Vintage yacht Bronzewing still a winner

  • July 9, 2017

On a chilly but sparkling River Derwent yesterday, just nine boats set sail with the shore temperature under 5 degrees to compete in the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s winter pennant.

Bronzewing, Derek Adams’s vintage yacht built in the late 1800s, showed she is still a winner, taking out Division 3 from Serenity (Graham Hall) and Ingenue (Nigel Johnston).

Bronzewing, as she has always been named, was launched on the River Tamar on September 28, 1895, built of Huon pine by the famous Launceston boat-builder Ned Jack.  She was a replica of the English yacht Challenger, a successful Thames River One Rater.

Among her owners was the late past RYCT Commodore Jim Hickman who bought Bronzewing in 1952 and raced her successfully for the next 40 years.  His son, the late Roger Hickman, sailed her on the Derwent as a teenager.

Current owner Adams has carefully restored the 122-year-old boat, describing her as being “like grandpa’s axe…over the years she has undergone many changes to her original hull…with her narrow hull she just knifes through the water…she is brilliant going to windward.”

And so she proved today in what turned out to be perfect winter sailing day.

In Division 2, Malcolm Robinson steered Wildfire to an outright win, beating Footloose (Stewart Geeves) and Mind Games (Phil Reid) on corrected time.

Wildfire and Frontline (Ian Snape) fought out line honours with Wildfire crossing the line just 24 seconds in front.

Words:  Peter Campbell

Photo:  Peter Watson

9 July 2017