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2021 JJ Giltinan Wrap-up
Alex Watson, Matt Rogers and Lachlan Prentice, sailing Lumix and David Hayter, Ben Roxburgh and Elliott Mahar, sailing Queenslander participated in the recently completed 2021 JJ Giltinan Shield in Sydney.
The JJ Giltinan Shield has been awarded to the first 18 Footer of the World Championship regatta held on Sydney Harbour since 1938. The event normally attracts boats from all around the world, with many of its competitors being or becoming World, Olympic and National Champions in a variety of yachting classes. Unfortunately, with international travel restricted due to COVID-19, this year’s championship was an entirely Australian affair – possibly a bonus given the 3 year dominance of New Zealand’s Honda Marine. Nonetheless the fleet was very competitive with a tight tussle at the top, effected by a ferry incident and a couple of protest room worthy events.
The two Queensland teams had their fair share of ups and downs and challenges on Sydney Harbour with Queenslander and Lumix recording their best results of 11th and 14th respectively and an overall position of 16th and 20th respectively. The teams reflected after the event that it was always going to be a bit of a challenge adjusting to the traffic on the harbour – they moved from being one of the bigger boats on Moreton Bay, to mixing it up with 100+ keel boat doing ‘normal’ harbour racing. It was also markedly different to the 2020 regatta, with COVID lockdowns just starting, the Harbour was all but empty.
The teams had a great time sailing, socialising and forming the friendships within and outside the sailing community that only comes from competing in world class events. The sailing group would like to formally thank the Brisbane 18s Club for the boats and support, RQYS for providing their amazing facilities for training and racing, the Australian 18 Footers League for hosting the event and helping us fix our boats when things didn’t go to plan and a very special thank you to Woody (John Winning), Brandon Buynik, John Walton and Charlie Gundy who rolled up their sleeves, utilized their contacts and opened their sail loft to help us stay on the water.
As this regatta finishes, we turn our thinking and planning to next year, where we hope to continue to increase our sailing numbers. The Australian 18 Footers League have offered to help by agreeing to send their Sydney boats to the Australian Titles to be held ats RQYS early in 2022, what an exciting opportunity, 15+ 18 footers racing on Moreton Bay again, can’t wait.