Woody back in action

18ft skiff legend John Winning back afloat after rib breakage

Friday January 20th 2012, Author: Frank Quealey, Location: Australia

18ft Skiff champion John Winning is universally known as ‘Woody’ but after his recent effort this could be changed to ‘Iron Man’.

On 4 December, Woody was knocked unconcious in a wild 18ft Skiff capsize on Sydney Harbour and spent four days in hospital with four broken ribs and two “small” bone breaks in his back.

Although he has rarely missed a race in his long 18s career, it was thought that such injuries would surely sideline him for the Giltinan Championship on Sydney Harbour next month.

Since the accident, ‘Woody’ has been replaced as skipper of Yandoo by his son John Winning Jr., but has been in the rigging area each day supervising the entire fleet as President of the Australian 18 Footers League.

Just five weeks after the accident ‘Woody’ was back in action as skipper of Yandoo in last Sunday’s Race 1 of the Australian Championship and finished a very good sixth in the 17-boat fleet.

The attached photos show that although he “toughed it out”, you can see the pressure on his face in the park and the pain on his body as Yandoo gybed in last Sunday’s race.

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