Search pages:
Search images:
Find a page:
Find a page:

Apocalypse

Apocalypse was a 50-foot Ben Lexcen-designed Pocket Maxi which carried about 15 crew. It was initially owned by Barclay Wade and later co-owned by Barclay and Peter Wood.

The boat was one of the most sailed and popular yachts at Middle Harbour Yacht Club, never missing a Wednesday afternoon or Thursday night and we competed in as many offshore events and regattas as we could. 

Stories

APOCALYPSE ADVENTURES

Apocalyse Adventures - MHYC: The First 60 Years
Apocalyse Adventures - MHYC: The First 60 Years

MHYC: The First 60 Years

Article by: Julie Hodder

Published: 1999

THE BEGINNING

I can't believe it has been ten years since we last sailed the yacht Apocalypse. This year we had our ten-year reunion - an excuse to get together and reminisce about sailing on one of MHYC's most sailed and popular boats in its time. Apocalypse was a 50-foot Ben Lexcen-designed Pocket Maxi which carried about 15 crew, but our invitations extended out to over 50 ex-crew. And what a list! Many names you would still recognise around the club now: Tig Thomas, the Fonz, Kaz, Suz, Westie (both of them), Peter Ryan, Ross Adams, Jamie Dibble, Greg Homann (now 18-foot forward hand for Peter Sorensen), Greg Hyde, Dave Craig, Bruce Lesley, Matt Hayes, Bergs, Pooley, Hugh Treharne... the list read like who's who in the bar during that era.

Apocalypse-was owned by Barclay Wade and Peter Wood, and run by one of the most famous bar flies at the time -- my ex-husband George Canfield. The backbone of the crew, and I believe the three people who sailed the most races on her, were the 'three girls': Suzie Cavil (Stannard), Karin Ovari and myself. Having this number of females on an offshore racing boat was very unusual at the time. I suppose it is still pretty rare now.

The boat was one of the most sailed yachts in the club, never missing a Wednesday afternoon or Thursday night and we competed in as many offshore events and regattas as we could. Boy, I wish you could find such dedicated crew now! In those days we just assumed that we would spend nearly every second weekend offshore sailing.

The memories and tall stories at the party came floating back. Who could forget getting line honours in the inaugural Three Ports race, and then backing it up with a second win the following year? Another female joined the 'three girls' on the first race - Tani Ruckle, a famous runner at the time, one of only a couple of female runners on that gruelling mountain and cross-country race.

 â€¦or Sydney to Coffs Harbour racing at Christmas. Apocalypse always went the right way at Christmas - north to the sunshine. And boy, did we have some good racing as well as a lot of fun. Who could forget those tacking duels we had with Dr. Who with Peter Ryan at our helm?

The Christmas of 1987 Sydney to Coffs Harbour race is one Kaz will never forget. This is her story:

The boat was about five nautical miles off Seal Rocks. It was just on dawn with a really awful seaway and we had just pulled out of the race because of a broken chain plate. We were putting on the emergency steering and pulling down the sails, which wasn't that easy as the boom vang had been leaking hydraulic oil all night. At the time I was helping to pull the headboard out of the track. I just stood up to give Perksie a spanner when the boat lurched and I skated off the deck and finished with a beautiful duck dive (since been rated as only 5 out of 10 - didn't keep her knees together on the tuck portion of the dive) into the ocean.

There I was, bobbing around (swimming wasn't really an option) as I watched the boat sail into the distance. I could see Suzie trying to throw first one and then a second life ring to me. One bounced on the surface and took off. Neither got to me.

When they did eventually recover their steering, I was very relieved to see them heading back towards me. However, they did such a good job of finding me that I had to swim out of the way of the boat. Everyone was shouting at me to get rid of my new jacket, a Christmas present from my family, which I had been hanging onto for 20 minutes, but I refused to let it go. They had to pick up both of us.

We chuckle at this story now, but at the time we had some very experienced offshore racers on our boat and this close incident shocked not only Karin but the rest of the crew as well. A few lessons were learned that day.

As a regularly sailed boat Apocalypse had its share of dramatic incidents with other boats. One of the most controversial and memorable for the Navy was one Wednesday afternoon race when we ran into and sank the Navy boat, just before the start of the Mooloolaba race!

The most frightening for us was one Friday night on the Bird Island race. We were sailing on starboard tack, and Wild Oats was coming straight for us. Not to worry, we thought - the helmsman, the foredeck and the mainsheet hands all seemed to be waving us on, but someone forgot to tell the runner. I was thinking 'These guys know what they're doing and like to take it close, so relax'. At the last minute all I could see was the horrified look on the helmsman as he was desperately trying to turn the boat and the panicked gaze from their foredeck. There was nothing we could do in that last split second. The boat was coming straight for Westy's (Mike's) legs. He was standing frozen in the hatch. At the last moment he decided to take a 6-foot dive into the cabin - a very lucky escape. Crash! Wild Oats came straight into us amidships and sent us all flying. When We eventually parted, the nose was 2 foot shorter and we ended up with a dirty big hold in our side.

The delivery trips were also fun - the infamous cooking competitions, a chance to steer, topless bathing (though as a rule you had to wear your top for diner). No problem getting delivery crew in those days!

Apocalyse Adventures - MHYC: The First 60 Years
Apocalyse Adventures - MHYC: The First 60 Years
Apocalyse Adventures - MHYC: The First 60 Years
Apocalyse Adventures - MHYC: The First 60 Years

1986

MHYC Two Handed Race - Apocalypse not now - again

The 15m pocket maxi Apocalypse blitzed the fleet of 35 to win the recent Sydney to Lion Island and return race conducted by the Short Handed Sailing Association of Australia.

Skippered by owner Barclay Wade, of Clontarf, and crewed by George Canfield, of Beacon Hill, the yacht led all the way to record a win of more than half an hour - no mean feat for two hands sailing a boat which is normally crewed by, l5 people.

Wade, a former Olympic and Commonwealth Games sculling medallist, and Canfield, a former Olympic sailing representative, have won the last four two-handed races conducted by the association, the first three in Wade's former boat Scavenger.

Since Wade took delivery of her, the Ben Lexcen designed Apocalypse has also shown she can perform well over longer distances. She finished fourth in the inaugural Sydney to Southport race in August behind the giant maxis Apollo and The Office.

Her next test will be the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in December. 

Apocalypse not now - again
Apocalypse not now - again
Two-Handed Race - Barclay Wade and George Canfield
Two-Handed Race - Barclay Wade and George Canfield
Two-Handed Race - Barclay Wade and George Canfield
Two-Handed Race - Barclay Wade and George Canfield
Two-Handed Race - Barclay Wade and George Canfield
Two-Handed Race - Barclay Wade and George Canfield

1987

3 Ports Race 1987

3 Ports Race 1987 - Team Apoclaypse
3 Ports Race 1987 - Team Apoclaypse
3 Ports Race 1987 - Team Apocalypse
3 Ports Race 1987 - Team Apocalypse

Apocalypse was the outright winner of inaugural 3 Ports Race. For more details and results, refer to the 3 Ports Race 1987 page.

The MMI 3-Ports Ports circuit started Spit Bridge, in the northern Sydney suburb of Mosman, with a road run through the streets to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Then after crossing this famous landmark runners make their way along Circular Quay to the Opera House.

The first 15km run ends with runners being transferred to their yachts by dinghy for the 20 mile ocean voyage to the waters of Pittwater, north of Sydney. A view of Sydney's famous northern beaches is an added bonus on this leg of the race.

Arrival at The Basin on the western side of Pittwater, begins the runners' second challenge - up the service track in the picturesque Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

With runners aboard, it is time for the yachtsmen in the teams to show their wares, as they take on the longest sailing leg of the course, 70 miles to Port Kembla, passing Sydney Harbour and Australia's birthplace, Botany Bay en-route.

One of the industrial hearts of the State, Port Kembla is certain to turn on a warm welcome as the runners disembark their water transports for their last and hardest contest - a run through the streets of Port Kembla and on to Mount Kembla. Recognised in the sea logs of early explorers, first by Cook in 1770, then by Flinders nearly 30 years later, as resembling the shape of a hat crown from the sea, Mt. Kembla is 15km from the wharf. Arrival at the lookout will then present a testing forest maze for one runner to transgress to the summit, some 1.6km further on. With a return journey to Port Kembla's outer harbour, the final leg commences.

The final sailing leg will see the competing yachts headnorth again towards Sydney Harbour -- 50 odd miles away, before crossing the finishing line to complete the inaugural testing MMI circuit.

Apocalypse Pictures from the 1987 Race

The Log MHYC Spring 1987 - 3 Ports Race
The Log MHYC Spring 1987 - 3 Ports Race
3 Ports Race 1987 - Barclay Wade and David Craig
3 Ports Race 1987 - Barclay Wade and David Craig
3 Ports Race - Bow Crew
3 Ports Race - Bow Crew
3 Ports Race - Bow Crew
3 Ports Race - Bow Crew
3 Ports Race - Bow Crew
3 Ports Race - Bow Crew, Greg Homann
Tani Ruckle at Woolongong leg of 3 Ports Race
Tani Ruckle at Woolongong leg of 3 Ports Race
Tani Ruckle at Woolongong leg of 3 Ports Race
Tani Ruckle at Woolongong leg of 3 Ports Race
3 Ports Race 1987 - Tani Ruckle and another runner
3 Ports Race 1987 - Tani Ruckle and another runner
3 Ports Race 1987 - David Sherwood and Greg Homann
3 Ports Race 1987 - David Sherwood and Greg Homann
3 Ports Race 1987 - Apocalypse Crew
3 Ports Race 1987 - Apocalypse Crew
3 Ports Race 1987 - Apocalypse Crew
3 Ports Race 1987 - Apocalypse Crew
Master of ceremonies, "Munno", took over the entertainment department on the Port Kembla wharf asthe fleet filtered in
Master of ceremonies, "Munno", took over the entertainment department on the Port Kembla wharf asthe fleet filtered in
3 Ports Race 1987 - Tani Ruckle
3 Ports Race 1987 - Tani Ruckle
3 Ports Race 1987 - runners
3 Ports Race 1987 - runners

1988

1988 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race

Crew on Apocalypse for Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race1988 include: Barclay Wade, Suzie Cavil, Karin Ovari, Charlie Herbert, Terry Watson. Not sure what we won here, but it could have been the golfing trophy.

1988 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Apocalypse
1988 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Apocalypse
1988 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Apocalypse
1988 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Apocalypse
1988 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Apocalypse
1988 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Apocalypse
1988 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour
1988 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour

Sydney to Southport Yacht Race 1988

Crew on the Sydney to Southport Yacht race 1988 include:Barclay Wade, Julie Hodder, George Canfield, Suzie Cavil, Karin Ovari, Graham Fergusson, Arnie, David Sherwood, Brian Evans (Polly), Steve Perks, Michael West, Greg Homann, Peter Ryan 

Sydney to Southport Yacht Race 19881988 XXXX Yachting Classic
1988 XXXX Yachting Classic

Apocalypse South

Article in Cruising Helsman Dec 1988 - skipper Ian Lewis

Apocalypse South Article
Apocalypse South Article
Apocalypse South Article
Apocalypse South Article
Apocalypse South Article
Apocalypse South Article
Apocalypse South Article
Apocalypse South Article
Apocalypse South Article
Apocalypse South Article
Apocalypse South Article
Apocalypse South Article

3 Ports Race 1988

Apocalypse - winner again of the 1988 3 Ports Race

Crew: Barclay Wade, Peter Wood, Julie Hodder, Dave Craig, John Munson, Fourteen, Ian Lewis, Neal Tavener

Runners Hope circuit is plain sailing (Article: Yachting, Heather Smith)

For the average sports lover it is hard to understand the connection between pistol shooting and cross-country skiing. Or why it is necessary for an athlete to cycle, swim, fence, run and ride a horse to win one event.

Nevertheless, the biathlon and modem pentathlon are Olympic events requiring highly skilled athletes to excel in diverse sports. Far removed from the Olympic arena but in the same vein as such similar disciplines, Sydney has the MMI 3-Ports Circuit starting this Saturday.

A curious combination of yachting and running, the 3-Ports Circuit was dreamed up by Frank Martin, former sailing secretary of Middle Harbour Yacht Club, who based it on a similar event held in Britain.

In the inaugural 3-Ports Circuit last year 38 runners negotiated Sydney traffic from the Spit Bridge at Mosman to the Opera House, where they were picked up by the 19 yachts in the fleet.

After sailing to The Basin, at Pittwater, the runners were put ashore for the 15km course around West Head. West Head. Then it was off to Port Kembla for the most arduous section of the event, the 30km climb and run no Mount Kembla.

The winner of last year's race, Barclay Wade's Apocalypse, sailed into Sydney Harbour with an aggregate sailing/running time of 3 hr 22min 32s. According to Wade, he liked the race because it was different from normal sailing.

"I loved it. There was so much variation," Wade said. "Sailing can get very boring."

The race certainly wasn't boring for one of his running crew, Glen McConnell, who was violently seasick during the ocean stretches.

"A lot of the runners got seasick," Wade said. "But they ran anyway." "

Apparently, the other two runners on Apocalypse, Lou Young and 1987 Westfield marathon champion Tani Ruckle, were better sailors.

Ruckle was at the centre of controversy after being disqualified and later reinstated as winner of the Westfield race.

Collectively, the team won the 63km running section of the race in 6hr 21min 58s and Brandon Pietzch (Aussie Spirit) took the King of the Mountain title.

Wade said he had wanted Ruckle to run again but after the Westfield drama she had been advised not to take part in the 3-Ports Circuit this year.

Instead, triathlon athlete Tony Sattler and half-marathon runner Mike Lawson, who were "looking for a challenge", will brave the high 'seas. Both are members of 'Warringah Triathlon Club and Sattler's claim to fame is his seventh place in the Hawaiian triathlon two years ago.

The Hawaiian race - regarded as triathlon's world championship - is an event of exhausting proportions. Competitors swim 3.8km, cycle l80km and run 42km. Sattler finished 18th in 1987 and has decided not to compete this year.

He regards the 3-Ports circuit as something a bit different and hopes to get a lot of enjoyment out of the race. Lawson, who saw a news item about the race on television, rang Sattler and convinced him to join the Apocalypse team.

"We couldn't pass up the opportunity," Lawson said. "It's inspiring to be a part of a team. We hope to make the sailors' job a bit easier."

This year's 3-Ports Circuit field has dwindled to 14 yachts, with 28 runners. There is a smaller field because six of the 1987 entrants are involved in the Around Australia Yacht race.

The running section begins with a dash from the Middle Harbour club to Manly, followed by the Pittwater and Port Kembla runs - a total of 58km.

Apocalypse, a pocket maxi part-owned by Wade and Peter Wood, will carry 10 crew for the trip.

Wade said the runners were not expected to hoist mainsails. All they did was eat and sleep.

Sattler and Lawson said they were good sailors but, with last year in mind, they may be advised, to pack sickness pills with their running shorts. 

Pictures

3 Ports Race 1988 NOR
3 Ports Race 1988 NOR
3 Ports Race (1988) - Port Kembla (Apocalypse)
3 Ports Race (1988) - Port Kembla (Apocalypse)
3 Ports Race (1988) - Port Kembla (Apocalypse)
3 Ports Race (1988) - Port Kembla (Apocalypse)
3 Ports Race (1988) - Winners Apocalypse.
3 Ports Race (1988) - Winners Apocalypse.
3 Ports Race (1988) - Winners Apocalypse.
3 Ports Race (1988) - Winners Apocalypse.
3 Ports Race (1988) - Winners Apocalypse.
3 Ports Race (1988) - Winners Apocalypse.
3 Ports Race (1988) - Winners Apocalypse.
3 Ports Race (1988) - Winners Apocalypse.
3 Ports Race (1988) - Winners Apocalypse.
3 Ports Race (1988) - Winners Apocalypse.

1989

3 Ports Race 1989

Odd Trio to Contest Strange Race (Apocalypse)

Odd Trio to contest strange race, by Amanda Lulham (Daily Telegraph 1989
Odd Trio to contest strange race, by Amanda Lulham (Daily Telegraph 1989

Article by Amanda Lulham (Telegraph, Saturday October 7th, 1989)

A former Olympic rower, state boxer and pro basketballer have joined forces in a bid to take out the MMI Three Ports yacht race starting on October 29.

The Three Ports race an unusual concept, organised by Middle Harbour Yacht Club, involving 117 nautical miles of sailing and 54 km of running divided into three legs over two days.

 Apocalypse skipper Barclay Wade. a sculler at the 1984 Tokyo Olympics, has snared the talents of runners Mike Lawson and Greg Brown in a bid to take out his third successive Three Ports race.

This race is such a variation to long ocean racing because it involves short hops and the thrill of waiting for your runners to return." Wade said.

"It is gruelling for the runners who have to run 54km in all but it's fun for the crew because we stop in between and have a party."

Lawson, a former South Australian welterweight champion, sailed aboard Apocalypse last year and will this year team up with Brown, a former basketballer.

Brown switched to biathlons after retiring from basketball five years ago and earlier this year took second place in the Australian Biathlon Championships in Canberra and fifth place in the Australian Ironman Triathlon at Forster.

The pair. who are chasing the King of the Mountain title for the fastest run times, admit their biggest concern in the race is sea sickness.

The adventure begins at Manly with a 10km run to Middle Harbour Yacht Club where the two runners meet with their yachts, which then race 24nm to the Basin at Pittwater.

The runners are put ashore for a 12km run and on returning the yachts race 65nm to Bird Island, off Lake Macquarie and then south to Patonga on the Hawkesbury River.

The final running leg involves a 32km dash through the Brisbane Waters National Park before the yachts race 24nm to the finish line at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

"You do this race because it feels so good when you stop". Wade said.

Page output 0.057564