18ft Skiffs - Injury keeps 'Woody' off the water

NSW 18ft Skiff Championship 2011
Sailor John ‘Woody’ Winning has been racing 18ft Skiffs since 1976 (with a short break in the 1990s) and has rarely missed a race, but a recent injury looks as though it may keep him off the water until the Giltinan Championship in February.

Obviously, it has to be serious to cause him to miss racing his ‘Yandoo’ skiff for such a lengthy period. It is.

‘Woody’ was competing in Race 3 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship in December when ‘Yandoo’ capsized on the bear away just after rounding the Shark Island mark in a 25-knot-plus Southerly wind. He was thrown onto the mast with crewman David Gibson also falling on top in the violent capsize.

‘Woody’ was knocked unconscious (although he denies he was) and broke four ribs, plus 'a couple of small ones' in his back, then was hospitalized for four days.

Woody's injury - NSW 18ft Skiff Championship 2011

The race also took a toll on the fleet with several teams forced to retire while others showed how difficult conditions were as they tried to keep all hands on board.

18 Footers League website

NSW 18ft Skiff Championship 2011

Fisher and Paykel - Race 9 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship 2011

Fisher and Paykel - Race 9 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship 2011

Fisher and Paykel - Race 9 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship 2011

NSW 18ft Skiff Championship 2011