Passage ahead for the 18ft skiffs

John Winning looks to the future
John ‘Woody’ Winning added yet another 18ft Skiff title to his already distinguished record over many years when he skippered Yandoo to victory in the ANZAC Regatta, sailed on the Waitemata Harbour, Auckland. Along with regular crewman Andrew Hay and stand-in Dave Ewings (replacing Dave Gibson for the regatta), Woody used his tactical experience along with the excellent crew work in the testing conditions which prevailed during the event. "The racing was held over four days with two races each day in #1 rig conditions”, Woody said. “We sailed very well throughout, but had to come from behind after Maersk (Graham Catley, NZ) and Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty, AUS) won the first day’s races. “Our experience certainly was a deciding factor in the victory but the New Zealand competition is getting stronger each year, and will continue to improve with5-6 really competitive teams in their fleet.” Many of New Zealand’s past victories in the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship came about through innovations and their more recent achievements at all levels of yachting and small boat sailing prove that the nation is capable of returning to the top of the flying 18s in the future. John Winning is also President of the Australian 18 Footers League. He is enthusiastic about the ANZAC Regatta and confirms the League’s continued support. “I’m confident we can send four skiffs each year in the future to support the New Zealand association and the continued growth of the event”. As well as the League’s move to promote the 18s in New Zealand, it is determined to encourage more interstate competition within Australia. “Queensland already has a few 18s and a small group of enthusiasts. Now we are keen to see the resurgence of a fleet in Perth (Western Australia)”, John said. "Grant Rollerson represents WA successfully with his SLAM