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

MC38s Ginger-fied in Summer Series act one

17 Oct 2017

Media Release                                                                                                15 October 2017Event: MC38 2017-18 Summer Series act 1, October 14-15, 2017 on Sydney Harbour hosted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron MC38s Ginger-fied in Summer Series act oneThe...

Read more

First non-Victorian Australian Couta Boat champions – Tenacity

17 Oct 2017

Media release                                                                                                                            15 October 2017Event: Wattle Cup/Couta Boat Nationals on Pittwater October 14-15, 2017 sailed out of Avalon Sailing ClubFirst non-Victorian Australian Couta Boat champions – TenacityThe name says it...

Read more

Twilight sailing is here! Tuesdays - Thursdays - Fridays

12 Oct 2017

It's the Twilight Season! Three Twilight events are scheduled this season so there is something for everyone. Thursday Non-Spinnaker Series The Thursday Non Spinnaker Twilight season begins this Thursday 12 October, with...

Read more

The Nautiseum

12 Oct 2017

The Nautiseum is a painting by the internationally acclaimed artist Charles Billich. Inspired by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s 150th anniversary, it is a surreal composition showing a gallery...

Read more

World Champions’ Big Sacrifice For Olympic Ambition

07 Oct 2017

September 7, 2017Australia’s reigning Youth World Champions in the 29er class, Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot, have announced they will forfeit their title defence to concentrate exclusively on pursuing a...

Read more

Trifecta of Queensland Championship titles held at 2018’s Bartercard Sail Paradise Regatta

04 Oct 2017

The Australian Sports Boats Association, along with Australian Measurement System (AMS) have jumped on board with Australian Sailing to host three new Queensland championships at Southport Yacht Club (SYC).Host event...

Read more

Don't miss out on your piece of club history! Sesquicentenary Wines and Merchandise

03 Oct 2017

This Shiraz and Chardonnay have been handpicked to celebrate the 150 years.RPAYC Sesquicentenary ChardonnayTinklers single vineyard ‘Poppys’ Chardonnay from NSW exhibits intense melon and lychee flavours which integrate seamlessly with...

Read more

Australian Youth Match Racing Champions, Team Constanzo finish third

03 Oct 2017

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Tom Grimes, Dante Olivieri, Eric Sparkes, Emma Harrison and Jess Grimes have been crowned the 2017 Sharp Australian Youth Match Racing Champions after a...

Read more

Coach vs Student in the final of the David Lukins Memorial Regatta

24 Sep 2017

The David Lukins regatta was run over the weekend of the 16th and 17th of September 2017. This was the eigth running of the event since its inception in 2009...

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
Please wait

Weather Links