RMW Marine won the first race of the JJ Giltinan International 18ft Skiff Championship in Sydney by over one minute

In a typically patchy easterly breeze averaging 10 knots, Rob Greenhalgh from Great Britain took ‘RMW Marine’ to a 1 minute 22 seconds win over Howard Hamlin on ‘General Electric-US Challenge’ in the first heat of the JJ Giltinan International Championship in Sydney.

Speaking after the race, Rob explained: “We had a safe start, and halfway up the first beat we got into the lead and pulled out from there. We had an incident on the first run with a boat coming upwind, when we had to flap our sheets to get over them.” It was later confirmed that the other boat will be submitting a protest, and there are also counter protests concerning another incident.

John Winning, sailing ‘d’Albora Marinas’, tacked on to port shortly after the start and initially appeared to have taken the lead, but settled into third place before being involved in a collision which resulted in his retirement from the race.

Tim Robinson on ‘Great Britain’ moved into what appeared to be a safe second place, but was repassed by ‘General Electric-US Challenge’ in the final lap, and Matt Felton on ‘Newport Arms Hotel’ came up strongly to take third place.

The racing was exciting to watch, with places behind the flying ‘RMW Marine’ constantly changing in the fluctuating wind. It was a day when spotting the areas of stronger wind was extremely important.

This was the first heat of a seven heat series, with the two traditional lay days scheduled for Monday and Friday.

Heat One Results (subject to protest)

1. ‘RMW Marine’, Rob Greenhalgh, Great Britain

2. ‘General Electric-US Challenge’, Howard Hamlin, USA

3. ‘Newport Arms Hotel’, Matt Felton, Australia

4. ‘Great Britain’, Tim Robinson, Great Britain

5. ‘Sunday Telegraph’, Michael Coxon, Australia

6. ‘Omega Smeg’, Trevor Barnabas, Australia

7. ‘White Stuff’, Victor Brellisford, Great Britain

8. ‘Ernst & Young’, Jarrod Simpson, Great Britain

9. ‘Aristocrat’, Gary Phillips, Australia

10. ‘Rag & Famish Hotel’, John Harris, Australia