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Sydney to Suva Yacht Race
Sail Suva 1982
Sail Suva 1982

StateNSW
CountryAustralia
ClubMiddle Harbour Yacht Club
Year Held From/To1978 to

Sydney to Suva Yacht Race

I just have the 1982 race in at the moment - more to come.

1982

Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
MHYC yacht Sangaree - a Holland 44 built and skippered by Kanga Birtles - First out the Heads
Geoff Foster
Geoff Foster, Race director of Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982

1982 Sydney to Suva Yacht Race

1981 MHYC Log

Race Preparations

Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sail Suva 1982
Sail Suva 1982
Beautiful Winner's Trophy won by Lou Abrahams

1982 Suva Race Start

Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982

Suva Race Start

Middle Harbour Yacht Club Sailing Secretary, Frank Martin, recounts some of the preparations, behind the scenes, in his first exposure to a Suva race.

There was enough Gold braid and VIP heavies to sink a battleship at the start of the 4th KB Sydney-Suva Race which was started by His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Zelman Cowan at the end of May.

The Club marina looks more like Pitt Street at midday as first the huge Police launch, Norman T. Allen took up the entire entrance to the inside pens, soon to be joined by the Tooth & Co. cruiser, Xeriod. On the petrol jetty, Colour 7 "escaped" to deliver the first load of VIP guests to HMAS "Ibis" shortly before Tod Nicholson's "Overflow Ill" (Mooloolaba Radio Relay Vessel) and Dave Williams' "Manu Kai" (Starting boat in the recent J24 Worlds) positioned themselves to pick up more guests to view the  start.

And in true style Middle Harbour took it in its stride as the cannon aboard HMAS "Ibis" boomed out the starting signal for the record fleet of 17 yachts to head off on the 1735 miles journey to Suva in Fiji.

lt's kites up with the 10 knot southerly filling the chutes quickly - a wine glass for Challenge, and a clewed-up effort by Jo D' Affaire and Shiraz with the head of the spinnaker firmly fastened to the base of the forestay on both boats.

Back to the Club restaurant for the Official Luncheon, speeches and presentations. Then, it's time to prepare for the first of the twice a day skeds of the race, for the next two weeks at least. (0640 & 1400 Hrs).

Following the sked, prepare the answering machine tape to tell the world the news, advise the Radio and Television, local and interstate press. Plot the positions on the member's map in the bar.

(And there's always Race Director Geoff Foster around to make sure you don't forget anything).

Well I'm told it's "All in a day's work".

KB Fourth Sydney to Suva Race May 22, 1982

Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982

On the other side of the petrol jetty it was first the Admiral's Barge, then Mick and Jan Hiles speedy Bertram 25 Top Cat, arrived to pick up the press. On the southern end, another Admiral's Barge arrives to pick up the Governor General.

In the Race Office two Customs Officers clear the yachts for the voyage, stamping necessary documents and collecting Departure Cards (and $20's). At the CYC, where some of the yachts have conducted their preparations, two more officers do similar.

Meanwhile back at the Spit, a courier arrives with the weather report and Synoptic Charts issued 20 minutes earlier by the Sydney Meteorological Office. 15 minutes later copies of each have been enveloped and delivered to competing yachts on the marina (balance will be handed over in the manoeuvering area off Balmoral by Colour 7).

The day before, the powerful red starting vessel had delivered four cases of KB Cold Gold cans and 10 loaves of Tip Top bread to competing yachts at the CYC in Rushcutters Bay.

The competitors? They're cool, calm and collected as they bask in the sunshine having farewell drinks with friends and well-wishers. Kanga Birtles arrives through the 10 o'clock bridge (only an hour late) but even he's not hassled (as  or his crew, well...).

The grand old lady, Wilma Collar is assisted to "Amazing Grace", the yacht SHE will navigate to Suva, after a week in a Manly Hospital bed (four days of which were spent in intensive care).

Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982

ORREFORS TROPHY FOR CREW

As well as the generous gift of four cases of KB Cold Gold cans given to each Yacht in the Suva Race, and the magnificent trophy for the winner (to keep) valued at $4,000, every crew member in the race (126 in all) will receive an inscribed Orrefors glass beer mug. The drinking glasses, on display in the Club's trophy cabinet, are valued at $25 each.

Plenty of Colour on "Widgeon"

When John Bish's Widgeon set sail for Suva it was to be a one-way trip for four of the crew.

Carrying the National flag of Fiji proudly from her backstay and the Burgee of the Royal Suva Yacht Club from the mast head, Widgeon's course was being plotted by the Suva Club's Vice Commodore, Rocky Moody. Also aboard was the islands Chief Magistrate and two other Fijian businessmen including one sporting the National costume as he set the yachts spinnaker pole on the mast at the start.

BIGGEST PLOT YET

The passage of yachts in this year's race was plotted in as many as 10 locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Gosford, Lord Howe Island, Canberra, and Suva. Large grided maps had been forwarded to each Melbourne Club with representatives in the race, these were updated after each sked by Paul Jacka in Melbourne. As well as the one at Middle Harbour, foam replicas of the course, with updating positions, were on display in the OTC window in Martin Place. ln Suva the Royal Club, Trade Winds Hotel and Burns Philp were all sporting KB maps plotting the fleets progress.

And the fleet monitor continued at the Water Police Headquarters in Sydney, Penta Base Radio Complex in Gosford, MV Lulawai Radio monitoring station on Lord Howe Island, and the Australian Coastal Surveillance Centre in Canberra.

So if the fleet felt as though the eyes of the South Pacific world was on them, they were right.

Entrants

I.O.R.

Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982

List of I.O.R. Boats

Boat Owner Boat Type Yacht Club State
Challenge Lou Abrahams S&S 34 Sandringham Yacht Club Victoria
Metung Bill Woodward Payne Royal Yacht Club Victoria
Moonraker Again Noel Welfare Farr 11.6 Port Lincoln Yacht Club South Australia
Sangaree Kanga Birtles Holland 44 Middle Harbour Yacht Club NSW
Seaquesta Alf Neate Dubois 42 Sandringham Yacht Club Victoria
Widgeon John Bish Wombat 42 Royal Suva Yacht Club Fiji
Wimaway Tony Barry Duncanson 35 Middle Harbour Yacht Club NSW
Shiraz Col Green Jarkan 10.5 Botany Bay Yacht Club NSW

Cruising Division

Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982 End of the race in Suva - KB in hand and in need of a tub and Shave

List of Cruising Division Boats

Boat Owner Boat Type Yacht Club State
Amazing Grace Wilma Coller Pompie Ketch Royal Brighton Yacht Club Victoria
Ile Ola Geoff Wood Herresshoff 3 master Royal Geelong Yacht Club Victoria
Jo D'Affaire Peter Welch Laurent Giles Royal Yacht Club Victoria
Micking Bird Don Nicholls Trip Sloop Columbia Yacht Club South Australia
Mulloka II Cliff Wikinson Savage 42 Royal Yacht Club Victoria
Pajen Jack Savage Savage 42 Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron NSW
Ron of Argyll Al Clubb Watson Gaff Cruising Yacht Club of Australia NSW
Wasa Thangi Tony McHugh Adams Ketch Middle Harour Yacht Club NSW
Seabird II David Strong Carbineer Ketch Sandringham Yacht Club Victoria

.

Suva Final Results

Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982
Sydney to Suva Yacht Race 1982

Final Results of IOR

Place Yacht  Skipper Elapsed Time Corrected time
1 Challenge Lou Abrahams 10 17 32 57 09 00 32 50
2 Widgeon John Bish 11 17 32 57 09 04 04 47
3 Seaquesta Alf Neate 11 03 11 04 09 08 26 23
4 Moonraker Again Noel Welfare 12 00 18 58 10 00 53 17
5 Wimaway Tony Barry 15 11 13 14 10 00 53 17
6 Metung Bill Woodward Withdrew  
7 Sangaree Kanga Birtles Withdrew  
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