Canberra Yacht Club

(photo: P.Fullagar)
The unfinished new club in Lotus Bay, Lake Burley Griffin, Dec 65 (photo: P.Fullagar)

Members of Canberra Yacht Club were responsible for bringing the Seafly Dinghy to Australia. In a “50 Year History of Canberra Yacht Club”, the Club historian, Peter Forster, wrote:

Of the club’s foundation yacht classes, the Seafly dinghy was the most interesting, most successful and most enduring class. The Seafly was introduced into Canberra (and Australia) in 1964 largely through the enthusiasm of British diplomat Gurth Kimber. By 1970 some 40 boats were based in Canberra.

The same article quoted two newspaper/magazine articles from the 1960’2. First The Canberra Courier (16 September 1965):

The Seafly has become one of the largest classes in Canberra. It is a racy craft yet completely stable. Measuring 14’9″ it has a beam of 5’8”. It carries 255 sq ft of sail, including spinnaker. The Seafly is suitable for sailors of all ages.

It has a racing crew of two, can carry a family of four with safety and can have an outboard motor attached. It sells for about £350 complete.

The second article quoted was from the Australian magazine Power Boat and Yachting (November 1968):

The Seafly class has been one of the pioneer racing dinghy classes on Lake Burley Griffin. It has regularly provided the strongest fleet racing on the lake, with an average sized fleet in the Canberra Yacht Club races on Sundays of about 20 boats.

The Seaflies also pioneered winter sailing in Canberra and in 1968 sailed the fourth winter series. Races are conducted by the class association on specially selected short courses on alternate Sundays starting at 12 noon. An average of about 12 boats compete during the winter for the Kimber Mug. Rod Dalgleish, of 505 fame, takes advantage of the winter racing to keep his hand in by sailing a borrowed Seafly.

The standard of racing is indicated by the fact that Dalgleish does not always call the tune and has been beaten boat for boat by several skippers in the fleet Dalgleish confirms that the Seafly is a safe, stable and quite fast dinghy compared with similar dinghies.

The CYC Clubhouse is situated on Lotus Bay, Lake Burley Griffin, here are some photos from the early days (from P. Fullagar):

[Next: CYC Winter Series]