Classic Dinghy Classes Invitation Weekend

This is an event for classic dinghy classes of any construction! So if you have a fibreglass Sailfish, (Brett), or a composite Sailfish, or a conventionally built Australian Sailfish, time to get that boat out, do some tidying up and get it ready!

It seems like the end of November is a long way off, but it is shocking how quickly that time will evaporate if you are trying to get your boat ready, so hop to it.

The venue is well known to many of us; Cairn Curran Sailing Club will be our host for the weekend of the 25th and 26th of November and there is a range of accommodation available in the area, from Castlemaine through to Maldon, so start to check that out as well before it is all booked.

For the latest up to date information, like schedules and stuff like that, check out either the Cairn Curran Sailing Club website at for the Classic Dinghy Classes Invitation Weekend (not the Regatta the week before) or the Victorian Classic Dinghy Latest News at or keep checking back here, as we find out more we will be posting it for you.

Hope to see you there, Cairn Curran has a great Australian Sailfish history, it is where our first National Title winner, Leigh Marriott came from, and his boat, Mrs Vicious will be there.

The Regattas are coming!

The Cairn Curran Classic Dinghy Invitation Weekend is now just FIVE months away, so you better get started on your preparations, it will be with us in no time!


And that means it is just SEVEN months until the 2018 Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta. This year’s Regatta was a turning point for the resurgence of the Australian Sailfish and we would like to have even more boats there in 2018, so start planning!


While it is to cold to be doing any painting in the southern states, you can still start to get things ready. Out with the gear, check those stays and blocks, make a list of what needs a coat of paint or varnish, in only another couple of months it might be warm enough to do some painting, I hope.

Cairn Curran is Coming!

The very first Cairn Curran Classic Dinghy Classes Invitation Weekend hosted by the Cairn Curran Sailing Club is coming!

The big news is that this is not a wooden boats only event. Classic Dinghy Class boats that are built out of wood, fibreglass and/or fibreglass and ply composite are welcome. We hope to have a good turnout of Sailfish, and if you have a ‘glass one we would really like to see you there. There will be Gwen 12’s, VJ’s, Moths and we hope that there will be lots of other classes as well.

If your boat isn’t ready, bring your sailing gear and get ready to hop back on a Sailfish.

So plan for the last weekend of November (25 & 26) and we will post more details as they become available, or check out the Victorian Classic Dinghy Network page via the Links page.

For now, get out that fibreglass Sailfish that you have been waiting to restore and get to it, just six months to go!

New! Improved! NSW Sailfish Assoc. 50th, an update, update update!

Three days to go! And the weather gods are being kind.

The current forecast is for around 20 degrees and 6 to 8 knots, even I can cope with that.

The Manly Daily has posted an article on our reunion, the link is below, click on the calendar to find the April 26 edition, and the relevant page is page 9:

Manly Daily

Surnames of those we are aware of so far that hope to attend include:

Castle, Chapman, Cleary, Barwick, Milton, Leyland, Urban, Bundock, Kelly, Dowzard, Carroll, Norton, Watts, Guy, a completely different Guy, Lenton, Remington, Bytheway, Bowles, Vaughn, Lloyd, Ansems, Westlake, McManus, Hall

I thought I had mentioned this in an earlier post but in case I missed it, this is a family affair, so bring your wives, bring your husbands, bring your boyfriends, your girlfriends, bring your kids, just think, it will give them a whole new way to be embarrassed about you.

So it is looking like a big day, really hope to see you there.

Get your sailing gear ready and prepare to wallow in nostalgia!

The Penrith Press have published an article promoting the day, click on the Penrith Press link below to check out the article:


Penrith Press
13 Apr 2017






Jamieson Park, south side of Narrabeen Lakes, from around 10 a.m. until stumps on Saturday the 29th of April. Be sure to bring some lunch and something to drink, please bring any photos you can find, so we can copy them for future postings.

And see you all real soon.

Back to the ‘Rat – Ballarat Report

It was a great day on a lake many of us know all to well. We arrived to a strong Northerly which had eased to a good sailing breeze by midday and then proceeded to fade out as the afternoon wore on, just like the locals said it would. By the end of the day it was glassy patches and searching for catspaws to get about, and to get home!

I was there with Bruce! and with the as yet unrestored Stanley Crocodile, Jack Carroll was there bright and early, Chris Drury was there with Blowed if I Know, Ian Milton surprised us all by turning up from Narrabeen (!!!) with Apsu and then Ken O’Brien surprised everyone again, by turning up with his boat Cobra, 1808.

As well as the Sailfish, John Fairfax turned up with a stunningly restored VJ, there was a scow Moth, a Gwen 12, and as the day is a Lightweight Sharpie Regatta day, it seemed only right that two Heavyweight Sharpies turned up as well. So a good showing from the wooden boat brigade.

The interest in Sailfish in general from both young and old club members was most gratifying and the interest in Stanley in particular from the two Peters, Coburn and Flynn was great to see. Some of Peter C’s mates from the Lightweight Sharpie brigade were heard saying “did you sail one of these?” to Peter, only to have him respond, “Yeah, I sailed that one there”, it was great to see their surprise. Peter F was busy texting his brother Dan telling him he should have been there to see it. The young sailors were very interested, wanting to get their heads around how the Sailfish were sailed and wanting to have a go when we next visit. And then Peter Stuchbery bounced over as well, so it was very much like old times.

Ian rolled in, and for the second time in as many months I was lost for words (but not for long), this is becoming a habit! He had driven down for the weekend with Apsu in tow and was then heading back to Narrabeen on the Sunday. Chris and Ian have posed for the after shot from their 1979/80 spirited Title battle on Lake Wendouree, and both the before and after are in the Gallery.

Then there was Ken. Ken came down to Inverloch to have a look at what was going on, and as a result he got Cobra out from his mum’s garage. He has done a fantastic restoration job, check out the photos in the Gallery, and had his first sail on a Sailfish since 1972, and didn’t disgrace himself.

As well as the four of us sailing we had some interested onlookers as well, Mark Teasedale came to have a look, as did Michael (I think I have remembered the name right, my apologies if I haven’t) Thurlbeck, who used to live down the street from Jack in Mordialloc and sailed Sailfish 529 out of Parkdale.

And then we all headed home, a little bit tireder than when we set out, but all happy.

Next event, the 50th Anniversary Reunion of the founding of the NSW Sailfish Association at Narrabeen on 29th April. We seem to be awfully busy for a class that is supposed to be a bit dead!

NSW Sailfish Assoc. 50th, update

Great news!

The Narrabeen Lakes Sailing Club has very kindly made available the clubhouse facilities at Jamieson Park for us to use on the 29th of April. So there will be change rooms, showers, toilets and a kitchen plus we have cover if the weather is not the best.

So, it’s on. April 29 at Jamieson Park, Narrabeen, parking fees are steep so bring cash or card, I am not sure which will be required. Bring your boat, bring your lunch, bring your photos and we will see you there from around 10 onwards for lunch, sailing, catching up.

And a big thank you to Peter Chapman and the committee of NLSC for making the clubhouse facilities available to us.

Back to the ‘Rat

Saturday 18th of March will see at least a couple of Sailfish out on Lake Wendouree again, sailing with the Ballaarat Yacht Club for the first time in many years.

Come along and bring your Sailfish, wooden, fibreglass or even wooden and fibreglass, we don’t mind. If your boat is a bit absent at the moment or not quite ready for the water, come along and say hello anyway. Greg Barwick and Chris Drury will be there from mid morning; look for the Sailfish shaped boats, that should be a giveaway, or the (alleged) hoards of Sailfish fans wanting to have a look at the boats.

See you there!

NSW Sailfish Association 50th Anniversary

On the 24th of April 1967 a brave group of pioneers gathered at the home of Ben Castle to form the NSW Australian Sailfish Association. This group then went on to re-establish the Narrabeen Lakes Sailing Club, with winter races starting that same May, before a full summer season commenced in 1967/68. Narrabeen went on to become the powerhouse of Sailfish in NSW for many years and a successful and still strong club to this day.


Jack Carroll on Ace of Clubs, Queen’s Birthday weekend 1967

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary we are holding a get-together at Narrabeen on Saturday 29th April 2017 from 10 am until we are done. This is not a regatta, but rather a day to get together, perhaps have a sail, have some lunch, and tell outrageous lies about how good we all were.

If you still have a Sailfish, bring it along! There will be at least a few Sailfish there for general use, so if you seem to have misplaced yours and would like to renew acquaintances with the boat, be sure to bring some sailing gear.

We are still deciding if the venue will be Jamieson Park or the Bilarong Reserve on the Wakehurst Parkway side. Jamieson Park is the obvious choice due to the location of the sailing club, but I am reliably told that the sailing is better from the north side of the lake these days.

If you know anyone from the early days, ask them along, this is a reason to catch up, and to celebrate; one way or another that meeting in 1967 had a big impact on many of our lives.

Bring your own lunch, memories, memorabilia and photos. Let us know via the contact page if you will be there.


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.