Saturday, 4 June 2011
CST Composites. Image copyright Frank Quealey.
by Frank Quealey
U.S. champion Howie Hamlin has won every available International 18ft Skiff championship with the exception of just one - the Mark Foy Trophy.
Now the American is determined to add that trophy to his already impressive international record (which extends beyond the 18 Footers) with a strong challenge for the 2011 Mark Foy Trophy to be sailed at Sonderborg, Denmark from 6-11 June.
Howie is a numerous winner of the U.S. Championship and six times winner of the San Francisco International Championship. He has also won four European Championships, but undoubtedly his greatest achievement in the 18s has been his back-to-back wins in the 2002 and 2003 Giltinan Championships with GE-US Challenge on Sydney Harbour.
Ever the perfectionist, Howie is planning an all out attack on the Mark Foy Trophy with a totally new team. Joining him in CST Composites will be Australian Scott Babbage and Matt McKinlay from the U.S.
Babbage is very experienced in 18 Footers, having sailed for a number of seasons with John Harris in Rag & Famish Hotel before moving over to Gotta Love It 7 (2010-2011) with Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton to win the 2011 Giltinan Championship. He is an extremely talented and versatile sailor who also finished third in this year's World Moth Championship.
Third member of the CST Composites team is Matt McKinlay, who is a relative newcomer to the 18s in the U.S. Matt gained experience earlier this year when he teamed with Skip McCormack and Jody McCormack at the 2011 Giltinan. Sailing with two experienced pros on CST will be a massive boost to his knowledge.
There is little doubt that the CST Composites team will be a one of the hardest to beat when the flag drops on 6 June in Sonderborg for the start of the Mark Foy Trophy.
Aussie 18 Foot Skiffs