21 December 2022
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MORNINGTON SAILING                                                                   ISSUE 15
A lot has been achieved in recent months and the Board trusts that members are enjoying the improved facilities. The renovations to the Clubhouse downstairs, the upgrading of the changing and toilet facilities, the new windows upstairs, and the concreting of a large portion of the yard would not have been possible without the significant contribution of our members.  We have upgraded our facilities at significantly less than normal commercial rates. Further improvements are planned as cash funds permit so watch this space.
The yard concreting in progress.
In addition the Rear Commodore has introduced Sailsys a new race management system which in already delivering improved information to competitors and our race management team.  Once we fully utilize the crew list function we will no longer have to manually sign on but can it do from on our phones.
To all members competing in Championships, Regattas, and Ocean Races over the Christmas New Year period we wish you good luck and fair sailing.
On behalf of the Commodore, Flag Officers, and the Board I hope that you have a great Christmas and that you are able to enjoy the facilities of the Club over the festive season.

Stuart Gooley
Past Commodores on Opening Day.
At last the Club was able to hold an Opening Day for the first time since COVID and what a great weekend it was. In the previous week there had been a lot of rain and there were concerns that this would flow through to the weekend and spoil the activities but fortunately for the Cocktail Party on Friday night and Saturday it was overcast but fine. The Cocktail party was well attended and was a good opportunity for members and guests to catch up and share their experiences over the winter.
The program for Opening Day had been revised by a Task Force of the General Committee and based on the feedback was well received. After the opening speeches members and many of the guests took to the water for a short social sternchaser race which started with yachts sailing past and saluting the Commodore then continuing to race to B buoy and back.
Three cheers for the Commodore.
After a welcome by the Commodore the season was opened by the Mayor Councillor Anthony Marsh and the fleet was blessed by the Reverend Cameron McAdam. 

Then the Club recognised those members who had reached their 25th or 50th year as Club members; an impressive list which included some catch up for the last couple of years.

Those to receive 25 year pins were;
Cam McKenzie from season 2011-12
Richard Trembath- season 2020-21
Geoffrey Hancock-season 2020-21
Tammy Michaelis-season 2020-21
James Grover-season 2020-21
Jon Phillips-season 2020-21
Richard Simcock-season 2020-21
50 year pins were awarded to:
Jim Watson-season 2019-20
Margaret and Bob Armstrong-season 2019-20
Graeme Alexander-season 2019-20
Don Jones-season 2021-22
Tim Donaldson-season 2021-22
Chris Jackson-season 2021-22
James Parker-season 2022-23.

In addition this year, with the approval of the General Committee we are pleased to announce that Graeme Lyall has been awarded Life Membership.  Graeme has been instrumental to the success of our Sailability program and tutored our large band of very supportive volunteers.

The Commodore introduced the leaders of the Club’s Youth group for the coming season and wished them well in carrying out their responsibilities.

Head coach- Will McKenzie
Sail training manager-Immi Weber
Junior captains- Digby Taylor and Lucy Laverty.

After the sailing everyone came ashore to a free BBQ which finished off the day with many staying to enjoy the food and the music of David Campbell.  Prizes were presented to the best dressed boat in the red white and blue theme being Grant Hails’ ‘Arabelle’ and the race winner Tim Donaldson’s sports boat ‘Zipper’.

All together voted the best Opening Day for a number of years; well attended and with everyone involved.
The ORCV reported that Cam McKenzie and Nigel Jones J111 had made a perfect start to the Ocean Racing Season winning the Offshore Sprint Race in Bass Strait recently in a fleet of thirty boats. Cam was reported in the ORCV Press Release as follows:
“The race was good preparation for us all in the lead up to the Melbourne to Hobart Weastcoaster allowing us to get in the swing of things, hunting down the bigger leading boats, as we worked hard on sail trim and sailing tactically to the boat polars.
We’d noticed pre-race that the pin end showed effects of an adverse current, with the tide through the Heads still running strongly. Our decision to start closer to the shore and the shallows and out of the current gave us a lead over the fleet who stuck to the middle of the channel as we edged ahead of Walton’s Rachel Pugh 46 “Hartbreaker” to clear Port Phillip Heads first.

The conditions were ideal for the J111 for its ratio of sail to wetted surface area.  Soon as we were clear of the Heads we moved to the A1.5 which is great for sub 10 knots and hardened up to the turning mark swapping only to the code zero when the breeze started to move just prior to the mark.

We’ve some great experience on ‘Ginan’ with five of the seven crew sailing together in the 1999 Westcoaster race on ‘Cadibarra 7’. The Coastal race was a great race tactically and as an introduction for my 19 year old son Will in his first off-shore race.”
Most of the fleet used this race to fine tune for the Westcoaster or to complete their qualifying passage. The results were a clean sweep for ‘Ginan’ winning on AMS and ORC with a second on PHS.


We wish ‘Ginan’ the best of luck in the Westcoaster which starts off Portsea on December 27th; it’s great to see a Mornington boat competing in this race again.  Peter Gustafsson from Sweden Is joining the crew for the Westcoaster.  Peter is from Gothenburg and is a very experienced and renowned offshore racer in his J111 ‘Blur’ having successfully campaigned in major ocean races and regattas in Europe and beyond.   Peter has recently shipped ‘Blur’ to the USA to campaign the boat over the next few years. 

Peter is a wealth of knowledge on J111 yachts and has provided great support and advice to Cam and Nigel Jones in the lead up to the Melbourne to Hobart.
Our keel boat fleet has been strengthened by several new Sports boats to the Club which in the right conditions have been cleaning up the fleet.
Last year Graeme Alexander’s   Melges 32 ‘Panther’ ( LOA 9.7 metres, draft 2.1 metres, and a displacement of 1,712 kgs) was the only Sports boat to sail regularly but he is facing competition from amongst others Bill Bennett’s ‘Remedy’ an Archambault ‘Grand Surprise’. ‘Remedy’ is only one of four in Australia; she is 9.75 metres LOA, draws 2.05 metres and weighs 2,600 kg. The boat carries both masthead and fractional asymmetrical kites on a retractable bowsprit, she has three non-overlapping headsails and is set up for 2 handed sailing or a crew of 6.
Tim Donnellan’s ‘Zipper’ is a Thompson 8 (LOA 8 metres, draft 2.23 metres and a displacement of 820 kg.). Known as the Bunnings boat she is very fast completing the Williamstown to Mornington race in just 2hrs 12 minutes 10 seconds, albeit the race was a downwind sprint.
Then there is Jono Neate’s Thompson 7 ‘Zip’ (LOA 7 metres, draft 1.8 metres and a displacement of 630 kg) which has also been performing very well.
It is great to see these Sports boats in the fleet.  They are fast and exciting to sail and we expect to see others joining the fleet soon. Another advantage is that depending on the boat they are relatively inexpensive and can be craned out after each sail so no mooring Is required.
Rear Commodore Trevor Neate has just purchased an Infiniti 36 a carbon fibre flying machine which looks to become the scratch boat in our fleet when it arrives from Sydney.
An Infinity 36.
Start line at the worlds.

Members will recall that Sophie Jackson made three overseas trips in 2022; the last being the 470 Worlds in October in Israel. Conditions on the Mediterranean Sea made for challenging and exciting racing. There were two Australian teams competing and after the qualifying races they completed the Series in Silver fleet. Australian National 470 coach Malcolm Page observed; “Silver fleet has some great quality sailors in it, there are two World Champions, the Kiwis that placed fourth at the Tokyo Games as well as past European Champions. That’s just a few examples so they are mixing it with quality sailors.”
Malcolm said he was happy with the improvements of the Australian sailors, especially the young Australian Sailing Futures pair of Sophie Jackson and Angus Higgins. “What is really cool about the second race is Sophie and Angus executed a port hand start really well.  It got them some freedom and they played at the front of the fleet, rounding the top mark in fourth.”
Sophie and Angus sailing in the Worlds.
Sophie has provided us with the following report on the Worlds-
“We knew our first 470 Worlds would be super challenging in such a good fleet and it definitely was. It was the highest standard 470 fleet we have raced in and there was so much depth, even in the Silver Fleet. Making one mistake could see you go from top-mid fleet straight to the back, which we found super tough in our first two days of qualifying racing.  But for us in our first 470 Worlds there was so much to learn from being able to race the best sailors in the world! At times throughout the Regatta we found ourselves racing at the front of the fleet and those experiences are the ones that make us hungry to keep pushing and getting better, as well as leaving us with many lessons!   Although we didn’t get the results we feel like we are capable of we have learnt so much, have a lot more knowledge in the bank, and know the things we need to work on in Australian this summer.

We had a lot of tricky conditions with mostly 8-12 knots winds, a variety of sea states, and some off shore wind days with very shifty and patchy conditions. Our best day of results was one of those off shore days, but also the windiest days, racing in the Silver finals with 12-15 knots, where we rounded the top mark in 4th and finished the day with a 9th and a 14th.

Final results 50th overall. Heat results in Qualifying 28, 29, 20, UFD, 23. Silver finals 14, 9, 22, 23, 13,16.

A huge thank you to the Mornington Yacht Club Foundation for their support, along with everyone else who has made our first international racing season possible.  It’s been an incredible year for us with so much experience gained, and we are looking forward to climbing up the rankings in 2023!  To finish up 2022 and begin the Australian summer season, we will finally get some training in Melbourne for the first time this year, training out of Mornington and Brighton with the Australian Futures and VIS coach Carrie Smith, and MYC/VIS sailors James Jackson and Lily Richardson before we head to Sail Sydney.  Then to kick off 2023 we will have Sail Melbourne at RBYC and the Australian 470 Championships at McCrae Yacht Club from January 25-28, before we head back to Europe in February with the Australian Sailing Squad 470’s for some training and then into two World Cups and the European Championships in the March to May period.”

Sophie and Angus are dedicated athletes pursuing sailing excellence at the highest level and we look forward to watching them progress towards that goal.
Laser States are now held before Christmas. On the first weekend in December we had seven participants out of just over a total of 50 youth and adults. A great leadup for some of our Laser sailors before they headed off to Sail Sydney along with our 420 and 470 sailors.
Jack Eickmeyer - 2nd in the Standard
Jack Vermeer - 3rd in the 4.7s
Lucy Laverty & Maddy English - 1st & 2nd girls in the 4.7s (their first Laser regatta too!)
Back at home our SLM and Trysail program continues to please all involved. Come down on a Sunday and have a look. This year we are just offering 3 free Sundays to “Trysail”. We’re now on our 3rd group, and have already had 11 new members sign up, with 3 very likely in this group. We only have a few “Trysail” spots left in our March/April block, so if you know a 8-10 year old who’d be keen, get in quick. Book here ( It’s fantastic to see our Opti fleet growing, learning and making friendships for a lifetime. 
We also have our Holiday Sailing Program in January for kids/teenagers whether they be regular sailors or learn to sail holiday makers. The week will be 5 days of action-packed fun, with sailing activities catered to skill level, water activities such as kayaking, SUP and windsurfing, rib ride adventures, sailing treasure hunts and more. For more info or help with booking, please email Immi via or click here ( to book.
After several years of Covid hindering attempts at social gatherings for our Junior and Youth Sailors, we started the season off strong. On Friday 18th November we had over 30 sailors and their siblings come together for an evening of bowling and laser tag. This was the best turn out we’ve had, and it was great to see our sailors socialising outside of sailing. We also recently had our Girls Sleepover Camp. We had 8 girls who had a fun afternoon swimming, then a pizza dinner and movie. Great to get our female sailors together to encourage female participation in sailing.
There wasn’t a day under 20 knots, and our fleets all raced down near the heads in big seas. In the 470 fleet, half of the podium was from MYC with Sophie Jackson taking the honours, while James Jackson and Lily Richardson were 3rd after battling illness, a car crash, and a trip to a Middle Harbour beach with a broken side stay to save their mast. In the Laser Radials (ILCA6), Lachie Weber 3rd on countback, but if you look at it another way was equal 1st Australian tied with the Olympian from Tokyo, Mara Stransky. Jack Eickmeyer battled the big boys in the Laser Standard (ILCA7) including Matt Wearne and everyone who wants his Olympic spot to be 12th and first Victorian. Dan Laverty 14th Radial and 3rd Victorian. Then our 420 fleet who did so well in such hard conditions and learned so much. Lucy Laverty might need to visit Dave and work on sail repairs.
Leigh Harvie travelled to Georges River in Sydney for the Summer Optimist Regatta Sydney (SORS) on 10-12 December. Leigh competed in Opti Open fleet with 42 other boats and placed 11th. His best race was 5th (almost 4th but he got pipped just before the line). The wind varied from really light to really heavy and everything in between. Leigh had fun catching up with sailors from other states and practicing big fleet sailing in preparation for the forthcoming Nationals to be held in January (also in Sydney, but on Pittwater).
Our mid-week training sees lots happening at the club. Our youth Laser fleet is becoming one of the biggest on the bay. Our numbers of Lasers/420s/470s led the VIS to bring the coaching down to MYC last week.
Now we look to our regattas next year with Schnapper Point in Feb, Opti States Labour Day weekend and School States the first weekend of April. Did I mention any help is greatly appreciated as always? Watching these guys in action is great.
Goldfinger on Red Bluff.
We were all sorry to see that Simon and Amy Brown’s Sydney 38 ‘Goldfinger’s mooring failed on October 29 when a wild storm swept through the harbour. The yacht which had only recently been relaunched was washed up at the foot of Red Bluff but fortunately the damage sustained can be repaired. Graeme Taylor of Hart Marine are undertaking the repairs.
On Mothers Beach showing damage to the hull’s port side.
The rescue operation was difficult as the yacht was on the rocks and not Shire Hall Beach. Thanks to all the members and the Buchanan crew who gave their time and undertook the rescue operation once the weather allowed.
Hopefully ‘Goldfinger’ will be back sailing with us in the near future.
I recently sighted a plague on the eastern end of Shire Hall beach marking the location of the Sailors Hotel in the 1850’s.  I have followed this up with the Mornington Peninsula Historical Society to try and find the nature of the hotel and how long it was there. Unfortunately they did not have much information on the hotel and no pictures or sketches of the hotel are known to exist. Parts of the hotel’s foundations however were found in the early 1900’s together with many rum bottles.  Members however may be interested in what I have been able to learn of the hotel and its operator.

Scott’s Sailors Hotel was located in the shelter of Red Bluff on what was originally called Scott’s beach (now called Shire Hall Beach).  The hotel catered for the crews of boats sailing from Schnapper Point to Melbourne carrying initially firewood which was an early industry in Mornington. At this time the pier which was completed in 1858 wasn’t in existence. There were no paved roads and the horse drawn vehicles travelling to Melbourne would have to wait for low tide to cross the various streams and creeks along the way.

Mornington was a very small settlement with only 236 permanent residents in 1860.  However there were quite a few hotels in addition to the Sailors Hotel.  The Tanti opened in 1854, the Schnapper Point Hotel was located on the Esplanade and became the Royal in 1876, the Mornington Hotel was built on the corner of Wilsons and Brewery Roads (now Dunns Rd).  This hotel transferred its licence to a new hotel in Main Street called the Cricketers Arms and subsequently became the Grand. . Then there was the Marine Hotel which opened in 1860 and subsequently became Kirkpatricks, and finally the Pentecost Hotel in Tanti Avenue in 1864 which became the Foresters Arms. So in the 1860’s there were six hotels in the town supported I suspect by seafarers and travellers as well as the local population.  Now we have four with the demise of the Sailors Hotel and the Foresters’ Arms.

In 1864 the State Government proclaimed as Crown Land the area between Tanti Creek in Mornington and Balcombe Creek in Mt Martha between the Esplanade and the Bay. This land was to be reserved for public recreation and as a promenade. At that time there were two licence holders who had been able to erect huts on the beach. One was a fisherman George Walton who had a hut just above the highwater mark on Tanti Creek at the end of Mills Beach. I have a lithograph of this hut which is included on page 3 of the Club’s history book ‘Sailing at Mornington’. The other was James Scott who erected a hut on Shire Hall Beach and traded as the Sailors Hotel.
Walton’s Fishermans hut on Tanti Creek/ Mills Beach.

The licence to occupy held by  these individuals was revoked but in 1867 Alfred Balcombe, who had a large pastoral lease in the District, wrote to the Lands Department stating that Scott had been directed to leave the land that he had leased  but was now unlawfully occupying Crown Land. Balcombe pointed out that the site occupied by Scott was a favourite for bathers and he was agitating for the hotel hut to be removed.
It is not known when Scott left and when the Sailors Hotel was demolished.
Of interest however is the descendants of the Scott family and the contribution they have made to Mornington and the City of Melbourne.
James Scott married Hannah Clifton and they had the following children:
-Ada Hannah Scott born in 1852 in England.
-Annie Jane Scott
-James Henry Scott.
It is Ada Scott that is of interest. She married Stephen Murrell (Esteran Morell) in 1868 at St Peters Mornington in one of the very early weddings in that Church. She later developed a successful business career in Melbourne. Stephen Morelll was a Spaniard who was visiting Mornington as a tourist when we met Ada. I suspect that Stephen and Ada left Mornington soon after as their eldest son Stephen was born in Carlton in 1869.
Stephen and Ada had four children, Stephen 1869, James 1875, Ada 1878 and Florence 1884.  James interestingly married Alice Kirkpatrick the daughter of Kirkpatricks owner continuing the involvement with Mornington’s hotels.
Stephen born in 1869 changed his name to Morell and had a successful career initially in the hotel industry owning Young and Jacksons and the Oriental Hotel in the city as well as pastoral runs in Queensland.   When the Melbourne breweries combined in 1903, as a way of increasing and managing the price of beer, he helped to establish the Melbourne Co-Operative Brewery in Abbotsford. Stephen became the chairman of the Co-Operative and when it was taken over by Carlton and United Breweries he became a director of that company in 1926. His son Rodney also became a director on Stephen’s retirement.   In civic life Stephen was a Melbourne City Councillor for 38 years and became Lord Mayor in 1926 serving two terms.   In addition he was President of Mercantile Rowing Club for 28 years. Morell Bridge over the Yarra was renamed after him in recognition of his services to Melbourne and he was Knighted in 1927.
Sir Stephen married in 1901 and also had four children, Stephen 1902, Sheila 1907, and twins Donald and Rodney 1910.  Donald became a well-known Mornington identity being a Shire Councillor for many years and served two terms as the Mayor. Don Morell will be known by the older members of the Club.  Whilst he was not a member his sons Stephen and Robert sailed in the 1960’s with our off the beach fleet.
I apologize for leading you  through the six generations  of the Morell family who have lived in Mornington  but it is fascinating that the descendants of James Scott the operator of the Sailors Hotel should lead such prominent lives In the Shire of Mornington and Melbourne.
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