Please select your home edition
Edition
2024 fill-in (top)

Oldest videos of 18ft Skiff class dinghies sailing - from 1939 to 1987

by Magnus Smith 23 Feb 23:00 GMT
Chesty Bond in 1978-79 © 18ft Skiff Archive

With the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championships starting next week, it's a great time to look back into our video archive, from 1939 to 1987, to see some of the oldest footage of skiff sailing in Australia.

The oldest video features both keelboats and 18ft Skiffs (albeit briefly) and is from the Sydney Regatta 1939. We can always rely on British Pathé to have the oldest videos, though they are rather short.

The 1960s

Next up is the World Championship in 1960 at Waitemata where you can see 'Jantzen Girl', 'Taipan', 'Ace High', 'Vindicator', and 'Surprise'.

A nice close-up of 'Jantzen Girl' appears in this very short clip from the NSW Titles in 1960.

Finally from this decade is Sydney skiff sailing in 1967. Commonwealth Film Unit's work went on to win at Cannes Film Festival that year.

The 1970s

Now we get a touch of colour to the footage, with racing at Georges River and Botany Bay (exact year unknown) from the archive of Pat Collis.

Then we move to Double Bay in 1976-78 but cannot embed the video here, so we have to...

Apparently this is some 8mm footage taken from the ferry, and possibly covers two seasons.

The 1980s

Somewhen in the 1980s is this old VHS tape of skiff sailing (exact year unknown). Dennis Tango and Glen York can be seen. Can you name any others?

Then, from 1984, Pppssssssssssschchhh... Australia's 18 Footers mostly features 'Chesty Bond'. Made by Film Australia, directed by John Edwards, music by Richard Clapton.

The last video we have is from 1987 and shows the Swan River grand prix. (There are a few other 80s and 90s videos linked below.)

Finally, let's check the experts in skiff footage

The Youtube channel 18footersTV is of course the true master of this domain. Since most skiff fans have already seen what the channel has to offer, we won't display every video like we did with the others above, but you can use the chronological list of their pre-2000 videos below in case there's something you haven't already seen...

Actually, having said I won't embed the videos, there are two that are just too good to omit! I will show them here, as they are great documentaries, first from the 1970s, and then from the 1980s. Enjoy!

What of the other decades?

Do you know the location of any 18ft Skiff videos from the earliest years of the class? We would love to share these with other sailors. You can submit video links for immediate review.

Keep watching

Our video archive is fully searchable, and linked to all the clubs and classes in our database.

Related Articles

All Hands on Deck at sailing clubs
To fundraise for the RNLI in 200th anniversary year The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is marking 200 years of saving lives at sea in 2024, and the charity is inviting sailing clubs to celebrate with them. Posted on 9 Apr
America's Cup and SailGP merge designs
Cost-saving measure will ensure that teams only have to purchase one type of boat In negotiations reminiscent of the PGA and LIV golf, an agreement has been come to by the America's Cup and SailGP to merge the design of the yachts used on the two high-profile circuits. Posted on 1 Apr
Thirteen from Fourteen
Not races in a sprint series - we're talking years! Not races in a sprint series. We're talking years! Yes. That's over a decade. Bruce McCracken's Beneteau First 45, Ikon, has just won Division One of the Range Series on Melbourne's Port Phillip to amass this most brilliant of achievements. Posted on 27 Mar
Sailing Chandlery's Founder Andrew Dowley
Interview with Andrew as the business has gone from strength to strength The business has gone from strength to strength, but never moved away from its ethos of getting sailing gear to the customer as fast as possible. Posted on 27 Mar
Shaking off the rust
Sunday was what I'd count as the start of my 'sailing season' While I had sailed a couple of times already this year, Sunday was what I'd count as the start of my 'sailing season'. It's been a pretty grim February in the UK so the days getting longer and a bit drier is welcome. Posted on 18 Mar
Remembering the early days of sailing races on TV
Finding old episodes on Youtube, starting with the Ultra 30s Do you remember when certain classes managed to make the breakthrough into television coverage, and have a whole series filmed, not just appear briefly on a single show? Posted on 17 Mar
Winning at last!
How did the Firefly class come to be at the 1948 Olympics in the first place? We'll get into detail on Firefly 503, Jacaranda, later on but maybe an even bigger story is how the Firefly Class came to be at the Olympics in the first place. To put things into perspective we first have to go back even further to the early 1930s. Posted on 15 Mar
The Maiden. A Triple. Four Bullets
I kind of like our Managing Editor's name for 18-footers: The Kings of the Lowriding World The JJ Giltinan Championship is often referred to as the unofficial World Championship of the mighty and majestic 18-Footers. I kind of like our Managing Editor's name for them – The Kings of the Lowriding World. Yes. That most definitely suits. Posted on 11 Mar
Taking a look at the Nacra 570
We chat with Rogier Voetelink the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show The Nacra 570 is designed to bridge the gap between a holiday beach cat and a high performance catamaran, making exhilarating multihull sailing more accessible for those who don't want the hassle of a daggerboard cat. Posted on 6 Mar
A show like no other
I've written a lot about the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show in the past and will in the future I've written a lot about the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show in the past and am sure I will write more on it in the future. Last year I wrote 'It may not be the biggest...'. The reason I keep coming back to it is that it's truly a show like no other. Posted on 4 Mar