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Andoo, Yandoo &Rags Lead 2024 JJ's After 2 Races


  • Andoo, Yandoo & Rags Lead 2024 JJ's After 2 Races

    Winnings 2024 JJ Giltinan Championship Race 1
    Saturday, 2 March 2024

    all images copyright SailMedia

    Race 1 of the Winnings 2024 JJ Giltinan Championship set the regatta off on the highest possible note on Sydney Harbour today with one of the best 18ft skiff races seen on the harbour for several seasons as four of the world's best 18ft skiff teams exchanged the lead several times throughout the entire course.

    With 27 of the best skiffs teams from five countries and three Australian states vying to win the coveted JJ Giltinan World 18 Footer Trophy, the spectator fleet was treated to an incredible battle of tactics in continually changing wind conditions and directions.
    The race can best be described as "it had everything you could ask for, and more".

    After one hour, 28mins and 53secs of racing over the long southerly course, the Yandoo team of Micah Lane, Fang Warren and Lewis Brake lost the lead just 500 metres from the finish, then snatched victory back by just 3s from the defending champion Andoo team of John Winning Jr, Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton.

    Finport Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta and Phil Marshall) finished a further 34s back in third place, ahead of Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price), Germany's Black Knight (Heinrich Von Bayern), Balmain (Henry Larkings) and The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Jacob Marks).
    After a delay due to, firstly a lack of wind then two general recalls, the race finally began in very strange wind conditions which quickly divided the fleet as boats headed for the windward mark off Clark Island.

    Finport Finance won the battle to grab a 15s lead over New Zealand's ASCC (Eli Liefting), with Andoo and Black Knight close behind and just ahead of The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines. Yandoo was in sixth place ahead of Fisher & Paykel (Jordan Girdis), followed by Rag & Famish Hotel and Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Emma Rankin).

    The first long spinnaker run to Obelisk tested the crews to the max and it was the young New Zealanders in ASCC, without Sydney Harbour experience, who outshone the locals to lead Black Knight by two boat lengths at Obelisk with Finport Finance a further 10s back in third place.

    Yandoo gained on the run to move into fourth place ahead of The Oak, Andoo and The Rag which had also gained on the run,
    The experienced crew on Andoo went hard left on the work back into Rose Bay and the tactic was a winner as Andoo had gone from sixth place at Obelisk to a 45s lead over Rag & Famish Hotel at the mark on the southern end of Shark Island. Yandoo was now up into third place ahead of a four-boat group of The Oak, ASCC, Back Knight and Finport Finance all battling for fourth place.

    Just when it looked as if Andoo's lead may be hard to peg back, The Rag put in a brilliant spinnaker run back to the Athol Bay East mark and suddenly Andoo's lead was dragged back to just 7 seconds.

    This race had everything. On the work back to Clark Island fro Athol Bay, The Rag not only took the lead off Andoo, she opened up a 25s break over the defending champion. Finport Finance had fought her way ahead of Yandoo which was now back into fourth place ahead of The Oak and ASCC.

    The next long spinnaker run to Obelisk was far removed from the first. This time the fleet had more than enough breeze and the racing was sensational as the leading group arrived at the Obelisk mark with little between the four leaders.

    The Rag was now only 4s ahead of Andoo, with Finport and Yandoo not far behind. ASCC arrived next but, unfortunately for the young crew, capsized just ahead of Black Knight and The Oak.

    It was all about tactics as the leaders next headed for the next mark off the southern end of Shark Island. Again, the lead changed. This time it was finally Yandoo's turn, as the team set the spinnaker for the run to Athol Bay East with a 20s lead over Andoo and Finport.
    At the final rounding mark as the leaders headed for home, Yandoo was now just 3s ahead of Andoo which, despite the lead change near the finish, was enough to give the Yandoo team a magnificent victory on a memorable day of 18ft skiff racing.


    Race 2

    The Winnings 2024 JJ Giltinan Championship produced another cracking 18ft skiff race on Sydney Harbour today when the defending champion Andoo team scored a brilliant, but narrow, victory over a gallant Rag & Famish Hotel in Race 2 of the international regatta.
    Only seconds separated the two highly-talented teams as they raced under spinnaker at top speed from the Beashel Buoy to Clark Island where Andoo took the race honours by a mere 6seconds from The Rag.

    After a sensational Race 1 yesterday with the lead changing consistently, today's race was a classic match-race style contest with the defending champion crew of John Winning Jr, Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton holding off everything the challenging crew threw at them in a heart-stopping finish.

    The performance of The Rag's crew (Harry Price, Josh McKnight and Finn Rodowicz) was outstanding and was responsible for the tremendous action we witnessed on the spinnaker run to the finish.

    With a big break between the second and third placed teams, the Rag & Famish Hotel crew could have easily settled for a comfortable second placing after trailing Andoo by 25s at the final weather mark. Instead they continually applied pressure to the leader as the pair raced to the wing mark off the southern end of Shark Island then applied as much pressure as possible on the run between the islands.
    A great performance by two great 18ft skiff crews.

    Race 1 winner, Yandoo (Micah Lane, Fang Warren and Lewis Brake) finished a further 4m5s behind Rag & Famish Hotel, but that statistic doesn't reflect the team's true performance, which was marred by a reckless power boat driver whose actions forced Yandoo to capsize at the wing mark, while holding a close third place behind The Rag, on the first lap of the course.

    Another terrific performance came from the fourth-placed Marine Outlet (John Cooley) which, after a great start, sailed consistently well throughout the entire race.

    The young, but obviously talented, New Zealand ASCC (Eli Liefting) team also put in another very good performance on unfamiliar waters to finish in fifth place, ahead of Balmain (Henry Larkings), and the Queensland pair of Big Foot Bags and Covers (Dave Hayter) and C-Tech (Josh Sloman).

    The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Jacob Marks) and the rookie 18 footer crew on Team Vic (Scott Cunningham) rounded out the top-10 .
    After the first two races, Andoo leads the championship points table on three points, followed by Yandoo on four, Rag & Famish Hotel on six, Balmain on 12, ASCC on 13, with both Finport Finance (Keagan York) and The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines on 16.

    Andoo's crew were soon in the lead after a good start and held a 30s lead over Rag & Famish Hotel at the Beashel Buoy. Yandoo was in third place just ahead of Lazarus and Marine Outlet, followed by ASCC, Team Vic and Vaikobi (Kirk Mitchell).

    Andoo maintained her lead at the wing mark off Shark Island and was 25s ahead of The Rag at the bottom mark off Clark Island.
    What followed over the next two laps of the course was a 'match race' that spectators will remember for years.

    Match race 'specialist' Harry Price and his team took on the great Andoo crew on the second windward beat to the Beashel buoy but still trailed by 28s. Down wind it was reduced to 25s, and remained at 25s when the pair reached the Beashel Buoy for the third (and final) time before the fabulous run to the finish.

    Three teams had their day spoiled by gear problems. Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Emma Rankin) was forced out shortly after the start, Lazarus (Tom Cunich) was in third place as she approached the bottom mark on the first lap and a massive spinnaker problem forced the crew to capsize and rectify the problem.

    The German Black Knight (Heinrich Von Bayern) team, which finished fifth in yesterday's Race 1, was also in the top 10 placings today before a jib problem relegated the skiff back to a disappointing 19th place.

    Handicap section of today's race was won by Marine Outlet, ahead of Team Vic and C-Tech.

    Tuesday March 5, 2024 Races 3 & 4, Alan Cole Memorial Trophy

    Wednesday March 6, 2024 Races 5 & 6, A.J. Reynolds Trophy

    Thursday March 7, 2024 Race 7, Bill Miller Memorial Trophy

    Saturday March 9, 2024 Race 8, Big Kite Memorial Trophy

    Sunday March 10, 2024 Race 9, Ribbon and JJ Giltinan Trophy
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