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 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.

Inverloch – Be there or be square!

And the numbers just keep on growing.

We now have at least nine Sailfish coming along; competitors include past National Champions, both Open and Junior, past State Title holders from Victoria and NSW plus keen Sailfish enthusiasts and historically significant boats.

And a number of other classes attending will have skippers who cut their teeth on Sailfish, hello to Jim French and Peter Raisin! Plus at least one ex Champ and another keen competitor who are coming along even though they can’t get their hands on boats, yet.

Plus Jack Carroll will be there, so you better make sure your boat measures.

It all kicks off with Late Registration on Thursday 26th January from 10 am, a sail in the afternoon, beach display on the morning of the 27th and a race that afternoon followed by dinner that night and boat displays on the 28th.

It’s not to late, drag the boat out, get the dust off and come along, you know you want to!


Upcoming Events

See you at Inverloch!

Now seven Sailfish coming, still hoping for more!

And check out the attached Comment about the 2018 Paynesville Classic Boat Rally . . .


Notice of Race.

At the 3rd Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta in January 2016, Andrew Chapman, an organiser of the regatta, relaunched “Debonair”, Jack Carroll’s first Australian Sailfish (Sailfish No.2, built 1957). She had been restored by Andrew and with it he won the “Best Presented Sailing Dinghy ” award. “Debonair” will be back again in 2017.

Andrew is the Coordinator for the 4th Inverloch Classic Dinghy Regatta to be held 26, 27 and 28 January 2017. The exciting news is that Jack Carroll will be attending to reacquaint himself with his historic boat. We will also have local boat 1870, “‘Off”, owned by Jeff Cole, Steven Floyd with 3400, “Gargle Blaster”, Greg Barwick with 2028, “Bruce!” (named after co-designer Bruce Scott),  Ian Milton with “Apsu” and Chris Cleary with 1918, “Janus”. Plus, Peter Chapman, the first NSW National Champion will be sailing Gooney Bird, the last NSW Registered Sailfish, so far! To all the other old Sailfish skippers out there, drag out your boats, dust ’em down, check the rigging, wash down the sail and come along to what will be a wonderful occasion.

Thurs 26

– late registration from 10 am

– social sail 2 pm

Fri 27

– beach display 10 am

– Regatta race 2 pm

– Regatta Dinner in the evening

Sat 28

– Park display and judging


Details including entry form are available at

Hope to see you there!