Australia day celebrations

Peter Campbell reports from the Festivities

Sunday January 26th 2003, Author: Peter Campbell, Location: Australasia
Some of Australia’s oldest and bestknown classic yachts gave Australia Day Regattas in Sydney and Geelong an air of nostalgia as thousands of Aussies celebrated their National Day afloat.

Weather conditions were much more temperate today, with the heat for racing in the Festival of Sail on Geelong’s Corio Bay dropping from yesterday’s torrid 40 degrees plus and strong and gusty northerly winds with an early morning southerly change reducing the temperature to a much more pleasant 22 degrees.

On Sydney Harbour, yachts competing in the 167th Australia Day Regatta enjoyed a 10-15 knot north-easterly seabreeze for the harbour racing and the ocean race to Botany Bay and return.

Because of computer problems, results of the Harbour racing for the 167th Australia Day Regatta are not yet available, but in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s race to Botany Bay and return saw George Snow’s 80-footer, Brindabella, take line honours.

On corrected time, Terry Mullens’ Fitness First Sting dominated results, winning IMS Division 1, IRC Division 1 and PHS Division 1.

In IMS Division 2, first place went to Howard Piggott in True North, while AFR Midnight Rambler (Ed Psaltis and Bob Thomas) won IRC Division 2.  Redrock Communications,  skippered by Chris Bowling, won IMS, IRC and PHS Divisions 3.

Highlight of today’s racing in the Bundaberg Rum Festival of Sail was the Parks Victoria Re-enactment Race for a trophy first raced for in 1859, sailing around the original course on Corio Bay off the waterfront of the old seaport of Geelong.

In a spectacular race the former Sydney Hobart racing yacht Boambillee, skippered by George Fisscher from Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, took line honours by just 14 seconds from the gaff-rigger,  Acrospire, skippered by Col Anderson, from the Royal Yacht Club.

On handicap, first place went to Roama, skippered by Doug Jenkins from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, second to Renene (Kent Bacon) from Sandringham Yacht Club and third to Bungoona, skippered by Col Bandy from Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron.

Among the many volunteers at the Festival of Sail was Bob Appleton who was among many Australians to receive an OAM in the Australia Day Honours, for services to the community of Geelong.

A fleet of more than 80 boats lined up for the Scotchman’s Hill Trophy series for individual yachts and after a general recall, Grant Wharington’s 83-footer, Australian Skandia Wild Thing, took line honours in race one.

Results have yet to be announced for today’s two races on Corio Bay.

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