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18ft Skiffs: Busy Time Ahead for Noakesailing Team

by Frank Quealey 16 Dec 2020 22:15 PST

The next three months will be a busy time for the Noakesailing 18ft Skiff Racing team as crew members prepare for a Sydney-Hobart Race campaign, the 2021 JJ Giltinan World Championship while still maintaining the Noakes Group business activity during the present difficult time.

Sean Langman, Managing Director of Noakes Group, and one of Australia's most successful and versatile yachtsmen, has never been a person to sit on his hands and is a high achiever in both business and several levels of Australian and world sailing.

His association with the Australian 18 Footers League and 18ft Skiff Racing generally in Australia goes back more than 25 years.

Sean has always been an owner-skipper of several skiffs since his first venture into the 18s in the mid-1990s, but his influence became even greater when he introduced a 'Noakes Youth' campaign to "assist young people make their way in the world".

Jacqui Bonnitcha became the first 'Noakes Youth' skipper when she contested the 2007 JJ Giltinan world Championship on Sydney Harbour.

Jacqui had previously won the 2005 World 29er Championship in San Francisco, USA against a fleet of approximately 140 entries.

Others to follow Jacqui as 'Noakes Youth' skippers in the 18s were Ash Rooklyn and Kirk Mitchell before Yvette Heritage joined the 18s, under the 'Noakes Blue' banner, in 2018.

Yvette explained the reason for Noakes support of her team at that time. "The 'Noakes Blue' theme represents the recreation business side of Noakes which has an approach of inclusiveness within their business and the community."

Despite the pressure associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Sean has managed to maintain the high standards of the Noakes Group as Australia's leading general marine company, yet still be able to put together three major sailing campaigns.

Sean is heavily committed to the 18s in 2020-2021. He is not only skipper of the Noakesailing skiff but has also committed to continue his support of the 'Noakes Blue' campaign.

The 2020-2021 Noakesailing 18ft Skiff campaign brings together an international team of Sean Langman, from Australia, Ed Powys from the UK and Josh from New Zealand. This will be Ed's third season with Sean, while Josh is part of the highly talented team for the first time.

Prior to joining Sean in the Noakesailing team, Ed sailed for many years with Dave Evans in the 49er class, where the pair challenged strongly to represent at the Olympics.

He also contested the World Match Racing Tour with David Gilmour, the 2015 Extreme Sailing Series on Omar Air, and was a team member of the British America's Cup boat, Land Rover BAR, skippered by Ben Ainslie.

Josh Porebski is a talented sailor from Wellington, New Zealand, who has recorded many achievements. Probably his best was winning a silver medal with Marcus Hansen in the 2013 World 49er Championship in Marseille, France.

In 2019, Josh skippered ASCC at the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, and showed his class with some very impressive race performances to finish in fourth place overall. Following a slow start to the series, ASCC finished with two wins and two second placings in the final four races of the championship.

Ed and Josh will also contest the 2020 Sydney Hobart Race with Sean on Moneypenny, a 21.5 metre Reichel Pugh 69, built by McConaghy Boats.

Led by Sean, Noakes has grown from being a rigging provider in 1984 to now include the full range of maintenance and repair services.

Operating from its two boat and shipyards, one at North Sydney the other at Port Huon, Noakes "offers complete and expert support from the smallest sailing dinghy to stately tall ships, from modest work boats to world-girdling cruisers."

To prove the accuracy of the Noakes claims, the company was recently awarded long-term continuous maintenance contracts with the Royal Australian Navy and NSW Government.

To have a man of Sean's quality involved with the Australian 18 Footers League as both a competitor and multiple sponsor is one the club appreciates.

As Club President, John Winning said: "Our club fully appreciates Sean's association and his efforts to support talented sailors in the class. It fits perfectly with the club's policy of introducing new talent to the 18s as a means of ensuring the sport's long-term future."

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