Honda Marine has won the JJ Giltinan Trophy! It came down to the wire but Dave McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins were just too good and snatched the win and the title.
“This is fantastic for New Zealand 18′ Skiff racing,” said Auckland Skiff League President Graham Catley. “We have boats on the ramp back at Royal Akarana Yacht Club ready for sailors, and now that we hold the JJ’s I’m hoping we can fill those boats with sailors and come back next year with a bigger team to defend the title.”
Race 9 was held in a 10-12 knot nor’easter with two spectator ferries jam packed full of both Kiwi and Australian supporters. While Honda Marine took first and Maersk Line was second, it was ASKO who claimed the final spot on the podium and the top Aussie in the regatta.
“I can’t believe we were battling a Kiwi boat for the win, definitely didn’t see that coming, but full respect to the Maersk Line boys. They’ve only been in the boat for about 15 days!” said Honda Marine skipper Dave McDiarmid.
“This win is a massive team effort and is awesome for New Zealand,” said mainsheet hand Matt Steven.
The celebrations are well underway in the Kiwi camp but first the boats need to be packed into the container to head back to New Zealand.
The rumours are rife that the JJ Giltinan trophy will be on the Air New Zealand NZ104 flight from Sydney to Auckland on Monday 12th March.
New Zealand team coach Larry Cargill is thrilled with the win. Although he wasn’t at the event, he was sending vital tips back to the entire team.
“Firstly thanks to Live Sail Die for the extremely bias coverage! I felt like I was there. Congratulations the Honda Marine boys but especially the Maersk Line guys. That was outstanding and I was very impressed. The Olympic program that Josh and Jack did was a major contributor to there fleet racing ability,” said Cargill from his poolside bar in Bali.
Knight Frank (Riley Dean, Luke Stevenson and Tim Snedden) finished 7th overall with C-Tech (Alex Vallings, Sam Trethewey and Matt Coutts) finishing 8th.
“We had a good battle out there and we felt like we sailed a good last race, but the upper number one rig conditions don’t really suit us! Nice work by the Knight Frank guys,” said C-Tech bowman Matt Coutts.
Honda Marine & Kiwi Supporters
The next major event on the 18′ Skiff calendar is the ANZAC Championship in April, hosted by the Kiwis at their home club, Royal Akarana Yacht Club.
This is the only the third time that New Zealand has won the World Championship. It all began in 1932 when the M-Class “Manu” took the unofficial title. The JJ Giltinan Trophy was then formed in 1938 and it took New Zealand 36 years to win it again. Terry McDell, skipper of Travelodge NZ claimed the title in 1974, and then it was elusive for another 44 years, until today. Sunday 11 March 2018 will be a day marked in sailing history.