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!