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Adelaide; Gymea Cup, new annual event

5 June 2009 Wayne Knill

Gymea in all its glory on the Opening Day for RSAYS in 1952

"Gymea in all its glory on the Opening Day for RSAYS in 1952"

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Next season will see a new annual regatta added to the South Australian Etchells calendar with the introduction of the Gymea Cup.

A new trophy has been offered to the RSAYS by local sailor Chris Pratt to be contested by the senior one-design class at the club, currently the Etchells. The event is planned to be contested as the fleet's season ending regatta.

Chris Pratt commented "one of the reasons for offering a trophy was that the Squadron, as distinct from the Etchells Association, did not appear to have a regatta event that recognised the senior one-design class of the Squadron, whatever that class is from time to time. Before Etchells there were Dragons, 5.5m and 21' Restricted Class and hence the connection to the yacht Gymea.

"My grandfather, Stanley Medwell, was a member of the Squadron and competed with some distinction in the 21-foot Restricted Class which was at the time the senior one-design class of the Squadron. The 21-foot Restricted Class began in 1913 when the Victorian Yacht Racing Association decided there was need for a general utility class boat which would be both affordable and accessible and adopted a design by boat builder Charlie Peel. Gymea was built in 1922 by Hayes Bros for RA Carter of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and eventually was bought by my grandfather in 1948. The yacht was then rebuilt and sailed competitively until 1978 at both the Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron and the Port Adelaide Sailing Club.

"The 21 foot Restricted Class and Gymea represent the origins of senior class racing in Australia and at our senior yacht clubs. The Gymea Trophy is intended to perpetuate the standing of senior one design classes at the Squadron," Pratt said.

The Gymea Cup series is intended to be a mix of windward/leeward and beacon races, including a race up the Port River.

In other news from the Adelaide Fleet, they are taking a good hard look at next year's race calendar and planning to have a bit more variety and fun races than in past seasons. The State Championship and the Club Pointscore series will still be windward/leeward races, but scattered throughout the summer will be some novelty races where the fleet members can pack a few beers on board and venture further up and down the coast.

Combined with more after-race BBQ's there promises to be something for everyone and no excuses for the Adelaide fleet sailors to not get full use and enjoyment from their boat.


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