Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta 2017

Well that went well.

We had Jack Carroll, and eleven Sailfish turn out for what was a fantastic weekend with good weather, good wind and a good crowd. As well as the “old” Sailfish skippers with boats we had a heap of old hands who came along to have a look and we were very lucky that Hayden Ramsdale turned up with his camera gear and has taken some fantastic photos.

Hayden’s video of the race day is here, Tony Hasting’s GoPro footage can be seen here, and Graham Bignell’s video can be seen here.

There is a full report, with photos, up on the site now, under the History tab, so check that out; it might be time to start getting your boat ready for next year’s Regatta, it really is too good to miss.

Feel free to leave a comment here with your own memories of the weekend.


Site Update

There has been so much going on since the last update!

Newsletters: We now have what we think are ALL the newsletters in captivity available to view from 1964 (!) through to the mid ’80’s thanks to the generosity of Ian Milton and Jack Carroll.  Thank goodness someone held onto all this stuff.  Apart from historical interest, there are some good articles on boat setup and tuning to get you ready for Inverloch. And who knew that there were some successful “soft” i.e. not fully battened, sails in the early days, apart from Jack of course.

NSW Sailfish Association: On the 24th of April 1967 at the home of Ben Castle a meeting was held to form the NSWSA. As a result of this Narrabeen Lakes Sailing Club, which had been in suspension was re-formed and is still going strong. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the NSWSA we will be getting together at Narrabeen to sail or to eat or to sail and to eat on the 24th of April 2017. Come along, share some stories and reconnect with old friends. Details will be posted on the site after Inverloch.

Inverloch: Now just a couple of weeks away and by last count we hope to have at least 11 Sailfish for the Regatta.

Photos: As well as the Newsletters we have lots of new photos and more to come.

Register: Lots of historical updates and a few updates to current status but we still want more information, so get in touch if you still have a boat tucked away or know of one.

And that is about it for now, if you can make it to Inverloch, with or without a boat, we would love to catch up, so come on down for a day trip at least if you are based in Melbourne or Eastern Victoria.

The Ballarat Years

In the late seventies Ballarat became a real powerhouse of the Sailfish in Victoria; the following are Dan Flynn’s memories, including his memories of a real treasure to the class, our own Ray Cross . . . . .


I was recruited to a new Sailfish fleet starting at Lake Wendouree in about 1977.

Ray Cross, Chris Drury & Peter Coburn were the prime movers.

Early meetings to discuss the formation of a fleet were held in the upstairs ‘youth area’ of Ballarat YC.

A number of boats were built in the back shed of Ray’s mother’s house.

Ray was very generous. If anyone needed a new boat and had a few dollars for materials Ray would build one, everyone providing the labour.

This new fleet of ‘ironing boards’ with bendy masts and pumped up teenagers took Ballarat Yacht Club by storm. The hierarchy didn’t know what to do with us 🙂

As soon as the boats were built, launched and capsize drill practiced, we were ready for racing, wherever we could find it.

In 1980 a group of us headed to Lake Macquarie to take on the big guys from Narrabeen Lakes. There was Ray with a trailer on the back and a Sailfish on the roof of his Sandman panel van, plus Peter Coburn had a ute and Greg Barwick with four boats on a trailer on the back of his Gemini van.

The long trip was made listening to cassettes of Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Moody Blues & Ronstadt…

The Ballarat boys did well, especially the 3 mentioned above. 

The absolute highlight of my sporting career to date was winning a heat on Lake Macquarie. It was a light shifty wind, well suited to my fibreglass ‘Ugg Boot’.

Regattas at Eppalock, Bolac, Cairn Curran & Learmonth  were fiercely competitive. At these and Parkdale we met the Carrolls, Ginnivans, DB & Rohan & Havachat 🙂

My brother Ron sailed Aardvark at these regattas and brother Peter sailed Stanley Crocodile.

Never was there such an affordable youth racing scow, with close racing and friendship accessible to ordinary kids like us. Well done Jack Carroll on a great design and class leadership !

Dan Flynn.