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Photos by Shaun Fisk

In June, under clear skies and gentle winds, the Moreton Bay Classic took place off Manly, leaving organisers delighted by its success and visual splendour. Classic timber cruiser owners from near and far eagerly participated, resulting in a fleet of 80 classic cruisers, joined by other support and spectator boats. This year’s event success was credited to many volunteers and local organisers Tony Dummer, David Bryant and Paul Crowther. Paul captains his own classic cruiser, Mohokoi, that participated in the event. Many boats hailed from the Moreton Bay area and featured native timber, adding a local touch that thrilled enthusiasts. Each year, the event breathes life into the bay, evoking scenes from a bygone era with its classic timber vessels.

Taking advantage of the beautiful winter conditions on Moreton Bay, the event was strategically scheduled on the first Saturday of the school holidays. The fleet followed a course around Green Island and then around the eastern end of Peel Island, eventually anchoring in Horseshoe Bay.

Around 300 people gathered on the beach for a delightful BBQ and live entertainment, with Nik Philips providing the musical backdrop for the festivities. Line honours were bestowed upon Dolphin 2, and they were presented with the esteemed Bill Wright Trophy. St Brendan claimed the Ron Jenyns Trophy for the handicap winner, although the organisers made a spontaneous decision to award this trophy to the crew that best captured the spirit of the event.

The organisers emphasised that the focus of the Moreton Bay Classic was not solely on the winners but on encouraging everyone to get out on the water and enjoy boating. They also expressed a desire to foster a love for timber boats among the younger generation, as many of these beautiful vessels are currently owned by older enthusiasts.

With the tremendous success and enthusiasm generated by this year’s event, the Moreton Bay Classic has firmly established itself as a cherished annual celebration of maritime heritage and boating camaraderie. Those interested can stay updated with the latest developments by following the Moreton Bay Classic on Facebook or reaching out with any inquiries.


Published in print October-December 2023