Maluka of Kermandie
MALUKA is a yacht with a strong history and connection to the Sydney to Hobart. Here she is finishing in 2016 - her owner's 26th race and in her fastest time of 3:19:38:07.
In the 1930's the Clark brothers raced MALUKA with the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club and fished offshore or around the harbour. They undertook the first of four well documented cruising voyages in April 1933 when they sailed to North Queensland, spending five months away from Sydney. It was a great success and the gale they experience very early in the voyage proved the seaworthiness of MALUKA's design. This gave them great confidence for their next voyage in September 1934 to Lord Howe Island, taking Sep Stephens as a third crew member. The boat weathered severe gales on both passages and again proved itself entirely capable in the open ocean.
Their next voyage ended in disaster. The three sailors left Sydney for Hobart just prior to Christmas Day in 1935 and south of Eden were a caught in a southerly gale raging against a strong south moving current. The seas were huge so they hove-to for an extended period, and crew member Stephens was injured during one knock down. Unable to take any sights to confirm their position they estimated they were near Green Cape in NSW. The brothers were eventually overcome with exhaustion and lashed the tiller with all three sheltering below, believing they were drifting well out to sea. In fact the current had taken them well south along the Victorian Coastline and the early hours of the morning the boat grounded on a headland at Cape Conran, near the township of Marlo. It grounded with damage to one side and when dawn broke they found themselves on the rocks laying over to starboard and clear of the sea. With help from locals they salvaged the yacht by patching over the one hole in the planking, and removing its ballast keel so they could man-handle the hull across the rocks and back to deeper water. The yacht was refloated and motored to Marlow, while the keel was retrieved and brought back overland by truck. The keel was bolted back under the hull and then MALUKA was sailed back to Sydney.
The yacht was then properly repaired by Fisher and 12 months later successfully voyaged to Tasmania and return over Christmas and New Year in 1936/37. Ten years before the first Sydney to Hobart race.
Maluka was designed by Cliff Gale and built by Billy Fisher in 1932, both well known figures in Sydney during that period. It was built for the Clark brothers of Sydney and became well known when the pair undertook a series of cruises along the eastern coastline. MALUKA is also connected to Sydney Harbour's RANGER class of raised-deck racing yachts designed by Gale. It has the same characteristics but is an earlier and larger version with sea-going capabilities. It was extensively rebuilt to race in the 2006 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
(Ausralian National Maritime Museum Register of Historic Vessels)
Photo taken from Peter Robyn - http://www.jeffmurrayimaging.com/Blog-stuff/Peter-Robyn
Classic YachtFinishGaff RigMeluka of KermandiePeter RobynSony 70400mm F45.6 G SSM IISony ILCE7R II.Sony LAEA4SpinakerSummer 2016Syndey to Hobart