Michael YORK and Bill SOLOMONS announced today that they will bring the famous keelboat out of retirement from the Sydney Maritime Museum, restoring her to sail in the 5.5 Metre Gold Cup and the World's on Sydney Harbour in December/January.
Barranjoey was originally built for Olympic keelboat sailor, Bill NORTHAM in 1964, the same year he represented Australia with his crew Peter O'DONNELL and Dick SARGEANT at the Tokyo Olympic Games and won the Gold medal - the only Australian entry to win a medal at those Games and the only Australian 5.5 to win a medal in the history of the Games.
Leading up to the 1968 Games in Mexico, it was Bill SOLOMONS and Michael YORK, who campaigned the wooden boat for her second berth to an Olympics, winning Australian selection.
Like a number of others in those earlier years, York was unable to get away from work to go to Mexico and was subsequently replaced by Sir James HARDY on sheet with Scott KAUFMANN, son of boat designer, Ted, making up the threesome - they finished seventh.
Barranjoey has not been in the water since 1968; she was on the hard out in the open, then moved to better surroundings at Wharf No. 7 at the Sydney Maritime Museum where she has been gracefully aging.
An excited Michael YORK explained today, "we'll be putting her in the workshop first to fix the rot in the deck - she is just a shell at the moment. Then, we will move her to Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and give her a refit and hopefully she'll float!"
York said they expected the work would take them around two months to complete, then he and Bill SOLOMONS would get out on the Harbour for some practice before campaigning their famous charge in both the Gold Cup and the World Championship, where he hopes to see at least fifty other competitors on the line.
"We haven't decided who are third crew member will be at this stage, it may be a veteran like Bill or myself, or we might find a young bloke who'll put up with us,"
The veteran Sydney yachtsman is looking forward to competing against some other formidable Aussies, including Gordon INGATE, with crew Tony HEARDER and Mark DOWNER, who have just left Australia for Hanko in Norway to compete in the 5.5 Metre Scandinavian Gold Cup and the European Championship, along with the Australian President, Colin RYAN, who will take his crew.
Ingate recently won the right to represent in Norway after winning the 5.5 Metre Gold Cup on Sydney Harbour, hosted by Vaucluse Yacht Club.
Incidently, Gordon INGATE, Michael YORK, Bill NORTHAM, Dick SARGEANT and Peter O'DONNELL were team mates aboard Sir Frank Packer's Gretel, challenging for the America's Cup in 1962.