Please select your home edition
Edition
Lennon Thermalite 728x90 2
Product Feature
Zhik T2 Harness
Zhik T2 Harness

New 18ft event format bags new team: "Calshot made us take the plunge"

by Tom Hill & Luke Goble 9 May 2018 20:15 BST
The 18ft Skiff GBR 52, Sail4Cancer © Luke Goble & Tom Kiddle

This year, the success of the Solent Grand Prix Series has attracted interest from new teams joining the U.K. fleet. We speak to Luke Goble who is part of the team which has just taken on ownership of Sail4Cancer (sail4cancer.org) and ask them how they are getting on.

What made you consider starting out in an 18?

I mean, has anyone who likes sailing not seen the video* (see video below) of Nokia tearing downwind in 30 knots and thought "that looks amazing, how do I sail one of those beasts?", but then never taken it any further!

What made you take the plunge?

There happened to be a couple of us (Ben and Luke) who had the time, some spare cash and bags of energy to commit to it. We thought "hey, we could probably do this and it's likely to be awesome fun", so we did! The relatively cheap (£5/6k) entry to the class for a decent boat to learn in especially between two/three people helps, as it makes it not too financially committing.

We've taken on Sail4Cancer, which has been a great introduction to the class. The boat itself has had many notable owners who have gone on to be national champions.

What's your sailing background?

It's actually almost comical our sailing experience. The first event of the year was Ben's first ever dinghy race and it was in an 18 footer! He's only been sailing a year and is doing bow! I've (Luke) been cruising with my parents since I was young and spent the last couple of years in an RS100 along with some casual after work Internaional 14 sailing. Our third man is shared, depending who's available, by Will who has lots of single hander experience and Elliot who has sailed in a few 18 events before.

I see you're taking part in the Solent Grand Prix Series, how are you getting on/finding it?

It's great to have all the events on our doorstep. We've met tons of friendly faces and the racing is great fun. The sailing area, as many will know, can throw up many a challenge with tide, the dreaded Solent chop and the various large shipping vessels all making sure you stay sharp.

We're finding it's much more about working well as a team as opposed to being great individuals and seems to be working out OK for us.

How steep has the learning curve been?

Nowhere near as steep as we thought it might be. Due to the hull shape they are much more stable and forgiving than you may suspect. We usually find on average we swim once each outing and recovering is no major drama. The experienced teams tell me they've got to a point where they don't capsize any more - but let's see when the breeze kicks up. Fitness is important when it gets windier for sure!

What are your future plans with the 18 fleet?

Keep having lots of fun and travel some of Europe to join in this year's Mark Foy in Garda. We're also looking at options for a newer and more competitive boat as we feel ours has served its purpose of being easy to sail and a cheap way to 'have a go'.

18ft Skiff European Championship Highlights

the Highlights of International 18ft Skiff European Championship 2017

Posted by Circolo Vela Arco on Monday, 10 July 2017

What's the best part of sailing an 18?

Three strings with the kite up and how everyone in the same patch of water looks on with open eyes!

Most memorable sail so far?

Any time we're three on the wire, smoking along and Ben is giving us some Awesome Aussie Skiff commentary that's he's heard on YouTube! It is hilarious every time!

Ben and Luke have had a great start to the season and are starting to get into the groove. They are always present on the racetrack and have been stuck in at start lines and mark roundings. There's a good stock of boats available for those wanting to join in, and with a jammed packed calendar in the U.K. and Europe, there's plenty more sailing left in the season.

Related Articles

Allspars 18ft Skiff Solent Grand Prix Series R3
Fleet into the groove for the season with some close racing The weekend saw the third round of the Allspars Solent Grand Prix Series which has kept the UK 18ft Skiffs busy and well trained for the first half of the season. Posted on 13 May
Allspars 18ft Skiff Solent Grand Prix Series R2
Weather gods both kind and cruel to the U.K. The weather gods were both kind and cruel to the U.K. 18ft skiffs last weekend for the second round of the Allspars Solent Grand Prix Series. Posted on 27 Apr
Allspars 18ft Skiff Solent Grand Prix Series R1
Two days of great racing from Calshot Last weekend, the U.K. 18ft Skiff fleet launched their 2019 season with two days of racing out of their base on the Solent. Posted on 5 Apr
Allspars sponsor 18ft Skiff Solent GP Series
UK 18ft Skiff fleet build on the success of the Calshot based 2018 events Allspars are delighted to announce that they will be sponsoring the UK 18ft Skiff Grand Prix fleet, for this year's Solent Grand Prix Series. Posted on 2 Apr
18ft Skiff Queen of the Harbour 2019
Corinne Feldman crowned in traditional Sydney skiff season closer Corinne Feldman today became the 2019 18ft Skiff Queen of Sydney Harbour when she teamed with Jack Sprague, Tim Narborough and her son, Josh Feldman on Dal Zotto to win the Australian 18 Footers League's time-honoured Queen of the Harbour race. Posted on 17 Mar
Buckland and McDiarmid reflect on JJ Giltinans
Seven times winner of the JJ's Andrew Buckland and Honda's David McDiarmid reflect on Kiwi dominance In the 2019 JJ Giltinan series NZ's Honda Marine won the JJ's with a race to spare and dominated the series with five wins from nine races, seven times winner Andrew Buckland, and winning skipper David McDiarmid looks at the reasons why. Posted on 13 Mar
Honda Marine go back to back with a race to spare
Successful JJ Giltinan defence capped off with a win in the final race The New Zealanders on Honda Marine, David McDiarmid, Matt Stevens and Brad Collins were formerly announced as back to back JJ Giltinan trophy winners in the 18ft Skiff after winning the championship with a day to spare. Posted on 12 Mar
18ft Skiff JJ Giltinan Championship race 9
Honda Marine became the Winning Group 2019 JJ Giltinan champions New Zealand's Honda Marine 18ft Skiff team of David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins became the Winning Group 2019 JJ Giltinan champions today, when they successfully defended the title they won last year on Sydney Harbour. Posted on 10 Mar
18ft Skiff JJ Giltinan Championship race 8
A brilliant performance by ASCC team The New Zealand champion ASCC team of Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazard, produced a brilliant performance to win Race 8 of the Winning Group 2019 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour. Posted on 9 Mar
JJ Giltinan proving to be a regatta for the ages
In Sydney, New Zealand's defence of the JJ Giltinan Championship is progressing well In Sydney, New Zealand's defence of the JJ Giltinan Championship is progressing well with two races left in the regatta. Posted on 8 Mar