Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

The unluckiest JJ Giltinan Champion

by Frank Quealey on 12 Feb 2014
Dave Porter -unluckiest JJ Giltinan Champion - 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship Australian 18 Footers League © http://www.18footers.com.au
Dave Porter became a Giltinan Champion in 1975 when he steered KB to a brilliant victory on the Brisbane River, but fortune didn’t always smile on this great sailor as he was runner-up on five other occasions between 1973 and 1979.

Dave really was a great 18 Footer sailor, but having met him for the first time you soon realize he is an even better man.

When asked about some of the bad luck which plagued him during the Giltinan Championship regattas, he refused to make excuses and simply said how ecstatic he was to win the 1975 championship.

'It was the first time any of our crew had won the championship and so it was very special to each of us (Dave, Bob Ferris and Bob Tearne)', Dave said.

'We knew we had a good boat and crew and we prepared thoroughly for the regatta on the Brisbane River'.

'We capsized in Race 1 and finished only seventh, but we soon got back on track and won the remaining four races of the regatta'.

'We partied hard and long afterwards'.

While Dave was reluctant to say he had bad luck, the fact remains that on at least two occasions it was a matter of how he lost. On both occasions to Iain Murray’s Color 7 in 1977 and 1978.

Any recall of his career in the 18s should focus more on the positives. Six times in the top two in the Giltinan Championship in nine seasons of 18 Footer racing and how he is remembered by those lucky enough to see him compete.

Aside from his Giltinan results, Porter won three Australian Championships, five NSW Championships and numerous Club Championships.

Personally, watching Dave race on Sydney Harbour each weekend for nine years, I realized how talented he was and what a wonderful sportsman – win or lose.

From the view of a spectator, Dave Porter is certainly one of the greatest 18 Footer sailors in the sport’s illustrious history and his ‘bad luck’ Giltinan record should never take away from the enormous talent of a great sailor.

Like many other 18 Footer champions, Dave joined the class after winning the Inter-dominion 12ft Skiff Championship. With financial support from his father (Dave senior), he carried the name ‘Aussie’ on his first 18ft Skiff during the 1970-1971 Season.

('Aussie’ was the name of Dave Porter (senior) successful 12 Footer in 1930, which he was forced to sell because of the depression. Dave (junior) also carried the name on his 12ft Skiffs when he won the Inter-dominions in 1966 and 1967)

The Aussie 18 hull was designed by John Chapple and beautifully built from cedar veneer by Ian Prerdriau. The bare hull, including decks and buoyancy tanks, weighed 170lbs.

Although Aussie won two races at the 1971 regatta in Auckland, unfavourable conditions resulted in two DNFs, which proved too costly in the final result.

The following year, Dave’s family business, Porter Marine, supported the campaign, and it wasn’t until 1972-1973 before KB came along to support his campaign.

Dave and KB were an awesome combination over the next six years but, although he wouldn’t admit it,
1977 and 1978 must make him wonder about ‘luck’ and what might have been.

With a lead of 5½m over Iain Murray at the final rounding mark in 1977, Porter and the rest of the fleet elected to sail a safety first course to the finish in a 20-knot northerly wind and big seas. Realising he had nothing to lose, Murray pulled off the ‘impossible’ when he elected to sail the direct course to the finish and grabbed the title away from Porter.

If that defeat wasn’t bad enough, the following year Porter was incredibly unlucky before losing to Murray in a sail-off on the Brisbane River.

(This was one of the most controversial Giltinan Championship regattas in its 75-year history. The New Zealand team went as far as threatening a walk out following some controversial rulings by the Board of Control).

After taking a strong grip on the series with wins in each of the first two races, Porter’s KB suffered a broken mast in Race 5 and was forced to use a borrowed rig in the sail-off.

KB took an early lead, but when Murray set a brand new super-lightweight spinnaker on Color 7, the KB crew could do nothing but watch as Color 7 sailed past to victory.

It’s fair to say, Dave Porter was the ‘King of Sydney Harbour’ during most of the 1970s.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]





Bakewell-White Yacht DesignT Clewring J-classSchaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250

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