Sunday, 7 February 2010

Aussie 18 Foot Skiffs: JJ Giltinan 2010

18 Footer Legend Returns for JJ Giltinan 2010

Fisher & Paykel racing in the current season. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

by Frank Quealey

Five times Giltinan Championship winner Trevor Barnabas will make an unexpected attempt to add to his tally following a last minute call up to skipper Fisher & Paykel in the Giltinan 2010.

When one of his regular crewmen as unable to compete due to business commitments, the boat’s regular skipper Andrew Cuddihy arranged for a replacement to sail the regatta.

The chosen replacement then withdrew at the last minute leaving Cuddihy in an impossible position.

Trevor was in the Double Bay park rigging area supporting his son Trent, who sails with Michael Coxon and Aaron Links on Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, so Andrew took the unusual step of becoming a crewman himself and getting Barnabas to be the new skipper.

Barnabas first won the Giltinan Championship at Perth (WA) in 1987. During that regatta his winning Chesty Bond skiff carried a mast which stood 45ft above the waterline – believed to be the tallest mast ever carried on an 18 Footer.

Chesty Bond (1987) with the 45ft mast. Supplied image.

He went on to further Giltinan Championship victories in 1988 (with the same Chesty Bond skiff), then after a brief retirement came back to record wins in 1997 (Omega Smeg-2UE) in Australia and again in 1997 (Smeg) in the northern hemisphere regatta. His final victory to date came in 1998 when he won with Omega Smeg-2UE in Sydney.

Although Trevor is “retired” from the 18s, he is a very familiar figure at the racing. Not only is he an enthusiastic supporter for Trent, he is regularly recruited by various skippers to steer their boat when outside commitments prevent them from sailing.

Trevor also competed in France and San Francisco during the past northern summer and showed that he can still match it with the best in major regattas.

The Giltinan 2010 gets under way next Friday when competitors have the traditional warm up Invitation Race.

Race 1 of the seven-race regatta will be sailed next Saturday, 13 February.

Aussie 18 Footers League

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