16 Mitala Street, Newport NSW 2106   Tel: 61 2 9998 3700

     

16 Mitala Street, Newport NSW 2106
Tel: 61 2 9998 3700

Revive of the Fives (5.5m Class)

It was late in the evening at the 2011 Annual Prizing giving at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club the bar depleted and the conversation deep.  Having just won the Australian 5.5m Nationals in an aging Skagerak, borrowed from Roy Tutty for the event, Bob Stoddard was reminiscing lyrically on the great days of the 5.5 metres at the club.  In the 60s and 70s the 'Alfreds' was one of the great centres of world 5.5m design, building and activity.  Australia's first sailing Olympic Gold came in the 5.5m Class when club member Bill Northam and crew won in Tokyo in 1964 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Northam.  From 1970 to 1981 Australians, many from RPAYC, won 7 world championships https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.5_Metre_World_Championship.  The 'Alfreds' was at the heart of these activities and a new hardstand 'The 5.5m Stand' was build to accommodate the numbers.  Sadly Bob reflected that the glory days were now gone, but that he was still enjoying his annual 5.5m race with Roy Tutty and Steve Brajkovich at the Nationals.  Evolution Marotte AUS59 leads out the fleet at the 2017 NationalsEvolution Marotte AUS59 leads out the fleet at the 2017 Nationals

Carl Halvorsen’s Skagerak was purchased and raced by Roy after Carl, by then well into his 90's, retired from the sport.  Sadly as a 1973 boat Skagerak, like her builder Carl, was starting to show her age and Bob was worried that unless someone renovated her over the next few years another important boat in Australian sailing history would be lost.  I confessed I had fallen in love and always fancied a 5.5 metre ever since I saw a picture of one in the 1970 Yachting World Annual when I was young.  We drank a bit more and the kernel of ideas and plans formed to buy and renovate the boat.  Obviously when Bob sobered up in the morning the kernel had germinated and a few weeks later he brought Skagerak AUS32 from Roy. Then with the guidance and help of Steve Brajkovich many hours were spent renovating her to an immaculate state.  In a lovely touch in 2013 Carl Halvosen, then aged 100 years old, turned up in the rain and poured the champagne on the bow for the official relaunch.  Bob started racing her regularly at the 'Alfreds' in the PHS mixed fleet racing doing extremely well.  

On the water Skagerak looked superb.  She was elegantly beautiful and my first love of the 5.5m was reignited.  Luckily I found a fully functional but tired, 1973 Antares AUS29, costing only slightly more than a new Melges 32 3Di jib!  Antares does not have the classically beautiful lines of Skagerak because of her rounded canoe bow, but like a bulldog, she has her own elegance and charm. She also needed a lot of work on the tarnished varnished deck (Peter Gould and his son Scott spent many hours on this).  It came up a treat and before we knew it we had match racing within the fleets on Saturday afternoon and Wednesday night twilights.  The sight of these boats turned more heads for both their looks and the speed of these renovated 'greyhounds'.   I personally was captivated with my new, old boat - they are true 'gentleman's' (or gentleperson's) yachts with impeccable manners; more like Rolls Royces than Ferraris and somehow point so high upwind that you swear you are defying the laws of sailing!  They also race remarkably well to their ORC Club handicap ratings.

With Owen Crick regularly sailing Rhapsody AUS35 at the iconic Woody Point Yacht Club Wednesday twilights we now had 3 boats regularly sailing on Pittwater.  Next on the scene was Jason Antill whose father Rob Antill sailed 5.5ms in the glory days with Carl and the King of Norway.  He teamed up with Tom Spithill and Damian Macey and they bought the revolutionary Baragoola AUS26 a 1968 'Classic' 5.5m with a diamond shaped hull, roll forward mast, L shaped boom for the vang, chines and separate keel and rudder (helmed by Jason she was still fast enough to win the Australian Nationals this year).  We now had some epic close 5.5m fleet racing and a race within the usual RPAYC Saturday racing.

Cast Off by Above & Beyond Boating

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A taste of success on the Gold Coast inspires Auric's Quests Entry for the Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta and Bartercard Sail Paradise Series

Having sampled success in the most recent Sail Paradise Series on the Gold Coast, Southport Yacht Club’s Fred Bestall has already signalled his intention to go for the double – victory in both the Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta and the Bartercard Sail Paradise 2018 series. 

Bestall is the first Queenslander to enter both events with his impressive 46-footer, Auric’s Quest, a Nelson/Marek design that took top honours in Sail Paradise last January.

Now, with the inaugural 370-nautical mile Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta scheduled to start on January 2, and Bartercard Sail Paradise 2018 just four days later, Bestall has decided to try for the double.
“I’m really looking forward to putting the yacht and crew to the test in both events,” Bestall said when lodging what was the first Queensland entry for Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s race from Pittwater. “It promises to be an exciting race, one that should suit Auric’s Quest.

“Bartercard Sail Paradise, which is hosted by our club, Southport Yacht Club, will then give us the chance to show crews from the south what hospitality we can deliver, and the wonderful sailing we enjoy here on the Gold Coast.”

The Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta will be the longest offshore test Bestall and his crew have undertaken since the yacht was purchased some two years ago.


 Auric’s Quest is currently en route north to Hamilton Island to compete at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, which starts on Saturday.
The two events are presented jointly by Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and Southport Yacht Club on the Gold Coast.

For further information, or to lodge entries, go to:
Bartercard Sail Paradise, Southport Yacht Club: www.sailparadise.com.au
Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club: www.pittwatertoparadise.com.au

Additional information can also be obtained from Southport Yacht Club Marketing Manager, Bronwen Hemmings via Marketing.Manager@southportyachtclub.com.au or 07 5591 3500
(Ends) 

Fremantle to Pittwater and onto Paradise with Stealth

When yachtsman Robert Alpe decided to move into bluewater racing with the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club he looked Australia-wide for the right boat and eventually chose a Fremantle based 32-footer he then sailed 2,500 nautical miles home to Pittwater with a small delivery crew. 

Stealth is a Kim Swarbrick designed 9.9m aluminium sloop built in 1998 by Australia 2 boat builder Steve Ward and named due to its unpainted aluminium finish resembling the bomber aircraft of the same name.

The boat is one of a growing list of entries for next January’s Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta opening event, an offshore race starting just north of Palm Beach headland on January 2.

For 2018 the RPAYC’s flagship ocean race has been combined into a new regatta format and combined pointscore with the Bartercard Sail Paradise Series, conducted by Southport Yacht Club on the Queensland Gold Coast January 6-9. This joint venture between two prominent, forward-thinking and friendly yacht clubs has created a perfect opportunity for sailors to stay on the Gold Coast with their families or friends and enjoy some great racing off Southport’s golden beaches.

Download the Notice of Race hereand enter here. Owners can choose to enter the monohull, multihull or short-handed categories and be scored under all of the popular handicap systems - IRC, ORCi and PHS.

Alpe’s delivery across the Great Australian Bight, Bass Strait and up the New South Wales coast past Sydney Harbour to Pittwater took 29 days and wrapped up in February.

“Stealth proved very resilient, efficient and responsive, easily dealing with the varied conditions which included 10-12 metre seas in Bass Strait and winds up to 60 knots,” the long-time International Dragon official recalled. “No doubt we were helped by her deep keel and the fact one third of her 3.5 tonne total weight is at the base of her keel.”

Opening Day, Sail Past and Pittwater Dash

RPAYC 8m Metre World Cup Challenge, VARG

8 Metre World Cup, Norway
August 11 2017

The RPAYC 8 Metre VARG, Australia’s sole representative at the World Championships at Hanko Island, Norway, reached her destination safely after a marathon 20,500 nautical mile voyage and is now rigged, measured and fully certified to compete in the 10 race regatta in which she will face 28 crack boats from 10 countries.

On the eve of the regatta it is impossible to make any meaningful predictions on her performance prospects, however she has already captured the hearts of wooden boat aficionados from around the world. In a fleet of truly magnificent yachts, she is one of the most beautiful examples of the boat builder’s art.

The Wilson brothers, who built her over six years at Port Cygnet, Tasmania, used only the very best Huon Pine in her construction, much of it over 1,000 years old. VARG was originally designed and built by the great Norwegian naval architect Johan Anker in 1924. Renamed NORN and with Lord Forster, Australia’s seventh Governor General at the helm, she won Cowes Week in 1925, effectively making her the fastest 8 Metre yacht in Europe. Sold to the Albert family in Sydney she had an outstanding racing record winning many of the major trophies at the Alfreds and at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

In 2007 the pathetic remains of the original boat were acquired by Kraig Carlstrom and his wife Carolyn Mason who set about reconstructing her exactly as she was in 1924. In a world now dominated by mass produced plastic yachts, it is a rare joy to see a magnificent yacht whose long and slender lines take us back to the halcyon years of yachting.

But here in Hanko, VARG is certainly in splendid company. In more than half a century of writing about yachting all over the world I can honestly say I have never seen so many really stunning classic wooden boats in the same place. Each of these lovely boats has been cherished by owners and crews who care very deeply about maintaining a presence at the highest level of the sport.

Norway’s King Harald is here in his 1937 Johan Anker designed SIRA. The green hulled SIRA will no doubt be hard to beat on her home waters with the King and his crack crew in top form. But the beauty of the International Rule is that, while it has encouraged healthy design development over many years, it has also nurtured the classic boats of yesteryear. Some of the older boats date back to the turn of the 20th century and still carry gaff-rigged sails. There are several coveted trophies which will all be the subject of intense competition.

We took VARG out on the race course on the Skagerrak today to tune the rig and make sure that all the gear is in order. She behaved beautifully and in this splendid setting, surrounded by dark green pine forests, and a forbidding granite coastline, she seemed entirely at home. This is where her life began in 1924 and it seems entirely fitting that we should have brought her here on this auspicious occasion, the regatta that marks the 80th birthday of Norway’s revered sailor King. I will continue to keep Alfred's members informed as the regatta goes forward. Wish us luck.

Follow the action here: http://www.8mr.org/event/world-2017

Written by Bruce Stannard. 


 

About RPAYC

The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club - RPAYC is a yacht racing and sailing club based on Pittwater.

The yacht club offers year round inshore and offshore racing, cruising, centreboard dinghy racing, sail training and courses plus has a large marina accommodating up to 352 vessels.

There is also a modern boatyard with comprehensive marine services to help maintain your vessel.

Membership, including family membership is now available.

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