Anitra V

Boat nameAnitra V
DesignerTrygve Halvorsen
BuilderLars Halvorsen and Sons
Year launched1956
LOD11.6m (38ft)
LWL9.45m (31ft)
Beam2.9m (9.51ft)
Draft1.83m (6ft)
Sail number 77
OwnerPhillip Brown
ARHV NumberHV000793


Long distance ocean racing off the east coast of Australia was still a relatively new and developing post war sport
with the Sydney to Hobart Race up to the 12th edition by 1956. For the Halvorsen Brothers ANITRA V was their fifth
yacht (hence the “V” in the name) and the fourth boat built specifically to race offshore – in Australia, New
Zealand and America – and especially in the Sydney to Hobart Race. The previous boats – SAGA 1946, PEER GYNT
1947 and SOLVEIG 1954 were each a development of their thinking about designs and their experiences
racing those boats, however with the Lars Halvorsen Sons boatyard at Ryde in Sydney they had the facility
to keep on building new boats to achieve a better model. 

ANITRA V was different to each of the previous boats mainly because the hull construction was of lightweight Western Cedar timber strip planked with fewer frames and combined with Dynel fabric, a new material technology used to cover the soft timber and provide extra strength. The planking is 1¼ inch x 1 ¼ inch concave and convex edge shaped, edge glued and edge nailed with 3 inch copper nails so that each nail is fastened through 3 planks, effectively stitching the planks together with copper. The whole hull from keel to toe rails was sheathed with Dynel
(then a new woven acrylic resin fabric) combined with polyester resin (Epoxy resins were developed in the
early 1960’s). In the 1990’s the Dynel sheathing was replaced with triaxial fibreglass cloth in epoxy resin,
making the sheathing much stronger on the then 40 year old boat. The solid teak deck and coach house on
ANITRA V are quite traditional with a raised doghouse accommodating the galley. The fittings such as
windows and handrails are also classic Halvorsen designs which can be found on most of the cruisers built
at the Ryde yard, which of course was the main business of Lars Halvorsen Sons rather than building
sailing yachts. Apparently, the Halvorsens had a large stockpile of old seasoned teak from the thick laid
decks of the TINGARI, an old Clyde built square-rigger hulk, the teak purchased when the ship was broken
up in Sydney. So the generous use of teak was a luxury they could afford. ANITRA V was also a double
ender (canoe stern) with a spade rudder just under the canoe stern, well aft of the keel.

Most yacht designs in the 1950’s had keel hung rudders so this configuration was still somewhat
revolutionary. The original mast was deck stepped onto a cast aluminium deck-plate with a timber
compression post below the deck onto the keelson. The original double spreader timber mast and timber
boom were replaced in the late 1960’s after the mast came down off Port Kembla in heavy weather on the
return run in a Montague Island Race. The current mast and boom are still those replacements from the
1960’s. Magnus Halvorsen recounted the following in 2001. 

“In 1956 we built Anitra V, a 38ft cutter to Trygve’s design. She was very successful, with second place in the very tough 1956 Hobart race. But for an error made by the CYCA measurer she would have won it by 20 minutes instead of losing it by 11 minutes. She won the 1957 Hobart and took second place in 1958, and again in 1959. She took the CYCA Ocean Racing Point Score in 1959-60. As the only helmsmen in one Hobart race because of a crew
reshuffle, Trygve and I did 2 hours on and 2 hours off for the entire race. Our policy was to always take a
rookie in our racing crew, preferably an apprentice boatbuilder, to demonstrate the need for a good
construction job. In our own boats, on all but two occasions, we finished the race.” 

 In its’ 60 years Anitra V has had 4 owners but the last 2 have owned the yacht for 50 of those 60 years. After
sailing her hard for four and a half years, including the 1959 TransPac Race from Los Angeles to Hawaii
and back home across the Pacific, the Halvorsen Brothers sold the yacht to Jim Samson in early 1961. He
did very well in his first Hobart race coming 4th in 1961, racing against the Halvorsen Bros in their new
design, Norla. Samson kept her and enjoyed her until 1966 when Anitra V was sold to Garfield Barwick
who owned it for the next 29 years. Garfield Barwick ( later Sir Garfield) had in 1964 resigned from Federal
politics and been appointed as Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia. Whilst he had been a sailor of
small boats he had never been involved in ocean racing in a bigger boat – Anitra V was a new adventure
for him – he was also by then 63 years of age. From the outset Barwick had a Sailing Master, Dudley
Stewart, who took charge of arranging the boat and crew for the racing aspects of Anitra V’s life as well
as the maintenance of the boat.  In the early years of his ownership the boat was campaigned regularly in the offshore series but never did very well in terms of racing results. They raced it in 6 consecutive Hobart races from 1967 to 1972 as well as in many of the CYCA offshore races in those years. After a gap of 22 years since the last Hobart Race entry in 1972 Dudley pulled together a crew (average age of 68) and prepared the boat for one final Hobart race – the 50th Hobart Race in 1994. In May 1995 it was sold to is present owner, who had sailed aboard the yacht when his family were invited along by their friends, the Samsons. He fell in love with the yacht and over the years kept an eye on it until becoming aware that it was to be sold in late 1994. He successfully negotiated its purchase with Barwick and Dudley early in 1995.  

Since 1995 ANITRA V has been raced both inshore and offshore. The offshore racing was mainly in the late 1990’s when some of the timber yachts still formed part of the offshore racing fleets. Offshore sailing for Anitra V is now under more forgiving cruising conditions and schedules taking into account weather windows and forecasts. Today Anitra V is regularly campaigned on Sydney Harbour with the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. Anitra V also now is a regular entrant in various special events such as the CYCA Veterans Regatta, Australia Day Regatta, RMYC Classic Yacht Regatta and the Amateurs Gaffers Days. In January 2017 she was sailed to Hobart for the Australian Wooden Boat Festival and cruised to Bathurst Harbour on the west coast of



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