The 2014 Stoke Beer 18ft Skiff National Championships are being held this ANZAC weekend at the Auckland Sailing Club, Okahu Bay.
Racing will be held straight out from the club with fantastic viewing from North Head and Okahu Bay wharf this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Racing starts at 1pm sharp with two windward leeward courses and one harbour race per day.
Anyone is welcome / encouraged to come down to the club before racing to check out the boats and talk to the sailors about the latest technology in high performance skiff racing. Each day after racing the bar will be open and packed full of the delicious and refreshing Stoke Beer range.
This weekend sees the whole NZ fleet back racing in anger after a break in the NZ calendar for the JJ Giltinans (18ft skiff Worlds) in Sydney in early March. C-tech (4th) (Alex Vallings) and Yamaha (5th) (Dave McDiarmid, Andy Archibald, Mark Overington) will be odds on favourite this weekend after both boats got top 5 results in Sydney in one of the toughest fleets for years.
C-tech however will be without their experienced crewman Socks McCormack and Chris Kitchen which leaves the door wide open for the rest of the NZ fleet to try get into the seemingly exclusive top two.
Knight Frank (Riley Dean, Matt Coutts, John Little) and Maersk Line (Graham Catley, Miranda Powrie, BBB Collins) will be looking to take advantage of their lessons learned in Sydney to challenge hard for this position.
This weekend also sees the re-launch of Aon Sailing Team's 18ft skiff. The boat has been stripped back and built back up with the hull being stiffened, new hardware and current generation rigs fitted to complement a new sail wardrobe.
This is the last hit out for four of the NZ boats before being packed up and shipped off thanks to Maersk Line for regattas on Lake Garda (Italy) and San Francisco Bay (USA) over the NZ winter.
Make sure you come and check out the most exciting racing on Auckland Harbour this weekend!
Thanks to our friends at Stoke Beer!