Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Header Photo: Dave Porter and crew in the Wooden 18-Footer "Aussie"

Sea Spray Annual

In response to the photo of the extreme hiking on a scow Moth, Kiwi Neil Kennedy sent along the previous header photo of extreme trapezing on an Aussie 18-footer. No idea on the date but my guess is sometime during the 1970's. From the photo caption:
"Most dynamic skipper in eighteens today is without doubt Dave Porter in "Aussie". Here he is demonstrating his extreme trapeze style in which he actually looks ahead underneath his crewmen, Bob Moore and Ted Griffiths. "Aussie" in the past year has chalked up a remarkable series of wins, among them the NSW state title, and second in the Australian title to "Travelodge" (Bob Holmes).

Neil Kennedy fleshes out the history of Dave Porter and "Aussie".
"Aussie was a 1970/71 season Sydney 18 and the first three handed 18 which finally led to the demise in Sydney of the four handers that had dominated the 18's from 63 onwards.

"She was designed by NZ amateur designer John Chapple who was a very successful 12ft skiff sailor and featured a high aspect ratio rig with a short footed jib. She quite straight fore and aft [ed. note: i.e. rocker] but with slack saucer like sections from midships which made her very quick but equally slippery down wind and especially gybing. That season was very much a crossroads design with the Hugh Cook designed Travelodge being the latest refinement of the Sydney four handers, and the powerful Wille B design leading that theme, while in NZ the first really successful Bruce Farr Miss UEB showed a taste of what was to come in the next four years, when Bruce dominated the class. That whole period is a great story in itself.

The Aussies are coming! To Annapolis....

In somewhat related news, the National Sailing Hall of Fame made the announcement that a contingent of Classic Australian 18-Footers is making a trip to Annapolis for the Classic Wooden Boat Regatta. Date is Sept 15-17, 2017. From the NSHOF announcement:
"The "Classic" is an informal opportunity for boats of all different sizes and designs to compete together in a low-key race against other wooden vessels. The event has grown each year, with boats ranging in size from 8-feet to 65-feet and traveling from as far away as Canada to participate. That record will be broken this year, when sailors from the Sydney Flying Squadron, Australia's oldest open boat sailing club, will be visiting Annapolis to participate using their own fleet of historical 18-foot skiffs, which they are shipping here from Australia specifically for this event.

18-foot skiffs, considered by many to be the fastest class of sailing skiffs, began racing on Australia's Sydney Harbor in 1892 and later in New Zealand. Called "Aussie 18s" by their owners, the skiffs will be dockside for public viewing on Friday and Saturday, September 15-16, along with the many other participating classic boats.

"We are very excited to have the 18-footers from Australia here for the Classic Race," said Maria Museler, the event's volunteer organizer. "Anyone who loves wooden sailboats won't want to miss this great opportunity to meet with wooden sailboat owners, take part in a fun race, and show off your classically designed sailboat for everyone in Annapolis, Maryland."

Wowee! HotDawg! Sandbaggers and Classic 18-Footers together. Two over-canvassed, over-crewed vintage battlewagons. Should be quite a sight on Annapolis Harbor.

1 comment:

Dieharddinghysailor said...

Goddammit, I'd love to come over for the to the UK for family reunion and France for good food and scenery....