Please select your home edition
Edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

18ft Skiffs: Change of fortune needed for rookie team

by Frank Quealey 21 Jan 22:21 PST

As the championship end of the 2020-2021 Australian 18ft Skiff Racing Season moves toward the JJ Giltinan world Championship on Sydney Harbour in March, one team looking for a change of fortune is Birkenhead Point Marina, which is being led by rookie 18s skipper Tim Westwood.

Although Tim is a rookie skipper in the 18s this season, he is definitely not new to the high-speed skiffs or high-speed international racing in big boats, but his first season as an 18s skipper has been affected by bad luck.

Tim Morishima Westwood was born in Australia and educated at primary school in Osaka, Japan.

He began sailing with his father when he was six-years-old but, despite sailing in 29ers and 49ers, says he didn't start taking it seriously until he sailed in the Australian 18 Footers League fleet as an 18-year-old.

Tim's first season in the 18s was 2016-2017 when he sailed in the bow on Pedro Vozone's Haier Appliances skiff for a part of that season, before going on to become a member of Kaijin Team Japan, the Japanese Youth America's Cup team in 2017.

Following his campaign in the Youth America's Cup, Tim was back into the 18s for the 2017-2018 Season when he sailed in the bow with former Australian Cherub champion Kirk Mitchel and Daniel Barnett on Noakes Youth/Vintec.

He sailed with the same team again in 2018-2019 before moving on to Shaw and Partners Financial Services with defending Australian 18ft Skiff champions James Dorron and Harry Bethwaite for the 2019-2020 Season.

In 2019, Tim began SailGP Season 1 as a member of the Japanese shore team in Sydney, but after a successful trial, he joined the crew full-time, making his debut at San Francisco SailGP. He was voted 'most improved team member during the inaugural campaign and was part of the starting line-up as grinder/jib trimmer for Season 2.

From the moment Tim accepted the challenge to skipper an 18, he was out on Sydney Harbour regularly with his team, Alex Chittenden and Ben Psaltis, training for the start of the season.

Things were on track for the trio until Alex dislocated his shoulder in the week leading up to the first race on October 11. This was obviously a massive blow to the new team as it took on the might of the Australian 18 Footers League fleet.

Racing each week with a variety of replacement sheet hands, before Alex was able to get back in action, was then followed by the loss of Ben Psaltis late in November.

As the League's fleet went into the Christmas-New Year break, the Birkenhead Point Marina team was struggling from the lack of a consistent crew, but over the past two weeks a new continuity has helped restart the team's challenge.

Felix Daverio has sailed each race with Tim and Alex and the results have begun to move forward. In Race 5 of the NSW Championship, Birkenhead Point Marina was more than competitive and held second place behind Winning Group at the first windward mark.

The team is being fully supported by second year sponsor Birkenhead Point Marina, which is a world acclaimed marina, and the first marina on Sydney Harbour to be awarded 5-gold anchor platinum status and highly accredited Global Gold Anchor Scheme.

Marina Manager Philip McGowen is positive about the sponsorship association with the iconic class.

"I like the history of the 18ft Skiffs and everything that goes with it. I love the club and the way they set the skiffs up in the park next door and the team work that goes into every race."

"The sponsorship has also given us good advertising and marketing opportunities by getting our name out on Sydney Harbour every Sunday afternoon. Word travels fast in the marina industry and everyone on the harbour knows we are proud sponsors of one of the 18ft Skiffs."

"We encourage all our boat owners to get out each Sunday afternoon and watch the 18ft Skiffs Race. It's something different and knowing the boys are doing their best for Birkenhead Point Marina is something special."

The Birkenhead Point Marina team will line up against 17 other top 18ft Skiff combinations in Sunday's two races (Races 2 & 3) of the Australian Championship on Sydney Harbour.

Defending Australian champion tech2 (Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt, Lewis Brake) is favoured to retain the title after winning the NSW Championship on Sydney Harbour last Sunday.

Despite the favouritism, there are several strong challengers for the 2020-2021 national crown, particularly Winning Group (John Winning Jr., Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton) and Smeg (Michael Coxon, Ricky Bridge, Trent Barnabas).

Spectators can follow the racing on board the club's spectator ferry, however due to the COVID-19 policy, numbers are limited. Booking online through the club's website www.18footers.com is essential. www.18footers.com.au/18-footers-sailing/spectator-ferry

For those unable to make it out onto the water, the club's live broadcast team will be on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action. Live streaming is available at www.18footers.com by clicking on the '18 Footers TV' link.

Follow all the club's racing throughout the 2020-2021 Racing Season:

Quick Links:

Club Website - www.18footers.com
Twitter - @18skiff
Instagram - @18skiff
Facebook - International 18Ft Skiff

Related Articles

18ft Skiff Club Championship race 15
tech2 team add another title to their already impressive 2020-2021 list The tech2 team of Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake added another title to their already impressive 2020-2021 list of championship victories when it took out the Australian 18 Footers League's Club Championship series. Posted on 28 Feb
18ft Skiff Supercup
Several past champions and legends return to the class on Sydney Harbour Several past 18ft Skiff champions returned to the class today when they skippered boats from the Australian 18 Footers League's 2020-2021 Season fleet in the annual 'Supercup' series on Sydney Harbour. Posted on 26 Feb
18ft Skiffs: Supercup Series preview
Three races on specially-designed courses this Friday Some of the world's best 18ft Skiff Racing champions will be among the guests on display on Friday (February 26) when they skipper boats in the Australian 18 Footers League's annual 'Supercup' series on Sydney Harbour. Posted on 24 Feb
18ft Skiff Australian Championship overall
Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake retain the title The defending Australian 18ft Skiff champion tech2 team of Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake retained the title when the team won the 2020-2021 championship, which concluded on Sydney Harbour today. Posted on 21 Feb
18ft Skiffs: Rookie team takes on the big guns
A surprise to many casual observers The recent performances by the rookie Shaw and Partners Financial Services 18ft Skiff team may have come as a surprise to many casual observers but it is no surprise to those who know the individual members' sailing records Posted on 17 Feb
18ft Skiff Australian Championship race 8
A remarkable comeback by the defending champions on the final two legs After trailing the leader for most of today's Race 8 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship, the defending champion tech2 team of Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake staged a remarkable comeback over the final two legs. Posted on 14 Feb
2021 Historical 18 Footer Australian Championship
Racing for the Galloping Ghost Trophy held over 3 races on Sydney Harbour The 2021 Historic 18 Footer Australian Championship for the Galloping Ghost Trophy was conducted by the Sydney Flying Squadron (SFS) in conjunction with the Australian Historical Sailing Skiff Association (AHSSA), on Sydney Harbour. Posted on 11 Feb
Australian Historical 18s Championship
Kiwi sailor skippers Yendys to victory on Sydney Harbour The New Zealand 18ft Skiff fleet may not be coming to contest the 2021 JJ Giltinan on Sydney Harbour in March, but there is one Kiwi sailor who will be at the JJs, and who has already taken out a major 18 Footer championship in Australia this month. Posted on 10 Feb
18ft Skiff Australian Championship races 6 & 7
Defending champions produce a last-minute victory on Sydney Harbour The defending champion tech2 team of Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake produced a last-minute victory in Race 7 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship, on Sydney Harbour today, to take a narrow lead in the series. Posted on 7 Feb
18ft Skiffs: Family Rivalry on the Race Track
Strong family influence over the generations in the 18 Footers For more than 100 years there has been a strong family influence over the generations in the 18 Footers. Posted on 5 Feb
Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - FOOTERCyclops 2020 - SmartlinkNano - FOOTERSelden 2020 - FOOTER