Gaffers Day Sydney Harbour

Baragoola represented the RPAYC and WPYC at the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club’s Gaffers Day. The “Gaffers Day” is a rally for Classic yachts and vessels that hoist a Spar. This particular year is a special one for the Amateurs, as its part of their clubs 150 year celebrations.

Baragoola sailed under her own keel to and from the regatta with no engine, surviving the journey (and not sinking) she averaged 7.5 knots head to head! On arrival at the Amateurs, it quickly became apparent the kindness and helpfulness of the members and volunteers at their club., which was to continue throughout our stay. A mooring was arranged last minute, and a cool beverage awaited on arrival, followed by a lift to the B line bus stop!

Sunday 16th October saw approximately 90 boats congregate on race day. A great spectacle of Classic yachts tied up to the front of dock at the Amateurs including some notable Pittwater boats, Allan Reece’s “Vittoria” and Michael “Zapper” Bell’s “Florie”, the beautiful gaffer who is now 115 years old!

Baragoola, a classic international 5.5 built 1968, competed in the Metre boat division. We were the smallest boat in our division, and unfortunately for us the course involved a lot of reaching which suited the bigger boats. After a pursuit start, we were only  overtaken by fellow Alfreds member Stephen Girdis stunningly restored Knud Reimers designed “Plym” (the eventual winner of the Metre boat division) and “Fidelis” a 60ft classic also designed by Knud Reimers. In the end we finished 5th out of the ten boat fleet and 4th on corrected time.

A large Coutta boat fleet of just over 20 boats battled it out, with many Alfreds members and boats spread amongst this competitive fleet.

It was a terrific event, and a privilege to be on the same stretch of water along with these beautiful historical yachts.

Thanks again to the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, and well done to all the custodians of the Classic and Gaff rigged yachts for keeping them alive and on the starting line once again.