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Birkenhead Point Marina, a new 18ft Skiff sponsor

by Frank Quealey 16 Feb 07:29 GMT

The latest sponsor to join the Australian 18 Footers League's 18ft Skiff fleet on Sydney Harbour is the world acclaimed Birkenhead Point Marina, which will sponsor the up-and-coming young team led by Tom Anderson, who is having his first season as a skipper in the 18s.

Although Anderson is relatively new to his role as an 18ft Skiff skipper, he is tremendously experienced in the class, having crewed with some of the sport's best 18 sailors.

Joining Anderson on Birkenhead Point Marina are sheet hand Nick Daly and bow man John Walton, who are also both experienced 18ft Skiff competitors.

Tom had a season in the 18s as a 15-year-old in 2004-2005, then competed with John Winning Jr. in the 2005 World 29er Championship in San Francisco, where the pair finished in the top 10 of a 90-boat Gold Fleet. The following year he moved back into the 18s.

Over his career in the 18s, Tom has been a critical member of many top teams. In 2012 (with Micah Lane) and 2016 (with David Witt) he finished 3rd on boats both sponsored by to finish 3rd in the JJ Giltinan (world) 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour.

He is the son of Mark Anderson, and grandson of Malcolm Anderson, who both have distinguished, successful sailing/yachting careers at NSW, Australian, Inter-dominion and international levels.

Malcolm (skipper) and Mark teamed together in the Soling class to win the pre-Olympic trials for Tallinn in 1978.

In 2002, Tom also teamed with his father, in the Etchell class, to win the Colonial Cup at Hong Kong.

Tom says: "I'm so happy to be sailing my own boat this season and to have a sponsor as prestigious as Birkenhead Point Marina will push us even harder to do well."

"We formed a new team this season and, despite a few setbacks because of crew injury and some gear problems, our progress has been encouraging."

"Despite the setbacks, with more time on the water, and more training, I'm confident that we can achieve some good results. We're really focused as we move toward the JJ Giltinan Championship next month."

"We're confident that the championship-style course at the JJ will suit our new team much better than the shorter sprint-style courses, which tend to favour the more established teams as crew work is so critical."

"The support from my wife Stephanie Scali/Anderson, who pushed me into achieving my goal of steering my own boat, and my parents and grand-parents for their ongoing support, is another reason why I want to do well"

Birkenhead Point Marina's sheet hand is Nick Daly, who is also the skiff's sailmaker. Nick has been successful as a sailmaker for several seasons in the 18s, and he is also presently the sailmaker for both Finport Finance and Yandoo in the 2018-2019 fleet.

In recent seasons, Daly skippered Peroni, with John Walton in the bow, and they regularly finished in the top 10 at the JJ Giltinan Championships.

Australian 18 Footers League representative, Lisa Gilbert welcomed Birkenhead Point Marina's sponsorship with the club.

"Having the largest privately-owned floating marina on Sydney Harbour as a sponsor with the club is great."

"The marina has 201 fully serviced berths, and world class facilities for its members, and is the first marina on Sydney Harbour to be awarded 5-gold anchor platinum status under the highly accredited Global Gold Anchor Scheme."

"Birkenhead Point Marina is a very welcome addition to our list of wonderful sponsors."

Birkenhead Point Marina's Marketing Manager Nicole Hanmer says: "Our premium marina berths and facilities are perfectly aligned with the world class sport of skiff racing and the Australian 18 Footers League."

Birkenhead Point Marina's Manager Philip McGowen CMM says: "We are thrilled to be partnering with such a dynamic and exciting team Skippered by Tom Anderson and crew which represents our marina and it's future so perfectly."

"18 Foot Skiff Racing is a world class sport and we believe the association with our 5 Gold Anchor Platinum world class accredited marina is the perfect fit."

Tom Anderson summed up: "Although we are a new team, we have a lot of experience at racing in the JJ Giltinan Championship."

Anderson added: "The fleet this year is very strong, very competitive and, like all the teams, we will have to try and eliminate as many mistakes as possible under pressure, then hope that luck is on our side during that week."

For those who can't make it onto the water: Live streaming is available on 18FootersTV

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