On Sunday (23 October), the Australian 18 Footers League will stage the Alf Beashel Memorial Trophy race on Sydney Harbour. It’s a race that is conducted annually and has a special place in the League’s heart as it honours one of the true legends of the 18ft Skiff Class. Alf Beashel was one of the first Life Members in 1953 and sailed for many years in the famous ALRUTH skiffs.
John Winning, President of the Australian 18 Footers League, said: “When the present site of the League's clubhouse became available more than 50 years ago, there was a shortfall of funds necessary to secure the prime location and it looked as though the opportunity would be lost. Alf came up with a selfless idea when he suggested that he could retire early from his work and use the superannuation money owed to him to make up the difference. It was the extra yard which helped the League to gain the clubhouse we all enjoy so much today.”
Alf became Secretary of the League and held the position for many years. During his time as Secretary, Alf was at the forefront of promoting the 18s worldwide. His efforts saw events staged in the USA and the first representatives from UK, USA and France join the competition for the famed JJ Giltinan Championship.
Along with his own sailing career in the 18s, Alf also produced a famous son, Ken Beashel, who was the first Australian to win two JJ Giltinan (world) championships – 1963 with Schemer and 1968 with Daily Telegraph.
Alf passed away in 1978, but his memory lives on with the annual Alf Beashel Memorial Trophy race.
The legendry Beashel name, however, continues at the forefront of sailing and yachting around the world thanks to the achievements of Ken’s sons Colin and Adam.
The club’s regular spectator ferry will follow Sunday’s race, leaving Double Bay Public Wharf, alongside the clubhouse, at 2.15pm.
– Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League