Vittoria’s classy touch to Sail Port Stephens - Yachting | Cruising | Learn to Sail | Waterfront Bar & Dining - The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club - Newport, New South Wales

         

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

     

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

Vittoria’s classy touch to Sail Port Stephens

Amid the gleaming white fibreglass boats racing en masse at the Commodores Cup, stage one of the two-part 10th anniversary Sai Port Stephens, is the classic timber boat Vittoria cutting a wide path through the gentle Nelson Bay chop.

Built for the late and great Victorian yachtsman Lou Abrahams, the Sparkman & Stephens (S&S) 42 design is a head-turner among the record cup fleet, and owner Alan Reece is enjoying pushing the beauty around the bay courses in the 15 knot average sou’easters.

A bundle of hand-written and typed letters now in Reece’s possession describe how how Abrahams wrote to S&S requesting a minimum handicap rater for the 1971 Admiral’s Cup. He learned they were working on a 42-footer for a Lord in the UK and the designers suggested the two owners share the design cost, which they did.  

Vittoria was built by Cec Quilkey in cold-moulded Oregon four diagonal planks building up to a hull thickness of one inch. It has an 8.8 tonne weigh-in but is only 30 feet at the waterline, thanks to the easily identifiable and fine curved S&S bow.

The boat’s first Sydney to Hobart race was only months after its launch in 1970 and its best performance in the famous bluewater race would be that race, fifth outright and seventh on corrected time. The boat went on to compete in eight more Sydney Hobarts, the last in 1978, plus the inaugural Sydney to Suva race in 1976. On the way back to Australia the boat accidentally hit and was then rammed by a cranky Sperm whale, smashing the rudder and sending the crew limping into Brisbane port for repairs.

Reece is only the fourth custodian of Vittoria and he knows with ownership comes a responsibility to preserve his piece of yachting history. “The previous owner did a beautiful refurb in 2010. Wooden boats soak up money...I’m yet to feel that pain.”

Now living in Pittwater on Sydney’s northern beaches, Vittoria is out racing weekly. It won the classic boat division at the 2017 Australia Day regatta and is doing the rounds of wooden boat shows, where invariably someone remembers Vittoria or wants to share their story with Reece of when they crewed on the boat sometime in the past 47 years.

“The enjoyment is the type of boat and meeting people through it, everywhere I go there are connections,” Reece says. “It’s beautifully made and I have to keep it nice. It does have mod-cons including electric winches so I can sail it short-handed, which makes it more usable.

“It goes well in big seas, steers like a car and doesn’t smash like the new boats, and I’m aiming to use it as much as I can; that’s what owning a boat is all about.”

The Commodore’s Cup and Vittoria’s series wraps up on Wednesday April 5, 2017.

Thursday is a layday and Friday marks the start of busiest half of the Sail Port Stephens on-water program when the NSW IRC Championship, NSW Super 12 Championship, Australian Sports Boat Championship and Performance Racing and Cruising Series commence. All racing concludes on Easter Sunday.

Sail Port Stephens is organised by Corlette Point Sailing Association and supported by Destination NSW, Port Stephens Council, Pantaenius Insurance, Garmin, Port Stephens Accommodation, Port Stephens Strata and more.

Results http://www.topyacht.net.au/results/2017/sps/comcup/series.htm

Event website www.sailportstephens.com.au

Facebook page

#NewSouthWales #portstephens #seasonofsailing

PHOTOS: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9a288cfmesj1qzl/AAD7_5CpRK9eg1B4fbVeLc8Fa?dl=0

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

The history of the Driftwood Trophy - Held this Sunday 28.05.17

25 May 2017

DRIFTWOOD TROPHYThis unassuming trophy was first competed for at the end of the 1983-84 centreboard season in Laser dinghies loaned by the Laser fleet sailors, and is probably the most...

Read more

Sailing is the launch sport of the 2018 Sydney Invictus Games

24 May 2017

In October 2018 Sydney will host the 4th annual Invictus Games and Invictus Patron, Prince Harry will visit Sydney next month to launch the Games. In line with its commitment...

Read more

RPAYC appoints Nick Elliott as Race Director

24 May 2017

In support of its commitment to yachting and to the growth of the sport, the RPAYC has appointed Nick Elliott into the newly created role of Race Director and Club...

Read more

The Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta is confirmed as an exciting long term fixture to feature in Australia’s summer…

05 May 2017

Australia’s east coast offshore sailing scene will take on an exciting new look with the staging of the Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta to start out of The Royal...

Read more

Congratulations to Team Harken, winning the Dust Buster Regatta

01 May 2017

Congratulations to Team Harken, winning the Dust Buster Regatta!Team Harken Skippered by Grant Pellew, managed to find his form today on the second and final day of the series. After...

Read more

Milly Bennett wins the 2017 Gwen Slade Regatta

29 Apr 2017

Light, shifty breezes ranging from the north back to the south saw six Etchells compete on Saturday 29 April in two windward/leeward sprint races for the 37th Gwen Slade Ladies...

Read more

2017 Old Timers Race and Luncheon

29 Apr 2017

A record number of participants have taken part in the Club’s annual Old Timers Race and Luncheon showing that age has no barriers in sailing!37 boats took to the start...

Read more

Alyse Saxby Places Third in the Hansa Asia Pacific Champs in Geelong

18 Apr 2017

The Gill Combined Hansa Class Asia Pacific Championships has concluded at Royal Geelong Yacht Club after three days of sailing. The regatta saw sailors aged from 11 to 92 taking...

Read more

Tash and Annie look towards Tokyo

08 Apr 2017

ANNIE Wilmot and Natasha Bryant do not hide their collective ambition.The latest Manly Daily Local Sports Star nominees have been sailing together since 2013, winning countless races at state and national level...

Read more

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.

Register here to receive the latest information on news and events at the Club
Club Newsletters
Please wait

Weather Links