A taste of things to come

Just a few photos from the 2017 Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta, to get you in the mood.



[All the above photos were taken by Marion Chapman at the 2017 ICWDR, January 26 and 27 2017.]



[And all of these photos were taken by Tim Wilson at the 2017 ICWDR, January 26 and  27 2017.]

So it easy to see what a great venue it is, and it is now just seven weeks away(!), I hope to see you there.


The 2018 ICWDR is just eight weeks away

Yep, that’s right, just eight weeks until the 2018 Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta comes around again on the Australia Day long weekend. Last year we wildly exceeded our highest hopes when there were eleven Australian Sailfish there, two locals and nine out-of-towners, including three from NSW.



This year we hope to at the very least match, and maybe even beat, that number. As well as the local boats, number 2 Debonair & 1870 ‘Off, Brian Carroll will be there with his shiny new boat, Jack’s Toy. I will be there with Bruce! and the recently restored Stanley Crocodile. From NSW we know that Chris Cleary and Peter Chapman will be there, and we are pretty sure that Ian Milton will be coming as well. We also know of another three boats that are definitely coming and a few that might be coming, and we really hope they will all turn up for the weekend.



Mrs Vicious, winner of the very first Australian Sailfish National Title, will be in attendance as well, on display in the Stadium, the hall next to the library on A’beckett Street.

As any of us who were there this year can tell you, the venue is brilliant, the club is fantastic and there is plenty to see and do on and off the water.





So come on, get the boat out, book some accommodation and come along. If you find you are without a Sailfish at the moment, come down for a day visit, it’s not that far from Melbourne, catch up with some old friends and maybe even make some new ones.

I look forward to seeing lots of you there, very soon!

Cairn Curran Report

For the very first Classic Dinghy Classes Invitation Weekend we had a great venue, a welcoming and accommodating club and it just a real shame that the weather was not on our side.

On Saturday morning we arrived at the Cairn Curran Sailing Club where the Flying Dutchman class was already setting up for their State Titles. As well as the FDs, we had a sail training day going on for the club and a club race scheduled for the afternoon. For the Classic Dinghy Invitation Weekend there were a couple of VJs, a Gwen 12 all the way from South Australia, a mouldie Moth plus a few others and in the end eleven Australian Sailfish, but only eight skippers. Jack had brought along Glasshopper, a composite boat with a fibreglass hull and a ply deck, and I had brought along Bruce!, Stanley Crocodile and Mrs Vicious, with the hope that a local or two might have wanted to have a sail.

There was thunderstorm activity going on in the area, with some action to the north and a large cell sitting south of the lake for much of the day. During the morning the wind backed from the north around to the west and maybe even south of that before swinging back to the north and coming in strong. At the clubhouse it seemed a strong wind, but once we got about 150 metres off shore it quickly became apparent that it was really blowing, and those that actually started the race spoke of waves nearly a metre high at the south end of the lake that they were able to surf across. In the end, many of the boats opted for safety, not wanting to go out and break stuff, and a few of the more skilful, or brave, or . . . . , skippers headed out to the start. I took Mrs Vicious out for a sail across the lake and back before giving it away, to worried about breaking anything, maybe including myself (!) to want to stay out. Andrew Lewis took out 1851 Brigand for a brief sail before also deciding discretion was the better option.

In what seems to be rapidly becoming a tradition for the class, everyone missed the start to a greater or lesser extent. The race was won by Brian Carroll on Jack’s Toy, followed by Chris Cleary on Janus, Ian Milton on Apsu and Ken Maynard on a rapidly sinking Helen, Chris Drury on Blowed if I Know had to retire due to a broken rudder, and all of them reported having a swim at least once during the race.

Later in the day the wind died off a bit and Ken O’Brien took out 1808 Cobra and I took out Stanley Crocodile with the Ockerfish rig for a short sail, but with some nasty weather complete with lightning to the south we didn’t venture far.

On Saturday evening a great meal was had at the sailing club, while we all sat around and told tales, some of which might even have been true, before heading off for a well earned rest.

Sunday arrived with thunderstorms and rain, and by the time we had made it out to the club we had thunderstorm activity with lightning strikes in three out of four quadrants. When I asked local skipper Mark Teasedale for his advice, he just shook his head and said “I wouldn’t be going out yet”. At ten the Flying Dutchmen called off their racing for the day, had their presentation and started to pack, by eleven the weather was still looking pretty ordinary and the club announced that there would be no racing that day. And so, we started to pack away our boats.

By two there was blue sky and John Fairfax took out a VJ, an A12 (Bethwaite designed one man trapeze rig) owned and restored by Andrew Kean went for a sail and the Gwen 12 from South Australia hit the water. I later learned the wind shifts were in the order of 90 degrees which would not have been fun on a Sailfish, but at least it wasn’t blowing a gale.

Boats and skippers that came along:

600, Helen, Ken Maynard

1808, Cobra, Ken O’Brien

1851, Brigand, Andrew Lewis

1918, Janus, Chris Cleary

2192, Apsu, Ian Milton

3342, Glasshopper, Jack Carroll

3456, Blowed if I Know, Chris Drury

3461, Jack’s Toy, Brian Carroll

And I brought along

1375, Mrs Vicious

2028, Bruce!

3330, Stanley Crocodile, with the 3250 Ockerfish rig

Surprise visitors included Rob Champion, past National Champion on 1302, Sish, Craig Conn who used to own 3422, Al Martin who has just acquired 3333, Russell Brennan who used to sail a Sailfish out of Beaumaris, Barry Murfett who used to sail a Sailfish (209?) on the bay as well, and the Cairn Curran owner of Mud Shoveller, whose name I neglected to write down (sorry). I hope we see them all at future events, hopefully with a boat.

Some of the photos we were able to get have been posted in the Victoria Gallery, and we hope to have a few more soon, so be sure to have a look at that as well.


Current Header Photo

Taken on the Saturday morning at the inaugural Classic Dinghy Classes Invitation Weekend at Cairn Curran Sailing Club; you can read the full report in the separate post above.

From left to right, 2028 Bruce!, 1375 Mrs Vicious behind Bruce!, Brain Carroll and Mark Teasedale in foreground with their backs to the camera, Brians new boat 3461 Jack’s Toy behind them, 3456 Blowed if I Know, with 1918 Janus behind that, 3250 is really Stanley Crocodile (3330) with the Ockerfish rig on board, the red and white sail is 2192 Apsu with 600 Helen behind that.

Just One Day to Go!

Until the Inaugural Cairn Curran Classic Dinghy Classes Invitation Weekend, Saturday and Sunday the 25th and 26th of November.

Get your boat(s) ready, and if you don’t have a Sailfish at the moment just bring along your sailing gear, there is sure to be a chance to have a sail; book your accommodation, pack the car and get ready to head on over.

Cairn Curran is a great venue, a friendly club always ready to greet old and new friends alike. If you have had the pleasure of sailing there before you will know what I mean and be looking forward to the weekend already, if you haven’t sailed at Cairn Curran before then this is the chance  to fix that.

See you there Saturday morning.

November Header Photo

Steven Floyd leads Chris Cleary at the 2017 Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta, photo by Hayden Ramsdale.

Chris was the class’s most successful National Champion, winning three National Titles in a row in the 1970s and Steven won the last National Title contested (so far?). To have them both there with their respective title winning boats was something special.

Held every Australia Day weekend ICWDR is a major wooden boat event on the calendar, which saw 11 Australian Sailfish front up this year.

Regatta season is almost upon us, so best get ready. Cairn Curran is coming up on the weekend of 25th and 26th of November, then a month off for Christmas and then back to Inverloch over the Australia Day weekend. There are a number of other events in 2018 including Geelong and Paynesville and we will have more on them later, so there is no shortage of choice as to where you want to see or sail your Sailfish.

2017 Zhik Single Handed Regatta

This website has been informed by Tony Bytheway, our Lake Macquarie correspondent, that the annual Zhik Single Handed Regatta is to be held at  South Lake Macquarie Amateur Sailing Club (SLMASC) on November 4th and 5th, 2017. SLMASC is located at Sunshine, and was the site of heats of several Australian Sailfish NSW Championships in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. It is a wonderful venue for dinghy sailing.

The old boat Janus is sniffing the breeze, particularly after the wonderful time she had after being dragged out of mothballs for the Inverloch regatta last January. Her skipper however is uncertain as to his ability to cope with eight races in two days. Anyone in the NSW branch of our class who may be interested can find details of the event at http://www.slmasc.org/events. Should there be a Sailfish entrant, please let this website know so that we can report on how you go.


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 ccsc.org.au for the Classic Dinghy Classes Invitation Weekend (not the Regatta the week before) or the Victorian Classic Dinghy Latest News at victorianclassicdinghynetwork.org/latest-news 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!