by James Hill
The Balmain Regatta is one of Sydney's oldest sporting events and has a long historic link with the city’s waterways going right back to early colonial days. The regatta is now on again for 2011.
The Balmain Regatta was first held way back in 1849 and continued through ever year until 1934, when sadly it was discontinued. The event was revived in 1994 by the Wooden Boat Association, and Balmain Sailing Club hosted the Balmain Regatta in 1995 and 1996 as one of its Spring Series races.
In 1997, the Regatta was run as a separate event, jointly organised by the Balmain Sailing Club and the Wooden Boat Association. Today it is run by Balmain Sailing Club, in association with other sailing clubs and community organisations, and is a real celebration of Balmain and sailing on the western Harbour of Sydney.
The event attracts over 100 yachts, skiffs and dinghies on the water, making it one of the great annual spectacles around Balmain and the western harbour.
This year the regatta will be held on Sunday, October 30, 2011. As with previous Balmain Regattas, the event will incorporate a full day of sailing and boating fun, including classic 10 ft and 18ft skiff races, along with modern dinghies, as well as classic and modern yachts like the gaff rigger pictured.
There are plenty of other racing as well including the popular ‘every-man one-design classes on the harbour like the super- fast Flying Tiger 10, Young 88, Hood 23, J24, Cavalier 28 and old-style Etchell 22 class. In addition crews representing Balmain’s local pubs and Community Services Groups will be racing. Visitors don’t have to be sailors either as entertainment will be provided at the club throughout the day.
Entry is open to anyone with a yacht or dinghy who would like to race in a historic event where the emphasis is on having fun. In addition to Balmain Sailing Club entrants, boats representing surrounding clubs are encouraged to participate. The Balmain Sailing Club also welcomes family, friends and visitors to join in the activities at the club during the day. Or than view all the racing from the nearby waterfront park next door – and even enjoy a picnic if they wish.
Balmain Sailing Club: Website