Veteran Bronzewing leads Winter Series

  • August 21, 2017

Bronzewing, arguably Australia’s oldest regular racing yacht,  took an early step towards celebrating her 122nd birthday with a win in Division 3 of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s Winter Series on Sunday.

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.

Skippered by Derek Adams, the latest in a long line of owners and restorers of the classic sloop, Bronzewing finished second across the line and first on corrected time.

With one Winter Series race to sail on the River Derwent  the win has placed Bronzewing two points head of Serenity (Graham Hall) with Ingenue (Nigel Johnston) just half a point back.

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.

Owner Adams describes Bronzewing 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.”

Only three yachts raced in Division 2 with Frontline (Ian Snape) scoring an outright win from series leader Wildfire (Malcolm Robinson) and Footloose (Steward Geeves).

After four races, Wildfire has a score of 5 points with Frontline on 9 points and Footloose on 16 points.

Prominent Bellerive Yacht Club members Gary Cripps and Hughie Lewis’ newly acquired modified Farr 40, Guilty Pleasure, is on its way to Magnetic Island in the Whitsunday Island of far north Queensland following its win in the Cruising 1 division of Airlie Beach Race Week.

Following the Magnetic Island Regatta, Guilty Pleasure will be sailed south to Hobart to join the local fleet this coming season.

Words and photo:  Peter Campbell

21 August 2017