'It has been a brilliant day on Sydney Harbour - a vast array of on-the-water and in-the-air activities, and a great fleet of racing boats ranging from historical skiffs to state-of-the-art grand prix racing yachts,' commented John JEREMY, chairman of the 171st Australia Day Regatta management committee from aboard the Flagship, HMAS Manoora.
A feature of the Harbour fleet was the number of classic yachts competing - gaff-riggers such as Ranger and Redpa, historical skiffs such as Britannia, and International 5.5 Metre class yachts including Pam and Baragoola, which once sailed for Olympic selection.
The Historical Skiffs are replicas of the famous gaff-rigged 18 footers of the early 1900s, with first place going to the famous Irish yachtsman Harold CUDMORE at the helm of The Mistake - by just 2 seconds on corrected time from The Scot, skippered by Chris JACKMAN.
The Classic Non-Spinnaker Division winner was a boat with a truly Australian name - Gumleaf, skippered by Orion ALDERTON, second place going to Phil KINSELLA's Sylvia, a replica of a Queenscliff 'couta boat of the early 1900s.
The 5.5 Metres, the class in which Australia won its first Olympic gold medal, at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, turned out for the 171st Australia Day Regatta with a fleet of six classic boats, with Pam of Peter MCDONALD taking first place by just 18 seconds from Bob DE COSTER's Paladin.
Close racing was another feature of the 171st Australia Day Regatta, with Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Commodore Geoff LAVIS skippering SBS Wild Thing to an 8 seconds corrected time win in Division 1, from Braveheart, with Sydney a further 16 seconds astern.
In Division 2, Greg MASON's Sinewave became only the second winner since 1866 of a fine claret jug recently donated to the Australia Day Regatta by the Davidson Family. The cutter Ella first won the trophy 140 years ago in the Australia Day Regatta on this day 1966.
Other winners today included Carina in Division 3, Come by Chance in Non-Spinnaker Division 1, Intrepid in Non-Spinnaker Division 2, Mistral in the Yngling class, Magnificat in the Catalina division and Gumleaf in the Classic Division.
While the fleet of 86 boats was racing around fixed marks on Sydney Harbour, a fleet of 30 ocean racing yachts competed in the short ocean racing to Botany Bay and return for the City of Sydney Sesquicentenary Cup, making a spectacular sight as they swept back into the Harbour under spinnaker towards their finish line in Rushcutters Bay.
Line honours and the Geoff Lee Trophy went Dick CAWSE's 60 footer Vanguard in a fast elapsed time of 3 hours, 25 minutes and 13 seconds. Also winning the IRC division of the CYCA Ocean Pointscore. The PHS Division of the Ocean Pointscore saw a win for Occasional Coarse Language, Warwick SHERMAN's Cookson 12.
Provisional winner of the 171st Australia Day Regatta City of Sydney Sesquicentenary Cup, as the yacht with the lowest PHS corrected time in the Botany Bay Race, is Rick FIELDING's Spearhead which placed first in the PHS Division 1 of the Short Ocean Pointscore with a corrected time of 4 hours, 56 minutes and 52 seconds.
PHS Division 3 went to Big Blue while IRC Division 1 saw the continued rivalry between Julian FARREN-PRICE's Cookson 39 About Time and Ed PSALTIS and Bob THOMAS' Farr 40 AFR Midnight Rambler, with About Time beating AFR Midnight Rambler on corrected time.
IRC Division 3 went to John MACLURCAN's Illingworth and Primrose-designed Morag Bheag, strengthening her pointscore position in the Short Ocean Pointscore.