Yachting Australia Corporate Partner
Big Fleet to Race for Historic Gascoigne Cup
One of the oldest offshore races on the Australian yachting calendar, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s Gascoigne Cup, will open the new Port Jackson Offshore Championship 2003-2004 off Sydney Heads on Saturday.
More than 60 yachts are expected to contest the event, previously called the Combined Clubs Series, with Saturday’s race also the first in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Short Ocean Pointscore 2003-2004.
The Gascoigne Cup dates back to 1886 when Colonel F.G.F.Gascoigne presented a Challenge Cup to be competed for annually by yachts over 5 tons, until won three times in succession. The course was to be at least 30 miles, including an ocean stretch.
The first winner of the Cup was a famous yacht called Magic, owned by RSYS Commodore J.R.Fairfax. Launched in 1875, Magic’s sailing prowess inspired a popular jingle:
Magic’s a billow puncher
Scorning squall and spray
She’ll smash her way to windward
Any stormy day.
This Saturday’s Gascoigne Cup race will start offshore and finish back in the Harbour, with the fleet of modern ocean racers a far cry from the cutter rigged Magic and her competitors, most of which carried huge gaff mainsails and topsails. According the RSYS records, Magic had a load waterline of 48 feet and a sail area of 2,054 square feet.
The original deed of gift has been modified, giving the Squadron more scope in deciding the course while the Gascoigne Cup itself is now a perpetual trophy. The names of many wellknown yachts that have raced out of Sydney over the past 116 years are engraved on the trophy.
Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron boats entered include Hugh O’Neill’s Mark Twain which last December became the first yacht in history to compete in 25 Sydney Hobart Yacht Races. Others entered are Ellipse, Peter Jones and Peter Bergin’s Northshore 369, Aurelia II, sailed by former Commodore Norman Longworth, Dennis Cooper’s Amante, Max Prentice’s She’s Apples Too, along with the J35 fleet that includes Graeme Lambert’s Not So Impetuous and Adrian and Tim Cox’s Soundtrack.
The CYCA’s Short Ocean Pointscore has attracted 41 entries including two-times Sydney Hobart winner Ausmaid (Alan Quick), Broomstick (Michael Cranitch and Ray Wallace), Ichi Ban (Matt Allen), Infinity III (Martin James), About Time (Julian Farren Price), AFR Midnight Rambler (Ed Psaltis) and True North (Howard and Susan Piggott).
Also entered is the classic 1965 and 1967 Admiral’s Cup team yacht Caprice of Huon (David Champtaloup) and former One Cup champion Stormy Petrel (Kevin O’Shea).
Peter Campbell – 0419 385 028 or email – firstname.lastname@example.org