Please select your home edition
Edition
Henri-Lloyd 2020 LEADERBOARD

18ft Skiffs: Patrick Corrigan, AM - 30 years of 18ft Skiff sponsorship

by Frank Quealey 14 Jun 05:57 BST
A 1970s four-handed Corrigans Express © Archive

Mr. Patrick Corrigan, AM is an Australian businessman, focused mainly in the freight industry, an art collector, jazz enthusiast and philanthropist, who was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia medal in the 2000 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Fortunately, Patrick's love of our sport also benefited Sydney 18ft Skiff Racing for many years.

His first involvement came in 1969 when he sponsored Vic Robinson, in Corrigans Express, at the 1969 JJ Giltinan world Championship. It was a time when fleet numbers and development to maintain the high standards in the 18s, was heavily dependent on the sponsorship dollars from corporations and individuals.

It had been just four years since TraveLodge Hotels and became the first big sponsorship in the class.

Patrick's support continued with another skiff for Vic Robinson in the early 1970s. He then added Express Livestock (for a young up-and-coming team) to a two-boat sponsorship program.

His wonderful support of 18ft Skiff Racing continued throughout the 1970s with a series of Mitchell Cotts Freight skiffs for a variety of skippers, before the next stage of his sponsorship history came in the 1980s when he sponsored John (Woody) Winning in the Mitchell Cotts skiff.

As costs rose dramatically during the early part of the 1980s, Patrick was obviously pressed to continue his sponsorship at a high level but showed his business skill when he came up with a multi-sponsor combination of individual corporations in his quest to win a JJ Giltinan world Championship.

His boat raced as Southern Cross with the logos of all individual sponsors featured on the mainsails and spinnakers. Robert Brown was the skipper and the boat contested the 1988 Giltinan regatta on Sydney Harbour.

A complicated rule had been introduced for the 1987-1988 Season, which related to what was declared a new or previously used sail. The intent was to try and restrict escalating costs in the sport as fleets were dwindling.

Unfortunately, the rules created confusion and a controversial protest was lodged which led to a decision to declare Southern Cross and Chesty Bond (Trevor Barnabas) joint champions.

Patrick was never really satisfied with the 'shared' victory and continued his sponsorship support of young sailors during the early 1990s in an attempt to win the championship outright.

David Witt and Anthony Young went close to giving Patrick the outright victory he wanted so badly, but it wasn't until Stephen Quigley skippered AEI-Pace Express in 1996 before Patrick finally achieved his goal of winning the JJ Giltinan world 18ft Skiff Championship outright.

Having achieved his goal, was it time for Patrick to pull the pin?

No way, he was a true, loyal supporter of 18ft Skiff Racing and continued to sponsor people like US champion Howie Hamlin, Emery Worldwide, into the early 2000s.

So why did Patrick continue to sponsor 18ft Skiffs for more than 30 years? His simple answer, "It's a three letter word - FUN."

"I sponsor a number of different things in sport as well as the arts. The reason I do it is simple, I like to have fun."

"I've always had fun sponsoring the 18s and enjoyed watching the skiffs. It was also a good way to give the company's staff an interest outside the day-to-day workplace."

Sponsorship has always been a great way for corporations and smaller companies to show their colours on Sydney Harbour, entertain business associates and boost staff morale as Patrick did for more than 30 years.

Related Articles

18ft Skiffs: Dave Porter, the unluckiest champion
Fortune didn't always smile on the great sailor David Porter became the 1975 JJ Giltinan world 18ft Skiff champion when he skippered KB to a brilliant victory on the Brisbane River, but fortune didn't always smile on the great sailor. Posted on 4 Jul
In Conversation with Tristan Walker-Hutt
New projects during lockdown for the East Coast sailor Back in January 2019 we published the 'Budget Ultra-High Performance Sailing' article about the International 14 Fawkes, which Tristan Walker-Hutt and Tom Clayton had renovated on a very tight budget. Posted on 2 Jul
TraveLodge's 18ft Skiff sponsorship
A world championship-winning association with Bob Holmes A sponsor who came to the 18 Footers in 1964 was the TraveLodge company which decided to sponsor Bob Holmes, who was a new, young competitor to the class. Posted on 28 Jun
How Len Heffernan changed the Sydney 18ft Skiffs
Taking up the challenge to transition to three-handers in the 1960s Brisbane led the way in the transition from the four-handed 18ft Skiffs to the three-handers in the late 1950s, but it was the late Len Heffernan who took up the challenge to introduce the new style boats to Sydney. Posted on 25 Jun
Sailing is freedom
We can all mess about in or on any type of boat or board It seems 'The Great Grass Roots Revival?' and 'Messing about in boats' had quite an impact. With my own eyes I see what is happening on my doorstep with more activity on the water than I've seen in years, but this was just the microcosm that I live in. Posted on 22 Jun
New 18ft Skiff teams wanted for 2020 - Apply Now
An amazing opportunity to sail and learn from some of the best sailors around The Australian 18 Footers League has long had a policy of introducing new and young teams into its fleet to ensure the continued growth and quality of the club's 85-year-old tradition of 18ft Skiff Racing on Sydney Harbour. Posted on 21 Jun
New Zealand's 18ft Skiff Racing Record
Three consecutive victories just the latest chapter of an 82-year-old story Three consecutive victories by the Honda Marine team of David McDiarmid, Brad Collins and Matt Steven in the world's premier JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship over the past three seasons, gives New Zealanders every right to boast at the moment. Posted on 18 Jun
18ft Skiffs: The Kulmar Family
Their unique achievement at the 1976 JJ Giltinan World Championship The 128-year history of Australia's 18 Footers is famous for having generations of a family competing over many years. Occasionally, even two generations are competing together or against each other at the same time. Posted on 11 Jun
18ft Skiffs: Sponsoring 'Formula One on water'
Sailing demographic excellent for corporate strategies Since the first recorded 18 Footer races on Sydney Harbour in 1892, the boats were individually owned by wealthy or even struggling owner/skippers and were emotionally named. Posted on 7 Jun
'The league' is keeping JJ Giltinan's dream alive
Always at the forefront of the sport's worldwide promotion and development From the moment James Joseph Giltinan conceived the idea of having a Worlds 18 Footer Championship, and the Australian 18 Footers League conducted the first championship regatta for the trophy, on Sydney Harbour in 1938 Posted on 4 Jun