Classic Boats and Putt Putts Grace the Georges River

Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion

At some point in every sailor or “boating enthusiasts'”  life an appreciation for classic, hand built vessels will eventually creep into your psyche. The young guns are always going to be wowed by the speed and technological brilliance that modern boat building can produce. The modern day Sydney to Hobart super maxis and the gin palaces of the rich and famous all have their place in the rich and vibrant tapestry of the yachting world. I’m the first to admit the usefulness of modern navigation tools and the maintenance time savings that can be achieved from carbon fibre versus timber. However you just have to agree that a wooden classic boat is a far more beautiful thing to behold and sail upon. In the words of the poet Robert N. Rose:  “Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made, for somewhere deep in their oaken hearts the soul of a song is laid.

So being a sailor who has come to appreciate the beauty of a classic we launched (the very unclassic but utilitarian) tinny at Tom Ugly’s bridge and set off across Georges River to the Variety Club’s  6th Annual  Classic Boat and Putt Putt Fundraising Regatta. Whilst the quantity of entrants was slightly disappointing with approximately 15 or so entries the quality of the vessels more than made up for it. On shore at the St George Motor Yacht Club the Hubertus Model Boat Club put on a display of lovingly crafted model boats and the Vintage Speed Car Association brought along a collection of cute little racing cars and motorbikes. In attendance were the usual candy floss, sausage sizzle , face painting, marine market place and big band crowd pleasers for young and old.

The main event saw the classic boats and putt putts do a couple of parades past the clubhouse before heading off on several laps of a course around Kangaroo Point and back. We got back on the water in the tinny and captured some of the action. Trying to snap moving vessels from my own bobbing boat certainly gave me a new appreciation for the skills of the professional marine photographer! We hope you enjoy the gallery and put it in your diary for next year!

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8 Responses

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  1. Matt here, skipper of the RubyToo, you have taken some great pics of the day, my daughter Ruby has been helped a lot by the variety club and i cannot thank them enough.
    Kind regards, Matt

    1. Hi Matt,
      Thanks for droppping by. There were ots of lovely boats to photograph and we’ll definitely try and come again next year. Let me know if there are any particular photos you’d like and I’ll email them to you :)

  2. I attended the Regatta last year 2010 and was very impressed by the quality of the boats and putt putts and of course the attendee’s whom dressed to impress and were all very friendly and very happy for us to ogle over their boats etc
    So impressed that I have restored a 1963 fibreglass boat which i’m hoping will possibly slip into the Regatta this year.
    Being only 32 now myself I do hope that younger people take the time to have a look at these historic boats and maybe buy or restore some them selves or at the least come down and enjoy a day on or by the water and help The Variety club raise some much needed money for Young Children in need.
    If you need a screen for an old boat give me an email

  3. Hi Cameron,
    When is the putt putt regratta this year? I will put a shout out on the blog and on my face book page to get some interest and encourage people to go down and have a look!

  4. its on this weekend sorry for the late reply !
    Sunday from 9am at St George Motor Boat club San Souci
    Lions club will have a bacon egg roll ready for you all !
    Great day for the family with lots of activities and loads of fun to be had

    I’ll be entering my 1963 Carribean which has just been restored to its former Beauty ( I was born in 79 ) So come see what you think of a young mans work

    1. Unfortunately I’m going to have to miss out this year as I’m doing my boat license course, gutted! But I’ll put a shout on the Secret Water face book page to get some more people to head down.

    2. Since I can’t make it Cameron, perhaps you could take some shots and write a guest post for the blog?!

  5. […] A planned two hour trip turned into four, giving me a chance to flex my newly licensed tinny driving muscles. We have explored parts of George’s River before, which I wrote about here, and here. […]

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