Gypsy will be 100 not out

Mercury (Hobart) - - BOATING - Open­ing day Kingston ac­tiv­i­ties OUT FRONT: Don Calvert will be at the helm of In­trigue when it leads next week­end’s sail-past on the Der­went. Ra­dio stars

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 or by phon­ing 6229 5040 or email­ing 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.

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