- Letter Writer
- Ship design and development, Ship histories and stories
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- June 2011 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
I refer to the article The Navy and a Yacht Race in the December 2010 Review. I would like to correct your information regarding Rani’s construction. As stated she was built at Speers Point by Leslie James Steel who was my uncle. We lived down the street from his boat building shed. She was built for Dr Rowley Pittar and was originally named Doris after his wife. Doris was launched in the late 1930s, probably 38 or 39. Family talk is that the good Doctor was not entirely happy with his boat and sold it to Captain Illingworth in 1945 and he renamed her Rani. My uncle built two other handicap winners of the Sydney Hobart Race, namely Struan Marie and Rival. I am not sure but I don’t think any other wooden boat builder was responsible for building three winners.
Editor’s note: Unfortunately this email arrived too late for inclusion in our March edition of the NHR. We now include it for completeness as the early history of this important yacht appears to have been forgotten and this information has been passed to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.