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Sailing Through History

Story: Sandgate Guide
Jun 28, 2018
Sailing Through History
See the sights from the shore or bring your boat to the bay in July, as the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club hosts its annual Vintage Yacht Regatta on the weekend of the 28th and 29th July in Shorncliffe.

While it’s an opportunity for skippers to show and race their yachts, the Regatta, also familiarly referred to as ‘The Gaffers’, is also a great chance for everyone in the community to come along and view some very vintage vessels!

Regatta Director Nigel Statham has been involved in the event for almost a decade.

“The Regatta has been going for a while, for over 25 years, and its fleet has changed over time. A ‘Gaffer’ is actually a type of boat that would race, but now it’s almost more like a piece of folklore,” Nigel says. “These days we see more small boats participating alongside the larger boats.”

Smaller vessels, as well as older yachts, tend to have minimal keel depths, which means they can sail a lot closer to the shoreline, making it a great spectator event.

Nigel explains the best place to see the racing is from the pier. But if you want to get up close and personal, “Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning while the boats are in, is ideal.”

“The best thing to do would be to come down for breakfast. We open up the marina, and anyone can just come down, walk around on the marina and have a look at the boats.”

The club is expecting this year’s Vintage Regatta weekend to be as popular as ever, providing a highlight for boaties and spectators alike. Seeing this many vintage vessels together in one place will certainly be a feast for the eyes.

“ The majority of the boats are all well known to each other; it’s like their annual get-together. The vintage scene in Brisbane is actually very strong; there’s probably four or five events every year, but this is the one they all attend,” Nigel said.

“It’s like classic cars, the owners want to get together and talk about the details of what they’ve got, and people love to see them.”

So for a slice of sailing history, head to the Vintage Yacht Regatta — a shore thing for a fun day out!
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