Please select your home edition
Allen Brothers

18ft Skiff NSW Championship - Winning Group setting the standard

by Frank Quealey 6 Dec 2019 01:12 PST 8 December 2019

The Winning Group 18ft Skiff team has set the standard with its domination of the first two races of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship, presently being sailed on Sydney Harbour, and has brought into focus the possibility of her skipper John Winning Jr. and his father John 'Woody' Winning becoming the first father-and-son JJ Giltinan (world) Championship-winning skippers in the 81-year history of the prestigious championship.

John 'Woody' Winning had been runner-up twice to the legendry Iain Murray, Color 7, in the late 1970s before finally taking the prestigious Giltinan (world) title with AMP Centrepoint in 2000.

John Winning Jr. (aka 'Herman') won the 2002 World 29er Championship with Euan McNicol, when the pair defeated another 'gun' team of Nathan Outteridge and Grant Rose on Sydney Harbour.

'Herman' joined the 18ft Skiff ranks in 2008 when he skippered a new skiff, sponsored by, an online company he formed as part of his family's business, and with his team of Dave Ewings and Tim Austin, finished fourth in a 32-strong fleet of teams from New Zealand, USA, UK and Canada.

Under the pressures of business, when John Jr. stepped up to become CEO of the 113-year-old family business, which has grown to become the 'Winning Group' with around 1,000 employees, he retired from regular 18ft Skiff Racing.

He came back into the 18s to compete in the Australian 18 Footers League's 2018-2019 Season and the 2019 JJ Giltinan (world) Championship, but the team's outlook seems far more determined in 2019-2020.

With seven-times JJ Giltinan Championship-winning skipper Seve Jarvin on the sheet and six-times JJ-winning bowman and Team Oracle America's Cup winner, Sam Newton on board, Winning Group is looking like an early favourite to tackle the dominance the Kiwis have had at the JJs for the past two years.

Ironically, 'Herman' will be contesting the 2020 JJs against his father and against the skiff sponsored by the company he formed,, which will be skippered by the class boat builder Brett Van Munster.

Defending NSW champion James Dorron and his team of Harry Bethwaite and Tim Westwood had a slow start to the season but have shown a big improvement over the past two weeks to be runner-up in both races in their Shaw and Partners Financial Services-sponsored skiff.

After the first two races of the five-race NSW Championship, Winning Group leads the 18-boat fleet with a perfect score of 2, followed by Shaw and Partners Financial Services on 4, on 8, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett) on 9, Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) on 11, Smeg (Micah Lane) 15, Yandoo (John Winning) 18, Noakes Blue (Yvette Heritage) 18, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone 18.

Race 3 of the NSW Championship will be sailed from the Australian 18 Footers League on Sunday.

Spectators can see all the teams while they are rigging, then follow the racing on board the club's spectator ferry, which leaves Double Bay Wharf, alongside the rigging area, at 2pm.

Book online through the club's website

The AeroMedia Live Broadcast team will also be out on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action for those who can't make it onto the water.

The livestreaming is available by going to and clicking on the '18 Footers TV' link.

As well as watching the livestreaming coverage, you can also follow all the club's racing throughout the entire 2019-2020 Racing Season:

  • Club Website -
  • Twitter - @18skiff
  • Instagram - @18skiff
  • Facebook - International 18Ft Skiff

Related Articles

18ft Skiffs: Dave Porter, the unluckiest champion
Fortune didn't always smile on the great sailor David Porter became the 1975 JJ Giltinan world 18ft Skiff champion when he skippered KB to a brilliant victory on the Brisbane River, but fortune didn't always smile on the great sailor. Posted on 4 Jul
In Conversation with Tristan Walker-Hutt
New projects during lockdown for the East Coast sailor Back in January 2019 we published the 'Budget Ultra-High Performance Sailing' article about the International 14 Fawkes, which Tristan Walker-Hutt and Tom Clayton had renovated on a very tight budget. Posted on 2 Jul
TraveLodge's 18ft Skiff sponsorship
A world championship-winning association with Bob Holmes A sponsor who came to the 18 Footers in 1964 was the TraveLodge company which decided to sponsor Bob Holmes, who was a new, young competitor to the class. Posted on 28 Jun
How Len Heffernan changed the Sydney 18ft Skiffs
Taking up the challenge to transition to three-handers in the 1960s Brisbane led the way in the transition from the four-handed 18ft Skiffs to the three-handers in the late 1950s, but it was the late Len Heffernan who took up the challenge to introduce the new style boats to Sydney. Posted on 25 Jun
Sailing is freedom
We can all mess about in or on any type of boat or board It seems 'The Great Grass Roots Revival?' and 'Messing about in boats' had quite an impact. With my own eyes I see what is happening on my doorstep with more activity on the water than I've seen in years, but this was just the microcosm that I live in. Posted on 22 Jun
New 18ft Skiff teams wanted for 2020 - Apply Now
An amazing opportunity to sail and learn from some of the best sailors around The Australian 18 Footers League has long had a policy of introducing new and young teams into its fleet to ensure the continued growth and quality of the club's 85-year-old tradition of 18ft Skiff Racing on Sydney Harbour. Posted on 21 Jun
New Zealand's 18ft Skiff Racing Record
Three consecutive victories just the latest chapter of an 82-year-old story Three consecutive victories by the Honda Marine team of David McDiarmid, Brad Collins and Matt Steven in the world's premier JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship over the past three seasons, gives New Zealanders every right to boast at the moment. Posted on 18 Jun
18ft Skiffs: Patrick Corrigan, AM
30 years of 18ft Skiff sponsorship Mr. Patrick Corrigan, AM is an Australian businessman, focused mainly in the freight industry, an art collector, jazz enthusiast and philanthropist, who was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia medal in the 2000 Queen's Birthday Honours List. Posted on 14 Jun
18ft Skiffs: The Kulmar Family
Their unique achievement at the 1976 JJ Giltinan World Championship The 128-year history of Australia's 18 Footers is famous for having generations of a family competing over many years. Occasionally, even two generations are competing together or against each other at the same time. Posted on 11 Jun
18ft Skiffs: Sponsoring 'Formula One on water'
Sailing demographic excellent for corporate strategies Since the first recorded 18 Footer races on Sydney Harbour in 1892, the boats were individually owned by wealthy or even struggling owner/skippers and were emotionally named. Posted on 7 Jun
RS Sailing 2020 - RSSS - FOOTERVaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 3Henri-Lloyd 2020 FOOTER