Current Header Photo

This month, Jack Carroll, co-designer of the Australian Sailfish turns 90. So this month’s header is a way to reflect and document some small part of that journey.

From the left, Debonair, Australian Sailfish number 2, built by Jack and his good mate Bruce Scott in 1956 when they just wanted a simple boat they could easily go out for a sail on.

Then there is Jack on Radiant, number 88, off Parkdale Victoria sometime around 1964.

Jack on 1803, at a National Title at Narrabeen Lakes, maybe 1971/72, one of the rare moments in time that Jack didn’t actually own a boat and had to borrow one.

Then we have Jack on Slipstream, number 3000, off Black Rock, Victoria followed by Jack also on Slipstream at the 1977/78 National Titles held on Lake Macquarie.

The final photo is Jack at Toronto Amateur Sailing Club in 2017. He is holding the division 2, 4 of a Kind trophy won by the Australian Sailfish crew.

Photos from the media file, all accredited in other sections.

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin . . .

Where the weather is much cooler than it is in Australia right at the moment, what better way to spend your time than by building an Australian Sailfish. You can get a hint of the weather there by the snow shoes in the background of one of the photos.

Joe ordered his plans in mid November and isn’t wasting any time on it,

Deckplank down, frames on, keel on, bottom stringers drying. [By Joe Schena, Wisconsin, January 2019]
Bow detail. [By Joe Schena, Wisconsin, January 2019]

A new Cleary boat

Here’s some good news to help get us all ready for Inverloch, Chris has launched a new boat!

The new build is named Westerly, number 2218, and in what is now very much a Cleary tradition was launched at Wentworth Falls Lake this last week.

Westerly, Australian Sailfish 2218. [By Ian Watson, Wentworth Falls Lake, 19 January 2019]
Westerly, Australian Sailfish 2218. [By Ian Watson, Wentworth Falls Lake, 19 January 2019]

I for one am really looking forward to checking this one out.

Famous T shirts

Well, nearly famous T shirts, almost, a bit.

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1981 T shirt, back view. [By Dale Watson, January 2019]
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Mid ’80’s T shirt, back view. [By Dale Watson, January 2019]
2017 Inverloch return T shirt, front view. [By Greg Barwick, January 2019]
2018 Toronto 4 of a Kind Regatta, back view. [By Greg Barwick, January 2019]

Come on, get into the cupboards and look, there have to be more of these out there!

January 2019 Header Photo

Race day at the Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta.

Ian Milton on APSU, 2192 leads Peter Chapman on Gooney Bird, 2188 and Brian Carroll on Supertoy Fish, 3342 approaching the bottom mark. Just behind Peter’s sail you can see the edge of Chris Cleary’s sail on Janus, 1918 and just behind Brian’s sail you can see the edge of Tony Hasting’s sail on Flotsam, 0.

Photo by Tim Wilson, Anderson Inlet, 27 January 2017

Nearly Inverloch O’clock

That’s right just four short weeks until we hit the water for the 2019 Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta.

There will be the chance to do this:

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Or this:


Perhaps even this:


And almost certainly this:


Or even this:


How can you possibly resist?

Christmas is over so now it is time to get your gear ready, make sure the boat is all prepared and book your accommodation, just in case you haven’t already.

As usual, the Sailfish get together dinner will be on the Saturday night at the Indian Restaurant, The Chutney Bar, and Jack will be there to keep us all in line; the 2019 ICWDR Regatta Dinner will be on the Sunday night.

If you would like to come along to the Sailfish night, let me know name and how many ASAP as we will be booking out a large section of the restaurant and the more notice of numbers we can give the better.

Regatta details including Entry Form can be found at:

2019 ICWDR Entry Forms

See you at Inverloch VERY soon now.

All photos by Marion Chapman, 2017 & 2018 ICWDR, Inverloch.



A Bit of Class History

From someone who was there and “cut their teeth” on an Australian Sailfish:


I didn’t start sailing till I was 34, much too old, and it was on a Sailfish I built in about 1964 for my eldest son. He was still much too young so I decided to give it a go and sail it myself. I called the boat “SEA PEPPER” (forgotten the sail number) and the name was beautifully sign written by Bruce Scott. An aside – no other club had boats with names painted on their hulls like Elwood, thanks to Bruce’s skill. I still have the piece of my Sailfish foredeck, with name, hanging on the wall, and framed by the stringers.

I joined Elwood Sailing Club as it was the closest, and found there were some other Sailfish there. I was a member of Elwood for about 25 years from 1964 to 1987, where I sailed the Sailfish, then after about 6 seasons I went into Herons, then NS14’s, and finally crewed on a Compass 750 for 5 or 6 years, out of Royal Melbourne.

A few of the Sailfish names – Jack of course, Jim Fyvie, Lindsay Phillips, Jim Robinson, Chard Iverson, Karl Weiderman, David Wood & Les Twentyman. These skippers were roughly my age, but they could all sail! I thought there was no way the hull would stand the stresses imposed, so I had strengthened it up around the mast step and the chainplates. Jim Fyvie thought that it was a bit of furniture as it was so heavy. I was thrilled when it was referred to as “Hot Stuff”. They all encouraged me to attend opening days at other Clubs, and to attend the Regatta Circuit – Cairn Curran, Eppalock, Paynesville, Warranga Basin, Lake Boga, and Yarrawonga. It was the Sailfish Association and the camaraderie exhibited within it that planted the bug that still infects me to this day.

The Association Monthly meetings were not to be missed, as they often featured a speaker of prominence and experience. I am still in wonder as to how the Committee were able to get such speakers to come to a group who sailed, and I quote Brian Carroll “this silly little boat”. Just a couple of examples – the speaker who as a 9 or 10 year old was taken to a Dutch Port to be crew on a square rigger, a cabin boy. He related some 50 years experience before the mast. He recalled a major hull design that enabled the crew to sleep dry. Their quarters were moved from the stern to amidships. They were no longer pooped. The other was John Bertrand, they must have told him a Sailfish was going to win the America’s Cup. Two items he spoke about were Line Sag and how to take advantage of it and Fleet Sailing, how to use other boats in the fleet to determine if you are taking a lift or knock.

It was only after qualifying as a Level 1 Coach, that I came to understand the importance of balance and trim, and together with the words that Jack Carroll had said to me years earlier “it’s the hand on the tiller that wins the race” (still remember him working the waves when beating to windward), and not the lightest, slippery hull, or the new HOT sail, which many skippers blame for their performance, (or lack thereof). It took me years to understand this, but when I did, I realized I was learning how to sail.

At my local club Ian Wayth, an Arrow skipper, hails from around the Castlemaine area, and sailed a Sailfish at Cairn Curran. Not only that, but he was at the November Cairn Curran Regatta of the Big Blow in the mid ‘60’s and it was only recently that we discovered we had sailed the same class at the same memorable Regatta. A sudden, very strong change from a northerly to a gale force southerly caught all unawares and saw the likes of Quickcats cartwheeling from the starting line towards the  Club. The Sailfish skippers that hadn’t left shore crouched behind their boats so as not to be peppered by pebbles, which were blowing with the grit and sand across the beach.

I still can’t believe how lucky and fortunate I was to come across the Australian Sailfish Association, and by another stroke of luck, join Elwood Sailing Club, the home base of the Class at the time, and the home of the top skippers.

It was the Australian Sailfish, the Association and it’s members, taking me into the fold and encouraging me to attend Regattas, that are still my fondest memories of sailing, recalling the Association, and the members who made it.




Inverloch Attractions

Many of us are coming to Inverloch in 2019 with our families, some of whom, for inexplicable reasons, will not want to spend all day watching us sailing on the waters of Anderson Inlet. You can now set their minds at ease by letting them know of the many other things there are to do in and around Inverloch.

There are the markets on the Sunday where there is often a band playing in the park.  For those who don’t want to wander too far, the Main Street has a range of shops and cafes to peruse, all within easy walking distance of the sailing club. When they come back to the sailing club there are also shaded elevated walkways or the jetty to spectate from as well.

For the more adventurous the surf beach is nearby and there is even a surf school for those wanting to try board riding. There are also some good walks to enjoy such as the Screw Creek or Townsend Creek walks, or the Eagles Nest and the coast towards Cape Patterson to explore.

If food and drink is an interest there are local wineries and even Prom Country Cheese back towards Korumburra that might make for an great day out.

And if all of that is not enough to keep everyone busy for three days you can also visit for more ideas.

So, there is plenty to do for everyone, young or old, sailor or non sailor, and we are looking forward to seeing you and your mob at Inverloch over the Australia Day weekend.