The Australia Day Regatta… 26th January, 2019.

Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six-foot-four and full of muscles
I said, “do you speak-a my language?”
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich
And he said

I come from a land down under
Where beer does flow and men chunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover, yeah

Men At Work: Down Under

Yesterday, our family headed off to Gosford Sailing Club  for the Australia Day Regatta.  The Australia Day Regatta is the oldest continuously-conducted annual sailing regatta in the world. It has been conducted each year since 1837. While based on Sydney Harbour, races are held around the coast and apparently our winner is off to receive their medal from the Sydney Lord Mayor.

dsc_2324

Our son with his Flying 11 ready to set sail. 

By the way, if you know anything about boats, our son was competing in his Flying 11, a small sail craft and Geoff was sailing in a Magic 25 (as in 25 ft) as part of his sailing course. Meanwhile, yours truly was armed with her Nikon D3100 and left on dry land.

“There is nothing, absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats.”

-Kenneth Grahame

However, before the race got underway, our son was part of the Australia Day Sail Past. This was a real extroverted parade of sailors with most of the boats decked out in the most garish and ridiculous Australia Day gumph they could find. There was an inflatable boxing kangaroo and a plethora of flags and the one thing which was missing was our unofficial Australian National Anthem Down Under by Men at Work .

Jonathon Being Towed.jpg

Above: We have my son’s boat being towed along by the support boat and his crew managinjg the boat while he (the skipper) is pulled along behind. Not the plan, but he clearly enjoyted himself, created a spectacle and won an award. 

Our son had Australian Flag bunting on the stays, was wearing an Australian Flag Top hat and out the back of the boat, they were towing an inflatable plastic donut again bearing the Australian flag. For a brief time, our son managed to convince his sister to ride along behind in the donut. However, she baulked and the next thing we see is our son’s boat being towed by the support boat under the command of his crew member while the skipper was being towed along out the back with the biggest grin you’ve ever seen. He’d broken just about every convention in the book, but that’s entertainment and when it came to the award presentation at the end of the day, he took out the Junior Aussie Larrikin Award along with a $5.00 cash prize. As you may recall, our son recently made quite an impression wearing his ghillie suit at the Australian Scouting Jamboree won the dance competition winning backstage passes to see the band Justice Crew. He’s been busy!

“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.”

-Vincent Van Gogh

dsc_2376

Our Junior Aussie Larrikin.

Meanwhile, at 2.00 pm the Regatta was off. Geoff tells me that there were 50-60 boats ranging in size from the juniors in their baths tubs (Optimus) to 40 footers, which looked like giants next to the fingerlings. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who missed the start of the race. Geoff’s boat couldn’t hear the start gun and had to scramble to get away. Unfortunately, our sailors didn’t place. However, I’ve heard tales from our son of waves from the bigger boats crashing over the side of his tiny Flying 11 and the boat filled up with water. The spinnaker rope also slipped under the boat putting the spinnaker out of action and slowing them down. Apparently, spinnakers are known troublemakers. They’re known unaffectionately as “the divorce sail” and “prawning” is when you’ve spinnaker drags along through the water. There was a complaint yesterday that one of the sailors had go prawning but hadn’t shared his catch. They have a good sense of humour at Gosford Sailing Club.

dsc_2368

Here’s the “Senior” or adult Aussie Larrikin at work shooting water out at the crowd, including the General Manager, who is wearing the hat in the foreground and the Commodore.                                                                

“The sailor sits by his tiller, waiting and watching. He knows he isn’t sovereign of earth and sky any more than the fish in the sea or the birds in the air. He responds to the subtle shiftings of the wind, the imperceptible ebbings of the tide. He changes course. He trims the sheets. He sails.”

– Richard Bode: First You Have to Sail A Little Boat.”

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the photographs of the line up. We had a lot of fun and loved being a part of this great event.

jonathon after race

We would like to wish all our fellow Aussies a Happy Australia Day, while mindful of the concerns of Indigenous Australians. What, if anything, did you do to celebrate? Any sailors out there? Any great stories you’d love to share? I’d love to hear from you!

Best wishes,

Rowena

PS  Here’s a few photos of the sea mist which floated in at the end of the day. It was scorchingly hot.

dsc_2429

 

 

misty tree

I loved this tree silhouetted against the mist. 

8 thoughts on “The Australia Day Regatta… 26th January, 2019.

  1. Rowena Post author

    Thought you’d approve, Geoff. Much more interesting than the sitting still award some parents celebrated all those years ago when they were back in kindergarten. Those kids could still be glued to the spot, albeit most likely with electronics in hand.
    A friend put me onto the Australia Day address by Dr Hugh McKay an incredible social commentator and talking about the need for more compassion and the high levels of loneliness in our communities: https://www.australiaday.com.au/…/2019-speaker-hugh…/
    Best wishes,
    Ro

  2. Rowena Post author

    Oh yes! That was the second half of the race…who can get to the bar first and it was a very hot and thirsty day. My husband and I tend to drink lemon, lime and bitters but I’m also partial to a hard Ginger Beer. Find myself getting nicely relaxed. We found a great brand in Tassie…Spreyton’s but it’s not easy to get around here and Geoff keeps trying different brands, probably hoping to find that rare breed of cheap that tastes as good as the more boutique version. It’s not looking promising. Have much better luck on the cheap wine front. Have you heard this Australian classic by Cold Chisel: Cheap Wine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUGlWCCVA4M
    Best wishes,
    Ro

  3. Dan Antion

    I enjoyed the pictures very much. I did own a sailboat (18′ daysailer) for a few years. It was fun, at times, but more work and cost than it was worth.

  4. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Dan. I don’t get photos like that every day and it was a lot of fun.
    I heard a saying along the lines that a a boat or perhaps particularly a yacht, is a hole in the ocean that you pour your money into.
    Our red car could be the same story. It needed a few things done when we bought it but fixing one thing usually uncovers something else. Geoff spent today replacing the battery and assorted bits when he was wanting to be repairing the roof. I think the red car might be wanting to monopolize my husband. Be a tad possessive. I hope not. I’m not sure how an Italian car deals with rejection…

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.