Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

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.






Bakewell-White Yacht DesignSouthern Spars - 100Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr