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JJ Giltinan Trophy- NZ 18fter team NZ team reflects on two top tens

by Auckland Sailing Club on 14 Mar 2013
18fters C-Tech chasing Smeg in the 2013 JJ Giltinan Trophy sailed on Sydney Harbour Frank Quealey © /Australian 18 Footers League http://www.18footers.com.au

The better late than never recap of the New Zealand teams competing at the 2013 JJ Giltinan Trophy.

The New Zealand teams showed good form at this year’s JJ Giltinan Trophy with two boats finishing in the top 10 of the 31 boat fleet. Only six of the seven scheduled races were completed, due to stormy conditions for heat 6, with the top three places in the regatta going to Australian based boats. Gotta Love It 7 won the title for a fourth consecutive year. Rag and Famish Hotel finished a close second with New Zealander Mark Kennedy as sheet hand while Thurlow Fisher Lawyers rounded out the top three.

The JJ Giltinan Trophy is run by the 18 Footers League club in Double Bay, Sydney. The races typically comprise of harbour courses that traverse all over Sydney harbour, which makes this regatta that much more challenging for the foreign teams as experience and local knowledge play a bigger than normal part.

C-Tech (Alex Vallings, Pete Burling and Josh McCormack) was again the leading NZ boat finishing fourth on count back to third placed Thurlow Fisher Lawyers. The result marked a good improvement from last year’s seventh place for C-tech, with all counted results being in the top 6, including two second places. C-tech will no doubt look back at heat 5 in disappointment where a collision at the first top mark ended their chance to punch in a top result whilst some of their closest rivals struggled with their smaller rigs.

Yamaha (David McDiarmid, Andrew Archibald and Mark Overington) was the second best NZ boat finishing eighth overall and first on handicap. The team managed to overcome their early round bad luck and post some solid results, with three top 10 finishes and one top 5. Yamaha showed blinding speed at times and combined with their tactical nous, were deserved overall winners on handicap. Sheet hand Andy Archibald also received the traditional Handicap winner’s blue drill shirt, which was rightfully worn for the rest of prizegiving. The regatta was bitter sweet for Andy as late last year he was seriously ill and was up until recently not able to sail at all.

Events Clothing (Riley Dean, John Little and Scott Randle) finished the regatta in 19th place and third kiwi boat. It was a difficult regatta for Events Clothing as they had the pace and skill but not quite the polish to match it higher up the leader board and finished within 8 points of 15th. The highlight no doubt however was their heat 2 performance in which they finished sixth on line and first on handicap in light shifty conditions.

Maersk Line (Graham Catley, Wuss Dawson and Brad Collins) had a tough regatta finishing 22nd overall.

Maersk Line struggled in the predominately semi-wiring conditions throughout the regatta which made it hard for them to hold on to places higher up the leader board. They did however maintain their form and consistency in the boat park with a hive of female admirers often seen gathered around them.

ASCC (Murray England, Rowan Swanson and Matt Randle) got 24th overall and showed patches of good form for a new combination. However with such a competitive fleet they found it hard to hold their position around the track and got pushed back when doing well. Heat 5 is a highlight for the Murray England inspired team, after banging hard right on the first work they beat the pack to round the top mark in third place. After much fizzing and waves to the spectator ferry they hoisted their gennaker and carried on with the race.

For Yamaha 2 (Sam Marshall, Tom Peet and Ben Gladwell) it was their first JJ Giltinans in their rookie year of the 18fter class. After an unnerving first day out, in which they were struck by another vessel and unable to race, Yamaha 2 was able to rebound and challenge hard throughout the remainder of the regatta to finish 26th. The regatta was a big learning curve for the young team as they continue to develop as a team whilst juggling a big fleet and a busy harbour, not to mention observing their Tour de Fizz commitments.

Bridge Marina Travelift (Kez Cameron, Adrian France and Steve Jones) had a disappointing regatta after preparing well back in New Zealand and finished 30th overall. The highlight for them however is the grand stand performance they put on for the fleet after venturing out when heat 6 was abandoned due high winds. After an award winning bear away off the beach the team completed the most highly watched capsize of the regatta amongst the moored boats to the gathered crowd’s applause. Not letting a swim deter them they righted the boat and headed out for a big downwind blast and plenty more refreshing moments.

To see the full results and check out the videos and photo galleries of the regatta go to www.18skiffs.com
The New Zealand boats are currently on their way home thanks to Maersk Line. Once back preparation will begin for the conclusion of the Steinlager 18ft Skiff Nationals and the ANZAC regatta, which is expected to draw some international boats.

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