The 2018 CDCIW is almost here!

That’s right, the 2018 Classic Dinghy Classes Invitation Weekend held at Cairn Curran Sailing Club is just six weeks away. Get your boats ready, sort out your accommodation and we will see you there real soon.

Well yeah, it isn’t Cairn Curran, and it isn’t a Sailfish, but it is a classic dinghy!
Here then, last year’s Sailfish fleet at the 2017 CDCIW. [By Greg Barwick, Cairn Curran, 24 November 2017]

Bendigo Yacht Club Opening Day – Report

Photos of the day can be viewed in the Victorian Gallery here:

Victorian Gallery

They came from all over the place; Warwick drove down from Brisbane for the day, as you do, Chris drove down from the Blue Mountains for the day, and Warren Jones even drove across from Terang just to have a look and catch up with us all after a short (!!!) interlude.

We even had one surprise boat as well – Dale Watson turned up with Stewart Wallace’s old boat 3365 Super Trooper, for those of us old enough to remember, and it is in great condition, it has clearly been very well looked after.

Clear skies, light winds and, in the end, nine Sailfish fronted up for a great day that only really lacked in some wind. By about ten the wind was at an exciting three knots (maybe), but from there it faded out to a ghost, a mere zephyr of a breeze, as the day continued. The briefing scheduled a two o’clock start but with a proviso from the locals in the know that it might be delayed and that if we didn’t get a start by three they would pull the pin. Chris and Ken Maynard and I decided we would head out for a drift anyway, can’t have come all that way and not have a sail.

In the end the official race was cancelled due to lack of wind but the racing committee offered up the option of a short race in front of the club if we wanted – we did. The race was run in a light breeze that faded out and was won by Chris Cleary, ahead of Warwick Norton and Craig Conn. Ken O’Brien had a great looking trophy specially made up for the day, and our thanks to Ken for going to the trouble of having that done.

Bendigo Yacht Club made us all feel most welcome and looked after us all very well, as they always have done.

Who turned up? I’m glad you asked:

Warwick Norton – Ogg 1800 plus Martin Kortlucke’s old boat (number unknown)

Chris Cleary – Janus 1918

Ken O’Brien – Bruce! 2028

Greg Barwick – Stanley Crocodile 3330

Ken Maynard – Gonzo the Great 3334

Dale Watson  – Super Trooper 3365

Craig Conn – 3411

Brian Carroll- Jack’s Toy 3461

Jack Carroll – coach

Warren Jones – pit crew

From the left, Chris Cleary, Greg Barwick, Jack Carroll, Ken O’Brien, Ken Maynard, Brian Carroll, Warwick Norton, Craig Conn and Dale Watson. [By Lyn Wallace, Bendigo Yacht Club, 6 October 2018]

Our next event is the Classic Dinghy Classes Invitation Weekend at the end of November, check the Calendar and we will see you there!

Current Header Photo

The 2018 Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta. From the left, Ken Maynard on 3334, Gonzo the Great, Peter Chapman on 2188, Gooney Bird, Ken O’Brien on 1808, Cobra, & Ian Milton on 2028, Bruce, making their way up the first work on Friday the 26th of January.

The 2019 ICWDR is now less than four months away!

Photo by Marion Chapman, Inverloch, 26 January 2018.

Three Weeks to Eppalock

That’s right, just three weeks to go to our opening event of the 2018/19 season, if you haven’t started getting your Sailfish ready yet, it might be time to start panicking!

Version 2Sailfish 25th regatta 1

The above photos show Chris Cleary, John Dowzard, Red Emperor on the trailer and Janus on the roof racks at the 25th anniversary regatta at Lake Eppalock in 1981. Just check out the venue and the number of boats in the background! Photos are from the Dowzard Family album.

And there is a NEW Bendigo yacht Club website, here’s the link:

New Bendigo Yacht Club Home Page

See you there.

September 2018 Header Photo

Heat start at the 1979/80 National Titles held on Lake Wendouree, Ballarat.

From the left, 3054 behind the starting boat, skipper unknown; 3390 Muffin, Chris Drury; 3352 Holy Handgrenade, David Spiers; 2159 Silent Running, Warren Jones; 3336 Mutated Tomato, Craig Ginnivan; 3366 Mud Shoveller, Peter Coburn; 3363 Reed Rat, skipper unknown.

Photo from Drury family album, December 1979/January 1980, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat.

Five Weeks

Yep, that’s right, just five weeks today, well it is while I am writing this, until our first event of the year, the Bendigo Yacht Club Opening Day on Saturday October 6.

If you haven’t dragged the boat out yet for a clean up and a check over now might be the time to do it.

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1974/75 National Titles, Lake Eppalock. Chris Cleary and 1918 Janus in the foreground, then 1257 Fury, Chris Leyland; 1302 Sish, Robert Champion; 3211 Glogg, Lindsay Phillips; 852 Tiger, skipper unknown; 3250 Ockerfish, Pat Carroll, behind the Puffin, & 1917 Noxal, Graeme Bailey. [By Jenny Browning, Lake Eppalock, Dec. 74/Jan. 75]
Bendigo is Jack Carroll’s home club, so we are hoping for a good turnout on the day, it has been a few years since Bendigo saw a fleet of Australian Sailfish out on Eppalock, so let’s give them a surprise.

Check out the Bendigo Yacht Club website for more details:

New Bendigo Yacht Club Home Page

Names from the Past – Martin Kortlucke

Text by Chris Cleary.

One of the many interesting people associated with the Australian Sailfish contacted me by email a month or so ago. “Call me”, the message requested. Which I did – it was Martin Kortlucke, in Brisbane.

As a consequence of some health issues, Martin needed to part with his Sailfish which had been moored in his garage for many years. “Free to a good home”, he said. This website passed the information onto our Brisbane contacts, and Warwick Norton snapped up the boat within a few days (see blog entry dated July 19, 2018).

I first met Martin at the 1972-73 Sailfish National Championships, held on Cairn Curran Reservoir near Maldon in central Victoria. His boat was ‘Zorba”, boat number 1154. He had sailed the boat on the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay, but the titles were the first time he had ever raced a sailboat! He came 14th.

He was tall and rangy, and very strong. The ’72-73 titles were dominated by heavy winds. In one heat, a shackle on his forestay broke soon after the start and his mast came down. In rough water he was able to fit a spare shackle, haul up the mast and sail again and recommence the race. I clearly remember the race officials shaking their heads in wonderment as they described his efforts at the briefing the following day. He was given a prize at the awards night. This is the entry from the March 1973 Newsletter:

Martin's newsreel comment.jpeg.jpeg
[Extract from Australian Sailfish Newsletter, March 1973, page 8]
Martin also attended the 1973-74 championships on Narrabeen Lakes the following year. He came 9th.

As a child, Martin had become fascinated by the sea and sailing and the square-riggers. His very first sailing trip was in 1971 on the barque ‘Endeavour II’. This ship sailed to Australia from Canada to take part in the 1970 James Cook Bicentenary celebrations. He signed on as crew for a five week trip to New Zealand, the first leg of its return voyage to North America. In high seas the ship was wrecked on the Parengarenga Bar at the northern tip of the north island of New Zealand. Along with the other 13 crew, he had to swim two miles to safety. An exciting introduction to sailing!

Undaunted by that, he was determined to learn to sail. He was advised to buy a Sailfish. “If you can sail a Sailfish you can sail anything”, he was told. ‘Zorba’ was his first. He subsequently built his second, using what was then the relatively new technique of wood/epoxy sheathing. The boat acquired by Warwick was his third Sailfish.

Martin is a Mechanical Engineer, now retired. He has always been intellectually inquisitive. Over his sailing life he has built seven boats of various types, all of them technically adventurous. One of them was a Phil Bolger 30 ft gaff-rigged ‘folding’ schooner. Martin built it as a bow section and a stern section so they could be carried together on his boat trailer. To go sailing, the two sections were bolted together amidships.

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Martin and the amazing folding boat, folded. [Kortlucke Family album, date unknown]
Martin's folding schooner.jpg
And here it is on the water, looking very sweet. [Kortlucke Family Album, date unknown]
Martin was the 1982 National Champion in the 14 ft Calypso class catamaran, with his wife, Nola, as crew. Over his sailing life he has also had extensive ocean racing and boat delivery experience off the east coast of Australia, almost exclusively in multihulls. He sailed in the Brisbane to Gladstone race on seven occasions, and has raced the Sydney to Brisbane, Gladstone to Cairns and Townsville to Brampton Island races among other events. His boats have taken line honours and set records on a number of occasions. I remember Martin showing me over the ocean racing trimaran he crewed on when I visited Brisbane many years ago. ‘Devils 3’ was a 37 ft lightweight fibreglass flyer. I found it very disconcerting that the sides of the central hull seemed barely opaque. Martin wasn’t troubled at all.

He is well-known in Queensland boating circles, has been a longstanding member of the Wooden Boat Association of Queensland and was editor of the association newsletter for an extended period.

This website thanks Martin for his generosity in passing on his Sailfish, and wishes him all the very best.


Regatta Season is Coming!

Whether you live in the north, the south, the east or the west it looks like the 2018/19 sailing season will have plenty of opportunities for us to get our Sailfish in the water.  The following is what we know so far:

October 6 – Bendigo Yacht Club Opening Day at Lake Eppalock.

Bendigo is Jack Carroll’s home club and we hope to get a good turnout to start the season. I know that Warwick is coming down from Brisbane with Ogg, and at least a few of us from Melbourne will be there as well, so drag out the boat and get started on all those little things you need to do to be back on the water in just over two months.


November 24 & 25 – Classic Dinghy Classes Invitation Weekend at Cairn Curran.

This will be the second time we have held this event, at a great club with many historical links to the Australian Sailfish. While there will be many of us coming from Victoria and NSW, for those of us who live in Melbourne’s west or the western districts this regatta is the easiest to get to, and this year the weather gods might cooperate.


January 26 to 28 2019 – the Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta at Inverloch.

If we had a “home” regatta this would be it. This is the place where the resurgence in interest in the Australian Sailfish really took off in 2017, so come along and help us be the largest single class for the third year in a row. A very friendly club, an at times “interesting” and “challenging” sailing venue and a terrific weekend. You could even have your photo taken with Jack’s original Australian Sailfish, Debonair, Australian Sailfish number 2, you won’t see that anywhere else!


March 9 & 10 2019 – Wallagoot Lake Boat Club Regatta at Wallagoot Lake.

Home to our own Tony Hastings, owner of Flotsam, and Terry Kirby, owner of 1806, this regatta is just perfectly placed for any of our skippers in Sydney, the south coast of NSW or eastern Victoria. It might even serve as a warm up for the following event.


March 2019 – Toronto Four of a Kind Regatta at Toronto Lake Macquarie.

This is an event for all the Sailfish in Sydney, the Greater Lake Macquarie area and north, and south if you enjoy a drive of course. We turned up last year and cleaned up Division 2, should probably do it again in 2019 so they know it wasn’t a fluke. The exact date is still to be determined but expect the back end of March based on previous years.


April 27 & 28 2019 – The South Australian Wooden Boat Festival at Goolwa.

Chris Cleary and I are taking a couple of Australian Sailfish along to spread the word, and the more the merrier, so come along if you can. This event is held every two years and is just a great indulgence for anyone who loves wooden boats of all kinds. There is plenty to see and do over the weekend.


Of course, there are others, the Sunshine club on Lake Macquarie have a single-handed regatta in early November and and their annual regatta in February, plus there is the Lake Boga Easter Regatta as well.

Lots to choose from, or go mad and come along to them all! See you at a Regatta soon.