Royal Akarana Yacht Club sailors are going from strength to strength and this year were honoured with major award wins at the Yachting New Zealand Excellence Awards.
The 18′ Skiff Honda Marine team, who broke a 44 year drought to win the prestigious JJ Giltinan Trophy, the world championship event for 18′ Skiff Racing, were named as joint winners for Sailors of the Year. Dave McDiarmid, Brad Collins and Matt Steven shared the award with Dongfeng sailors Daryl Wislang and Stu Bannantyne.
It’s taken many years of hard work for the Honda Marine sailors to win the JJ Giltinan and for the sports governing body to acknowledge their achievement shows that sailing is more than just Olympics. 18′ Skiff sailing is considered to be high performance, however the people that race the boats, are not professional sailors, each having to train around their day jobs.
In keeping with the 18′ Skiff recognition, Rear Commodore Graham Catley, considered the Godfather of the New Zealand 18′ Skiff fleet, was the recipient of the Presidents Award. Catley has made it his goal to keep the 18′ Skiff fleet alive and well, and was awarded the prize for his ongoing commitment to the class.
More 18′ Skiff sailors were acknowledged on the night with Josh Porebski, Dave Hazard and Jack Simpson winning a performance award for their 2nd place at the JJ Giltinan. Another outstanding achievement for the class and for these sailors who are still relatively new to 18′ Skiff racing.
In total, seven Royal Akarana Yacht Club sailors were honoured, a new record for the club at the Yachting New Zealand Excellence Awards.
Congratulations to our amazing sailors!