Gypsy will be 100 not out
AVERY familiar Hobart yacht, which is 103 years old this year, is preparing to set a century-old record on the River Derwent next Saturday when it joins the fleet for the seasonopening festivities.
The 11-metre, gaff-rigged yawl Gypsy will be making its 100th consecutive appearance at the opening day, which present owner/skipper Steve Knight says is almost certainly a record locally and probably internationally.
He said that during the past 100 years there had been a handful of opening days where weather had forced the cancellation of the traditional sail past, but Gypsy had nevertheless “put out to sea for the day’’.
Although Gypsy’s first opening day was in 1918 at the end of World War I, the yachting season opening day had been replaced by returned soldiers’ picnics during the war.
However, the present-day traditional format has since continued unchanged — and Gypsy’s continuing participation along with it.
The Huon pine yacht was built on the Tasman Peninsula in 1914 and sold, unfinished and briefly named Gipsy, to brothers Syd and Jack Knight.
It was in turn passed on to present owner Steve Knight’s grandfather Doug Knight, and later his father, the late Barry Knight.
Steve Knight has sailed and skippered Gypsy since 1975, with the yacht’s sailing career highlighted by many race wins, annual East Coast cruises, and opening-day appearances leading up to its record-breaking putting-tosea showing next Saturday (October 7). THE traditional combined clubs opening day manoeuvres on the River Derwent will be held next Saturday (October 7), with the always impressive parade of sail starting at 2pm off the Regatta Ground on the Domain.
This year’s event will be hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, and the salute will be taken by Governor Kate Warner, accompanied by RYCT Commodore Matthew Johnston.
They will be aboard MV Egeria anchored in Sullivans Cove, and a fleet of at least 200 vessels from racing and cruising yachts to power boats and a smattering of dinghies is expected in the sail-past, led by Don Calvert sailing Intrigue.
The Castro 40 Intrigue represented Australia at the 1985 Admirals Cup held at Cowes, England. Intrigue, built of Huon pine 32 years ago, was the top-scoring Australian boat in the series.
Owner skipper Don Calvert, who is in his 80s, still races competitively out of the RYCT.
Officer of the day overseeing the parade of sail will be RYCT life member Biddy Badenach.
Following last year’s successful venture, the RYCT is again inviting anyone who wants to watch the opening day sail-past to cruise in comfort on MV Excella. For more information and bookings, phone 6223 4599. ONE of the state’s go-ahead junior clubs, the Kingston Beach Sailing Club, will also be holding its opening day next Saturday (October 7) starting at noon.
The official opening will be followed by a sail-past, where KBSC Commodore Steve Reynolds will take the salute from a fleet including the newly introduced fleet of O’pen BICs.
More experienced Tacker sailors are also welcome to join in, and the sail-past will be followed by the annual Harcourts Trophy race.
The Tacker class program will start the following Saturday (October 14), with some places still available online at www.kbsc.org.au or by phoning 6229 5040 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org NORTHERN suburbs dinghy sailing club the Montrose Bay Yacht Club will celebrate the new season with an opening day next Sunday (October 8).
Events kick off with the traditional parade of sail at 1.30pm, and this year the Risdon Brook Radio Yacht Club fleet will join in for the first time.
Radio yachting is an international sport and the RBRYC will host the national radio yachting championships at Montrose Bay in February.
Four international yacht classes will be sailed at the national championships, and the RBRYC has competitive fleets in the two most popular: International One Metre class, or IOM, and the Marblehead, or M class.
The International One Metre is one of the most popular radio sailing classes in the world and has a strong international following, particularly in Europe.
The class rules are managed by an international class association.
The rules are very tight, with three one-design sail rigs permitted and restrictions on construction materials, overall weight and ballast weight, and draft.
There is a maximum overall length of one metre and a minimum weight of four kilograms.
The IOM is sailed in all Australian states and is Australia’s fastest-growing class, with more than 500 boats registered.
The Marblehead was developed by Roy L Clough of the Marblehead Model Yacht Club in Massachusetts in the United States.
A restricted development class, the Marblehead is controlled by a few maximum dimensions: overall length of 1.29 metres, sail area of 0.5161 square metres, and draft of 660mm.
There is ample scope to develop hull shape, rigs, and foils.
Marblehead yachts were the most popular of the international classes for many years, until recently challenged for this status by the IOM.
Fleets of Marbleheads are sailed in all Australian states and the class is highly regarded by skippers because the yachts are fast to sail and very responsive.
The capacity to use a wide selection of sail configurations also makes the yacht a delight to sail in all conditions.
About 20 Marblehead yachts are expected to compete at next year’s national championships.
In addition, an unofficial competition will be sailed with DF95 yachts, a new class that has only been available in Tasmania for about 18 months, but is rapidly growing in popularity.
The Dragon Flite DF95 is a new, relatively cheap radio yacht that offers remarkable performance in a one-design class. As such, it is an excellent starting point for those new to radio sailing,
A large turnout of RBRYC members is expected at Montrose Bay for the opening day, which will include a program of DF95 races.
Examples of IOM and Marblehead yachts will also be on display, and club members will be on hand to answer inquiries about radio sailing.