John ‘Woody’ Winning, 70

18ft skiffs: John ‘Woody’ winner, 70

by Frank Quealey Jun 18 20:10 PDT

John ‘Woody’ winner © Frank Quealey

Australian 18ft League chairman and legendary 18ft Skiff champion John ‘Woody’ Winning celebrates his 70th birthday this week, but you’d never know it as the dynamic ‘Woody’ prepares for his 38th racing season. 18 footer on Sydney Harbor in the ‘famous’ Yandoo skiff with the red and blue oval color patch of the 7th Field Artillery Brigade.

John, World Champion JJ Giltinan as well as winner of the International and Australian Championships, has also served as Chairman of the Australian 18ft League for the past 18 years and is responsible for the stability and success of the sport over the past two decades .

“Woody” has not only been the main influence for 18ft Skiff Racing on Sydney Harbor for the past 20 years or more, he is still an active competitor in the modern and historic 18ft fleets every weekend. end during the summer months.

‘Woody’ joined the 18ft ranks in 1975-76 in a single scull sponsored by TraveLodge, having won the 1971-72 Australian 12ft Skiff Championship with Yandoo and the 1974-75 Inter-dominion 12ft Skiff Championship for the TravelLodge company.

In the 18s he won the JJ Giltinan World Championship in 2000 when he captained AMP Centrepoint to victory with teammates Euan McNicol and Anthony (Jack) Young, and won the Australian Championship as well as the International Championships in 18 foot Skiff in Europe, the United States and New Zealand.

John’s record could have been even greater as he was also a runner-up to legendary 18ft champion Iain Murray in two JJ Giltinan World Championships and three Australian 18ft Championships, and if he hadn’t taken several years away of 18 to focus on the family business. commitments.

John’s 18ft International Championship record includes three European Championships (2001, 2004 and 2011), a Mark Foy Trophy victory with Yandoo in Sonderborg, Denmark in 2011, the San Francisco International Championship in 2004 and the ANZAC regatta in Auckland in 2010.

In 1999, John was also heavily involved in establishing the ‘Historic 18’ fleet. Class historian John ‘Steamer’ Stanley, who has known John for many years, recalls:

“John and I went sailing a replica of Aberdare with Robert Tearne, who built the boat, and we were both addicted to the challenge of sailing such a boat. Woody had Robert build a replica of the Australia I, the 1946-47 Australian Champion, which included John’s father and uncle Dick Winning in the champion crew, was the start of a rebuilding program to preserve and recreate the 18ft’s rich history.

As usual, he was willing to support his belief with his own money and still owns or has an interest in 5 or 6 boats in the current historic fleet.

John Stanley added: “Woody invests far more in the sport than he takes out of it. He is extremely generous with his time and money, and is always ready to help other sailors or anyone who needs it.”

Mark Foy established an action-packed sport and promoted it to the general public, who until then had little knowledge of sailing, while James J Giltinan was a sports promoter responsible for initiating a world championship for 18 year olds.

“Woody” has now consolidated the work of these men by ensuring the continuity of the class, thanks to the sponsorship of his family business and associates, while promoting the race with live video coverage around the world.

John was first chairman of the Australian 18 Footers League from 1984 to 1985 but had to step down as this was when he became more involved in running the family business. When Mr. Eric Bowen, who succeeded John as President in 1985, retired in 2003, John took over the role at the League and still holds that position today.

The League fleet flourished during the 2000s under John’s presidency, and it was his and his family’s personal initiatives, and his financial support, that were such an important part of the success.

John and his wife Kerrie, along with the late Bob Killick, were the original trio who created video coverage of the League races, and the family business has been a major funder of every JJ Giltinan Championship since 2007.

The continued success of Skiff Racing’s 130 year old Australian iconic sport on Sydney Harbor owes much to the incredible actions and support of John ‘Woody’ Winning, the Winning Family and the Winning Family business.

Happy 70th birthday John from everyone involved in 18 and thank you for all you have done and still do for the sport.

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