Sydney Flying Squadron – historic 18′ skiffs

Aberdare powering downwind past Nielsen Park, Sydney Harbour

Since 2014 I’ve been a proud member of the Sydney Flying Squadron (est. 1891), home of the historic 18′ skiffs. These shallow-draft wooden sailboats are replicas of designs that sailed from the early 1900s – 1940s. I usually crew aboard the mighty Scot (1906) but on Saturday 8th February 2014, half our regular crew were down with scurvy so I went out on the rescue boat and took some photos of the race. These gaff-rigged skiffs carry a huge sail area relative to their hull size and with spinnakers flying they are an eye-catching sight on the harbour. It was a typical summer’s day on Sydney Harbour, with a fresh nor’easter and challenging conditions that tested the tacticians, crews and skippers. Some fared better than others.



I also compiled a short movie from some stills and GoPro clips documenting the ups and downs of Top Weight on that same day.


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