The 2017 “Cup Regatta” Australia

Under the auspices of the Classic Yacht Association of Australia and the authority of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, The Cup Regatta was raced on the northern waters of Port Phillip early this November.

Alex of Alex McKinnon Photography recently captured the spirit and beauty of this race by taking these fine pictures of Australia’s vintage greyhounds.


Sayonara – 2017 Cup Regatta – Alex Mckinnon Photography


One of the crown jewels of the Classic Yacht Association of Australia (CYAA) is Sayonara, Japanese for goodbye, Sayonara was built by Mr G. F. Garrard, then commodore of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria (RYCV).

Sayonara was designed as a high bulwarks fast cruising yawl  by William Fife of Scotland, a sister ship to his own champion Cirego, which  was built and launched Novemeber 1897 by Mr A. McFarlane of Birkinhead, Adelaide,

Her first major race was the Inter-Colonial Regatta held on Hobsons Bay, February 1898. Sailed by Mr A. P.  Agg of the Brighton Yacht Club she defeated all opposition including the undefeated South Australian Champion Alexa winning  the major prize of $140.

Sayonara in no time proved to be invincible on Port Phillip. She was a marvel in light weather when she was able to walk away from all opposition. To address this concern, various clubs decided to put limitations on the sizes of yachts entering important races and regattas. This decision affected Sayonara and the Alexa which had remained in Victoria for several years as there was no competition for a yacht of her size in Adelaide.


Frances – 2017 Cup Regatta – Alex Mckinnon Photography


Frances was designed and built and launched in 1948 by Ernest O Digby of Williamstown. Victoria to the 8 Metre Rule (Rated 8.14).

Frances was awarded the ‘SAYONARA CUP’ for interstate competition on three occasions, 1951 and 1952 in Melbourne. Lost to Erica J from Tasmania in 1953. In 1954 Frances sailed to Hobart and won the ‘SAYONARA CUP’ back for Victoria.

In 2002 she was purchased by Capt. Michael Wood, who engaged shipwright Michael Hurrell to restore her to her original design, alter the self draining cockpit, plus other major work.


Snow Goose – 2017 Cup Regatta – Alex Mckinnon Photography


This beautiful Tumlaren Snow Goose was built by J. J. Savage in 1949 after WW II to the order of Bill and David Low RYCV. There was special dispensation given due to the spruce top sides which were made thicker. In 1951-52 Snow Goose won the Victorian State Championships skippered by David Low.

In 1958 she was sold to Len Digby RYCV and renamed Yeoman and went on to win the Victorian State Championships for three consecutive years.

In 1977 she broke moorings at St Kilda during a SW gale and was washed ashore at Middle Park beach. Doug Jenkin retrieved her and restored her with the assistance of Bob French. She was then loaned to Selim Nurminem who in 1981/2 won the Victorian State Championships.

In 1995 she was bought ashore and put into storage for 18 years until 2013 when the current owner engaged Michael Hurrell Shipwrights to restore her to her original condition.


Siena – 2017 Cup Regatta – Alex Mckinnon Photography


Siena is an International Dragon Class Keelboat, built in Denmark in 1967 by the renowned Borrensen Boatyard. She is named for the beautiful red brown colour of her Honduras Mahogany varnished hull.



The Classic Yacht Association of Australia
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