Welcome to the website of the fabulous exciting Vaucluse Junior (or Vee Jay) sailing dinghy!
The VJ 85th Anniversary Reunion Evening was held at Belmont 16ft Sailing Club on Saturday 20th August 2016. Our thanks go to the Belmont 16ft Sailing Club for their assistance and to Danny Anderson in particular without whom the evening would not have been possible.
Over 125 people attended what was a very enjoyable evening. Moderator Sean Harrison provided an entertaining guest speaker/panel segment mid evening which featured guest speakers Ricky Bridge, Gary Bruniges, David Cleworth and Greg Fryer.
Thanks go to Aislinn Dewit and Dylan Wright for handling the videos and slideshows, and to Graeme Talbot for handling the front desk.
More pics soon in the News page, but for a quick view:
(please click on image to enlarge)
- Feb 2016: new youtube video from the Concord Ryde Sailing Club 70th Anniversary day regatta: https://vauclusejunior.wordpress.com/video/
‘Splinter’ was launched in either late April or on 1st May 1931 (depending on the sources), and proved to be a very good boat but a little ‘tippy’ and unstable according to designer Charles Sparrow. Charles then redrew the lines and widened the chines by 1 inch either side. The following boat was again built in the Vaucluse 12ft Amateur Sailing Club clubhouse by Sil Rohu, Charles Sparrow, F Sargent and R Banks during the winter of 1931 and was launched in August 1931. This boat was named ‘Chum’ and is pictured below.
Designed at Vaucluse, Sydney, Australia in 1931 by Charles Sparrow and Sil Rohu this 11ft 6″ (3.5m) little rocketship of a dinghy was once the most popular and most numerous sailing boat in Australia and was also built in many countries around the world. Times have changed, sporting interests and activities of families have changed, other sailing classes have come and gone, and by 2008 the once dominant Vee Jay had almost died out.
Inspired by how challenging and how much fun to sail this wonderful boat is, and by what a healthy invigorating sport sailing is, a group of us older Vee Jay sailors have come back to the Vee Jay in October 2010 from other classes and are now sailing and racing the Vee Jays again at Teralba Sailing Club at Lake Macquarie NSW Australia.
Many of us have been sailing the Vee Jay since the 1970s and have gone on to sail other boats like 14ft skiffs, 16ft skiffs, 18ft skiffs, VSs, Skates, Cherubs etc, and we still find the smaller intermediate Vee Jay offers a great deal of excitement and enjoyment either when racing or just leisurely out sailing about.
Modernisation of the VJ design:
Since February 2011 we have taken the step of making upgrades and changes to the boat’s design that we feel are in keeping with the original spirit of Sparrow and Rohu’s design. Since the 1970s, changes to the Vee Jay design were needed in order to keep abreast of sailing developments of the time and to keep the boat relevant and modern to the younger sailors who from about 1970 were being lured away by the up and coming designs of the day such as the Flying 11 and others.
Unfortunately over several decades from 1970 very little effective change was introduced to the Vee Jay’s design and it gradually slipped from being everywhere around the Australian coastline to being only sailed in a few clubs. 2008 unfortunately saw the class being abandoned from its last great stronghold, the iconic Belmont 16s sailing club at Lake Macquarie NSW in favour of the Flying 11 as an intermediate trainer/racer.
In October 2010 the Vee Jays under the organisation of George Probert, Don Cross, Graeme Talbot and Greg Fryer regrouped and began racing once more at Teralba at northern Lake Macquarie. We have been working hard on getting the younger sailors trained up and interested in the sport of sailing at this wonderful location and on these wonderful boats. Already our younger crews and skippers have shown their keen abilities and are developing their skills and enthusiasm rapidly.
In Feb 2011 we began the modernisation steps that we felt had been long needed in order to make the Vee Jay once again as it had been in the 1950s and 60s the very best 2 person intermediate trainer/ high performance dinghy in Australia. We are taking the steps which we also believe will position the VJ as the best trainer for the Olympic 49er high performance dinghy and the 12 14 16 and 18 ft skiff classes.
These design changes to the VJ will be ongoing over the next few years as we develop, refine and evaluate them. The changes are both aimed at keeping younger sailors in the class much longer – in fact all their lives if they so desire it, but also at attracting back to the VJ class the older more experienced sailors who might have gone on previously to sail other classes and are looking for something smaller and cheaper but still exciting and challenging to sail.
We believe that the current Vee Jay offers a level of excitement and develops a level of skills that is unmatched by other similar size sailing classes, and yet importantly is still a very effective trainer for younger sailors. Please see our ‘2013-14 Rig’ and ‘Hull Designs’ sections for the latest updates on the development of the VJ.
Other sections of our website feature:
* News: all the latest information including VJs now sailing at San Diego USA, the new 2013 VJ hull design
* About: details about the VJ Amateur Sailing Association and our sailing season at Teralba Amateur Sailing Club including location map from Google Maps.
* Boatbuilding : photos and information from the building of foam sandwich VJs from 1992 onwards by amateur and professional boatbuilders including: Allan Robinson, Peter Sievert, Mark Thorpe and Julian O’Mahoney.
* VJ Hull Designs: the new 2013 VJ hull and rig design, David Cleworth’s 1994 CAD drawings of the ‘Big Apple III’ hull and foils, also his drawings of the well known Jack Smid hull design. Later to come photos of hulls from Allan Robinson, Darby Davis, Larry Selby, Don Fairbrother, Steve Gallagher, Don McGregor and others. We welcome photos and information about VJ hulls built by other professional and amateur builders over the years.
* VJ 2013-14 Rig: drawings and photos of the new sail plan including latest developments with the jib and spinnaker
* Photo Gallery: photos of VJs from all eras, all photos are welcome.
* VJ History: the history of Charles Sparrow and Sil Rohu’s iconic design and the history of the VJ class. Included are details from a discussion between Charles Sparrow and Greg Fryer in 1994 plus images of an original set of 1938 VJ plans from Charles Sparrow. We also welcome any information from people which can add to this history of the VJ in Australia.
* Plans: the current VJ Association Plans which were redrafted in 1990, as well as VJ Plans from past eras
* Video: youtube video clips of VJ sailing, we plan to make many youtube clips early in the new year 2015
* Championships: Australian and NSW championship Senior and Junior winners from 1939
**Please see our Photo Gallery for the 4 page ‘Go Jet Go Jay’ brochure from 1968
(Please click on images to enlarge)
© All rights reserved 2014 Greg Fryer
Teralba VJs at Teralba Amateur Sailing Club’s 65th Anniversary Day Regatta 25th February 2012