Whether you’re in the middle of the Southern Summer or like most of us, you’re still locked into the hellish landscape of ice and snow that is Winter 2013/14, we have got something extremely special for you beginning this Friday! After our begging for it for years, the good folks of the 18 Foot Skiff Class have finally bitten the bullet to bring you FULLY LIVE COVERAGE of the entire week-long JJ Giltinan/18 Foot Skiff World Championships, and as their Exclusive Streaming Partner, we’ll bring it to you every day, right here on the front page of Sailing Anarchy!
This ain’t no stop-and-go stadium sailing surrounded by wind-blocking buildings, either – this is full-speed, full-on racing in beautiful Sydney Harbor at the height of sea breeze season, and if you thought ‘Eyedeens” were just for Aussies, you haven’t been paying attention: There are an amazing 34 teams from seven countries on the beach, with seriously credible challenges like the ass-hauling boys from the UK’s Haier Team in the video above as well as a veritable smorgasbord of America’s Cup, Olympians, Extreme 40’ers, Volvo Ocean Racers, and more. You read that right: 34 of the fastest, flipppingest, launchingest, most acrobatic racing dinghies every created, picking their way through islands, ferries and spectators for the right to be known as the baddest boys (or girls, ’cause they’ve got them too) in all of dinghy-dom. They may not be as fast as an AC45 or fly over the waves like a Moth, but let’s be frank here: There’s just nothing on the water that looks quite as awesome as an 18 Footer caught out with the big rig in a building breeze, careening from wave top to wave top, bows pointed skyward, crews leglocked together and hanging onto a tiny thread of spectra for dear life as they dodge sharks, crocodiles, and satan himself.
The format is simple: There’s just one race each day with a lay day somewhere in the middle, and the first day is the Invitational – a non-points scoring practice race that lets some of the many visitors get to know the Harbour, and lets the streaming video team and RC get up to full speed. Racing begins at 3 PM daily in Australia except for the two Saturdays, when it starts an hour later, and the live stream will start 30 minutes before that. Never mind the time conversion – we’ll do it for you: That means that for the next week, each night at 10:30 PM EST (7:30 PST) you’ll get a full 2 hours of live action from one of the most colorful and exciting regattas in the entire world, commentated by the hilarious and knowledgeable team of Bob Killick and Mark Heeley along with a stream of guest stars to help along. Here’s a little excerpt from 2010, with Killo explaining just what the Invitational is all about, and you can explore the past four years of JJ Giltinan racing videos in the archives here.
We’ll have the live player up a couple of hours before each day’s start, but in the meantime, now’s a good time to register at 18footersTV.com so you can enter the Pick the Podium Competition, where the sponsors are giving away a bad-ass retro bar fridge worth literally thousands of dollars and shipped to whoever wins it regardless of your nationality, cases full of high-performance Barz sunglasses, and more; there’s no cost to enter and each day you simply enter your three podium picks to be eligible for each day’s prize. Will Seve Jarvin defend his title and tie the all-time wins total of the legendary Iain “Big Fella” Murray? We certainly don’t know, but it will sure be fun to find out, and you might as well win some swag while you’re at it.
Run over to the 18 footers Twitter page if you can’t get to a real screen, and check into Facebook for a constant stream of info, including some soon-to-be-released shots of some of Sydney’s most beautiful sailor chicks that you’ll have to see to believe.
This event really does have it all, and we can’t wait.