Eyes wide open for Camille in 34th warm water classic
THERE is very little chance historic boat Camille will take line honours in the Club Marine Pittwater To Coffs Harbour Yacht Race.
But the most beautiful boat in the fleet will have many admirers by the time the ocean racers arrive in the day or so following the start off Barrenjoey Headland on January 2.
Camille's owner, Peter Moran, has entered the 50-year-old yachting classic for the first time.
The boat was designed by legendary mariner Ron Swanson and built specifically to qualify for the first Australian team to challenge for the Admiral's Cup in 1965.
The boat not only made the team that finished second to the United Kingdom team but gained international fame as the top scoring vessel, ending the winning streak of famous British boat Clarion of Wight (GBR).
Famously based in her glory years of international racing at Middle Harbour Yacht Club, Peter Moran became Camille's custodian a year ago and instructed Colin Beashel and his boatyard team in Sydney to go over it with a microscope and bring the boat up to the required category two safety standard. Under the flag of a new owner, Camille made her offshore debut racing for the Gosford Sailing Club.
"In the 1970s I did a lot of offshore racing but never a Coffs race," Moran said.
"I'm looking forward to being part of the event and the bonus is everyone speaks so highly of the race's reputation, distance and reception at the finish."
Moran said his affection for the boat matched its grand history.
"The previous owner of 30 years kept Camille in excellent condition," he said.
"For the refit we decided to stick with the features of the boat's era, even reverting to the original sail number of MH111 to reflect on Ron Swanson's association with Middle Harbour Yacht Club.
"The double-ender with the pipe cots for beds and the full keel was built in Oregon wood including the mast and boom.
"It gives a displacement of 7.5 tons.
"We didn't want to turn it into a cruiser or add more weight as we plan to do other category races next year."
Camille adds to a growing list of famous boats to sail in the event's 34-year history including Wild Oats XI, Condor Of Bermuda, Ragamuffin and many others.