Skiff action in Sydney

Peter Danby previews the JJ Giltinan Trophy where 10 of the 27 boats taking part are from the UK

Monday December 30th 2002, Author: Peter Danby, Location: Australasia


The world's top talent in the 18 foot Super Skiff class is once again gathered in Double Bay, Sydney Harbour, to compete for the JJ Giltinan Trophy.

18 footer racing has been taking place here since January 1892, and the Trophy was presented in 1938 by James J Giltinan, who was then the Secretary of the New South Wales 18-footers Sailing League.

Among many famous Australian skippers who have won the coveted trophy are Iain Murray, Hugh Treharne, Ken Beashel and Ben Lexcen. Although the class has now spread throughout the world, southern hemisphere domination by Australian and New Zealand teams was not broken until 1999, when Tim Robinson from Great Britain lifted the trophy. The second northern skipper to do so was Howie Hamlin from the USA earlier this year. Hamblin is back to defend his title.

27 Skiffs are entered, and the racing is bound to be ultra close and exciting. Picking a likely winner is extremely difficult, although the chances are fairly high that the successful skipper will be one who has won the event in the past.

Home skipper Trevor Barnabas has done so on five previous occasions, and has the distinction of being the only one in the history of the trophy to have won it twice in one year, when it was contested in both Sydney Harbour and Sardinia in 1997. Trevor has been showing very good form so far this season, and would be delighted to become the first to reach six victories, to put him ahead of Iain Murray who is the only other skipper to have won five times - when he proved to be unbeatable from 1977 to 1981.

Strong opposition will come from this year's northern hemisphere entrants, with Howie Hamlin determined to repeat his 2002 success. Great Britain has an unprecedented ten entries, including previous winner Tim Robinson and also the experienced Rob Greenhalgh aboard RMW Marine is looking for his first victory in the event.

Racing begins on Friday 3 January with the invitation race, followed by the Trophy series from the 4th to the 12th.

Entries

RAG & FAMISH WARWICK ROOKLYN AUS
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH CLINTON WADE-LEHMAN SA
TERRY HOGAN CHRIS DIXON AUS
CHURCHILLS SPORTS BAR BEN AUSTIN AUS
AVAYA PETER MORRISON AUS
OMEGA SMEG TREVOR BARNABAS AUS
TOTAL RECALL TONY HANNAN AUS
CASIO SEAPATHFINDER MIKE COXON AUS
FISHER & PAYKEL GRANT ROLLERSON AUS
YANDOO JOHN WINNING AUS
ROSEMOUNT MICAH LANE AUS
COMPUTER ASSOCIATES ANTHONY ( JACK) YOUNG AUS
ARISTOCRAT GARY PHILLIPS AUS
EXPRESS POST HUGH STODDART AUS
ASKO DAVID LUMB AUS
NEW ZEALAND CHRIS SKINNER NZ
BASE 1 ROB DULSON UK
RMW MARINE ROB GREENHALGH UK
RADII ANDY RICHARDS UK
LINKS ASSOCIATES TIM PENFOLD UK
OVINGTON BOATS DAVE OVINGTON UK
HERMES ED BROWNE UK
ERNST & YOUNG JARROD SIMPSON UK
COMPUTERCENTRE NEALE FITZGERALD UK
FLAWLESS PABLO SOLDANO ITA
TEAM CANADA FRED EATON CAN
GE/US HALLENGE HOWIE HAMLIN USA
SMEG 2 STEVE McLEAN UK

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