2021 Timber Boat Festival at RMYC Broken Bay
Main photo: RMYC Timber Boat Festival Sunday 28th November 2021. Photo Courtesy of Mandy Rowe
The 2021 Timber Boat Festival at RMYC Broken Bay exceeded all expectations.
In August, with Sydney still in lockdown, it was uncertain if the event would be able to go ahead. To everyone’s great relief lockdown lifted and we were able to hold the festival on the weekend of 27-28 November, with over 50 timber boats on display. The festival, now at its 20th year, has three nearly equal aims – raise money for a good cause, display a range of timber boats to members of the public (both boaters and non-boaters), and allow the timber boat owners to get together.
Given the ‘not too favorable’ forecast a handful of boats arrived on Thursday, while the remainder braved Friday’s strong southerly. However the wind and rain did not deter the dedicated marina staff who secured the rest of the boats.
Friday night Welcome Drinks was nothing short of jubilant, with old friendships reignited and new ones established. Drinks flowed, as did the conversation, and attendees were given a rousing welcome by Captain Splinter (Peter Harcus), followed by dinner. The band Sons of Beaches – with their Aussie-inspired playlist – soon had many on the dance floor where Casey Van Dyke, a long-time timber boat aficionado, wearing his famous dancing shoes, set a pace that had everyone else trying to keep up all night.
Saturday brought with it a 30-knot southerly and horizontal rain, but spirits weren’t dampened. After the challenges faced over the past few months, wind and rain seemed the least of our worries, and everyone embraced the occasion despite the poor weather. Attendance was strong, with some 270 people coming through the gate.
The children’s art competition was themed “I dreamt I was on a wooden boat”, with 50 beautiful pieces for attendees to enjoy, although no one envied judge Tracy Smith’s difficult decision in choosing a winner.
Many volunteers manned the gate, took photos and sold merchandise. In short, they made the whole event run like clockwork. Most boat owners generously welcomed the public on board; a wonderful gesture as folk are always curious to see inside our beautiful vessels. Attendees were also treated to an informative talk from vexillographer Warren Cardwell on flag etiquette and history, which went down a treat.
The Saturday evening cocktail party provided a social respite from the days wet and windy weather. As an aside, we do subscribe to the notion that for a boat owner there should be no whinging about poor weather, simply the lack of appropriate clothing. Palm fronds, leis and a colourful array of Hawaiian shirts brought some summery brightness to an otherwise stormy evening! Captain Splinter announced the lucky winners of some very generous door prizes that had been donated by local and affiliated businesses. A $1,000 voucher for marine electronics and $1,000 towards slipping amongst them.
Happily, by Sunday morning the worst of the weather had disappeared and people came in their droves. The cash register at the front gate kept ringing throughout the day, and both the restaurant and the coffee machine did a roaring trade.
The children’s art competition was very well attended, with this possibly being partly since the display was indoors. Overall winners for the age groups were Anna Young, Marco Di Costanzo and Lulu Clarke.
By early Sunday afternoon the sky had completely cleared, just in time for the festival awards. With so many brilliant boats this year it was hard to choose between them. Captain Splinter and RMYC CEO Jayson McDonald announced:
- Best Dressed Boat – Anitra V owned by Phillip Brown.
- People’s Choice Award – Winifred owned by Andrew and Barb McKillop.
- Coldest Fridge – Silver Cloud II owned by Kobi and Fiona Simmat.
- Dog of the Show – Stella on board Reliance.
Overall, some 800 people attended the festival over its two days. $5,320 was raised for Marine Rescue NSW, with the donation going to the Cottage Point and Broken Bay elements. A cheque was presented to Andrew Majewksi (Deputy Unit Commander) Marine Rescue Broken Bay and Tony Gordon Unit Commander Marine Rescue Cottage Point.
We’re all very much looking forward to 2022’s event, which will hopefully feature many more timber boats, a little less wind and rain! A big thank you to the boat owners who allowed us to raise the donation.
Timber Boat Division Secretary