by David Salter
The biennial Sydney Harbour Gaffers Day Regatta will be held this year on Sunday 13 October.
The majesty and power of classic yachts on Sydney Harbour - Photo by John Jeremy - Gaffers Day
Hosted for the past 41 years by the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, the regatta has become Australia’s premier sailing event for classic yachts.
A 'classic' is generally regarded as a wooden yacht built before 1970, and the regatta welcomes Bermudan-rigged vessels along with those that hoist a spar. After all, the word 'gaffer' also means 'an elderly rustic', leader of a group, or 'good person' – senses which precisely capture the spirit of Gaffer’s Day.
In any case, it’s not so much the gaff rig itself that defines this event but the belief that there is enduring value and enjoyment to be found in celebrating traditional boats and the way they were designed, built and sailed.
Gaffers Day on beautiful Sydney Harbour in springtime is a unique celebration of these vintage and veteran craft.
This year it will offer participants the opportunity to sail their boats in friendly competition in seven divisions. These range from the historic 18-foot skiffs and metre boats to splendid offshore yachts and gaff-riggers, some of which are more than 100 years old.
Spectators can secure an exclusive ringside seat for the on-water activities by booking a place on the Rosman ferry Proclaim, built in 1939.
The ferry will leave from Old Cremorne Wharf with food and refreshments available on board. Expert 'live' commentary is provided by Sydney sailing legend, Bill Gale. Places are limited and must be booked through the SASC (see below).
For yacht entry details and ferry bookings, contact:
Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, 1 Green Street, Cremorne NSW 2090.
Tel: 02 9953 1433 Fax: 02 9953 0898 Email: email@example.com