Current Header Photo

Goolwa – the 2019 South Australian Wooden Boat Festival.

Sunday morning, Chris on 2218 & Greg on 2028 along with our attendant Heron heading upstream towards the Hindmarsh Island bridge and the wharf area to do a bit of display sailing. We were based at the Goolwa Aquatic Club and the sailing space out from there and downstream towards the barrage was fantastic.

Less than two years to go until the next one!

Photo by Jenny Cleary, Goolwa Aquatic Club, 28 April 2019.

What’s Been Happening?

In a word – lots!

The Regatta season is pretty well over for another year, we had Australian Sailfish at the Bendigo Yacht Club Opening Day, the Classic Dinghy Classes Invitation Weekend at Cairn Curran, the 2019 Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta, Jack’s 90th Birthday Bash at Bendigo, the Goolwa Wooden Boat Festival and Ian’s attendance with Apsu at the BYRA Marathon. Plus, I am waiting on reports from the Yarrawonga ANZAC Weekend Regatta and the Bribie Classic to find out if we had Sailfish on the water there as well. In addition to all that, Chris and I spread the word at the Hobart Wooden Boat Festival, this time without our boats.

Meanwhile, Paul Murphy has been cracking on with his restoration of Jaguar and it is a timely hint that the rest of us need to get out the paint and varnish to get ready for another big season coming up real soon!

What we missed – the 2019 Wallagoot Lake Regatta, the 2019 Toronto 4OaK Regatta and the 2019 Lake Boga Easter Regatta. So much sailing, so little time.

What’s to come?

In a word – lots!

Season 2019/20 looks like plenty more chances to get our Sailfish out on the water in lots of interesting venues. We have the Classic Dinghy Classes Invitation Weekend at Cairn Curran and this year it is in conjunction with the traditional Cairn Curran Regatta on November 23 & 24. Our now traditional Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta over the weekend of January 25, 26 & 27, no Indian Sailfish dinner this year, we will be joining in with the mob at the sailing club. Then things really kick off – over the weekend of 29 Feb. & 1 March we have the Paynesville Classic Boat Rally; the following weekend (March 7 & 8) is the Wallagoot Lake Regatta and the weekend after that (March 14 & 15) is the Toronto 4OaK Regatta. Some of us (well, mostly me at this stage) are silly enough to be planning on sailing in all three, but if you can make it to even one of these events it will be well worth while. Great venues and great clubs await, plus we all get to sail on our Sailfish!

April 2020 will see the Lake Boga Easter Regatta and of course the Yarrawonga ANZAC Regatta, and May will see the 2020 BYRA Marathon, so there are plenty of opportunities to get out and have a splash, I hope to see you at some, if not all of these. There will be plenty more reminders of each of these and more as they get closer.

Goolwa Was Great!

A long drive, true, but a fantastic sailing venue and plenty to see and do on and off the water. This is one of those classic events that many of us think “I must go to that one year”, and it is well worth the time and effort. This year there were not enough dinghies for the Festival to run small boat races but we aim to fix that in 2021 when a horde of Australian Sailfish will descend on them 🙂

There will be a complete report and photos posted later in the week, so check out the Events and Gallery tabs around Friday for a more detailed report.

And in the meantime, start planning, it is less than two years until the next one!

So many Regattas to choose from!

Under a week to go until the Lake Boga Easter Regatta, details available here:

Lake Boga Easter Regatta


Less than two weeks to go until the Yarrawonga Yacht Club ANZAC Regatta, details here:

Yarrawonga Yacht Club ANZAC Regatta


And just two weeks now until the Goolwa Wooden Boat Festival, details here:

Goolwa Wooden Boat Festival

This year Chris and I will be at Goolwa, but next year, well who knows yet. Bruce! is ready to go, shiny new rudder and all, and I am sure that Chris is double checking the tie downs to keep Westerly firmly attached to the roof of the car for their long drive over.

We will have the new flyers on hand for any interested parties and there are at least two races over the weekend, so come along, bring your Sailfish if you have one and bring your camera if you don’t.

I hope you can make it along to one of these iconic events and that we see you real soon!

Goolwa Wooden Boat Festival

Or to give it it’s official title:

South Australian Wooden Boat Festival Goolwa

We will be on the water there in four weeks time, Chris is coming down from Sydney with his new build Westerly and I will be bringing Bruce! across from Melbourne for what promises to be a great weekend of wooden boats, sailing, steam and power.

If you are in Victoria’s western districts, or the Greater Adelaide area, come on down and say hello, with or without your boat. We will have the Australian Sailfish set up on the dinghy beach and will be sailing in the races each day of the regatta. The venue looks fantastic for sailing, the river there is wide and leads upstream into Lake Alexandrina if you want an extended sail.

Dates: 27 & 28 April 2019

Location: Goolwa, South Australia

More information: SA Wooden Boat Festival Goolwa

I hope we see you there over the weekend.

Good news, Bad news

The last weekend saw the Toronto 4 of a Kind Regatta run and won.

Bad news first – a reduced fleet saw six Skates, two Flying Ants & three Lasers, but no Australian Sailfish, unlike last year when we had seven starters.

Good news – it means no other class won the Division 2 4OaK trophy as only the Skates (who are in Division 1) had enough starters to qualify.

So in 2020 we must make a concerted effort to be at Toronto to reclaim the Division 2 trophy – Remo, get a boat sorted out and start training, we want to see you there!

Jack Turns 90!

It was a perfect day to celebrate the 90th birthday of the co-designer of the Australian Sailfish, Jack Carroll. Clear and sunny, with a nice breeze blowing across Lake Eppalock, so that those who had brought a Sailfish with them, Ken O’Brien, Chris Drury and Mark Teasdale, had a chance to head out and have a play later in the day.

In the Bendigo Yacht Club clubhouse the 1/3 scale model of the Australian Sailfish was set up under the banner proclaiming “Happy 90th Jack”. People were arriving from about 11 o’clock onwards and the man himself was driven in by his grandson Ayden about 1130 and then things really kicked off. WIN News was there, as was the Bendigo Advertiser (the Addy to locals) to record the day and of course Jack was able to have a chat with them. 🙂

It was great to see so many of the Sailfishers of the early days making the effort to come along, Terry Hill, Murray Allen, Peter Coburn and others; my only regret is that I didn’t get to spend more time catching up with them, as I know there are some great stories there waiting to get out! Two of Jack’s brothers, Tony and Peter

Peter and his big brother Jack. [By Lyn Wallace, BeYC, 23 February 2019]
were also able to be there, as well as Tony’s children and grandchildren, Of course Jack and Evelyn’s children, grandchildren & great grandchildren were all there, so it was a real family get together.

Back row – Jack and Evelyn’s children Brian & Lynette. Front row, Tony, Jack & Peter. [By Lyn Wallace, BeYC, 23 February 2019]
Then came the talking bit – Lyn Wallace, Brian’s wife, kicked things off with an introduction detailing Jack’s sailing history and his many years breeding and judging dogs, for which he and Evelyn were awarded Life Membership of the Cocker Spaniel Club of Victoria. Chris Cleary and I then took turns at reading out messages from the many Sailfish skippers who were unable to be there for the day.

The hard part, reading out the messages from all those who couldn’t make it, and keeping it together! Chris, Greg & Jack, Lynette Thatcher (Jack’s daughter) in the background. [By Jenny Cleary, BeYC, 23 February 2019]
At this point Chris recounted a recent conversation in which Jack revealed that his one slight regret in sailing was that he had never won a National Sailfish Title. Chris had replied: “There’s no need for any regret Jack – your boat won every one of ’em”. We then presented Jack with a trophy that was from everyone who had ever sailed an Australian Sailfish.

Chris Cleary and Greg Barwick present Jack with the trophy that Ken O’Brien had sourced, from all Australian Sailfish sailors. [By Jenny Cleary, BeYC, 23 February 2019]
This was followed by other contributors who spoke about the impact that Jack had had on their lives in the sailing world and beyond. Ayden gave a wonderful tribute to his grandfather, outlining the importance of Jack’s unconditional love in his life.

Ayden & Jack, with Brian in the background. [By Lyn Wallace, BeYC, 23 February 2019]
The speeches were rounded off with a lovely message from Glenn Ashby, who Jack taught to sail at Bendigo, about how he was still feeling Jack’s influence as he began to teach his own daughters how to sail. For those who recognise the name but aren’t sure where from, Glenn has won multiple world multihull titles and was the skipper of Team NZ when they won the last America’s Cup.

The common message from everyone was of Jack’s huge generosity of spirit and the positive influence he has had on so many of our lives.

Chris, Jack & me, speeches done. [By Jenny Cleary, BeYC, 23 February 2019]
After the speeches were made, there was food, so much food, and a bit of time to catch up with others to round out the day. Ken O’Brien, Mark Teasdale and Chris Drury went out for a sail, and rumour has it that in an intense little tacking duel, Mark managed to put Chris in the drink, but we won’t mention that.

To Jack – A Life Well Lived, thank you for all that you have done for so many people.


Regattas on in March

In a fortnight it will be the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club Regatta, 9th & 10th March, home of our own Tony Hastings and Terry Kirby. If you are on or near the South Coast of NSW this is a great chance to experience the pleasures of lake sailing, where you don’t have to deal with tricky things like tides, or surf. Grab your boat and get on down there!

The following week, 16th & 17th of March, is the Toronto Four of A Kind Regatta at Toronto Amateur Sailing Club, and Tony Bytheway assures me that it is sailing on “the best sailing venue on the planet”, but he might be just a bit biased! Last year the Sailfish turned up and walked away with the Division 2 silverware, which gave everyone a shock, me included.

Again, if you live on or near Lake Macquarie, dig the boat out and get on down there for a great weekend of sailing.

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