80th anniversary of Vaucluse Regatta attracts vintage yachts

Vaucluse Regatta 1935 - Vaucluse Regatta 2012
Sam Hood
This weekend, the 80th anniversary of the Vaucluse Regatta, hosted by Vaucluse Yacht Club, will be commemorated. The annual sailing event draws a myriad of yachts and sailing craft to race upon Sydney Harbour, and has done so since its inception in 1932.

To herald the significance of the event’s 80th anniversary, the traditional timber yacht Maluka will sail in the regatta. Historically, Maluka competed in the first ever Vaucluse Regatta held in 1932, and will return to Watsons Bay this Saturday, 80 years on, to compete in the long-standing event.

Maluka, a 28-foot gaff-rigged yacht was originally built of Huon Pine in 1932, and boasted brand new lines and cutting edge technology back in the old days. She has since been completely re-furbished by owner Sean Langman, who has maintained many of the traditional and original features of the classic yacht. This weekend she will take to the waters of Watsons Bay and see how she fares against many more modern yachts.

Maluka - circa 1932 - Vaucluse Regatta 2012
Sam Hood

Other classic yachts intending to compete include Richard Winning’s Flamingo, a 1950’s classic 22 square metre sloop which has recently undergone a full restoration, along with a handful of traditional 5.5 Metre yachts that regularly race from the Club.

The Laser fleet is expected to be huge, with the Vaucluse – Double Bay Challenge being incorporated with the 2012 SLAM / Winning Appliances Vaucluse Regatta. Over 60 Lasers and Laser Radials are expected to compete for the Challenge shield.

Newspaper articles from the early 1930’s talk of ‘scenes of aquatic vigour’ and yachts ‘heeling over til their decks were well a-wash’ during the early years. Yachts, skiffs, rowers and motor boats all enjoyed ‘splendid sailing conditions’, whilst on-shore there were pillow-fights and treasure hunts.

Vaucluse Bay Sydney Harbour - Sydney Harbour Hop

This Saturday, the Vaucluse Yacht Club and event sponsors SLAM and Winning Appliances invite owners of yachts, OK dinghies, Vee-Esses, Lasers and Laser Radials to compete in three races held on Watsons Bay. The first race will start at 12.45pm, preceded by a briefing in the Clubhouse at 11.30. A barbecue for competitors and presentation of trophies will be held after racing.

All entries welcome – enter on the day, or via the Vaucluse Yacht Club wwww.vaucluseyachtclub.com.au!website!new. For more information phone VYC on 9337 5775.