Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

2014 JJ Giltinan - Famous Incidents in 18 foot skiff history

by Frank Quealey on 21 Feb 2014
Manu 1939 - JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship Frank Quealey © /Australian 18 Footers League http://www.18footers.com.au
2014 JJ Giltinan and Australian 18ft Skiff Nationals - During the 75 years history of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship there have been many ‘incidents’ which have involved teams who won the championship in which the incident occurred (albeit one them lost the championship on protest) and almost saw a breakdown between the governing bodies and competitors of Australia and New Zealand.

Obviously, the high level of competition and the nature of the competitors who sail the 18ft Skiffs, as they try to gain any advantage possible over the opposition, lead to numerous protests and much ‘bad blood’.

Three of the most notable ‘incidents’ relate to the 1939, 1963 and 1984 regattas,

After winning the first regatta on Sydney Harbour in 1938, Bert Swinbourne (Taree) led the Australian team to Auckland to defend his title at the 1939 regatta.

Huge crowds on the foreshore were estimated at 25,000 people, but the series was marred by several protests, the latter of which saw Swinbourne (the provisional winner) being disqualified, and New Zealand’s Gordon Chamberlin (Manu) declared the winner.

Swinbourne lodged an appeal against the decision, but when the appeal wasn’t heard before the Australian team returned home, he decided to hang on to the trophy.

When the Australian Board of Control later upheld the New Zealand decision, Swinbourne didn't agree and refused to hand over the trophy.

He was expelled by the Australian League and for the next four years the Giltinan Trophy remained hidden in Swinbourne’s possession (said to have been under the kitchen sink in his house).

In 1944, he finally apologized for his actions and returned the trophy to the League.

It was subsequently handed over to New Zealand and presented to the ‘Manu’ owners.

Gordon Chamberlin’s daughter, Elaine Hopping said this week: 'The 1939 situation was indeed most unfortunate and dad never raced again'.

'His passion was messing about in boats as we farmed on an island so had boats rather than cars'.

'He was a very gentle, quiet man and hated conflict. The disruption of going off to war also didn't help his racing continuity either'.

The second ‘incident’, also in Auckland, in 1963, involved Australia’s Ken Beashel, who won the title in ‘Schemer’.

Beashel and his team were clearly superior throughout the series, but in Race 3 ‘Schemer’ was hit by a Royal New Zealand Air Force launch, which was carrying a TV cameraman.

Beashel recalls the incident: 'We were sailing towards the finish with a reasonable lead when we had to tack'.

'This boat, it was actually a small ship, came steaming up taking photos of us so I yelled at him to stop but the next thing he was aboard us'.

'I managed to climb up the stem and got on board and told him what I thought about him with my hands (I grabbed him and thumped him) then jumped back into the water to check my damaged boat'.

'It created an international incident but the Australian Government’s External Affairs Minister told me not to apologise'.

The third 'incident' occurred at the 1984 Championship, which was sailed on Sydney Harbour.

Peter Sorensen’s Tia Maria team was the defending champion and well placed to defend the title when one of the most bizarre incidents occurred.

It was just before the start of the race when, as sheet hand Matt Coleman recalls: 'We tangled with the chain holding the marlin board on the starter’s boat'.

'I don’t know how it started, but Big Kite (Dave Stephens) hit me and we were into it. We were standing toe to toe in the middle of the boat and I don’t know how we didn't capsize'.

'We were near Bradley’s Head and I remember the crowd there and people on the spectator ferry cheering loudly'.

'Finally, Soro managed to break it up and we started late – well behind the other boats'.

'Big Kite had two broken fingers and I had a cut above the eye which bled throughout the race, but somehow we managed to get around the course and finished second or won. Honestly, I can’t remember'.

'Afterwards, I was taken to St. Vincents Hospital and Big Kite to Royal North Shore Hospital'.

'It was just one of those things. Two aggressive, competitive young men who just exploded in the heat of battle'.

'We actually got on well together and were back in the boat the next then went on to win the championship'.

Suppose it takes a certain type of individual to tame an 18ft Skiff, but, whatever the reason, there is rarely a dull moment at the 18s.






T Clewring - GenericInSunSport - NZWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

NSW 18ft Skiff Championships- Thurlow Fisher snatches last minute win
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team scores last metres win in NSW 18ft Skiff Championships + full race video The Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team of Michael Coxon, Trent Barnabas and Dave O’Connor won one of the most amazing NSW 18ft Skiff Championships in the 120-year history of the sport following a brilliant finish in today’s last race of the series on Sydney Harbour. Story includes full video of the race.
Posted on 1 Feb 2015
18ft Skiffs NSW Championship- Images from Race 4
Images from Race 4 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship Sydney photographer, Michael Chittenden was on Sydney harbour last Sunday and captured these images from Race 4 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championships
Posted on 28 Jan 2015
18ft Skiffs- Images from NSW Championships - Race 2
Sydney photographer, Michael Chittenden, was on the water for Race 2 of the NSW 18fter Championships Sydney photographer, Michael Chittenden, was on the water for Race 2 of the NSW 18fter Championships, sailed on Sydney harbour, and shot this gallery of images.
Posted on 20 Jan 2015
18ft Skiffs- NSW Championship, Race one
Following a three-week layoff, Australian 18 Footers League’s 18ft Skiff fleet returned to Sydney Harbour. 18ft Skiffs, NSW Championship 2015, Race one, Sydney Harbour - Following a three-week layoff over Christmas-New Year, the Australian 18 Footers League’s 18ft Skiff fleet returned to Sydney Harbour today to contest Race 1 of the NSW Championship. Conditions were far from perfect for the 15 teams with a variable south wind the order of the day.
Posted on 11 Jan 2015
18ft Skiffs- Rooklyn scores win in Syd. Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy
Syd. Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy: Lumix grabbed the lead after rounding the first set of windward marks. Lumix grabbed the lead after rounding the first set of windward marks and was never in any real danger of defeat as the team sailed faultlessly around the North-East course. Appliancesonline.com.au was 33s behind the winner, in second place, with Compassmarkets.com (Keagan York, Greg Dixon, Matt Stenta) a further 1m25s back in third place.
Posted on 14 Dec 2014
Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship - Stormy capsize
Last Sunday, Michael Coxon’s Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team was leading the Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship Last Sunday, Michael Coxon’s Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team was leading the Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship race when gear failure on the second spinnaker run ultimately led to a spectacular capsize.
Posted on 12 Dec 2014
18ft Skiffs- Club Championship- Bizzare racing in Yandoo Trophy
18ft Skiffs: What the official result and margins won’t show is that it was one of most bizarre races for many years. 18ft Skiffs: Club Championship, Race 4: Records will show that Mojo Wine defeated Coopers 62-Rag and Famish (Hugh Stodart, Peter Harris, Mark Kennedy) by 19s with Smeg (David Witt, Tom Clout, Matt Wark) a further 1m6s back in third place. What the official result and margins won’t show is that it was one of the most bizarre races for many years.
Posted on 7 Dec 2014
18ft Skiffs- W.C. 'Trappy' Duncan Memorial Trophy
18ft Skiffs: Smeg boys revelled 20+ kts north east wind to lead fleet from start and were untroubled to take victory. 18ft Skiffs: The Smeg boys revelled 20+ knots north east wind to lead the fleet from the start and were untroubled to take the victory by a comfortable 1m14s from Coopers 62-Rag and Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy, Stuart Wells). Mojo Wine, skippered by Australian 16 Footer champion Lee Knapton, and crewed by Ricky Bridge and Mike McKensey, was a further 1m16s back in third place.
Posted on 30 Nov 2014
18ft Skiffs- Club Championship, Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy - Race three
18ft Skiffs: Usual skipper Seve Jarvin and for’ard hand Sam Newton were joined in team by Wierzbowski for today’s race. Usual skipper Seve Jarvin and for’ard hand Sam Newton were joined in the team by James Wierzbowski for today’s race and led from shortly after the to defeat defending champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor, Dave Ewings) by 38s. Coopers 62-Rag and Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy, Peter Harris) was a further 21s back in third place.
Posted on 23 Nov 2014
Australian 18ft Skiffs- 40kt winds cancel race but Witt sails + Video
Winds gusting to 40-knots forced Australian 18 Footers League officials to abandon today’s Chris Webb Memorial Winds gusting to 40-knots forced Australian 18 Footers League officials to abandon today’s Chris Webb Memorial Trophy 18ft Skiff race on Sydney Harbour. Despite the conditions, the Smeg team of David Witt, Tom Clout and Matt Wark decided to show their heavy weather skill and took to the harbour alone. Here' the spectacular video of the day's rides
Posted on 16 Nov 2014