Australian Seafly Dinghy Class Association

Outside the UK, by far the largest Seafly fleet sailed in Australia. The 1971 Seafly Dinghy Class Association Handbook described the formation of the Australian branch of the SDCA:

The Australian branch of the S.D.C.A. was formed in 1963. Jasper Mylne (then Hon. Secretary) reports:

“A number of members of the Canberra Y.C. who were looking for a suitable dinghy which did not require a trapeze or “board” finally chose the Seafly. Boatbuilder Harold Lang, of Sorrento, Victoria, was granted licence to build with an immediate order for six boats, and the first Seafly was delivered to Mr. Gurth Kimber in Canberra in September, 1963. After proving her worth in handicap racing against 505 and the hot “Gwen 12″ etc., on Lake George, the Canberra fleet increased rapidly and the Class Association became the most active in the area in the ’64/’65 racing season. A second builder, Brian Lay, was authorised in 1964, and the fleet, now nearly 80 boats, attracted considerable interest throughout Australia when they started ” winter sailing,” and were the only boats racing with water temperature down to 42 degrees!…”

Seafly owners also appear to have caused a “stir” down under when wives and daughters were seen in the unusual role of crews and helms!

Of the photos below, that showing the first six Seafly owners in Australia (top left) was taken on the 17th August 1963. The other monochrome photos are from 1964/65. There is an obituary for Gurth Kimber written by Daphne Fullagar and John White and publishedf in the Canberra Yacht Club magazine. The report of founder member John Hamon visiting the UK is from the June 1980 issue of the UK Class Association newsletter. The two colour photos were taken at an Australian Seafly sailors’ reunion dinner in June 2010 at Canberra Yacht Club.

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