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Tasmania - Past Prince Phillip Cups in Hobart 1958 and 1961

1958 - The first Prince Philip Cup on the Derwent was the fifth ever Regatta for the Australasian Championship. 
Throughout the regatta the winds were light and mostly fickle.  Local helmsmen regretted there was not one true sea breeze, nor a good nor’ wester.  However, they were beaten by men with greater experience in this type of racing, and to a lesser degree, by luck, in a fleet of 15 boats.

Three races were sailed before the Cup series started.  Skaat (Jack Bennison) won the two at the Sandy Bay Regatta, with Nan (Jock Sturrock), the ex-German Olympic Dragon representative Gustel XI (Jack Linacre) and Lesley Ann (Neal Batt) in the minor placings each day.

The Invitation race was sailed in dull, overcast conditions with a light, fluky sea breeze and was won by Sabre (Mick Brooke), ahead of Kamulla (Graham Nock) Gustel XI and Nan.  Nan took the first Heat, sailed in drizzle, with a fluky southerly.  George Bass (Ken Batt) gained the highest Tasmanian placing - a third.  Nan also won the second heat that had developed into a four-boat race between Gustel XI, Sabre, Kamulla and Nan.
Tasmania’s best chance came in the third heat in a fine but again fluky breeze.  At the last buoy Sabre led Nan with Skaat well back - until the two Victorians luffed one another off the course.  Skaat took advantage of this and split tacks with Nan near the finish line.  Nan led, but Bennison shot Skaat round Nan’s stern and into the wind to take the finish gun by an official margin of one second.  But in winning, Skatt touched the finishing-line buoy.  Bennison claimed Nan went about too close to allow him room to finish, but the Sailing Committee, after a 2¾ hour hearing, dismissed Bennison’s protest and disqualified him.

The Cup was already won when the fourth heat started in the (once more) fluky winds that were a feature of the regatta.  Quickstep gained the best of the start with Pel, but it was Sabre that led the fleet round the first buoy.  The final heat was again Pel’s.  Reveling in the light winds she led from start to finish.  

Jock Sturrock, an Olympic representative in 1948, ‘52 and ’56, when he won the bronze medal in the 5.5 metre Class.  Sturrock won his third Cup with masterly helmsmanship.  His first was with Kamulla in 1954, Paula in ‘55, and Nan in ‘58.  Mick Brooke of Victoria took second place with Sabre in an amazingly consistent series of races.  The titleholder, Bill Fesq of NSW, disappointed in the early heats but, with a fine showing of form, won the last two heats.  However, he started his run too late, and only finished third. The Cup regatta helped the six local boats develop, and has increased enthusiasm among skippers.

1958 PPC placings:

1    Nan    AS Sturrock,    Vic    
2    Sabre    HC Brooke    Vic    
3    Pel    W Fesq    NSW   
4    Kamulla    GN Nock    NSW   
5    Siboney    H Halvorsen    NSW    
6    Skaat    J Bennison    Tas   
7    Sandra II    M Creese    Tas    
8    Gustel XI    JH Linacre    Vic    
9    Lesley Ann    HN Batt    Tas  
10    Slaghoken    NJ Booth    NSW    
11    Katrina    KR Gourlay    Tas    
12    George Bass    K Batt    Tas  
13    Redleaf    L Cooke    Vic   
14    Quickstep    RC Sloman    NSW   
15    Streak    DL McKean    Tas    


1961 - There were 22 starters for the second Prince Philip Cup to be held  in Hobart; 10 from Tasmania, five each from New South Wales and Victoria, and one each from South Australia and Western Australia.  
The six Victorian Dragons were loaded on to three-ton trucks in special cradles and driven aboard the Princess of Tasmania.  On arrival at Devonport the Dragons were driven overland by the crews.

Races were sailed over the new Olympic type course (triangle, sausage, beat) in the middle of the estuary and conditions varied from steady sea breezes to fluky zephyrs but, judging by the number of local boats that stranded themselves looking for 'lifts', local knowledge did not play an important part in the regatta.

The Dragons raced for the CE Davies Trophy and competed at both Royal Hobart Regatta races.  The shake-down race for the CE Davies Memorial Trophy was held in a fairly stiff breeze to set the tone of the competition with a close race.  Ghost III's tiller broke during the final leg, allowing Lill to win.  There was a good breeze for the first Heat.  On the shy run Ghost III's lead opened, with a tight battle for second place shaping up between Eros, Ann, Lill and Merinda.

Conditions were perfect with a steady sea breeze for the second Heat.  Ghost III gradually pegged Merinda back and took the win.
The third heat started in a moderate northerly, but wind strengths and directions varied during the race.  On the second beat, with the breeze fading, Sea Joy IV stood to the west, and won by 56s from Ghost III and Merinda.  The race took 2 hrs 24m 46s, with 11m 20s between Sea Joy IV and the last boat to finish, Elida.  Heat 4 ended as a battle between cousins Ediss and David Boyes in Ann and Merinda.  Sea Joy IV lost a man overboard and then broke her boom.  Each skipper seemed to have his own idea on the best course to sail to get the gun.  In the final 100 yards Ann only just managed to keep Merinda out to take the gun by half a length and give Tasmania its second ever heat win in the Cup.

Victorian cousins Jack and David Linacre in Lill and Gustel XI fought out the final heat, sailed in rather fluky conditions.  Ghost III was in front at the end of the first beat, but in fickle airs she dropped to fifth place.  In the beat to the finish Gustel XI sailed through Lill and took the gun by 7 seconds.


1961 Preince Phillip Cup placings:
1    DKA48    Ghost III    Mick Brooke    Vic    
2    DKA88    Lill    Jack Linacre    Vic   
3    DKA72    Merinda    David Boyes    Tas    
4    DKA70    Ann    Ediss Boyes    Tas    
5    DKA67    Sea Joy IV    Allan Jarman    NSW        
6    DKA32    Lesley Ann    G Cuthbertson    Tas    
7    DKA55    Gustel XI    David Linacre    Vic    
8   DKA64    Alinta    D Jones    Tas     
9    DKA73    Eros    LF Deacon    SA   
10  DKA 71    Adios    Norm Booth    NSW   
11  DKA 68    Elida    (J Buckle)     
12  DKA  78    Slaghoken III    J Carr    NSW   
13  DKA  42    Skatt    Jack Bennison    Tas   
14  DKA  65    Jofranda    Neill Batt    Tas   
15  DKA  58    Red Dragon    AR Bennett    WA  
16  DKA  62    George Bass    (Ken Batt)    Tas  
17  DKA  63    Sandra II    (Max Creese)    Tas    
18                    Maev    N Palmer    NSW  
19  DKA  12    Leander V    R. Franklin    Vic 
20  DKA 26    Streak    DL McKean    Tas    
21                  Blue Bird II    Paul Melody    Vic   

Australia's Dragon Class representative at the Rome Olympics last year, Mick Brooke, sailed his Ghost III to a well-merited and popular win.  It was his eighth National title; six in 14-footers between 1920 and ‘32, and the 12 sq. metre title in 1937.  Brooke had been close to winning the coveted PPC trophy before but it eluded him until this year.  Runner-up was Jack Linacre in his Danish-built Lill, with David Boyes, of Tasmania, sailing his Merinda to the State's best-ever placing of third.  Then came Ann (Ediss Boyes), title-holder Allan Jarman of NSW in Sea Joy IV, and Lesley Ann (Geoff Cuthbertson).

Many costly imported boats were seen in action, but locally-built craft performed equally as well as their more expensive foreign sisters.  The spectacle of 22 different coloured spinnakers proved a colourful and unforgettable spectacle on the river.  Best represented boat builder was Geoff Cuthbertson, of Hobart, who had five of his Dragons racing.

The Australian International Dragon Class Association was formed during the regatta to foster racing; to be affiliated with the International Yacht Racing Union; take the place of the individual State Associations; maintain the registration and records of Australian-owned Dragons; and promote annual meetings between State measurers.  Tasmania was represented by Don Mclndoe and Geoff Cuthbertson.

1963 English Speaking Union Cup - Hobart

1963 saw the third-ever English Speaking Union Cup sailed on the Derwent, the inaugural event was sailed at Newport, Rhode Island, in September 1961.  The English-Speaking Union is an international educational charity founded in 1918.  With 35 branches in the United Kingdom and over 50 international ESUs in countries around the world, the ESU promotes the use of English as a shared language and means of international communication of knowledge and understanding in a non-political and non-sectarian manner.


The new international event quickly achieved a highly respected standing; Jack Linacre and Lill won the second event on Poole Bay, England.


In 1962 Germany had 250 registered Dragons, the United Kingdom and Sweden 215, the United States 178, France 155, Australia 96, Denmark 50, Holland 40, Norway 38; Ireland 36, Finland 33, Belgium 28, Italy 23, Portugal 18, Spain 16 and Greece 15.  There were more than 40 Dragons in NSW.  There were between 1,800 and 2,000 certified Dragons in Europe. International Dragons were owned and sailed by nobility, including Crown Prince’s Constantine of Greece and Henrik of Denmark.


Hobart was the local point of international sport for 10 days in 1963 when nineteen entries from Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Denmark, the United States and Bermuda competed in the first international sporting event conducted in Tasmania, and only the second in Australia (the first being the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956).  It was the first time the ESU Cup had been raced in the Southern Hemisphere.

Crews were well represented by the cream of the Dragon World including Ole Berntsen from Denmark and Martin Parry from England, considered by many at the time as the reigning king of the Dragons and main contender for the Dragon crown.

The Course was an Olympic course circle of 2 miles diameter in the area close to the City.  Grandstand views could be obtained from Bellerive Bluff in the east and Alexandra Battery on the western side of the Derwent.  HMAS Huon acted as committee boat and steam ferries we available for spectators.

Some of the competitors were;

  • Lalaguli (aboriginal for water nymph) skippered by Eric Strain but owned by Paul Kelly.  Eric represented the UK at the Olympic Games in 1948 and 1956 and won the Gold Cup on the Clyde in 1947.

  • White Lady, owned by Ole Berntsen from Denmark, won the series.  His closing remarks were: "My crew has enjoyed every minute of their stay in Tasmania.  It was just like home - or better."

  • Southern Star, built in Scandinavia and owned by Norman Booth of Sydney, was christened at the RYCT before the first race. 

  • Christine 94, was built especially for the series by Geoff Cuthbertson of Tasmania. 

  • Other Cuthbertson built boats were Alinta, Moana, Lesley Ann, Merinda and George Bass.


1963 ESU Cup Results 

 Place                                                     Owner                                         Helm                            Country     

1     DD 166               White Lady                 O Berntsen                                O Berntsen                    Denmark                      

2     DKA 70               Ann                            EA Boyes                                    EA Boyes                      Australia                   

3     DKA 107             Southern Star             NG Booth                                   NG Booth                      Australia                      

4     DK 381               Vara                            Sir Gordon Smith                        EM Parry                      U.K.                               

5     DKB 5                 Ghost III                    Under Charter                            A Brownlow Eve           Bermuda      

6     DKA63               Sandra II                     DC Calvert                                 DC Calvert                   Australia   

7     DKA 100             Volare                         JH Linacre                                  JH Linacre                   Australia                       

8     DKA 94               Christine                     GCuthbertson                            G Cuthbertson             Australia                      

9     DKA 74               Lalaguli                      PR Kelly                                      WE H Strain                  Australia                       

10   DKA 32               Lesley Ann                 EC Messenger                            EC Messenger             Australia                       

11   DKA 64               Alinta                          DG Jones, Snr.                           DG Jones, Jnr.              Australia                       

12   DKA 85               Janlyn                        JC Bridge                                   JC Bridge                      Australia                       

13   DKA 72               Merinda                     DA Boyes                                    DA Boyes                     Australia                      

14   DKA 62               George Bass             AE Palfreyman DE Mclndoe        PH Jones                      Australia                       

15   DKA 49               Katrina                        SJ Clarke                                    SJ Clarke                      Australia                       

16   DKA 65               Jofranda                     JW Ayers                                    JW Ayers                       Australia                       

17   DKA 84               Moana                        CA Woods                                  R Brooke                        N.Z.                               

18   DKA 101             Gazelle                       NL Hibbs                                    NL Hibbs                       Australia                         

19   DD 175               Maj-Britt                      A Holm                                       A Holm                           Denmark                              

20   DUS111              Lynette                       Under Charter                            Jay Lewis                       U.S.A.                                    

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