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16th Cup Regatta on Melbourne's Port Phillip waters this weekend

by Peter Costolloe 17 Feb 2022 01:18 PST 19-20 February 2022
Tumlare Zephyr - The Cup Regatta © Alex McKinnon Photography

The signature two day classic yachting event on Port Phillip is all set for its 16th consecutive replay. The regatta is organised and hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria for the Classic Yacht Association of Australia. Twenty of Victoria's finest Classic Yachts will be competing for the Col Bandy trophy awarded to the best performing classic yacht of the series and the Tony Blake trophy for the best performing classic yacht in both Series and Regatta racing events.

Martin Ryan CYAA president and skipper of Mercedes III reports" while our 2022 Cup Regatta fleet number a down a bit enthusiasm to get going and race is wild throughout the fleet"

Acrospire lll (1924) is favourite to win Division 1 if wind strengths over the two days remain below 12 knots. She is not a stranger to many classic yacht race podiums. With all four races to count, a variety of breezes suits Boambilliee (1968), last year's winner and a clear winner of the two lead in summer series races. If the southerlies come in at 20 knots plus, Sydney Hobart veteran Kingurra (1972) hits her straps. A survivor of the stormy 1998 race where she lost 2 crew overboard with one dragged back onboard and the second found by a rescue helicopter 40 minutes later. An upset could be provided by Fair Winds (1956) another all-rounder on her way from Hobart to compete, having raced in Classic races in Sydney.

Division 2 includes eight Tumlaren, a classic 27' keel boat designed in 1933. Melbourne has the largest fleet remaining in the world, consistently sailing from St Kilda since 1938. All Tumlarens are fully restored with another two boats due for launch this year. The red hulled Avian built in 1940, is the one to beat. She was State Champion 18 times between 1976 and 1997 helmed by Bill Gash. Roger Dundas the current owner, has high hopes in the Regatta with an original Gash crew member on board. Tumlaren enjoy generational devotees with Zephyr helmed by Kath Solly whose father Doug Jenkin sailed Tums in the 1970's. George Low has entered Snow Goose built by his father in 1949. The view of Tumlarens racing close to Beaconsfield Parade Kerferd Rd pier will be much the same as the photo from 50 years ago.

Division 3 will see Martini, the S&S half tonner, against Sydney to Hobart veterans from the 1960's Akala and Baranne. Dave Baskett skipper of the H28 Jedda and Evan Bieke skipper Folkboat Seabird have reported to the handicapper saying "watch out for us when the going gets tough, we'll be into the calculations, our spinnaker work when others err on the cautious side will sort out the smart money".

Watching the action as spectator boat is Sayonara (1897), a previous winner of this Classic Yacht Regatta and arguably Australia's most important Classic yacht. You will recognise her by the distinctive long boom.

The Classic Cup Regatta is conducted with courses set up to bring including close to the beach runs from Port Melbourne to St Kilda. The Regatta is next Saturday and Sunday, the 19th and 20th of February; join the established Classic spectators at various vantage points along Beaconsfield Parade, St. Kilda Breakwater and especially the piers.

A feature of Port Phillip classic yacht racing has been the use of handicapping that gives every competing classic yacht a chance to take home corrected time honours. The rider is no matter what the classic yacht performance capabilities are, it has to be raced with no mistakes. Previous classic race results have shown that a one second difference in elapsed time can relegate a boat from a corrected time podium to a midfield placing.

All classic yacht skippers, crews and supporters are invited to take part in the post regatta paella and trophy presentation on the lawns of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria on Sunday 20th Feb around 4:00pm, Paella reservations at RYCV bar or email CYAA at

Results of 2022 Cup Regatta racing can be found here.

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