As Bruce Stannard described in his article in June AFLOAT, the 18-footer Britannia turns 100 in November. Britannia is one of very few survivors of the Golden Age of 18-footer sailing in the first half of the 20th Century. Britannia raced with the Sydney Flying Squadron for 25 seasons and was then converted to a launch and was the starter boat for many more years.

Owner/builder/skipper Wee Georgie Robinson was a legend in both the open boat sailing world and the Rugby League world, being associated with the Balmain Tigers for as many years as he was associated with sailing.

Sydney Flying Squadron will be holding several events in early November including a race for the Britannia Centenary Cup, to commemorate this iconic boat and the links of 18-footer sailing with communities in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth and the strong links with Rugby League.

Readers may remember seeing Britannia on display fully rigged at the Australian National Maritime Museum until a few years ago. Currently in storage, Britannia will re-emerge later this year for a Centenary exhibition in the Foyer of Wharf 7, Darling Harbour. The Australian Historical Sailing Skiff Association and the Sydney Flying Squadron are discussing the scope of this exhibition with the Museum at the moment.

It is my hope that all those who know and love Britannia and her history will come to the Wharf 7 exhibition and join us in a shared celebration of this iconic vessel in her centenary year.

Ian Smith,
President Australian Historical Sailing Skiff Association and owner/builder/skipper of the replica of Britannia.

Main Photo: 18 footer fleet starting. Judging by the boats this is either 1922-3 or 1923-4 season. Britannia is just to right of centre. Photo Harry Thompson Collection SFS