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.