Skiff race the Golden Gates

Highlight of the 18ft skiff circuit this year will be next week's regatta in San Francisco

Thursday August 29th 2002, Author: Anika Leerssen, Location: United States

Howie Hamlin's General Electric

The International 18 Foot Skiffs are finishing their 2002 world circuit on San Francisco Bay September 2-7. This is the first time in 20 years that the skiffs will hold a regatta on the bay, and the final stop on a world circuit that started in Australia in January and moved to France in June. The 18 Foot Skiffs are known for downwind speeds in excess of 30 knots, and the three person crews are expected to put on a wild show for spectators along the city front during this event. According to American sailor Howard Hamlin "these are the fastest and hardest boats in the world to sail!"

San Francisco and the St. Francis Yacht Club were selected for the only US stop on the world circuit. The decision was made based on the expectation of strong winds and great conditions, as well as superior race management by the club. The Race Office is expecting 10-12 entries for this event, from Australia, Canada, England and the USA. Skippers include recent world & European Champions, including Trevor Barnabas, a 5-time world champion, Howard Hamlin, the 2001 World Champion, and John Winning/ Euan McNicol/Jack Young, the 2000 World Champions.

10 races over the six days of racing are scheduled, with the first race at 2pm on Tuesday, September 3rd, racing following Wednesday to Saturday starting at 11am.

The boats will beach launch off of the Chrissy Field Beach. Spectators are invited to come and watch along Chrissy Field and the Marina Green. According to Hamlin, spectators will "be so close, they will feel the sailors adrenalin." Hamlin's crew for the San Francisco International regatta will be Mike Martin & Andy Zinn. In 2001 Hamlin and his crew were the first Americans to win the J.J. Giltinan Trophy in the 18ft Skiff World Championships in Sydney.

Conceived in 1892 by Australian Mark Foy, the 18 foot skiff had has an illustrious history, attracting some of the world's top sailors to compete for top honours. What began in Australia as a local class has blossomed over the years into an upper echelon class of true high performance racing. Both physically and mentally challenging, the 18-foot skiff requires talent, skill and a little bit of luck to fully master it. It is truly an extreme sport in every sense of the word.

Founded in 1927, St. Francis Yacht Club, within view of the Golden Gate Bridge, is a year-round host of over 40 regattas on San Francisco Bay. The club was host to the 2000 U.S. Olympic Sailing Trials for the Soling and Star classes and is renown for its expertise in running world and national championships.


Pos Boat Skipper Crew From
1 White Stuff Victor Brellisford James Fawcett & David Smith Rochford, Essex, Great Britain
2 Patrick Whitmarsh Santa Cruz, CA
3 TBD Ron Boehm Pete Mohler & Jeff Grange Santa Barbara, CA
4 Yandoo John Winning Jack Young & Euan McNicol Watsons Bay, Sydney, Australia
5 Zach Berkowitz Karl Baldauf & Jeff Nelson San Francisco, CA
6 RMW Marine Robert Greenhalgh Daniel Johnson & Johnny Lay Cullompton, Devon, UK
7 General Electric Howard Hamlin Mike Martin & Andy Zinn Long Beach, CA
8 Ernst & Young Jarrod Simpson Simon Nearn & Ris Cleary Luton, UK
9 TBC Trevor Barnabas Trent Barnabus & Cam Lewis Newport, NSW, Australia
10 Emery Ronstan WW Dalton Bergen Zach Maxam & Ben Glass West Coast, CA
11 TOTAL RECALL Tony Hannan Greg Windust & Cameron McDonald St. Leonards, NSW, Australia

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