sanya, China will host the 2017 edition The 2017 selection process opened in November 2016 after the Israeli Sailing Association exercised the right to withdraw from hosting the 2017 edition as a final contract had not been concluded.
Posted on 22 Feb
UK Flying 15 celebrates 70th anniversary at RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show
To kick start their 70th Anniversary year the UK Flying Fifteen Association are asking everyone to join them To kick start their 70th Anniversary year the UK Flying Fifteen Association are asking everyone who sails an International Flying Fifteen or keelboat, to join them at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 04-05 March (Alexandra Palace, London), to get the celebrations under way.
Posted on 20 Feb
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