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29 January 2002, 02:15 pm
Magnificent Australia Day Afloat
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166th Australia Day Regatta
Sydney Harbour

An estimated 4000 sailors took part in the 166th Australia Day Regatta on Sydney Harbour and in 11 other associated regattas throughout New South Wales on Saturday.

With a perfect summer's day attracting record crowds around the Harbour to celebrated our National Day afloat.

In Victoria, a similar number took part in the Bundaberg Festival of Sail at Geelong, highlighted by a passage race between of the State's oldest ports, Williamstown and Corio Bay.

The Governor of NSW, Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Marie Bashir AO, followed the racing on the Harbour after lunching with members of the Australia Day Regatta management Committee at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.
The RSYS again conducted the Regatta, which was sponsored by Philips Medical Systems.

The 166th Australia Day Regatta on the Harbour attracted just on 100 entries, ranging from historical skiffs and classic yachts through to modern harbour racing boats and state of the art 18-footers. A further 50 boats raced to Botany Bay and return for the City of Sydney Sesquicentenary, a race conducted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

Two prominent members of the 166th Australia Day Regatta saw their yachts sail well. Acting President of the Advisory Council, Charles Curran's 60-footer, Sydney, with David Kellett at the helm, took line honours in Division 1. Chairman of the Management Committee, Geoff Lee AM OAM, saw his boat, Taurus VIII second across the line and second on corrected time.

Another member of the Australia Day Regatta Management Committee, Peter Campbell saw his crew, led by Dexter Counsell, take third place in the Non-Spinnaker Division with his 22-year-old Bonbidge 27, Hornblower.

First place in Division 1, for the second year in succession went to Akela, helmed by Steve Sweeney, who has made a courageous recovery from suffering severe injuries during the Sydney - Gold Coast Race last year.

Division 2 saw a win for wellknown RSYS members Bill and Deirdre Manning, sailing Cyan, while first place in Division 3 went to Tsoona, skippered by Glenn Ilic. The Classic Yacht non-skipper division went to Phillip Kinsella's 'couta boat, Sylvia, for the second year in a row while the winner of the Non Spinnaker Division was Riff Raff, owned by Paul and Suzie Haas.

The Catalina Division went to Matilda (Robart Traynon) while Hamish Jarrett skippered Pourquoi to victory in the Yngling division.

First place in the Historical Skiff Race went to Top Weight (J.Tierney) in Division 1 and Intrepid in Division 2. The 18-footer race for the Lord Mayor's Cup went to Express Post (Hugh Stodart) with the best turn-out in years of modern 18ft skiffs.

The CYCA's ocean race to Botany Bay and return saw close competition, with Howard de Torrest IMX-40, Nips N Tux, making up for her Sydney Hobart Race retirement with first place in IMS Division 1 and in IRC Division 1. IRC Division 2 went to Geoff Phillips' Forzado.

IMS Division 2 went to John Brown's Rumblefoot while in the PHS division, first place in Division 1 went to Berani VII (David Todner) and first in Division 2 to Casablanca (Stephen Roach).

First place in Division 3 went to Ben Adamson's Carter 30, Sorine, the last boat to the finish the recent 57th Sydney Hobart Race.

The winner of the City of Sydney Sesquicentenary Trophy will be announced later in the week.

Peter Campbell/News Editor
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