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Grapefruit 2018 728x90

Four of Europe's best 18ft Skiff teams set for Sydney and the JJ Giltinan Championship

by Tom Hill 21 Dec 2017 21:04 GMT
Four of Europe's best Skiffs packed up and set for the JJ Giltinan Championship © Steve McLean

Santa's sleigh isn't the only thing moving boxes of toys all over the world over the next week. Four of Europe's best 18ft skiffs were packed this week into the container that will be taking them to the other side of the world to compete in Sydney.

March will see another year where the JJ Giltinan Championship will be contested on Sydney Harbour. Whilst not the world championships, it's regularly the highest attended event on the Skiff world calendar thanks to the Australian league being based in Double Bay making up a lot of the numbers. There's also a large fleet from their neighbours over in New Zealand. Both of these fleets will be fierce competition for the European teams heading over.

There are two British, one Hungarian and one German team packed in the container. The two British teams of ChameleonI and LED have sailed the JJ two years ago and have ambitions to better their last attempts and climb the rankings. The German team of Kaltenberger have had a good season back in their Skiff and will be the first German team to represent at the JJ for a number of years. The Hungarian team of Be-Light have dominated this past season in Europe and so are arguably the best chance for the Northern Hemisphere skiffs. All that said, the Harbour can be a tricky place to sail so it could be anyone's guess!

Two of these skiffs are also in the container I sailed by their new owners but are looking forward to getting up to speed with their new gear. All very exciting for the U.K. fleet who will be cheering on their teams. Meanwhile in the background, the class is organising an exciting calendar for next year... watch this space!