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Vessel Number: HV000314
Date: 1939
Designer: AC Barber
Vessel Dimensions: 10 m x 8.23 m x 2.74 m x 1.68 m, 5.91 tonnes (32.8 ft x 27 ft x 9 ft x 5.5 ft, 6 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
GYMEA is a yacht typical of A C Barber. It has the raised deck and canoe stern which were common features on many of his sturdy yacht designs. It was built by Chares Larson at Gladesville New South Wales, who was known for the construction of KATHLEEN GILLETT, WAYFARER, MOONBI and other important yachts during the 1930s and 40s. It was the first yacht owned by Bill Northam, Australia's first Olympic gold medal winning skipper.
DescriptionGYMEA was built in 1939 and has always been based in Sydney. The deep keel and raised deck were classic proportions for the period. Whilst probably meant to race mainly on the harbour, it was a simple but robust vessel capable of offshore passages.

After World War II GYMEA took part in the early days of offshore racing, competing in the 1947 and 1948 Sydney to Hobart races. In 1951 it is recorded as the handicap winner of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club's 230km Islands Race, finishing third over the line in rough conditions, an excellent performance for a small yacht. The then owner was G L Carter, who had other craft with the same name and was a successful skipper for many years. Carter also sailed GYMEA in the 1947 and 1948 Sydney to Hobart yacht races.

GYMEA's most notable owner was Bill Northam, who later became well known when he owned SASKIA and competed successfully in the Sayonara Cup races. Northam became a national figure when he won Australia's first sailing gold medal at the 1964 Olympics skippering the 5.5 m class yacht BARRANJOEY(HV000061). Another famous Sydney sailor, Gordon Ingate, taught Northam to sail on GYMEA.

GYMEA's changes of ownership are not fully documented, but it is understood it sailed on Sydney Harbour and surrounding waters for many years. The Sydney Amateur Sailing Club history book notes Harold Baldwin as the owner in 1971, but has no other details. Lloyds Yacht Register entries show that John Bleakley was an owner in the 1950s, while Antony Holt was the owner around 1980.

GYMEA now races with Sydney Amateur Sailing Club as a vintage yacht.
Vessel Details
Current status:operational
Deck layout:decked with cockpit
Deck layout:full decked
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:wood/dynel
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:monohull
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:aluminium
Alternate Numbers

Sail Number: 6766

Vessel Registration Number: NE 101 N

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