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2020 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship: Invitational Race

by Frank Quealey 12 Mar 23:40 PDT 14-22 March 2020
The type of action that spectators will see at the JJs on Sydney Harbour this week © Frank Quealey

The traditional Invitation Race for the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship was sailed on Sydney Harbour today in a 12-15-knot North East wind.

As usual, many in the fleet used the race as a warm-up for the major title and not too much should be read into all the performances, although Tech2 looked fast on each leg of the course and held a big lead throughout before crossing the finish line 1m59s ahead of Smeg, with The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines a further 7s back in third place.

Race 1 of the 2020 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship will be sailed on Sydney Harbour tomorrow. Should the predicted South-West winds of around 28-knots, or more, face the fleet then all teams will be tested to the max.

The newly-crowned Australian champion Jack Macartney has the enthusiasm, dedication, a love of sailing, a whole lot of talent, and the determination to win the coveted trophy back for Australia when twenty four of the world's best teams line up for tomorrow's race.

After finishing runner-up to Michael Coxon's Thurlow Fisher Lawyers at the 2017 JJs, Macartney 'retired' from the 18s but is back with a classy team which includes Charlie Wyatt, a rookie to the 18s, on the sheet, and four times JJ Giltinan champion Trent Barnabas in the bow of a brand new Van Munster Boats-built skiff.

Watching New Zealand's David McDiarmid win the past two JJs since his break away from the 18s might have given Jack the urge to return to the class this season, particularly as he has been able to put such a strong team together.

Support for this 2020 challenge is supported by Tech2, which is a brand new sponsor to the 18s.

The new skiff didn't hit the water until early December when the team finished fifth in Race 2 of the NSW Championship. Despite missing the first race of the championship, Tech2 quickly showed her potential and finished fifth overall in the 18-boat fleet.

Not surprisingly, Tech2 continued to improve when racing resumed after the mid-season break and produced incredibly consistent performances over the nine-race Australian Championship.

It was Jack Macartney's second Australian Championship victory, having teamed with skipper Micah Lane and Drew Waller, in the bow, to win the 2006-2007 championship in Macquarie Real Estate.

Obviously refreshed after his brief break from the 18s, Jack said: "I'm really looking forward to the 2020 JJs after a few years out. I've come back energised with an awesome crew in Charlie and Trent."

"The kiwis are definitely the bench-mark. We are aiming to sail a consistent and accurate regatta and let the result take care of itself."

"Tech2 are a fantastic sponsor and right behind us for the battle ahead."

The other leading Australian challengers will come from Winning Group, Finport Finance, Shaw & Partners Financial Services, Smeg, Noakesailing, Appliancesonline.com.au and The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines.

Race dates are:

Saturday - March 14 - Race 1
Sunday - March 15 - Race 2
Tuesday - March 17 - Races 3 & 4
Wednesday - March 18 - Races 5 & 6
Thursday - March 19 - Race 7
Saturday - March 21 - Race 8
Sunday - March 22 - Race 9

Entries for 2020 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship:

Honda Marine: David McDiarmid, Matt Steven, Brad Collins
Winning Group: John Winning Jr., Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton
Finport Finance: Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Angus Williams
Shaw & Partners Financial Services: James Dorron, Harry Bethwaite, Tim Westwood
Smeg: Micah Lane, Ricky Bridge, Peter Harris
C-Tech: Alex Vallings, Sam Trethewey, Matt Coutts
Tech2: Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt, Trent Barnabas
Appliancesonline.com.au: Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall, Kurt Fatouris
The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines: Aron Everett, Courtney Mahar, Charlie Gundy
Noakesailing: Sean Langman, Ed Powys, Nathan Edwards
The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone: Jordan Girdis, Lachlan Doyle, Tom Quigley
Yandoo: John Winning, Mike Kennedy, Jasper Warren
Vintec: Kirk Mitchell, Pete Nicholson, Matt Wark
Maersk Line: Peron Pearse, Eli Liefting, Harry Clark
Rag & Famish Hotel: Bryce Edwards, Jacob Broom, Rory Cox
Birkenhead Point Marina: Tom Anderson, Elliot Scali, Tom Arkens
URM: Marcus Ashley-Jones, Cam Gundy, Lewis Brake
Ilve: Pedro Vozone, Matt Doyle, Jerome Watts
Queenslander: David Hayter, Nathaniel Dutton, Elliot Mahar
Dal Zotto: Jack Sprague, Josh Feldmann, Marc Chapon
Noakes Blue: Yvette Heritage, Rory Hunter, Oliver Scott-Mackie
Bird & Bear: Tom Clout, Cameron McDonald, John Walton
Lumix: Alex Watson, Cooper Richmond, Ben Roxburgh
QMC: Matt Rogers, Darren Rogers, Steve Wilson

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 www.18footers.com.

AeroMedia Live Broadcast team will be out on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action. For those who can't make it onto the water, live streaming is available at www.18footers.com and clicking on the '18 Footers TV' link.

JJ Giltinan Championship information, race results, race reports and photographic images is also available on the club website www.18footers.com and other news about the championship is available at:

Twitter - @18skiff
Instagram - @18skiff
Facebook - International 18Ft Skiff

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