August 2 - 8, 2015: Issue 225

The Currawong: Classic Yacht

The Currawong on Pittwater - Pittwater Regattas of the 1930's - Image:  hood_06523h, courtesy State Library of NSW


With a fresh sea breeze helping to solve the problem of keeping cool, and a misty haze concealing the glare of the sun, both yachtsmen and spectators found ideal conditions at the thirty second annual Pittwater Regatta held at Broken Bay yesterday

The holiday spirit was still much in evidence and every motor cruiser and launch sported yards of gaily-coloured bunting and pennants fluttering from their mastheads. As most of the guests had spent Christmas at Broken Bay In various ships, everyone was well sun-tanned, and informal sports clothes, with backless playsuits leading in popularity, were well to the fore ...


The Commodore of the Royal Motor Yacht Club, Broken Bay, Mr A P Walker, who sailed to Broken Bay on Monday, gave a luncheon party on board his ship, Lolita, and in the afternoon took his ...


Miss Vera Andrews, who kept cool in a navy and white printed suit with a halter neckline, entertained with her father on board the Swerdna ...

One of the few girls in racing yachts was Miss Sheila Pring, who skippered her father's ship Currawong during the afternoon. Another yacht with women passengers on board was the Sirius, in which Mr Nossiter and his sons, Messrs Harold, Jack and Dick Nossiter entertained Mr and Mrs. F. E, Colbert and Miss Peggy Colbert.

COMMODORE A. D WALKER, MRS. R. C. LESLIE, MR. ERIC ROWELL, ALAN ROWELL, MRS. ROWELL, and MRS. W. CARRAD on board Mr. Walker's Lolita at the annual Pittwater Regatta yesterday. HOLIDAY SPIRIT AT REGATTA. (1938, December 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from


A recent email from John Vaughan stated

"These photos tell the story of a sad, slow death of a classically built, vintage yacht beached at Dangar Island on the Hawkesbury River.

CURRAWONG is so well constructed that she could with much tender loving care and a deep pocket, be restored. Time is rapidly running out for this beautiful, veteran yacht at a notice of imminent destruction has been glued to her hull.

Ahoy!, calling all wooden boat lovers to rally around a great cause and save the CURRAWONG for future generations to enjoy and appreciate!"



John's pictures of the Currawong 

We got in touch with a gentleman who is a Historian on the Hawkesbury and also knows the owner. He wrote back

"She was put on the beach after a collision with another vessel during a foggy run last year and she sprang some planking and was taking in water. She was sitting upright with halyards attached from the mast top to both jetties on either side of her, but at some stage one of the halyards broke and she ended up on her side, where she's been ever since. Ray hasn't inspected her since so is unable to tell me whether any ribs or planking were broken when she went over. Ray owns the block with jetty and boatshed where she is, but it is going up for auction very soon and Currawong will need to be moved regardless.

The upshot of all this is that Ray would be happy to give her away to a person or group interested in getting her sailing again. He would leave all fittings on her, including one set of sails in reasonable condition. There is no motor in her, however at the time of her being hit by the ferry he had just taken the old motor out and his neighbour had sourced a Yanmar diesel to put in her. He is pretty sure that he can give that motor away as well, but will confirm that today. As Ray hasn't been on board her since she went over, he is worried that some things may have been scavenged. I am ringing him when I go to look at her around 10am to see what is on board. All he wants off her are some personal belongings and one set of sails that belong to a friend. Once I've inspected her and looked at the date of disposal I will get back to you.

Currawong was built in 1926 and was a one- off design by the boatbuilder who had the shed right at the end of Lavender Bay. Ray has forgotten the boatbuilder's name. She's a beautiful boat, and while Ray has a deep emotional attachment to her, he is pragmatic enough to know he has neither the time or finances to restore her to her former glory, but would be happy to see other interested people take on the project."

We lovers of all these wonderful old yachts had to find out a bit more about her of course, and found several legendary yachtsmen and their children had helped her to fly when she was younger. The Currawong appears to have been a Prince Alfred Yacht Club winner during the 1930's originally, winning races on the Harbour as well as being part of Pittwater Regatta's, went south in 1940 and became the property of a the Minister for Housing in Victoria by the end of WWII, was almost wrecked on a voyage to Tasmania, and somehow found her way home again to Broken Bay waters.

Some of what we could find is a beautiful name-chant of wonderful yachts, and the Curawong among them:

Million Pounds Worth of Yachts Made Wonderful Display in Farm Cove - Men in All Walks of Life Welcomed Royal Visitors

Yachtsmen made a remarkable display Hinder 'dressed-ship' conditions and bunting in Farm Cave, and it is doubtful whether so many boats were ever grouped together at any previous event. It was a wonderful sight to-see the stately yachts -with their big imported mainsails glittering in the sunlight working across the harbor for the purpose of taking up a position in the allotted area from Mrs. Macquarie's chair leading up into the bight, which, forms the picturesque Farm Cove. Speedy motor launches on the register of -the Royal Motor Yacht Club of N.S. Wales darted all over the place,- and were supported by several other flyers, which came up the coast all the way from Sans Souci as the representatives Of the St George Motor Boat Club.  Yachtsmen were up before daybreak in order to get their boats in proper trim. Many of the crews had spent the night aboard, and when the visitors began to put in an appearance, they, found every thing in readiness. Extra anchors had been taken on board  in order to produce the extra steadiness that was required for anchoring in Farm Cove, where the water was exceptionally deep, averaging- from six to nine fathoms.  Racing sails were discarded for cruising ones while many of the boats did not raise their sails, preferring to rely on engines, many of which, throbbed for the first time this year. The number of boats that took tip anchorage in Farm Cove totalled 210, and they were representatives of the Royal i-Sydney Yacht Squadron, Royal Prince Alfred Club, Prince Edward Club, Sydney ;Amateur Sailing Club, Royal Motor Yacht Club of N.S.W., St. George Motor Boat Club, and the Lane Cove 12ft 'Sailing Skifi Club. 

The big open boats were not re presented, -which is to be regretted, particularly as they have far more boats on their registers than the yacht clubs. The Sydney Flying Squadron has a taring fleet of 32, carrying 'working hands' totalling 320. This type of boat always makes a spectacular showing, but, as there was a big element of risk of damage in the fairway, the members preferred to leave their boats in the sheds. – 


There were many notable yachts at anchorage, and it was estimated that the value ran into more than £1,000,000.They carried prominent citizens in all 'walks of life, and the craft, with their wonderful lines, won the admiration of i-ho crowds who waited patiently for the Royal party to reach the landing stage. -' The first boat to catch the eye of the visitors was Mistral IX, the handsome schooner-rigged yacht, the property of Mr. E. P. Simpson, the well-known solicitor, and vice-commodore of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. With her two tall, stately wireless fitted masts, she was the talk of the crowd, and many who were unacquainted with boat building costs, I often asked the value of such a boat.  The craft was built at Sydney, and it is believed to be worth easily £6000. Nearest to Mistral IX. was Sayonara, owned and sailed by Mr. Paul Ross, rear-commodore of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, and a member of the committee of the Royal Prince Alfred Club. Next came Rawhiti, a craft with green topsides, the fastest racing yacht on Port Jackson, and five years champion of the class. She is the property of Mr. Frank Albert, and is sailed by Mr. Arthur Stevens, with the assistance of Lient. Alexis Albert. Other yachts noticed in close proximity were: Revonah, Mr. Albert's handsome cabin yacht, with a bridge deck ; Sea Scout, the heavy auxiliary yacht belonging to Mr. Harry Shelley ; Enn-na-Mara (Mr. Andrew Wilson, vice-commodore of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, and manager and secretary of the Australian Gaslight Co.) ; Prince Alfred (Mr. E. P. Andreas, rear-commodore of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club); Bona (Mr. H J. Fitzpatrick owner, Mr. R. L. Patrick, skipper) ; White Kings (Mr. N. L. R. Griffin) ; Hermione, a yawl-rigged 'aft (Mr. W. J. Buchanan) ; Utiekah II- (Mr. H. Nossiter) ; Nanoya (Mr. S. H. Fairland) Cynisca (Mr. F. J, S. Young) ; Mayrah (Mr. H. Tracey) ;Wirrimura (Dr. B. Cooley) ; Koonya, (Mr. W. J. Dalgarno) ; Dawn (Mr. O Backhouse) ; Scarab (Dr. Cyril [Shepherd, vice-commodore of the Prince Edward Club) ; Latona (Mr. H. Whiddon. (Rear-commodore Prince Edward Club) ; Mischief (Mr. Alfred G. Milson, chairman of the Anniversary Regatta, and a yachtsman of 60 years' standing) ; Opal (Mr. P. A. Mclntosh) ; Modewena (Mr. Arnold C. Cook, commodore of the Broken Bay branch of the Royal Motor Yacht Club) ; Bunty (Mr. L. C. Waterman) ; Nyria (Mr. E. J. Bayley Mac arthur). 


An early visitor, and one of the first to take up his allotted position, was ex Judge G. H. Fitzhardinge, a wonderful personality on the waterfront, despite his age of SO years. He sailed his 22ft open boat, Mia Mia, to Farm Cove, and his crew consisted mostly of girls, who were said to be grandchildren. Nearest to the Mia Mia was Maud (Mr. H. Halvorsen), the latest addition to the amateur racing fleet; Niobe (Mr. Jack Back house), Riawena (Dr. Hamilton Kirk land), Sea Rover (Mr. Claude Plowman, hon. treasurer Sydney Amateur Club), Caprice (Mr. A. J. Stone), Wyuna (Mr. C-.W. Robson, captain and racing secretary to the Sydney Amateur Club), Ran a (Mr. R. H. C. Down, commodore of the Sydney Amateur Club), Acielle (the handsome cruiser of Mr. J. F. Jackson, vice-commodore of the Royal Motor Yacht Club), Fortuna (Mr. George Weymonth, ex-commodore of the Royal Motor Yacht Club), Rodrick (Mr. H. Lorimer), Theodora (Mr. L. M. Barker), Miss Fernie, Mr. S. Anderson (commodore of the St. George Club), Mischief (Capt. Stanley Spain), Olive (Mr. Septimus Stevens), Snowdrop (Mr. Walter Rayment), Edna (F. Humphrey). Vice-commodore E. C. Gale, of the Sydney Amateur Club, had a spectacular position with June Bird, being moored directly opposite the landing stage. Other boats noticed were Tooma, Vailele, Norma, Currawong, Viking, Redwing, My Pet, Wanderer, Brolga, Camira, Warripa, Arathea, Margaret Ann, Thalassa, Beryl, Curlew, Gertrude,Willangi, Dolora, Arawa, Avalon, Adranee, Petrel, Vision, Wendawee, Edith, Varuna, and Chance (Lane Cove Club), Whimbel, Wenarah, Bonito, Mackerel, Blue Bird, Oenone, Carina, Banyandah, Moth, Sea Girl, Penguin, Bimbo, Dolores, Seattle. Normal, Cincinnati, Albatross, Isis, 000, Zoe, Nell, Boomerang, Iona, Miss Edna, Nereid, Avona, Letty, Boreas. There were many other craft on the harbor which did not take up an anchor age but put out to sea. These included the new boats recently built for Messrs. Percy S. and W. E. Arnott, of biscuit fame. Both boats attracted much attention.

When the Royal party arrived off Mrs. Macquarie's Chair they were given a remarkable ovation by the yachtsmen, who lined the decks and saluted. Then they cheered, and, backed up by their passengers, created a din, with the aid of sirens, that could be heard miles away. The arrangements were carried out to the letter in the plan of campaign drawn up by the Harbor Trust, Water Police, and the yacht clubs. As. there was an absence of wind, not the slightest hitch occurred, and the yachtsmen were complimented for the remarkable way in which they did their part of the work, as they gave the water police practically no trouble. Million Pounds' Worth of Yachts Made Wonderful Display in Farm Cove. (1927, March 27). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 3. Retrieved from 

Yacht Currawong - Yachts Change Hands

Mr. Jim Alderton, a member of the R.P.A. Yacht Club, has disposed of his handsome cruiser,  Currawong, and has purchased the well-known coach-house cruiser, The Jack. Yachts Change Hands. (1928, April 18). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 16. Retrieved  from 

FITZPATRICK'S DOUBLE.Mr. H. J. Fitzpatrick was the happiest of all yachtsmen, and he had every reason to be as he scored a double victory on Saturday. In addition to the success of the deep keeler, Bona, his dinghy of the same name won the cadet 12 ftclass, defeating the champion Monsoon, by lmin 5sec in a scratch race. The winner was sailed by J. Alderton, junior, who, at the Pittwater Regatta, the week previous had won his father's trophy. It is interesting to recall that Alderton, senior, was the founder of the class, and for years has enjoyed a scat on the committee of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. ACROSPIRE IN ACTION. (1928, January 11). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 14. Retrieved from

Her new owner was Philip Pring, a gentleman who sat on the Sydney Stock Exchange and was the son of a prominent and popular Sydney Supreme Court Judge, Justice Robert Darlow Pring :

Miss Sheila Pring, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. P. Pring, of Vaucluse, Sydney, it a keen yachting enthusiast, and frequently sails her father's yacht, the Currawong. (Dorothy Welding, Sydney, photograph.) NOTES from THE CAPITALS. (1933, October 21). The Australasian(Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 11 Edition: METROPOLITAN EDITION. Retrieved from 

PRING'S RUNAWAY WIN. Rare Skill at Tiller

ANOTHER young skipper with a great future was brought to light at the Pittwater regatta on Broken Bay, N.S.W., on December 29. He is Phillip Pring, junr., a grandson of the late Mr. Justice Pring. He made his first appearance at the tiller of his father's deep keel yacht, Currawong, in the Wanderer Handicap for cruisers. 'What young Pring did to the rest of the fleet was a shame' said an old-timer, but he demonstrated that as a helmsman he was one of the best talented youths seen at a tiller of a big yacht for many years. Currawong simply bolted all round the course to defeat Richard Windeyer's Blue Bird by over three quarters of an hour. The victory was so hollow that even veteran officials like Fred Adams and Tom Mulhall, could hardly credit the performance, but everything was found to be in order. Later, in the day young Pring handed over the tiller to his father, who is a member of the Sydney Stock Exchange, but he had the laugh on the head of the family when the Currawong hit a sandbank and remained fast for hours. PRING'S RUNAWAY WIN. (1935, January 3). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 12. Retrieved from

And she quickly continued her wining:



THE latest addition to the yacht-racing fleet on N.S.W. waters, .Claude Plowman's Sjo-Ro, a six-metre craft, and the only one of her kind on Port Jackson, put up a meritorious performance in the long ocean race for the Basin Cup on Saturday. The course was from Neutral Bay to Lion Island and back, and was sailed in a brisk nor'-easter. The contest called for a flying start, with handicaps deducted at the finish, and as was anticipated, Frank Packer's Morna led from start to finish, but she was so severely handicapped that when  the times were deducted she was placed sixth.


Sjo-Ro, which failed to win a heat in the Northcote Cup, recently sailed in Melbourne, proved a fast craft both on and off a wind, but Mr. Plowman had the misfortune to tear the main shroud when in the vicinity of Lion Island. It  took the crew 23 minutes; to repair the damage, but the skipper never gave up hope. Morna rounded Lion Island 1min6sec before Norn, which led Brand V by0min 45sec. Then followed Vanessa, Thetis, Windward (schooner), and SjoRo, which was 48min 02sec behind the leader. On the run home over a course of 23 miles, Sjo-Ro sailed smartly, and was eventually declared the winner by2min over J. M. Hardie's schooner Windward. Plowman's craft was on a start of 95min, while Windward received 65min.Dr. R. I. Furber's Thetis (60min) was third. It was Sjo-Ro's second win of the season.  The heavy cruisers' ocean race for Norman Wallls' trophy over a course of 26 nautical miles, was won by Phillip Pring's  Currawong  (10min), which defeated H. E. Ryve's Ranston (35min) by2min 15sec. Wanderer (Norman Wallis)(19min) was third, followed by Aoma (L.Menzies) (scr), and Firefly (Dr. R. Francis). SMALL YACHT'S GREAT FEAT. (1935, January 24). Referee(Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 11. Retrieved from 

And played with all the other yachts:


WHEN the yacht racing season opens up on Sydney Harbor on October 5. under the auspices of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, there will be four ex-Tasmanian craft in commission. They are R. F. Graham's 'Culwulla IV,' J. M. Hardie's 'Windward,' and A- J. Stone's 'Ozone,' and Dr. R, I. Furber's 'Thetis.' J. R. Palmer has had improvements made to 'Brand V,' and Eric Pratten has had the Sayonara Cup holder, 'Vanessa,' completely overhauled.' The former Victorian. 'Thea,' to be sailed by R. H.Patrick, will have a new hollow mast and gaff, and new Australian-made sails.

A BIG fleet of heavy cruisers will race, including 'Cuthona V (Dr. T. M. Furber), '^Wanderer' (Norman Wallis),'Spumedrift' (J. W. Jira), 'Aoma' (L. Menzies), 'Currawong ‘ (Phillip Pring) ;'Blue Bird' (R. Windeyer, K.C.), 'Alice'(.T. Icher), 'Athene' (D. Garment), 'Fire-fly (Dr. Francis), 'Clutha,' and 'Endeavor.' 'Alice' was formerly the yawl 'Hermoine,' built In Tasmania and raced by Mr. Harry Walker. ACTIVITY IN SAILING AND YACHTING. (1935, September 19).Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 16. Retrieved from 


The calendar may tell a different story, but to Sydney people summer starts when the sailing season does. Saturday afternoon, with a blue sky, the authentic summer sparkle on the water, and a wind crisp enough to keep the yachts  swiftly moving without being strong enough to remove wide-brimmed hats from the heads of feminine onlookers, was a perfect day for it. Added to this, the lovely situation of the Kirribilli clubhouse and the colourful gardens made the opening day of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron one of the most pleasant events of the social season.

Interest In the races was keen, so by 3 o'clock the clubhouse and the grounds were crowded, spectators watching the events from the wide verandahs of the club or from the lower lawns and jetty. Some obtained a nearer view by staying on the yachts not taking part in the races, for these were anchored in a line close Inshore. Sayonara, belonging to the club commodore (Mr. Paul Ross) was anchored closest to the club Jetty, and then commodore). Blue Bird (Mr. R. Windeyer).Cuthonna (Dr. T. M. Furber). Boomerang(Mr. Frank Albert), and Currawong (Mr. P.Pring), the last conspicuous among all the other white yachts because of its attractive leaf green colouring. WHITE SAILS. (1935, October 21). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

Mr Pring had her modified:


Currawongs unsatisfactory performances last season, compared with those of the previous season, have been the cause of much speculation among yachtsmenMr. Philip Pring, owner of Currawong, said yesterday that the yacht had a hollow mast and a new suit of sails, but half-way through the season he found that the yacht was out of balance, and would not sail to windward in either light or heavy breezes. He was so disgusted that he withdrew from the heavy cruiser races and placed the yacht in the hands of a shipbuilder, who, as far as sailing was concerned, had made a new ship of her. The rake of the mast had been altered considerably, a new sail plan altered the new mainsail, and the new jib had been discarded. The boom has been cut down by about 3ft 61n. A permanent backstay had been installed, and a permanent bumpkin fixed to take it. YACHT CURRAWONG. (1936, April 24). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 15. Retrieved from 

And she went back to winning races:


THE eighth annual Vaucluse Regatta, held off Watson's Bay yesterday, was one of the greatest achievements of the season. FROM a spectacular and racing: point of view, it put the Anniversary Regatta in the shade. In addition, there was a greater social atmosphere, and there was no stand-off attitude by the officials.

VAUCLUSE Regatta Is destined to become the hub of the aquatic world on Sydney Harbor. The entries exceeded all expectations, and the cooperation of the various competitors helped to make the function a most popular one. The only fly in the ointment was the poor roll-up of the eigbteens on the register of the New South Wales League. Minnawatta arrived late, and there were only four starters. It was demonstrated that the Sunday fleet was bard-pressed to obtain crews as the majority were sailing with the Sydney Flying Squadron. The event was won by All British (B. Barnett), which defeated Cornstalk(Chook Fraser) after the latter had led all round the course.

NORN'S FIRST WIN Though Prank Packer's Morna was first to finish In the All Yacht's race, she could not concede the long handicaps deducted at the finish. Alexis Albert scored his Initial success of the season with Nom. It was a popular win, as he had recently recovered from a severe Illness. The girl skipper, Miss S. Patrick, had another win, piloting the North Shore dinghy Mistral to victory. Against the hard sou'-wester this young woman displayed rare cleverness. Heavy Cruising Yachts Handicap, 10 nnullr.Rl miles: Curruwong (P. Pring), limln., 1: VAUCLUSE REGATTA POPULAR. (1937, February 14). Truth(Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from

UNDER WHITE AND RUSTLING SAILS ON SYDNEY HARBOUR. MISS MARIE DELAUNAY, who is a frequent guest on board Mr. Philip Pring's yacht. Currawong, chooses a yachting outfit of green and white. UNDER WHITE AND RUSTLING SAILS ON SYDNEY HARBOUR. (1937, October 28). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 19. Retrieved from

FOR WOMEN- FAIR SKIPPERS IN SATURDAY'S YACHT RACESWomen skippers were at the tillers of yachts in the "Ladies' Day" races organised on Saturday afternoon by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Kirribilli Point. From left to right are some of the competitors: MRS. K. H. PRESTON (London), in the Judith Pihl; MISS SHEILA PRING in the Currawong; MISS MARION CARMENT, in Athene; and MRS. C. C. COGHLAN, in Aeolus.

"LADIES' DAY" ON HARBOUR. Women at the Helm.

Women skippers proved their nautical prowess at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's "Ladies Day" races held on Saturday afternoon, off Kirribilli Point, when two races were contested with women at the tillers.

The majority of the skippers had crews composed of men and the married women chose their husbands for assistance. It was a perfect day for sailing and the absence of too violent a wind was responsible for the soignee appearance of the skippers.


Racing for the first time in Sydney since she was here six years ago was Mrs. K. H. Preston of London who was in command of the Judith Pihl. Mrs. Preston wore a pair of beautifully tailored navy linen slacks, a navy shirt and a navy and white handkerchief round her head. Her husband also in navy and white was a member of the crew.

Miss Sheila Pring (right) at the tiller of the Currawong had her father Mr. Philip Pring to bear her company Miss Pring wore white linen slacks and a white shirt. Her colour scheme was continued in the rims of her dark glasses.

Dr. Hamilton Kirkland gave an assisting hand to Mrs. Kirkland in the Clipper. Mrs. Kirkland wore a sky blue shirt with her navy slacks and an upturned hat of white linen.


In the Josephine named after their daughter were Mr and Mrs A C Buckle Mrs Buckle wore a suit of heavy French blue men and a silk shirt striped in yellow and vhlte Miss Josephine Buckle wore a plav uit of white pique patterned In a nautical design in red and blue

One of the most attractive competitors was Miss Marion Carment in the Athene. She matched her red and green starting pennant with a playsuit of linen patterned in these colours. Miss Carment was hatless and wore her fair hair with a plaited halo. 

Miss Mary Goddnid In the Era wore a yellow shirt with her grey flannel shorts and tied a coloured handkerchief round her neck Ali in white was Mrs C C Coghlan skipper of the Aeolus whose husband Dr Coghlan was also on board. She wore white sharkskin shorts and a matching silk shirt.  FOR WOMEN. (1939, March 20). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

Yachtswomen at the Helm 

NOW that the sailing season is drawing to a close, Sydney's yachting fraternity is making the most of the week-ends still left, and for the last few Sundays the harbor has been crowded with yachts. On Saturday, when the Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club brought its season to a close, womenfolk had a chance to prove their prowess at the tiller. Morna Mackenzie handled Moby Dick expertly, and I saw Mrs. T. M. Furber at the tiller of her husband's yacht, Cuthonna. Sheila Pring, of course, never misses a race, and she skippered her father's boat, Currawong. Intimate Jottings. (1939, April 1). The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 41. Retrieved from

Trying to find out who owned which boat and where they went and what they were then named or where and when they were built can lead you to the Ship's Register, and for good measure, into the sailing races of the past. You can see them flying, hear the sails snap as the wind fills them, smell the salt and a ten minute search for information can turn into a ten month odyssey of delight:



THE approaching sailing and yachting season will be the biggest in the history of the sport , judging by the exceptionally large increase in the racing fleet . Special interest is sure to be taken in the new boats*There will be two 18ft craft added to the register of the Sydney Flying Squadron;. six to the New South Wales 18ft Sailing League; eight to the Greenwich 12ft Flying Squadron; five to the Middle Harbor 16ft skiffs;: three to the Port Jaclcson 16ft Skiffs; four to the Vaucluse 12ft Skiffs ;and one to the Drummoyne 16ft Skiffs, rpi-IE interstate six-metre yachting A championship will be decided on New South 'Wales waters; 10ft skiff national title at Perth; 12ft skiff championship at Brishane; 10ft dinghy championship at Sydney: and the international 12ft 'Sharpie' title at Adelaide.The 18ft Australian championship forthe big type boats will be conducted bythe Sydney Flying Squadron after alapse of two years, while Queensland willdefend the 18ft national race for the newslim type craft.

DUNCAN McPHIE'S 18ft 'PastimeIII' was successfully launched at Double Bay from the yards of W. Pearce. She looks a powerful craft, and In her trials with Ossie Hahn at the helm, showed plenty of speed. Tom Tait's new craft, 'Springbok,' to replace 'Eclipse II,' will be ready to-morrow, and will appear in the opening contest on September 28. Mr. J. J. Watt's new eighteen of the skiff type has been finished by Charlie Hayes, and will be known as 'Minnawatta.' The veteran 'Australia' for many years sailed by W. Fisher, will be in the hands of J. Courtney, ex-Rugby League representative forward, who was formerly recognised as a clever for'ardhand. Bert Swinbourne will sail 'Gweneth.' This craft last year won the championship of the Sydney Flying Squadron under the name of 'H. C.Press III.' The new 'H. C. Press'. will, be in the hands of her owner-builder.George Press.- Sid. Barnett, junr. formerly of the 18ft 'Argo,' 'Scot,' , and 'Cutty Sark,' has been offered the helm of Mr. S. Sheldon's new boat,''Lois.'


PORT JACKSON Iflft Skiff Club, established In IflOl, continues to make excellent progress, and will again be managed by many of last year's officials. W. Mitchell, an original president, has retired in favor of Mr. W. Lyng. Mr. Roy E. Millard, the well-known yachtsman. continues as patron; Mr.' A. M. Turner as commodore;- Mr. T-. B. Carver as vice-,commodore. Mr. B. Jones as rear commodore. Mr. Wal.. Aazonl. for the seventh successive year, retains the office of Hon secretaiy, and hls assistant is Mr. D. T.Uovd; The hon. treasurer is Mr. A.McKay, .with Messrs. D. B. Carver, and G. A. Lloyd as: auditors. The headquarters have been changed from the Sports Club to the rooms of the New South Wales Rugby League, Phillip Street.


EX-SOUTH Australian skipper, N.T-Inrrison. opened the season of the Drummoyne Club f N.S.W.) on Saturday. in a most sensational manner, winning the scratch race and handicap for the Tom Payne trophy with the 10ft 'Blue Peter.' The craft proved a flyer in the light air. In the scratch race she defeated the ex-Queenslander, 'Betty II.' now owned by A. Fngan. and raced as 'Awnnul.' by .lmin. 'Irene' (T. Livesay) was third, and 'Endeavor' (H. Price) fourth. In the handicap 'Blue Peter,' 'off Rmln, beat 'Irene' (73mln).with 'Awanui' third, and 'Jessie' (G. Rroomhend). 93min, fourth.The club has a new secretary in Mr.F. Dearing, a son of that well-known boat builder, Edgar Dearing, of Drummoyne.


WHEN the yacht racing season opens up on Sydney Harbor on October 5  under the auspices of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, there will be four ex-Tasmanian craft in commission. They are R. F. Graham's 'Culwulla IV,' J. M. Hardie's 'Windward,' and A- J. Stone's 'Ozone,' and Dr. R, I. Furber's 'Thetis.'J. R. Palmer has had improvements made to 'Brand V,' and Eric Pratten has had the Sayonara Cup holder, 'Vanessa,' completely overhauled.' The former Victorian. 'Thea,' to be sailed by R. h.Patrick, will have a new hollow mast and gaff, and new Australian-made sails.

A BIG fleet of heavy cruisers will race, including 'Cuthona' (Dr. T. M. Furber), 'Wanderer' (Norman  Wallis),'Spumedrift' (J. W. Jlra), 'Aoma' (L..; Menzies), 'Currawong’ (Phillip Pring) ;'Blue Bird' (R. Windeyer, K.C.), 'Alice'(.T. Icher), 'Athene' (D. Garment), 'Fire-fly (Dr. Francis), 'Clutha,' and 'En-deavor.' 'Alice' was formerly the yawl 'Hermoine,' built In Tasmania and raced by Mr. Harry Walker. ACTIVITY IN SAILING AND YACHTING. (1935, September 19).Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 16. Retrieved from 

In 1939 she left us for a while and had her winning way further south:

AUXILIARY YACHT CURRAWONG, recently sailed from Sydney to Geelong, in splendid condition. Owner must sell on account of ill health. Will take best offer. This fine Racing Cruiser is exceptionally well found, perfectly litte galley, new lavatory, electric light, fadeless linen coverings, sleeps six in comfort. Búllalo Marine Engine gives power speed of 7 to 8 knots. Three suits of sails and all racing extras. Everything in perfect order. Recently valued by two Independent experts at £1000. Any Trial or test. Apply H. COX. Leopold. Victoria. Advertising. (1940, February 17). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from

GEELONG. THIS DAY. At Three O'clock. At the ROYAL GEELONG YACHT CLUB (By Courtesy-). RACING YACHT CURRAWONG, Specially Adapted for Cruising. 4 Bunks, 14-hp Marine Engine, Are.. The Vendor Determined to Realise. J. W. S T Y L E S and SON, Auctioneers, 340 Collins St. M4255 (2 lines).  Advertising. (1940, May 15). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 12. Retrieved from 


Currawong won the yacht race around Port Phillip for the Lady Nelson trophy yesterday, finishing inside her allotted time. Flat calm conditions prevailed at the start, and Astrid was left drifting on the line for 30 minutes. Later a light northerly sprang up, and all boats moved off at fair speed. Fluky patches of wind were encountered until yesterday morning, when mast of the boats sailed up from Queens-cliff into a fresh northerly. Sonia, first boat to finish, crossed the line at Brighton soon after 8am. CURRAWONG WINS RACE ROUND BAY. (1947, March 10).The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 14. Retrieved from 


HAVING completed repairs necessitated by a severe battering off  the East Coast of Tasmania while on route from Hobart to Melbourne, 'the 35ft. Marconi-rigged yacht Currawong left Launceston at 10 pm yesterday on the first stage of her journey to Melbourne.

The owner (Mr G. A. Warner)said the Tamar Yacht Club had gone out of its way to assist members of his crew, and the Commodore (Mr E.-Massey) put his work-shop at their disposal to make repairs to the engine.

The Currawong left Hobart on Feb. 22 on her way to Melbourne but when off St. Helens they meta strong north-westerly and the yacht "took a hiding." It took a week to travel from Hobart, including three days to come up the Tamar.

Special permission was obtained to carry a wireless transmitter but when asking for a weather report the transmitter failed because of salt water getting in the mechanism.

Mr G. A. Warner's father, Mr A. G. Warner, managing director of Radio Corporation, will fly to Launceston from Melbourne tomorrow, and Mr Ken Caldecott will join the yacht at Beauty Pt. The other member of the crew will be Mr. Bert Taylor.

The Currawong was built in Sydney in 1926 and is registered with the Royal Brighton Sailing Club. YACHT LEAVES LAUNCESTON FOR MELBOURNE. (1946, March 14). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from 

State Minister's Yacht Wins Malta Cup

Mr Warner, State Minister for Housing, sailed his 35ft yacht Currawong to victory in the all class handicap for the Malta Cup sailed by Royal Brighton Yacht Club on Saturday. Currawong carried her big "extra" sails throughout the race, and finished well within her handicap. Results: ROYAL BRIGHTON Malta Cup All Class Handicap Currawong (A G Warner), 4 43 51. 1 B and C Class Division Lolita (R Farrow), 5 17, 1,Nautilus (H C Petley) 5 3 53 2 Rawhiti (B Ogilvie) 58 7 3. State Minister's Yacht Wins Malta Cup. (1949, April 4). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 14. Retrieved from

Which only leaves a 66 year gap* in her history for this classic 110 year old beauty - we have had an email from a gentleman this week who is looking at her as we speak - let's hope he falls in love!

* Please contact us if you have anymore information about the Currawong during her 'missing' years.

Lavender Bay, Sydney ca. 1900-1910 Digital order no. a116097, Courtesy State Library of NSW


The view, of which our illustration is a reproduction, was taken from a position near the top of the steps overlooking Lavender Bay. Lavender Bay was originally called Hulk Bay, after the Phoenix hulk, which was stationed there. The present name was derived from George Lavender, boatswain of the hulk. A public reserve adjoins the outside of the curving railway line from Mil-son's Point. The railway traverses a lengthy brick viaduct, and then enters a tunnel, emerging at Dumbarton-street. The tunnel is cut through solid rock five chains in length, is brick lined, and free from percolation. The values paid by the Government for land resumptions were in some instances enormous.. To the left the rail-way is cut into the cliffs for some distance to the Milson’s Point terminus. The bare rock on one side of the line forms a natural retaining wall. The water line on the other side presents a varied and beautiful perspective to passengers. The Sydney Canoe Club has its quarters in Lavender Bay, and several leading boat-builders' sheds are alongside. At the next point (Blue's) an agitation is on foot for a vehicular ferry service to Sydney. Public meetings have been held, and the Government, has promised to place £7000 on the Estimates for the purpose of erecting a dock at Dawes' Point if the Municipal Council agree to construct a dock at Blue's Point. At one time the steamer Herald used to run from Blue's Point to the foot of Windmill-street, Miller's Point. The measurement across the water is the same as from Milson’s Point to Fort Macquarie. The route from Blue's Point to the G.P.O. via Dawes' Point, is a quarter of a mile shorter than the route from Milson’s Point to the G.P.O. via Fort Macquarie. LAVENDER BAY. (1897, May 29). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 27. Retrieved from 


THE picturesque suburbs upon the northern shores of Port Jackson are hardly sufficiently appreciated, even by those who are most familiar with them. They are, it is true, much prized by the residents, but it is astonishing how few people think it worth while to visit them.. .Yet within five minutes steam of the Circular Quay are sequestered spots of sylvan beauty fib for the pencil of Creswick or Linnell, while the views of Sydney to be obtained from the gentle heights around the bay are of exceeding variety and interest. The small indentation known as Lavender Bay is probably one of the sweetest spots in the neighbourhood, and bids fair, at no distant date, to be covered with beautiful residences. The afternoon steamer brings a goodly number of ladies to Sydney for shopping purposes, and lights up the picturesque scenery with fair faces; and tasteful costumes. THE LADIES' BOAT.—LAVENDER BAY. (1876, March 3).Illustrated Sydney News and New South Wales Agriculturalist and Grazier (NSW : 1872 - 1881), p. 1. Retrieved from - Above Illustration of 'The Ladies' Boat'

Neutral and Lavender Bay Boats Sailing Race.

A handicap race for boats hailing from Neutral and Lavender Bays was sailed on Saturday for atrophy presented by Mr. Russell, the coarse being from Orient buoy, round lightship, Shark Island, Orient buoy, Shark Island, and back to Orient buoy. -The entries were fairly good. Ada May proved the winner, with Gipsy second and Waratah third.

During the week the P.A.Y.C. and the Johnstone's Bay Club have indulged in harbour picnics. The well-known 18ft. crack Ariel has again changed hands, having been purchased by Mr. Arnott, of the Northern district. Mr. F. Woolcott-Waley's recent purchase, the Sao, is undergoing extensive alteration at Ford's yard. Berry's Bay, and it is expected that this craft, which holds a fairly good record amongst the 'old six tonners, will don her racing colours in the race for the Dunbar Gap. NEUTRAL AND LAVENDER BAY BOATS SAILING RACK. (1896, March 7). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 509. Retrieved from