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Middle Harbour Regatta
Middle Harbour Regatta 1912
Middle Harbour Regatta 1912
Regatta Day at The Spit
Regatta Day at The Spit

LocationMiddle Habour
StateNSW
CountryAustralia
Year Held From/To1897 to 1972

Middle Harbour Regatta

From MHYC: The First 60Years

Article by: John Stanley

Published: 1999

The original regatta was inaugurated in 1897 and continued until 1912. It was next held in 1959. The person responsible for its revival was Fred Zemanek. Fred finshed Middle Harbour with his fish traps during the week, as well as conducting an SP bookmaker service on the side. He was also involved in the Middle Harbour VJ Club with his sons, and was a great organiser.

He convinced the Middle Harbour Yacht Club, Middle Harbour 16-foot Sailing Club, Middle Harbour VJ Sailing Club, Balmoral Moth Club, Northbridge VJ Club and Seaforth Moth Club to combine forces and hold the regatta again.

Sailing in this era was amateur sport at its best. Fathers, sons, mothers and daughters were involved, whether it be building, sailing, being on committees, or just helping out at the clubs. Junior and senior teaching of the sport was at every club; they were their own schools. The skiffies and the yachties were great rivals and the enthusiasm of the committees from different clubs was outstanding.

The one-day regatta of 1959 turned into a two-day regatta in 1960, with ten classes on Saturday and 12 classes on Sunday. A feature in 1960, the Cock of Middle Harbour, became a major highlight of the regatta every year. The champion boat from each class would start in a flying start with a YA Yardstick handicap for the final result, which was always controversial. That year also saw the introduction of a flagship, Vim.

The February Meeting paid tribute to the work of the Middle Harbour Regatta Committee for the magnificent Regatta that they planned and staged. In all, 469 yachts took part in the races and spectators were able to watch at close hand the performances of all classes from the famous Regatta Flagship Vim down to little Moths. The organisation, both from the racing entrants' point of view and from the spectator/visitors' viewpoint was excellent.

MHYC minutes

Subsequent flagships were the beautiful schooner Astor (line honours winner in the 1961 Sydney to Hobart), the ketch Lauriana and, in 1965, Barranjoey, Bill Northam's 5.5-metre yacht (which won Australia's first sailing gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, skippered by Northam and crewed by MHYC members Dick Sargeant and Pod O'Donnell). Gordon Ingate's Admiral's Cup racer Caprice of Huon and team-mate Ted Kaufinan's Mercedes III were also flagships.

1972 saw the last Middle Harbour Regatta, and the end of a glorious chapter in Middle Harbour's history.

1900's

Some articles from the first Middle Harbour Regattas

 
 
 
 
 
 

1902

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Friday 5 December 1902, page 4

MIDDLE HARBOUR REGATTA.

A meeting was hold at the Council-chambers, Mosman, on Wednesday evening for the purpose of taking steps to hold a regatta, on the waters of Middle Harbour. 

The Mayor (Alderman F. R. Strange) presided, and there was a large and representative attendance. It was decided to carry out the regatta on New Year's Day, under the auspices of the Middle Harbour Sailing Club. 

Mr. E. W. Quirk, M.L.A., announced his intention of supporting the movement, and promised to assist in endeavouring to secure a Government steamer. He also stated that Mr. William Beach, the ex-champion oarsman, had promised to give an exhibition row. 

In addition to the Middle Harbour fleet, entries for the sailing events were promised hy the Neutral Bay Amateur Club, Mr. W. L Scale was elected hon. secretary, and Mr. George Snow hon. treasurer. A general committee was also formed, to which the election of patrons &c, was entrusted. 

The following programme was drafted -Sailing events: I8ft. and upwards, "best and best" handicap; handicap, for boats belonging to the Middle Harbour SC.; boats under 18ft. handicap (limited sails and crews) , skiff handicap, under the Skiff Club's rules. 

Rowing events: Youths under 18, all-comers' race, three pair working skiffs (local), old buffers' race, and tub race. 

A hearty vote of thanks was accorded the Mayor for presiding.

1903 

1905

Regatta Day at the Spit

 

   

 

1907

Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 - 1909), Saturday 14 December 1907, page 3

Middle Harbour Regatta.

After a lapse of several years a well-got-up regatta was held on Middle Harbour on New Year's Day. 

The wind was rather light, but the sailing races were good, and the entries certainly were numerous; indeed, as a sailing regatta the affair was a success. Quite a large number of people go by trams to the Spit, and other parts near, and a fine view can be had of the racing from convenient picnic grounds. It should be quite possible to hold a good day's sport on such a fine course as can be had both above and below the ferry at the Spit. 

The success of this year should encourage the promoters to try something much better next year. Rowing races could be arranged for club men as well as for residents, and a few such items on the programme would fill up the intervals between the sailing. A rowing race for all-comers in skiffs was won by a local man, W. Riddle, who easily beat G. Fisher, of Drummoyne, and another. President's treble sculls race was won easily by the scratch men, Messrs. Manuel, Willis, and Lutge, from Everett, Walker, and Nicholls (55 seconds start), and from Simson, Seldon, aud Nivan (5 seconds). The boats were rather heavy, and the most powerful men won. 

Boats 18ft. and over was the big race of the day. Waterwitch won, with Amy second and Keriki third. There were 13 entries in this event, and the prize money was 5, 2, and 1 pound. Middle Harbour boats entered well, there being 13. The prizes went to The Gift, Willoughby, and Gumleaf. Boats 20ft. and under, limited sails and crews, was won by Gumleaf, with Etna second and Norine third. There were 11 entries. The last event was for skiffs, and of these there were eight. Esmeralda won from Lina, Rainbow, and others. 

The launch Carrington followed some of the races, but the want of a flagship was felt. Next year there should be a good regatta on Middle Harbour

 

 

 

 

  

Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 - 1909), Saturday 14 December 1907, page 3

MIDDLE HARBOUR REGATTA

The Middle Harbour Regatta Committee expect the forthcoming regatta, which is to be held at The Spit on New Year's Day,

to be the best event held in Middle Harbour. It is underst It is understood that several of the 18-footers

are going round as well as the skiffs. The committee has decided to give big prize money for all the sailing events, and it is thought the entries will b a record. In our advertising columns will be found a notice for the final closing. of entries for all events on the 21st inst, with the secretaries at Mos-man and at Muir's. tobacconist, 34 Pltt-street. 

1950's

1959

Middle Harbour Regatta 1959
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959
Middle Harbour Regatta
Saturday 14th Feb, 1959
 
Under the Patronage of: Mr. W. G. Walkley
Commodore: Sir James Bisset
 
Regatta Officials
Chairman of Committee: Dr L. E. McDonnell (Lal MacDonnel)
Vice Chairman: W. E. Beck
Hon Secretary: D. R. Pearson
Hon. Treasurer: K. Withers
 
General Committee: J. Chapman, S. Spicer, F. W. Zemanek (Fred Zemanek), Jim Mason, R. McConaghy, L. Anderson, G. Marshal, J. Fox, N. F. Brooker, A.J. Rickards
 
Host Clubs
Northbridge VJ Club (Northbridge Sailing Club)

Program and SI's

Middle Harbour Regatta 1959
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959 - History of MHYC
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959 - History of MHYC
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959 - Moth Sailing Class
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959 - Moth Sailing Class
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959 - the Middle Harbour 16ft Sailing Club
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959 - the Middle Harbour 16
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959 - MH Sailing and Northbridge Sailing Club
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959 - MH Sailing and Northbridge Sailing Club
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959

1970's

1972

Middle Harbour Regatta 1972 - Pacha
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972 - Pacha

Program

Middle Harbour Regatta 1972 - Pacha
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972 - Pacha
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972 - Skipjack Clive Roughley
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972 - Skipjack Clive Roughley
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972 - Pacha was the flagship
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972 - Pacha was the flagship
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972
Middle Harbour Regatta 1972

Competitors

Below is a list of Divisions and Competitors (TBF)

 
Hood 23 Division
Sail No. Yacht Helmsman Sail No. Yacht Helmsman
MH23 Petone W. Carroll MH163 Aurora M. Coleman
MH69 Ragtime H. Alexander MH170 Parriwi E. Filmer
MH94 Namara R. Greenwood MH176 Mingara P. Crane
MH110 Tethys G. Sonley MH192 Moira G. Carmody
MH126 Porpoise H. Faerber MH216 Velella S. Damp
MH151 Magus H. Williams
 
Bluebird Division
Sail No. Yacht Helmsman Sail No. Yacht Helmsman
MH29 Samantha J. Greenwood MH120 Tringa K. Poole
MH42 Egret G. Hollingworth MH125 Ratu K. Peterson
MH43 Tuppence N. Neal MH132 Threave J. Douglas
MH64 Hiliary C. Lembke MH143 Deryn Glas Keith Jones
MH68 Lotchen II J. Conroy MH175 Ngaro II A. Kennard
MH76 Norelle A. Hill MH186 Nerp P. Hordern
MH81 Omega K. Steward MH219 Shaheen B. Gray
MH83 Carla G. Hreflich 230 Escargot G. Morris
MH104 Tarsus G. Weaver 512 Skipjack C. Roughley
MH118 Charade A. Nossiter 529 Velcro J. Grant
MH119 Hey Dey A. Luckin
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