NSW Sailfish Association 50th – Report

You can see the NSW SA 50th Anniversary Gallery here: NSW SA 50th Anniversary Gallery

On the 24th of April 1967, a group of people gathered at Ben Castle’s home to form the NSW Sailfish Association. For many of us that meeting had a large impact on our lives and when Ian Milton realised that it would be fifty years on this year, well, we just had to have a get together. Here’s how the day went:

Well you couldn’t have asked for a better day, we hit a maximum of about 20 degrees, clear blue sky and a light nor’ easter that backed to the south east as the afternoon went on.

Chris and Jenny and I arrived at nine to find Peter Chapman already there and starting to set things up, and from there the day was simply packed. Old friends kept turning up, some new friends arrived as the day went on and everyone had a grin on their face and was having a great time.

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The morning was mostly spent catching up with old friends and rigging up boats, we had five Sailfish and a Heron there. The Heron was Ian Milton’s inspired idea, which allowed some of the non-sailing family members who were not confident to jump on a Sailfish to be taken out for a sail on Narrabeen Lake at its loveliest. Then there was more catching up, a bit more rigging and then some more catching up.


Ben Castle and his partner Marjorie arrived a little after 11 a.m. – for those who don’t know the history, the first meeting to form a NSW Sailfish Association was held at Ben’s house, and Ben was the inaugural president of both the NSWSA and the reformed NLSC. With Ben there, speeches were made, a plan sales report (there’s always a plan sales report) was given and then there was a picnic lunch followed by cake! unspecified 4

The cake, in the shape of the Sailfish emblem, was the result of many hours hard work by Jenny Cleary and Chris and Jenny’s daughter Penny and was ceremonially cut by Emma Milton, the first young person in over three decades to compete in a Sailfish.

And why did we have five Sailfish; well, Chris brought Janus and 1981, an old Nepean Sailfish Sailing Club boat, Ian Milton had Apsu and Gooney Bird, and then Ken O‘Brien from Parkdale, Victoria arrived as well. When I asked Ken what he was doing there so far from home, his reply was, well why not, and that pretty much said it all. Other notable attendees were Graeme Remington and Tony Bytheway from the Toronto area, Astrid Norton from the Sunshine Coast, Brian and Lyn upholding the Carroll name from Paynesville, Victoria, Glenn Bowles and Chris Leyland, hell, what am I saying, they were all notable attendees, every last one of them.

After cake it was time to hit the water, Ken was first out on 1808, unspecified 2 myself next on 1981, then Peter Chapman, Chris Cleary, Graeme Remington, Brian Carroll, John Dowzard and John Vaughn, plus quite a few others. Just enough wind to have an easy sail back on my lake again, and it must be the cleanest that I have ever seen it. So, back to shore so others could have a sail and the age range of the skippers must have been from maybe ten years old through to some of us in our sixties, and the young skippers seemed to be loving it, so that was very good to see as well.

Lots of connections remade, and family and friends had a chance to see what the fuss was all about, and to maybe see their various spouses and parents in a slightly different light.

It was dark by the time we had finished packing everything away, but what a fantastic day, so many happy people can only be a good thing.IMG_0714_02

We cannot end this report without a big thankyou to the Narrabeen Lakes Sailing Club who so generously made their facilities available for the day. For many years Narrabeen was the core of Sailfish sailing in NSW and to be back there and have the club’s support made the day an even greater success.

The current plan is that our next big event will be the Inverloch Classic Wooden Boat Regatta on the Australia Day Weekend in 2018 and then another big NSW day sometime around the end of April, much as we have done this year. Hopefully we can mix in some smaller visits to clubs that have been significant for the Sailfish such as Cairn Curran, Toronto, Eppalock and Ballarat around those two events. Details still to be decided of course, so keep checking back.

And don’t panic, full size photos will be in the Gallery soon!

Attendance – 50th Anniversary of formation of the New South Wales Sailfish Association.
[(s) means Signed Minute Book.]

We hope this is  pretty thorough list, if we missed you, get in touch and we will update it.

  1. Chris Cleary (s) – 1918 Janus
  2. Jenny Cleary – Chris’s wife
  3. Shannon Cleary – Chris & Jenny’s daughter
  4. Bronwyn Cleary – Chris & Jenny’s daughter
  5. Penny Dorrell – Chris & Jenny’s daughter
  6. Ruby Dorrell – Chris & Jenny’s granddaughter
  7. Joey Dorrell – Chris & Jenny’s grandson
  8. Greg Barwick (s) – 2101 Strider & 3250 Ockerfish
  9. Ian Milton (s) – 2114 Make Tracks & 2171 Deceptive Benz
  10. Janita Milton – Ian’s wife
  11. Emma Milton (s) – Ian & Janita’s daughter
  12. Ben Castle – 769 Bronco & 1414 Gus
  13. Marjorie Colman – Ben’s partner
  14. Peter Chapman (s) – 733 & 1440 Argone
  15. Ken O’Brien (s) – 1808 Cobra
  16. Pam O’Brien – Ken’s wife
  17. Brian Carroll (s) – Jack’s son, to many Sailfish to list, you might remember 3244 Pol
  18. Lyn Wallace – Brian’s wife
  19. Chris Leyland (s) – 1257 Fury, 2125 Paprika & 2135 Furyous
  20. Kris Lane (s) – Chris’s wife
  21. Chris Guy (s) – 340 Basileus, Colin Guy’s son, Colin founded the QLD division
  22. Terry Guy (s) – Chris’s wife
  23. Glenn Bowles (s) – 1250 Bounty
  24. Melissa Letford – Glenn’s partner
  25. Elle Bowles – Glenn’s daughter
  26. Bree Bowles – Glenn’s daughter
  27. Astrid Norton (s) – 1414 Gus
  28. Darren Norton (s) – 2135 Furyous
  29. Megan Norton – Darren’s wife
  30. Thomas Norton – Darren & Megan’s son
  31. Chris Matts (s) – 1488 Crest Too
  32. Lee Riley (s) – 1267
  33. Tony Bytheway (s) – many including 2143, 2163 & 2165
  34. Graeme Remington (s) – 2164 The Licorice Stick
  35. Ken Lenton (s)
  36. John Vaughn (s) – 1925 Spirit
  37. Lil Vaughn – John’s mum
  38. Bob Bundock (s) – a Moth sailor, but we were still nice to him
  39. Nadine Bundock – Bob’s mum
  40. John Dowzard (s) – 1901 Red Emperor
  41. Marianne Dowzard – John’s wife
  42. James Dowzard – John & Marianne’s son
  43. Mrs Dowzard (Snr.) – John’s mum
  44. Ian Urban (s) – a Moth sailor then, our drone pilot now
  45. Merrill Urban – Ian’s wife
  46. Jack Urban – Ian & Merrill’s son
  47. Richard Milton (s) – 2114 Make Tracks
  48. Max Borgen
  49. Paul Kelly (s) – 2129 Serendipity
  50. Alf Guy (s) – 2134 Splinter & 2169
  51. Neil Guy (s) – 2134 Splinter
  52. Sinéad Kennedy-Guy – Neils’s wife
  53. Zoe Kennedy-Guy – Neil & Sinead’s daughter
  54. Don Watts (s) – 2188 Gooney Bird
  55. David Watts (s) – 2155 Spot On & 2177 Renegade


  1. Jack Carroll
  2. Graeme Bailey
  3. Suzanne Bailey
  4. Scott Bailey
  5. Bob Pattison
  6. Noel Hall
  7. Betty Hall
  8. Russell Ansems