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Pinta
Pinta at Jerusalem Bay 1953
Pinta at Jerusalem Bay 1953

CountryAustralia
Sail NumberMH26
ClubMiddle Harbour Yacht Club
Owner (s)Max Barnett
R. D. Pearson?

Pinta

Max Barnett's first boat was Pinta the winner of MHYC's 1st Offshore Yacht Race.

A group of skippers from the 3rd Division Pittwater. A total of 10 yachts appeared at the starting line - seven 3rd Division yachts and three 2nd Division yachts, which went along as back up boats, starting two hours later.

The club appointed Walter Burke as scrutineer to check the suitability of the competing yachts and it was pleasing that none were rejected.

At 0800 hours on August 21, 1954 the small fleet drifted across the line full of hope for a pleasant sail up the coast to Broken Bay, with a hopeful sojourn in the Newport Pub to follow. In fact, what transpired was disappointing for the 3rd Division Yachts, who were frustrated by light head-winds. By mid-afternoon only the leaders had reached Long Reef. Max Barnett in Pinta had whistled up a bit of a breeze and had established a good lead, but the rest of the fleet gradually dropped out and returned home, or resorted to motoring to Pittwater.

Around Barrenjoey, the crew of Pinta set a kite and finished at 0335 hours on August 22 well pleased with their effort.

Meanwhile, a battle had developed between Ailsa, Firefly and Seawind, the Division Two escort yachts which rounded Barrenjoey with Pinta.

The participating skippers voted to repeat the event the following year and it became known as the "Harry Elderfield Trophy Race". For the record the pioneer yachts were: Pinta Max Barnett; Joy Joy, Alf Cumming; Windsong Noel Hopkinson; Ladybird, Hal Harpur (Sailed by Peter Fletcher); Poincianna, Harvey Begg; Talua, Max Hellewell; Ailsa, Bill Henderson; Seawind, Norm Brooker; and Firefly", Graham Newland.

Prior to this event, a number of skippers of club yachts had indicated their desire to go offshore sailing following a glowing speech by Walter Burke about his participation in the Lake Macquarie Race.

Walter's talk fired up members and the next Lake Macquarie Yacht Race saw six MHYC Yachts enjoying the excitement of a night start and sail up the coast, and the "hauling down" to be towed over the "drop over" into the Lake. The "hauling down" procedure required two motor boats: one to haul the yacht down by the mast using its halyard and another boat which undertook the tow over the shallows. There was great racing on the Lake that Easter weekend with outstanding hospitality from the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club and, the inevitable hungover passage home on Easter Monday.

MHYC participants in the 1955 Lake Macquarie Yacht Race were:

Eudoria 11, Norman Way

Aquarelle, Neve McEnnally

Ailsa, Bill Henderson

Firefly, Graham Newland

Seawind, Norm Brooker

Ladybird, Hal Harpur.

Middle Harbour Yacht Club yachts continued to support the Easter Race to the Lake until the commencement of the Sydney to Brisbane Yacht Race which gradually drained competitors from it.

Articles and Pictures

MHYC's First Ocean Race

The Early Years

MHYC: The First 60 Years

Article by: Frank Likely

Published: 1999

Chapter 3 Ocean Racing

Max Barnett's Pinta was the Winner of MHYC's first offshore yacht race. Prior to this event, however, a number of skippers of club yachts had indicated their desire to go offshore sailing. This followed a glowing speech by Wally Burke about his participation in the Lake Macquarie Race. Wally's talk fired up members and the next Lake Macquarie Race saw six MHYC yachts enjoying the excitement of a night start and sail up the coast, and the 'hauling down' to be towed over the 'drop over' into the lake. The hauling down procedure required two motor boats: one to haul the yacht down by the mast using its halyard, the other to tow it over the shallows.

MHYC participants in the 1955 Lake Macquarie Race were: Eudoria (Norman Way); Aquarelle (Nev McEnally);Ailsa (Bill Henderson); Firefly (Graham Newland); Seawind (Norm Brooker); Ladybird (Hal Harpur); and Blue Peter (Wally Burke). There was great racing on the Lake that Easter weekend with outstanding hospitality from the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club and the inevitable hung-over passage home on Easter Monday. Some yachts cruised north to Port Stephens and Broughton Island.

The club's first ocean race, up to Broken Bay, was organised in 1954. Wally Burke was appointed scrutineer, to check the suitability of the competing yachts, and at 0800 hours on August 21, the small fleet drifted across the line, full of anticipation for a pleasant sail up the coast, hopefully with a sojourn in the Newport Pub to follow. The pioneering yachts were: Pinta (Max Barnett); Joy (Alf Wildman); Windsong (Noel Hopkinson); Ladybird (Hal Harpur, sailed by Peter Fletcher); Poinciana (Harry Begg); Talua (Max Halliwell); Ailsa (Bill Henderson); Seawind (Norm Brooker); and Firefly (Graham Newland).

Light headwinds meant that by mid-afternoon only the leaders had reached Long Reef. Max Barnett in Pinta had whistled up a bit of a breeze and had established a good lead, but a few of the fleet gradually dropped out and returned home, or resorted to motoring to Pittwater for the rendezvous at Newport Pub. Around Barrenjoey, the crew of Pinta set a kite, and finished at 0335 hours on August 22 well pleased with their effort. Ailsa crossed the line at 0430 hours; and Seawind followed five minutes later.

The participating skippers voted to repeat the event the following year and it became known as the 'Harry Elderfield Trophy Race'.

Frank Likely

Pinta Bay

Pinta and Blue Peter Jerusalem Bay
Pinta and Blue Peter Jerusalem Bay
Pinta at Jerusalem Bay 1953
Pinta at Jerusalem Bay 1953
Sid the paid hand at Jerusalem Bay
Sid the paid hand at Jerusalem Bay

PINTA BAY

by Max Barnett

Of Christopher Columbus' fleet of three ships the smallest and fastest was the Pinta. A drinking measure in Spain was a quarto and only the big drinkers could handle them. So someone created the Pinta, which is half a quarto (pint sized).

Well we had a Bermudan Sloop Pinta on the Club Register.

She was owned by the writer and the winner of the first ever JOG ocean race conducted by the Middle Harbour Yacht Club, from Middle Harbour to Newport. But we digress;

Pinta was cruising in Cowan Creek in 1954 and turned into Jerusalem Bay and anchored in an unnamed Bay which opened southwards. A delightful waterfall tumbled into it. Why no name for such a lovely bay? We will soon fix that! Out came the white paint and "Pinta Bay' was neatly painted on a prominent rock.

Jerusalem Bay had an operating boatshed in those days and a salty type named Smith owned it. He used to hire Rowing Boats and launches to fisherman.

He was puzzled when his hirers began to ask how the fish were biting in Pinta Bay but in the interest of good business, always said "They are jumping into the boat". But one day he turned in there and thought "So this is Pinta Bay".

Shortly after, along came a Survey Party from the Lands Department, remapping the area. They checked with Smith to see if Pinta Bay was correct and he said "Yes". It went on to the Lands Department's Map and then on to the Admiralty Charts.

It will always be Pinta Bay.

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