It was a thrilling opening to the 2018 JJ Giltinan regatta for the Auckland Skiff League / Royal Akarana Yacht Club team with the Kiwis taking the first win of the regatta.
Josh Porebski, Dave Hazard and Jack Simpson sailing Maersk Line, took the line honours gun after an intense day of racing on Sydney Harbour.
Maersk Line had a glamour day after a mid fleet start and chipped away to take the glory.
“We really enjoyed it, and we felt really fast upwind. The first downwind the boat in front of us put it into the tide, so we took the lead from there. It was so hectic out there, but we kept a good eye on things,” said Hazard.
“I had no idea how we were going to go in this regatta so I hope we haven’t peaked too early!” said Porebski.
The first upwind leg proved challenging for Honda Marine after they capsized when going quite close to the shore line on the left hand side of the course. Unfortunately they then had an encounter with a keelboat resulting in a second capsize. By the top mark for the first time, Dave McDiarmid, Matt Steve and Brad Collins were deep in the fleet, with a lot of work to do.
At the top mark for the first time, Maersk Line was in 3rd. Knight Frank with Riley Dean, Tim Snedden and Luke Stevenson were in 6th with C-Tech, Alex Vallings, Sam Trethewey and Matt Coutts in 8th.
However just prior to the top mark, C-Tech had an altercation with Peroni and were forced to do a penalty turn to exonerate themselves.
At this point the Kiwi supporters had to ditch their beers and pour a rum to steady the nerves.
Maersk Line had a lucky break on the first downwind when The Kitchen Maker, who were leading, capsized with force. Maersk Line then found themselves chasing down Finport Trade Finance, and by the first wing mark, they were in the lead.
Honda Marine and C-Tech stayed with each other during the first downwind and reach into the bottom mark as they began to close the gap to Knight Frank.
Maersk Line had to stay on guard to keep ahead of Finport Trade Finance, but by the last stretch into the finish had firmly stamped their presence with the fleet. They crossed the finish line with an almighty cheer from the spectators on board the ferry.
After a stressful start, Honda Marine turned their engine on and picked up the pace to close in on AKSO. It was neck and neck with ASKO for the entire two final downwind legs, and with just seconds to go it looked like ASKO was going to take fourth, however a perfectly timed puff of breeze managed to push Honda Marine over the line just one second ahead of ASKO. Honda Marine made their day a tough one, but will put the 4th away in the bag. C-Tech crossed in 6th with Knight Frank in 8th.
It was great to see all four Kiwi boats finish the top 10. But it’s still early days, and there are six races to go.
Racing continues on Sunday 4th March with a 2:45pm / NZ 4:45pm start. The official livestream starts at 2pm / NZ 4pm.
2018 JJ Giltinan – Race 1 // Livestream
Saturday 3 March