Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Kiwis Win ANZAC Skiff Regatta for First Time

Quantum Sails NZ Wins 18 Foot Skiff ANZAC Regatta

Close racing for the skiffs at the ANZAC Regatta. Supplied image.

by NZ 18ft Skiff Association

Auckland harbour was treated to an action packed spectacle of 18 ft skiff racing as it the annual ANZAC Regatta once again lived up to what it promised to be. Strong winds forced racing to be abandoned on two of the days but when the wind subsided ten 18ft skiffs were out contesting the Waitemata Harbour courses with exceptional displays of nerve and boat handling.

Quantum Sails NZ (Chris Skinner, Chris Burgess & Dave Healy) completed a dominant display finishing with a score card of 1,2,2,1,1,1 in predominately breezy Easterly conditions.

Charging downwind during the ANZAC Regatta. Supplied image.

Eleven crews competed in the four day regatta, and the Kiwis' good results continued down the score card with J F Hillebrand (Phil Airey) coming in 2nd and Yamaha (Scott Kennedy) 3rd. The top Aussie boat was Club Marine (Cameron McDonald) finishing 6th, after disappointingly falling out of contention in the final two races with gear failure.

On questioning Skinner on his team's success, he predominantly put it down to "extensive rig development with Quantum Sails and Southern Spars", and it seemed apparent to all that they had a speed edge over the rest of the fleet. The Quantum Sails NZ team are now focusing on the 2010 Worlds in Sydney where the two most coverted 18ft Skiff trophies (JJ Giltinan and Mark Foy trophies) will be put up in one regatta.

Three top NZ crews of J F Hillebrand, C T Sailbattens (Alex Vallings) and Mearsk Line (Graeme Catley) are travelling to Carnac, France for the inaugural Mark Foy Championship in June. This trophy has been born out of the growing fleets of 18ft Skiffs throughout the world. Thus, the Mark Foy trophy will glorify one of the four major international regattas each year, which are held in Sydney, Auckland, Carnac and San Francisco.

Spray around as the 18 foot skiffs go upwind. Supplied image.

New Zealand has been one nation with excellent growth in the class, causing a number of top dingy sailors to be attracted to the class. Notably a new crew of Alistair Gair, Derek Scott and Jason Herbert, who formed a matter of weeks ago and already started showing some good form towards the end of the ANZAC regatta. With this growth, the New Zealand fleet is excited about the great spectator value that they will bring to the Waitemata Harbour in the 2009/10 season.

The NZ 18ft Skiff Association would like to thank Ronstan, Fineline Ropes and North Sails for their support in hosting the ANZAC regatta and to Fred Price for running the races.

NZ 18 Foot Skiff Association

No comments: