One of Tasmania’s most famous racing yachts, the 21-foot Restricted Class boat Tassie Too, will join Derwent Sailing Squadron boat Young Lion in leading the fleet on the Opening Day of the Yachting Season on Hobart’s River Derwent.
Opening Day, a grand tradition on the Derwent, will be held on Saturday week, 6 October, with Professor The Honourable Kate Warner AC, Governor of Tasmania, taking the salute from aboard the MV Egeria, anchored in Sullivan’s Cove.
Joining the Governor will be Tracy Matthews, her first time in this role as Commodore of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania. Last year she hosted Professor Warner when Vice Commodore.
At the helm of the restored Tassie Too will be well-known meteorologist Kenn Batt, a descendent of her famous designer and helmsman, W P ‘Skipper’ Batt.
Steering Young Lion, and first to salute the Governor, will be Derwent Sailing Squadron Commodore Steve Chau, his club chairing the Combined Clubs Series working committee for the 2018-19 yachting season.
Young Lion, a Division 2 pennant-winning Young 88, has been given the honour of leading the colourful sail-past of more than 200 craft that will start off the Regatta Grounds at 2pm and sail/motor into Sullivan’s Cove, leaving the anchored Egeria to port.
Tassie Too (affectionately referred to as ‘TT’), the 90-year-old record-breaking winner of the coveted Forster Cup interstate sailing challenge (10 times between 1928 and 1952) will follow close astern, with Kenn Batt saluting on behalf of the volunteers who have lovingly restored the old wooden yacht.
Astern will come more than 200 ocean and harbour racing yachts, motor cruisers, sports boats and off-the-beach dinghies, one or two ‘gentleman’s steam launches’, a couple of high-flying foiler Moths, even an odd ‘tinnie’.
Tassie Too was designed and skippered by W P ‘Skipper’ Batt along with Alfred Blore and JohnTarleton, and built of Huon and King Billy pine by Charlie Lucas and ‘Chips’ Gronfers.
Descendants of the designer, builders, early skippers and crew members formed the Friends of Tassie Too organisation to return the famous 21-footers to the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and undertake a major and ongoing refurbishment.
The FOTT is about to launch a further fund-raiser to continue the maintenance of this remarkably innovative and historic boat that in its winning days captured a huge following in Tasmania.
While the Opening Day of the Yachting Season is a day of celebration afloat for racing yacht owners and their crews, it will be into racing mode next day, Sunday,7 October, as many compete the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s Channel Race.
The long day race has for many decades been the first race of the summer for the RYCT, starting off Castray Esplanade and taking the fleet down to Derwent to finish off Bligh Point in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.
The first Combined Clubs Series race will be the following Saturday, 13 October.
Recently two boats on the BYC register – Brambletye (Huon 36 - John Mills, Ian Douglas and Ed Glover and Teos (Beneteau Oceanis 36i – Steve “Davo” Davidson and his wife Trina) cruised in company to Port Davey on Tasmania’s rugged south west coast. For John and Ed off Brambletye it was a return visit with John last there some 22 years ago and for Ed it was 40 + years. Davo had been there three times before but this was the first time in his own boat. Ian and Trina were first timers!
After some unexpected issues for the crew of Brambletye, both vessels were underway bound for Dover at 1100 hrs. At 1505 and abeam of Huon Island the decision was made to continue on to Southport where Brambletye dropped anchor in the Deep Hole at 1730 with Teos not far behind. There is a saying which should be adhered to when cruising in Tasmanian waters to “go while the going is good!” and after listening to a favourable forecast on the radio sched a decision was made to leave at 0445 the next morning for Port Davey. It is a distance of some 70 odd nautical miles so we expected to be there in about 12 hours.
We managed to pick the weather well and even though a decent swell of 3 to 4 metres was experienced at times the wind never blew much harder than 10 knots, primarily from the south west. We had some wonderful wildlife for company – albatross whose grace never ceases to amaze; seals, dolphins etc. There is a funny thing as you travel along the south coast. It seems to take forever to reach that cape or Island in the distance but once passed they seem to disappear fairly quickly!!
Around SW Cape and with the East Pyramids marking the entrance to Port Davey in view, our journey was nearly over! A word of warning for those travelling this stretch of coast, keep a good lookout for craypots!
It was a beautiful south west afternoon when we dropped anchor in Schooner Cove at 1645, exactly 12 hours after leaving Southport. Switched off the engine and the quiet is amazing. A cold beer is the order of the day. Davo and Trina arrived about an hour later.
Photo: Ed Glover, "Davo", Ian Douglas, John Mills - Happy Hour!
We spent the next 6 days cruising the Bathurst Channel and Bathurst Harbour area. Clayton’s Corner where Clyde and Win Clayton lived for many years. Up the Melaleuca Inlet by dinghy to visit the site of Deny King’s tin mine and the recently opened museum. The airstrip, originally hand built by Deny, had a number of planes arriving and leaving during the course of our stay. Day trippers, bushwalkers and those wishing to enjoy a few days in the SW wilderness without walking for 6 or 7 days or getting seasick! Casilda Cove, a beautiful anchorage and a great base from which to climb Balmoral Hill – which we did! Had a look around Bathurst Harbour and even found Ed’s Cove!
Photo: Teos and Brambletye in Casilda Cove
Photo: Bathurst Channel taken from Bamoral Hill
We kept a fairly close eye on the weather during our stay via the radio scheds. There are a couple of black spots in the area where it is not possible to receive or send VHF transmissions, Schooner Cove being one of them.
The weather looked great for the return voyage on March 8 so the decision was made. Spent the night prior to departure in Spain Bay. We were disappointed we weren’t able to visit Bond Bay and the Davey River area but unfortunately both time and weather were against us. Maybe next time!
Up anchor at 0600 with Recherche being the destination. We were advised by the crew of Teos they had some battery issues. Thankfully they were able to start their engine but use of other electrics was very limited. They followed us out and we stayed close by just in case. A strength of cruising in company.
The south coast proved to be no shorter on the return journey! SW Cape, De Witt Island and about another 22 nautical miles to SE Cape. We passed at least 9 boats heading west for Port Davey. It was a magic day. Light SW breeze, rolled out headsail, 2 – 3 m swell. Once again we had managed to pick it!
Dropped anchor at Cockle Creek, Recherche Bay at 1555. Teos arrived at 1610 and advised they had managed to sort out their battery issues on the way! All on board “Teos” for a “happy hour” and a debrief of our respective coastal passages. A wonderful hour – or two – spent in great company.
The next morning the respective crews bid their farewells. Brambletye was bound for Hobart and Teos was heading off to Cygnet for a few more days away.
It was a beautiful day and the crew of Brambletye enjoyed a nice sail home. There were a few issues caused by picking up some kelp near Acteon Island but for the most part we enjoyed a NE breeze and rolled the headsail out at Gordon, arriving back at the BYC at 1635.
It was a fantastic trip and there are a number of other boats on the BYC register who have ventured to Port Davey this summer. The trip can be a little daunting, but with planning, preparation and keeping an eye on the weather it is possible! BYC member Mick Sheehan once took Skua around. A vessel some older members of the club may remember!
Bellerive Yacht Club Commodore Graham Mansfield in Black Magic will lead Saturday’s Opening Day of the Yachting Season Sail Past, expected to total more than 200 craft.
Also aboard Black Magic will be Rio Paralympic silver medallist Matt Bugg, a fitting honour following his great performance at Rio.
For the first time since her appointment as Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AM will take the salute at the Opening Day of the Yachting Season.
This year’s 136thOpening Day on Saturday, 8 October, will comprise a Sail Past in Sullivan’s Cove, with the fleet motor/sailing line astern past the historic motor yacht Egeria, where the Governor taking the salute.
Her Excellency will board Egeria at the RYCT marina, where a pipe band wil be playing on the club lawns.
Hobart’s Opening Day of the Yachting Season is unique among yacht and sailing clubs in Australia, attracting a huge and varied fleet of the River Derwent.
Given good weather, spectators could see some 220-plus racing and cruising yachts, one-design racing yachts, motor yachts, dinghy classes, even kayaks and ‘tinnies’, out on the river for a spectacular sail past and salute.
‘Opening Day’ has been a tradition on the Derwent since 1880 when a handful of yachts performed ‘evolutions’ off historic Battery Point, with then Governor taking the salute.
Many vessels will be ‘dressed ship’ with nautical flags, their crews dressed up on colourful uniform for the occasion.
The parade will start line off the Regatta Grounds at 2pm, with dinghy and centreboard classes at the forefront, following racing yachts and at the rear of the fleet will come motor yachts.
The fleet, headed by Black Magic, will sail and/or motor into Sullivan’s Cove, leaving Egeria on the port hand in line astern with the senior officer on each vessel saluting by hand.
Opening Day represents the major clubs whose yachts race or cruise on the magnificent River Derwent and other southern waterways, the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Derwent Sailing Squadron, Bellerive Yacht Club, Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania, Geilston Bay Boat Club, Sandy Bay Sailing Club and the Motor Yacht Club of Tasmania.
Following the sail past, many boats in the fleet will raft up for the traditional Opening Day rendezvous which will be signalled on the flag poles of the RYCT, BYC and DSS at 1.30pm.
The following day, Sunday 9 October, will see the first long race of the Combined Clubs Series, the RYCT’s Channel Race, with the first Harbour race day the following Saturday, 15 October.
However, the SB20 one-design sports boat fleet will begin their pennant racing this Thursday evening, 6 October as part of the DSS Twilight racing.
The Bellerive Yacht Club would like to congratulate all the winners in the 2016 Tasmanian Hall of Fame and Yachting Achievement Awards that were held at the BYC last Sunday. We would especially like to congratulate Hughie Lewis for being named Yachting Personality of the Year
Here is his citation: Hughie Lewis took up keelboat racing in the mid 1980s after a successful career in competition water skiing. About the same time his business Lewis Marine took off, catering for all areas of recreational boating in Tasmania. His extensive knowledge of the Tasmanian recreational and professional marine industry is demonstrated by the fact that Hughie is currently a member of the Board of Directors for MAST. Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) is a statutory authority that was established on 30 July 1997 to ensure the safe operation of vessels (recreational and commercial), provide and manage marine facilities and manage environmental issues relating to vessels. Over a long period of time, Hughie has contributed at the highest level to all aspects of sailing at the Bellerive Yacht Club and the general sailing scene in Tasmania. He has been awarded life membership at the Bellerive Yacht Club and year in and out, he continues to contribute untiringly. He is currently a member of the BYC General Committee and is very actively involved in the Crown Series, Sponsorship and Marina Committees. This year, like many previous years, Hughie continues to be the driving force in attracting sponsorship for sailing events. The Crown Series Bellerive Regatta would not be possible without his crucial support. He has generously sponsored many Bellerive Yacht Club racing series and events. Hughie saw the potential of the Wednesday evening twilight races from the very beginning. His name has become synonymous with this event over the past three decades. Without fuss he has put up the sponsorship, assisted with race management, competed regularly aboard his own boats and crewed for others. Most importantly he made sure twilight prize giving ceremonies are always fun and inclusive. The high level of Hughie’s involvement in this event is definitely one of the reasons why the twilight series has become one of the most successful ways to attract new people to sailing. Hughie is at his best when on the microphone. His ability to engage his audience has transformed many a mundane prize giving session. He is renowned for throwing in the odd, slightly dubious, joke. At these occasions he always encourages participation, for example, the BYC Ladies Twilight Race days are now becoming mainstream, rather than one off novelty event. It is fair to say Hughie has owned many racing keelboats over the years, from production cruiser racers right through to the one design Farr 40 class. More recently he has been competing in the SB20 class as well as living aboard his Princess 57 motor cruiser on the BYC marina. His ability as a helmsman was demonstrated at the recent SB20 nationals where he came third in the first heat, beating many high profile crews in a hotly contested fleet run by the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron. In conclusion, Hughie Lewis has generously supported the sport of sailing over three decades. He has always been prepared to step forward when there is work to be done and he sits on countless committees. His contribution to sailing is not confined to one yacht club. This year, as has been the case for many decades now, Hughie has continued to contribute at the very highest level to all aspects of yachting in Tasmania. He has been active as a competitor and boat owner, a member of numerous committees and a major sponsor to many sailing events. His charismatic nature and genuine desire to improve yachting makes Hughie an extremely worthy nomination for the Yachting Tasmania Personality of the Year award.