The threat of inclement weather later in the weekend loomed large over this year’s 35 entrants in the 37th Vintage Yacht Regatta, sailed out of the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club on Moreton Bay, Brisbane.
Vintage Regatta 2012 9-06-2012 11-03-08 AM
For most well found yachts, 20 plus knots is not a problem, but for some smaller vessels, it can be, none more so than for Fiona, a 12 mtr2 Heavyweight Sharpie (3 person centreboard racing dinghy) built in 1956 for the Melbourne Olympics.
In the Jeays family’s hands since 1957, Fiona had been readied to race by patriarch and sheethand Albert 92, with original crew, cousins Andrew 82 skipper, and Laurie 76 forward hand. With a total of 250 years of age between them, around 10 knots would have been ideal.
Saturday dawned cloudy with a 12 to 15 knot Sou’ Easter blowing across the decks. Division 3 (Modern Classics) yachts got away well with Hank Kaufman’s powerful self designed sloop Seraya leading the fleet from schooner Marriah, Peter Holm, Manitou Nick Martin and the Duncanson 35 Inisheer, David Farmer.
Close racing was expected among the faster of the Div 1 yachts and they didn’t disappoint. A halyard problem held up Peter Kerr’s Tasman Seabird Pagan, allowing the Bluey Williams sloop Tequila, skippered by the Walker brothers, to take the lead. Jonno had flown in the day before to join brother Josh on the yacht, given into their care by grandfather and noted local 18 foot skiff and offshore sailor Kevvie Martin.
Further back, the two Dragons were dicing as Ivan Holm came to grips with his new acquisition Westerly, but trailed Chris Roberts in Fairwyn. Gary Bradshaw’s Randel ketch Fourwinds was the best performed gaff rigged yacht.
Div 2 was a battle between the Graham Elliott’s Flying 15 Seamist, the classic double ender Tom Thumb Paul Aroney, and Bruce Wales’ Hartley 16, Plan B. Meanwhile, the old salts in Fiona went for a swim near the wing mark and after righting the old girl and finding the gaff halyard broken, headed home for a hot shower.
Race 2, later in the day was sailed under similar conditions with similar results. Tequila held out a fast finishing Pagan, and despite being short handed, 'Big Steve' Lugge brought his Alden Malabar Ketch Achenar 11 home third. Westerly got the better of Fairwyn, and Plan B was first home in Div 2, while Seraya repeated her earlier win in Div 3.
The usual cockpit and pontoon parties followed such a good day’s racing. Tequila’s gathering doubled as birthday party for 'the Heavy from Rhode Island' Jonno, relating his recent exploits crossing the Atlantic as part of a maxi yacht crew.
Sunday’s weather was similar to the previous day and in Race 3, Pagan took advantage of a good start in to hold the lead all the way to cross the finish line just 2 seconds ahead of Tequila. John Richardson’s Finisterre yawl Balamara, revelled in the conditions coming in third, and in another close finish, Fairwyn beat Westerly home by less than a second. Carmen Mira’s Folkboat Tern, put in a good performance for second behind Plan B in Div 2.
Race 4 started badly for Tequila with a jammed halyard. It seems modern ropes and old sheaves don’t mix. Pagan took another win from Westerly and Fairwyn. Plan B had a third Div 2 win, while Inisheer completed a second win for the day in Div 3.
The trophy presentation was well attended, with all skippers vying for the prestigious perpetual trophies up for grabs. Peter Kerr won the Deagon Slipways trophy, one that he had donated, when Pagan took out the Regatta’s overall Div 1 Line honours victory. In Div 2, the Australiawide Boat Sales trophy went to Plan B.
When it came to handicap honours, Dinah Hall was very chuffed when her little gaffer Pingu, won the Williams Trophy in Div 2, ahead of Tahua, Rick Humphries and Carouse, Michael Franklin.
Tequila’s success in the Ted Rice Shield for Div 1 handicap honours was not unexpected. Josh Walker’s first call after the win was to grandfather Kevvie who had been watching their every move all weekend from his waterfront veranda. The third Holm brother, Tony steered his Clansman Merrymac to second with Pagan third.
Retired local shipwright Brian Hutchison was again this year called on to judge the best presented awards and was full of praise for the high standards on show. Seraya was a well deserved winner of the Albert Jeays Shield for Best Presented Overall Yacht. Other awards went to Balamara, the Marco Polo Shield (vintage yachts), Fourwinds the National Trust Shield (gaffers) and Westerly the Wasson Shield (small yachts).
• Division 1 Line Honours – Large Yachts: pre 1968
1st Pagan - Tasman Seabird - Peter Kerr
2nd Tequila - Williams - Jono & Josh Walker
3rd Achernar II - Alden Ketch - Steve Lugge
• Division 1 Handicap – Large Yachts: pre 1968
1st Tequila - Williams - Jono & Josh Walker
2nd Merry Mac - Clansman - Tony Holm
3rd Pagan - Tasman Seabird - Peter Kerr
• Division 2 Line Honours – Small Yachts
1st Plan B - Hartley TS16 - Bruce Wales
2nd Tom Thumb - Frances 26 - Paul Aroney
3rd Tern - Nordic Folkboat - Carmen Mira
• Division 2 Handicap – Small Yachts
1st Pingu - Penguin - Dinah Hall
2nd Tahua - Archie Barber - Rick Humphries
3rd Carouse - RORC Hartley - Michael Franklin
• Division 3 Line Honours – Large Yachts: Modern Classics
1st Inisheer - Duncanson 35 - Daniel Farmer
2nd Manitou - Cavalier 39 - Nick Martin
• Division 3 Handicap – Large Yachts: Modern Classics
1st Inisheer - Duncanson 35 - Daniel Farmer
2nd Seraya - Kauffman 40 - Hank Kauffman
3rd Manitou - Cavalier 39 - Nick Farmer
• Best Presented Yachts
Best Presented Overall - Seraya - Kauffman 40
Vintage Yacht - Balamara - S&S Yawl
Gaff Rigged Yacht - Four Winds - Randel Ketch
Small Yacht - Westerly - Dragon
Start of Race Two