We had been prepared for Regatta Day by joining the Quindalup Cruising Yacht Club the evening before. During the sundowner on the beach, we spoke the ritual chant “I want to be a member of The Club”, to which Paul Hayter gave the ritual response “OK”. Yippee, we were IN – no probation needed here!
Regatta Day dawned bright and clear, with the fabled south easterly gently wafting across our anchorage. We had seen very little of this wind during the Cruise, so it was a wonderful start to this day. I didn’t know at the time, but found out later, that a number of our fellow Quindalup cruisers set off the same day from Mandurah and Dawesville on this wind, to join us the following day.
I busied myself with getting breakfast for the two of us, while Rob curled up in the cockpit and wrote his masterpiece (poem). Because I am usually the one to put pen to paper, I was very happy to help Rob do the same. The theme for the day being “Cruising Destinations”, we had decided that ours would be Antarctica. We had bought ourselves penguin outfits during a recent trip to New Zealand, and also blow-up penguins to put on the bow. So I also busied myself blowing up the penguins!
Rob and I have never raced before, but were assured by Paul Hayter, our Cruise Captain, that this was not a REAL race – we could just sail as we normally did. Then we were given the Quindalup Cruising Yacht Club Regatta Day 2002 instructions:
“START 0930 hrs. Pass down wind through an imaginary line between Escapee and She’s Great, after the gun & trumpet sound.
FIRST MARK (Florence M) Leave to starboard.
FINISH (Thursday’s Child) Leave to port.”
We had no idea what a “mark” was, so we watched the other yachts sail out of the anchorage. Then our guests for the day, Pauline and John Snell and their lovely dog Jessie, arrived in their dinghy. Jessie took up her usual position under the boom, and we took advantage of some “inside info” from Pauline and John on:
1. Racing, including marks and things;
2. Where we would find the boats mentioned in the instructions.
Then we all gathered at the bow to lash the penguins to their “iceberg” (staysail padded out with fenders). The final piece was the furry Fiordland penguin who was lashed to the bowsprit to lead us into the Regatta.
0945 and we were LATE! QCYC pennant flying, we motored out of the anchorage as we had seen the other yachts do, turned west, unfurled the jib and cut the engine just in time to cross the imaginary start line under sail. We were treated to She’s Great and Escapee giving us the official “start” with gun and trumpet.
And then it was just as Paul had said – we just sailed as we normally do. Rob and I handled the chart, sails and helm, while Pauline and John practiced their song for the competition. It was nice being serenaded while I kept us on course (ie following the others yachts).
Round the First Mark, Florence M, and we were treated to our first deluge from buckets of water. Then Mandala II came motoring back to greet us warmly, and we wondered what was coming – water bombs and more buckets of water! Now I KNEW this was not a race. So that meant we could throw back the unburst water bombs. Now we could really enjoy ourselves….
Mandala II ran out of water bombs, and went into their wonderful impersonation of refugees on Christmas Island. I was laughing so much that it was hard to hold the wheel, as they pleaded for passports, or passage, dressed in their matching “Indonesian” shirts and straw hats. They also offered to sell us a baby just born to one of their group – a 15kg baby girl.
The wind died, so we motored to the finish (it was only a pretend race, anyway). Treated to the hula by the grass-skirted “inhabitants” of Thursday’s Child, we wondered if we were to go on to Cape Naturaliste until we spotted Banyandah III motoring into a nearby bay. We anchored there, and wondered what to do next. Actually Rob had already planned the first thing – bring a giant water pistol next year.
Looking around, getting ashore seemed to be the next thing to do. So Rob took us (and Jessie, of course) in to shore. Next lesson – we had no folding chairs, picnic blanket on our boat, so had to borrow others’. Something else to bring along next year….
Let the games begin – Paul gathered us on the shore for the first event – Throwing the Sea Boot. Because Rene had been detained in Mandurah with all the Regatta Day paraphernalia such as the sea boot, we improvised with a sand shoe loaded with wet sand. But we still had FUN!
I was pleased to see that the many children who were part of the Cruise were given their own divisions here, with the winners being Chloe Lyons of Mandala II (Girls’ Division) and Joel Phelan of Escapee (Boys’ Division). I joined the Ladies’ Division (first time I have thrown anything since we practiced cricket in the back yard with our daughter), won by Caroline of Shoestring. With the Men’s Division having several attempts to create a new award for throwing backwards, Nigel Smith of Jacinta won with length to spare (throwing forwards).
Then the REAL competition began – Tug of War. The ladies set the scene with a tough competition won by Margaret, Sue, Jessica, Lorraine and Gail of Billabong. The Men’s Division resembled a battlefield, with trenches dug in the sand by each contender to defend his position! Two rounds were needed, both dominated by the South West Cruising Yacht Club. Had there been some judicious practice here, one wonders. John, Greg, Hank, Keith and Graham of SWCYC won the first round after a tough contest. They lost the second round to Laurie, Ron, Jim, Robert and Russell of Coal Miner’s Dream in a battle involving much audience participation. We were just as exhausted as they were when the battle was finally won.
Most of us retired for a rest to watch the Sculling Competition – paddling a dinghy backwards with one oar. A tough race between three hardened seafarers saw Max Shean of Bluebell win yet again, showing us all how it SHOULD be done.
As the hunger pangs bit, we watched the last pre-lunch event – One-Handed Bowline Tying. I was awed by the deft fingers of the contestants, and Norm Selsmark of Gambit showed us all how to do it.
Lunch on a shared picnic rug was followed by the Big Event – the much-practiced songs and poems over which many of us had been sweating. As a judge I was overawed by the high standard of all the entries, making for a VERY hard decision in choosing the winners. Imaginative and lyrical creations from Mandala II, Banyandah III, Florence M, Athol II, First Impressions, Ayung, SWCYC, Stellar, Escapee, Jacinta and Dusky Dolphin, gave us two winners:
Runner Up First Impressions with “Quindalup 2001, with Apologies to “Jerusalem””
And did those boats, at Christmas Time
Sail upon Freo’s ocean blue
And was there wind, too much at times,
From south and west, not east, it blew.
And some were stuck in Mandurah’s quay
And paty’ed hard by night and day,
Whilst we did sail to Quindalup
In Geographe’s green and tranquil bay.
Hand me my tiller of varnished oak,
Pass me my oilies of desire,
We’ll sail all day ‘cross Geographe Bay,
No thoughts of “Heave-to” or retire.
We shall not sleep whilst on our watch
Nor shall our jib be doused or furled,
‘Till we have reached Quindalup
In Geographe’s green and tranquil bay!
by Bernie Siddall
That was the first difficult decision for us judges, Then came the most difficult decision in this event – the winner. After much deliberation we awarded the winning prize to Ayung with
(To “Rio Grande”)
(a) And it’s way down Freo
We’ll sing you some songs,
And they won’t take long
They’re the songs of the Quindalup Cruise.
(b) Singing Hey, Wey, down Hey
Way down Freo,
It’s Boxing Day
And we’ve set sail,
Bound from the FSC.
And it’s………..repeat (a)
(To “If I had a Hammer”)
(a) If we stopped at a marina
We’d wish it was Mandurah;
We’d stay in that Marina
Throughout this Cruise.
b)We’d listen to the storm warnings,
We’d listen to the wind howling,
We’d stay in bed, forget the sked,
Throughout the cruise.
If we stopped at a marina,
We’d wish it was Mandurah.
We’d party in that marina
Throughout this cruise.
(To “Galway Bay”)
Whenever we sail down the coast to Bunbury
For us it’s always by the closing of the day.
We anchor just off the Clubhouse jetty
And go for a beer inside Koombana Bay.
Just to barbecue again another snag
To watch the steaks go brown then grey
To sink gratefully into our bunks
Knowing that we’re safe in Koombana Bay.
(To “Auld Lang’s Syne”)
(a) Quindalup is in our sights
It’s time to enjoy the view,
At anchor quiet
Forget your diet
Aboard Mandala II.
(b) Lying in bed,
listen to the sked What’s the weather to be?
Oh who wants ice and who wants booze?
Not us! We’d rather snooze.
(c) The Quindalup Cruise
Stops working blues.
Sun, sea and grog
Sailing down the coast,
Now that’s the toast For us! The Quindalup Cruise.
by John and Pauline Snell
As one of the judges I found it very hard to make a clear choice of the winner on Regatta Day. So I have included for you the other entries for which I have been given copies.
The story of the Cruise this year is part of each one, even for Mandala II. This boat was dressed up as Christmas Island for Regatta Day! Enjoy…
“To Quindalup” by Margaret Amble of Athol 2
To power or not to power,
That is NOT the question.
To sail or not to sail,
That could be the question.
Whether ’tis safer for the stomach
To suffer the cappuccinos of Mandurah,
Or to endure the slings and arrows,
Of outrageous southerlies,
And venture down to Quindalup.
I must go down to Quindalup
To the dazzling azure sea,
And all I ask is any boat,
And human company.
Where Mandala II entertains,
With gracious Greek gusto,
And kites fly ever high,
Under Max’s watchful eye.
Where flies abound,
And dinghies buzz around,
Regattas must be fun,
Where power meets sail at tug of war,
Rather than tug of enjun.
The biggest decision towards the conclusion,
Is whether it’s champagne or orange.
So thanks to our hosts,
And this human company.
To leave or not to leave,
That IS the question.
“Ode to Quindalup” by Rob Campbell of Dusky Dolphin
From Freo Club they came on down,
Beating south on Cockburn Sound.
Dusky Dolphin struck out early,
But Banyandah III caught up fast.
So Dusky Dolphin cut the corner,
Something which they shouldn’t oughta!
Down the back of Garden Island,
Banyandah III hit her straps
Showing the way to Mandurah’s traps –
Hot showers, shops and more,
It would be hard to leave this shore.
From way down South came the cry “
Where the heck are you guys?”
From the bar came the call
“The weather here’s terrible – apparently!”
Eventually the wind was fair,
So by moonlight the intrepid mariners departed –
This was not going to be for the fain-hearted.
Round Cape Bouvard they inside went
But that tacking there got us down
So we headed out for Geographe Sound.
On the rhumb line to Cape Naturaliste
We waited for the sou’wester’s gist.
When it finally came in
We tacked towards Bunbury Town.
Stronger and stronger the sou’wester blew
And Dusky Dolphin and Banyandah flew.
Banyandah was a thing of beauty
Her mighty helmsman doing his duty,
Racing on ahead in a trice
Getting the celebratory champagne on ice.
On New Year’s Day, near the shore
We slept in ’til way past four.
As Banyandah III slipped away
We greeted a lovely sailing day,
Round the beautiful bay we went
Bound for the Quindalup event.
As Banyandah III led us in
We thought about our scattered fleet,
So thanks to John and Pauline Snell
Who organised it all so well.
And to our fearless Cruise Captain and his bride
Who brought us to here to this lovely hide,
Not forgetting Max and his Bluebell
Who found this magic place to dwell.
“Quindalup 2001” by Banyandah III (To the tune of “Waltzing Matilda)
1. All the jolly sailors set off for Mandurah
Under sail be it one, two or three,
What a wonderful welcome with Bosun Tony meeting us
We found ourselves all rafted up as happy as could be.
Chorus – Quindalup, Quindalup, Quindalup, Quindalup
We’ll go a’sailing to Quindalup again,
But the next time we go
We want the right blow
Easterlies, not southerlies, easterlies all the way.
2. Happily wined and dined and looking forward to Bunbury
We were to discover there were southerlies once more,
The winds, the southerly winds, were very fiercely blowing
And Mandurah was our host until day 4.
3. Early Monday morning with Dusky Dolphin at our side
We headed down the coast with the wind on our nose.
It’s New Year’s Eve, we’re running late
In Bunbury we’ll just sit and wait
And open our bottle of bubbly and see how it flows.
4, Now we’re off to Quindalup, the journey’s end is in our sight
Seven days it has taken to get this far.
Most of the fleet are coming soon
Some of them hope to be here by noon
We are sure they’ll be trying with all their might.
5. The good ship Banyandah III brought us all the way down here,
Even though we’re running late, to wish you good cheer.
Many of the old salts will not make it down this far
Hopefully we’ll all be together next year.
Chorus – Quindalup, Quindalup, Quindalup, Quindalup
We’ll go a’sailing to Quindalup again.
But the next time we go
We want the right blow
Easterlies, please easterlies, give us a go!
“Quindalup” by the Crew of Mandala II (To the Karaoke tune of “Down Under”)
Travelling in a clapped out “junkie”
On a compass bearing, like a zombie,
We met strange men who made us nervous
They took us is and gave us breakfast.
And we said
“Are we close to the land down under
Where women glow and men plun-der
C an you hear, can you hear that thun-der?
We’d better run, we’d better take cover”.
Bought dope from a man in Bali
He was five foot three, we called him Charlie.
“Can you take us to south land please?” we said.
“It will cost you plenty without a Visa”.
We said Chorus – “We have to go to the land down under
Where Johnnie glowed when Beazley blundered
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder
We’d better run, we’d better take cover”.
Held on a boat at Christmas Isle,
Looks like we’re here for quite a while.
We said to the Captain, “Can we pay thee
“Cause we’re heading for the land of plenty?”
He said “You’ve made the land down under
Where history shows men rape and plunder.
If you cheer when you hear the thunder
You’d better stand back, it’s refugee chunder…”
Chorus 3 times, to fade out.
We closed the formal part of the day with awarding the final two prizes:
Participating in the most Regatta events – Rob Campbell of Dusky Dolphin was in ALL of them.
Overall Quindalup Cruise 2001 Winner of the Perpetual Trophy – Mandala II. Gordon accepted the trophy on behalf of his lusty crew, and drew our thoughts to all those who did not make it here for the Regatta.
Last but not to be least, Greg and Maggie of Thursday’s Child presented the SWCYC prizes for the Day:
For the best, most seaman-like boat – Bluebell for Max’s great efforts in winning the Sculling Competition.
For great presentation – Degrees of Freedom.
For the wettest boat – Jacinta.
Novelty prize, for trainer wheels – Coal Miner’s Dream.
For late starters – Shoestring, Salad Days.
Novelty prize for “Men’s Prowess” – Banyandah III.
For first power boat in – Shaw Thing.
For great efforts for the whole Cruise – Mandala II.
I must admit to misty eyes as I thanked everyone for their parts played in a wonderful, friendship-filled day. We will be back again, after this, our first Quindalup Cruise (with water pistols and water bombs!).
Postscript: Radio Sked, 0800 hours, 3 January 2002 (the day after the Regatta Day) “It was a great effort from all involved – the skits, songs and poems were excellent as were all parts of the day. Just as Sydney 2000 was declared the best Olympics ever we were honoured by our Cruise Captain with “The best Regatta ever”. Thanks in particular go to SWCYC…we must all congratulate Mandala II for winning the John Mitchell Perpetual Trophy for best overall effort throughout the whole Cruise.”
by Pauline Snell,
who, with her newsy and lively radio skeds every morning read out by John Snell, did so much to hold our floating community together throughout all the comings and goings.