Old sailing royalty returns for one day….

 In 16ft Skiff News, Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club

Rod Childs knew his crew for Manly 16ft Skiff Club’s Old Buffers’ Day was playing for keeps from the moment he awoke last Saturday morning.

“I got up to take the dog for a walk and the boys were already there to get the boat and start rigging up to get the big sails on for my heavy weight,” he said.

“I could see that they were keen to do well.”

Rod’s son Michael and crewmate Evan Darmanin were going to leave nothing to chance on a day where the club invites sailing royalty to turn back the clock and compete with the current 16ft fleet.

Childs snr has been a member at Manly for more than 50 years and was a regular in the 16s fleet back in his younger days.

And the 68-year-old showed age had not wearied him by guiding CHPS to a come-from-behind win in the light and variable conditions.

CHPS overcame a sluggish start – they were at the back-end of the fleet at the first windward mark – to pick up an easterly breeze shift and work their way through the pack.

“I only get one ride per year these days and the body has trouble coping. It is feeling it at the moment,” Rod said the day after his win.

“There is plenty of wear and tear and it is mentally and physically challenging, but very enjoyable.

“I reckon over the last five or six years it’s (Buffers’ Day) has risen to a new level.

“The club has grown it and supported it and made it a tremendous day for young and old. They really look after us.

“It’s a great day to catch up with old mates and tell a few lies.”

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Childs men as they travelled the course.

“We had the usual father-son arguments,” Rod laughed.

“There was plenty of talk between us but it was enjoyable, probably more for me than him.

”It was great that we were able to pick up the handicap win.”

Lazy White Bar (John Doyle) and Ross Bell Electrical (Gary Paton) filled the minor places behind CHPS.

Cunninghams (John Dransfield) took out the scratch race, with Fluid Building (Phil Harmer) second and Gill (Bruce Savage) third.

Attention now turns to the sixth heat of the Manly club championship, to be sailed on Saturday afternoon.

 

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