Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - RG

Tasmanian One Design yacht Vanity celebrates 100th birthday

by Peter Campbell on 3 Nov 2011
Vanity racing in the early 1900s on the Derwent Rob Cruse
The Tasmanian One Design yacht Vanity which was built in Hobart in 1911 celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday, 2nd November 2011, joining the Sydney-based Weene in reaching a century, and still actively racing.

Vanity, which had been lovingly restored in Queensland by her current owner, now Hobart-based Robert Virtue, returned to Hobart late last year and was one of the significant attractions at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart last February.

For owner Virtue, a hydrogeologist with a passion for old wooden boats, this was the end of a five year restoration of Vanity, one of seven wooden Tasmanian One Design class yacht built in Tasmania between 1910 and 1912.

Remarkably, all are still afloat or under restoration. The first to be launched, Weene, raced in the Classic Yachts division of the 175th Australia Day Regatta on Sydney Harbour. Another ‘One Designer’, Canobie, has also been restored in Perth, WA.

The Tasmanian One Design class was based on plans published in the USA magazine The Rudder in 1910 for a ‘knockabout’ yacht designed by William Hand Jr.

Hobart naval architect Arthur Blore modified Hand’s design to suit local sailing conditions, and by 1910 had persuaded several prominent yachtsmen to build these identical boats, for the sum of about £200.

They became known simply as ‘One Designers’, and they went on to dominate racing on the River Derwent until the late 1920s.

Vanity was launched on November 3, 1911, for W F Darling, G S Crisp and Dr E J Ireland, who raced her successfully for several seasons, including three times placing second (to other One Designers, Pandora, Curlew and Weene) in the 89 nautical mile Bruny Island Race and winning the North v South Cup on the Tamar River at Launceston – after being taken there by train.

Several Tasmanian One Designers were lengthened in the 1930s to make them more competitive against the new and larger A class yachts racing in Hobart.

Vanity was extended from 32ft 8in (9.96m) to 40ft (12.0m) under the direction of naval architect Arthur Blore and continued racing with success, including winning the RYCT’s Dewar Shield Challenge four times in the 1930s. She was still racing on the Derwent in the 1970s.

Sold to a Sydney owner in the early 1980s, Vanity fell into disrepair and when Virtue bought her on E-bay in 2005 'for the price of the lead in her keel', she was 'held together by the algae in the water at Pittwater' and headed for the tip.

Virtue then set about a five year restoration program in Brisbane, aimed at bringing her back home to the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in Hobart.

'The Huon pine planking of the hull was still good, but the deck, the deck beams and ribs in the hull had just about disintegrated,' Virtue said.. 'Her original gaff rig had gone, too.'

The Tasmanian One Designer Vanity has been re-born as a magnificent looking gaff-rigged cutter, sailing and social racing again on Hobart’s River Derwent where she since she first ‘took the water’ a century ago.

Wildwind 2016 660x82Southern Spars - 100Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

Debriefing the 2016 Rio Olympics—Sailing news North America and beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 23 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
FAST40+ Class to be the first to have honour of racing for One Ton Cup
14 FAST40+ racing yachts are expected, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the USA 14 high performance FAST40+ racing yachts are expected for the One Ton Cup, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the United States of America. The crew, of which only five can be professionals, come from countries all over the world.
Posted on 22 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club dominates Hinman Trophy Team Race
Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. 2016 Hinman Trophy Team Race - Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. This was the case for Noroton Yacht Club as they won the Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy for the second straight year, though maybe not in the way you’d expect.
Posted on 22 Aug
Drama Queen - Goransson wins Melges 32 National Championship
Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship - After a weekend of challenging, moderate conditions in Newport, RI, Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship hosted by Sail Newport. Capping a weekend full of tight racing with lead changes around the track, it was fitting that the final race had three teams fighting for the regatta win
Posted on 22 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 - Day 1 Video
Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head on an inshore race course. The two boats shadowed each other in the pre-race manoeuvres prior to the start of a race to Lindeman Island and back, starting in Dent Passage. Both boats made a fine spectacle as they reached to the northern tip of Dent Island before heading upwind
Posted on 21 Aug
Reading Australia’s Rio 2016 Sailing Report Card
Pre-event, Australian Sailing officials predicted there would be between three and five medals at Rio 2016. Pre-event, Australian Sailing officials predicted there would be between three and five medals at Rio 2016. So Tom Burton's Gold in the Laser, and then Silver for the 470 Men’s sailors, Matt Belcher and Will Ryan, London 49er Gold Medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, and then lastly Nacra 17 first time campaigners, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, was a good result.
Posted on 21 Aug
2016 U.S. National Championship - Argo advance
The Melges 32 fleet at the 2016 U.S. National Championship was greeted with a lumpy, streaky race course 2016 U.S. National Championship - As the breeze remained in the ESE direction overnight and began bucking an outgoing tide in the morning hours, the Melges 32 fleet at the 2016 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport was greeted with a lumpy, streaky race course, rewarding those teams that started clean and minimized maneuvers.
Posted on 21 Aug
2016 Melges 32 Nationals - A daily dose of Vitamina
The 2016 Melges 32 Nationals hosted by Sail Newport began with a whimper as racing was postponed for a couple of hours The 2016 Melges 32 Nationals hosted by Sail Newport began with a whimper as racing was postponed for a couple of hours allowing the northerly drainage breeze to give way to the impending northerly sea breeze.
Posted on 20 Aug