Written by Frank Quealey
14 March 2023
The defending champion Andoo team, John Winning Jr, Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton, retained the crown of world champion with an outstanding victory in the Winning Group JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship which concluded on Sydney Harbour on Sunday 12 March.
Andoo finished in second place in Sunday’s race, but the result was good enough to complete the championship with a total of 25 points, after winning four races of the nine-race regatta.
Finport Finance (Keagan York, Angus Williams and Phil Marshall) finished in second place with a total of 31 points, followed by Smeg (Michael Coxon, James Dorron/Ricky Bridge and Tom Anderson) on 33, Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price) 36, Big Pete (Sean Langman) 38 and Yandoo (John Winning) on 40.
Andoo’s crew is not only a champion team, it is a team of champion sailors.
Skipper John Winning Jr is the line honours winning skipper (Andoo Comanche) of the 2022 Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race, former world 29er champion and joins with his father John (Woody) Winning as the only father-and-son winning skippers of the JJ Giltinan world 18ft Skiff Championship.
Sheet hand Seve Jarvin has now won 10 JJ Giltinan championships, eight as a skipper and two as sheet hand – more than any other competitor in the history of the championship.
Bowman Sam Newton is now an eight-time winner of the JJ Giltinan championship and was part of the 2013 America’s Cup-winning Oracle Team USA, among other international yachting achievements
Sunday’s race was sailed in a 12 to 14 knot South West breeze and resulted in a brilliant, all-the-way win for Finport Finance, which crossed the finish line 2m13s ahead of Andoo.
Germany’s Black Knight (Heinrich Bayern, Thomas Martin and Andy Martin) finished strongly to take third place, 38s behind Andoo, followed by Smeg, Balmain Slake (Henry Larkings) and Rag & Famish Hotel.
After Finport Finance established a clear lead of more than one minute at the end of the first spinnaker run to Obelisk Bay, most interest centred on a great battle for the next six placings.
Andoo worked her way through the pack after being in eighth place at the first mark, while Smeg, Balmain Slake, Big Pete and Yandoo were always in the mix as positions changed regularly throughout the race.
The German team (Black Knight) performed consistently to win a very competitive handicap section of the championship from Birkenhead Point Marina (Kirk Mitchell) and Balmain Slake.
NEXT WEEK: The Australian 18 Footers League will conduct the annual QUEEN OF THE HARBOUR race and has a spectator ferry following the race, leaving Double Bay Public Wharf, alongside the clubhouse, at 2pm.
For anyone who can’t make it onto the spectator ferry, the League’s live broadcast team will be out on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action.
Live streaming is available online by clicking on the ’18 Footers TV’ link.