Please select your home edition
Rooster GETSEASMART 728x90

12ft Skiff Australian Championship

by Di Pearson, 12ft skiff media 18 Apr 2017 02:36 PDT 14-17 April 2017

Nick Press and Andrew 'Noddy' Hay (Sydney Sailmakers) have capped off an extraordinary season after successfully defending the 12ft Skiff Australian Championship title they won last year when The Kitchen Maker 12ft Sailing Skiff Australian Championship was sailed over Easter.

Press and Hay who have sailed only the past two seasons together, have won every major 12ft skiff event this season, including the Upper Harbour, Parramatta River, NSW and Port Jackson Championships, along with the Interdominion, sailed between Australia and New Zealand each year.

Press, from Gladesville, and Hay, from Kirribilli won four of the six races sailed on Sydney Harbour between Goat and Cockatoo Islands to have their names carved on the Norman Booth Trophy again. Long-time rivals and Race 5 winners, Brett Hobson and Bill Lusty from the Sydney Flying Squadron at Kirribilli, finished runners-up, six points in arrears.

Third placegetters and top Veteran crew were Race 1 winners, Jono Temple and Richard Jones (LCC Asia Pacific) who have sailed together for 24 years.

Press, who lost his voice due to the flu, left Hay to do the talking. "I've sailed with Nick for two seasons and we've just won back-to-back Australians," he said, describing conditions as "mostly benign.

"We all sailed with our big rigs throughout, as conditions were mainly light, around 8 knots, although we had a brief southerly change on Sunday, but it didn't last. The wind got up in the high teens and we had a swim (capsized), because we were overpowered," Hay said.

The pair unusually won the Championship with ease, as Geotherm's Hobson and Lusty were not in their usual red-hot form.

"We did have one really close race with them when they beat us in Race 5, otherwise we were quite comfortable. Otherwise, we've had such a good battle with them all year, they normally push us hard," commented Hay who is looking forward to sailing with Press, the dominant force in the class since 2004.

Press comes from a long line of skiff sailors. His father Murray, crewed by Charlie Gundy (Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses) finished the Australian Championship in fourth place and second in the Veterans division.

Hay made a switch from the 18 foot skiff class where he sailed with John Winning for many seasons. "For me to come into the class as a 'newbie' it's very pleasing to have had such a successful season," he said.

"I'm really enjoying the class and our results – and the camaraderie in the class. It's an incredible boat to sail. I'd love to see more young guys in it. It was good to see Jimmy Walsh and Michael Kennedy (Karoshi) make a comeback and to see the guys from Queensland come down," Hay finished.

Gael and James Glassock (Cunning Ham) won the Junior Crown, while John Mulquiney and Robbie Polec (Handful) took out the Handicap title for the Colin Clark Memorial Trophy.

The 12ft skiff has traditionally been a stepping stone into the 16ft and 18ft classes. Some of Australia's most famous sailing names have raced and won in the '12's' including Iain Murray, John 'Woody' Winning, Michael Coxon and Dave Porter. From across the paddock, Bruce Farr, John Chapple, Russell Bowler and Don Lidgard represent the best.

Twenty five skiffs representing NSW and Queensland took part in The Kitchen Maker 12ft Skiff Sailing Australian Championship, which completes the season for the class.

Full results and all other information at

Related Articles

Lane Cove rebuilds club & spirit stronger
Lane Cove 12ft Sailing Skiff Club experienced the most devastating event in its history a year ago Just about one year ago, the Lane Cove 12ft Sailing Skiff Club experienced the most devastating event in its history, when a fire tore down its major boat storage shed and decimated a number of prized boats. Posted on 6 Sep
84th Australian 12ft Skiff Championship
Epic wind conditions over Easter at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron Waterloo Bay turned up the volume for the 12ft skiffs, who enjoyed epic wind conditions at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron for the 4-day event, despite the odd rain squall. Posted on 24 Apr
2019 12ft Skiff Port Jackson Championship
Sailed on an unusually empty Sydney harbour The NSW 12ft Skiff Fleet contested the Port Jackson Championship yesterday in 14-18 knots Westerly on an unusually empty Sydney harbour. The event marks the last interclub of the season and a final tune up before next month's Australian Championship Posted on 18 Mar
12ft Skiff Interdominion Championship overall
NSW's Press and Hay are undisputed champions The Geotherm crew of Brett Hobson/Jeremy Jones were the undisputed winners of the final race, but NSW sailors Nick Press/Andrew 'Noddy' Hay (Sydney Sailmakers) have decisively won the Your Move Conveyancing 12ft Skiff Interdominions. Posted on 12 Jan
12ft Skiff Interdominion Championship day 5
Queenslanders notch up first win - Press and Hay on fire Queensland's Richard Billet and Ben Cross (Carbon Chandlery) have notched up their first victory on the penultimate day of the Your Move Conveyancing 12Ft Skiff Interdominion Posted on 11 Jan
12ft Skiff Interdominion Championship day 4
Press and Hay all the way From the Sydney Flying Squadron, host of the event, you can't see what is happening on the Harbour weatherwise, so crews were choosing their rigs based on a predicted 15-18 knot southerly Posted on 9 Jan
12ft Skiff Interdominion Championship day 3
A ship, seen by some, played a big part in determining the outcome of race 5 The gun Sydney Sailmakers crew of Nick Press/Andrew Hay from Lane Cove 12ft Sailing Skiff Club won the earlier Race 4, but while leading Race 5, were in a blind spot, only spying a ship at the last minute. Posted on 8 Jan
12ft Skiff Interdominion Day 2
Geotherm leads but Sydney Sailmakers on the warpath There was no mistaking Sydney Sailmakers' Race 3 win. They won by more than three minutes, with the Brad Phillips/Harry Bethwaite crewed Terms & Conditions second and Geotherm third. Posted on 6 Jan
Aussie Skiffs 13 & 16 Footers Nationals day 6
Day six saw two Aussie Champions crowned Manly Surf n Slide 16ft Skiff Racing Team took out back to back championships after a closely fought match race with Koreman Marine. Posted on 5 Jan
12ft Skiff Interdominion Day 1
Geotherm strikes while iron is hot Day 1 of the Your Move Convenyancing 12ft Skiff Interdominion provided both thrills and spills in a stiff southerly that kicked in just before the 3pm start on Sydney Harbour today, with Brett Hobson/Jeremy Jones crewed Geotherm winning a battle of wills. Posted on 5 Jan
Gul 2019 GAMMA FooterZhik 2018 Hyeres 728x90 BOTTOMNaiad 660x82px_Rescue