Monday 29 May 2023

Little ship race

The following items from 1952 and 1953 describe the Brisbane to Bribie Island Little Ship Club's race, an annual event which attracted good support from the boating fraternity of Moreton Bay. 


41 Ships in race. 

The Little Ship Club's predicted-log race from Bishop Island to Bribie Island was won yesterday by Mr. K. D. McLellan, a Brisbane hotelkeeper.

Mr. McLellan, owner of the launch Apache, scored 191 points, 9 points below a possible maximum. 

Forty-one ships contested the De Candia Trophy (a barometer and thermometer suitably mounted). 

Mr. R. J. De Candia, secretary of the club and owner of the launch Dalmar, was second with 183 points. Mr. C. L. Persson, owner of Diane, placed third with 181 points, and the Zyris (R. Downes) was fourth.

Alvis in win

The club also conducted a yacht race which was won by Brisbane's crack yacht, Alvis, owned by Mr. F. J. Markwell. Tauranga (I. Morgan) was second, and Cimba (T. W. Early) was third. Alvis also gained fastest time.

The trophies were presented at a ball held at Bribie Island last night and attended by more than 400 people, about 300 of whom had been brought by the competing vessels.

The Brisbane Little Ship Club was formed by owners of vessels which comprised the auxiliary naval patrol during the war. It has a membership of more than 80 small craft, and is regarded as one of the biggest in Australia.

Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 31.8.1952 p.3 


The week-end of August 29 and 30 will be a busy one for members of the Little Ship Club, who will take their families on a joint club cruise to Bribie Island.

About 60 vessels will participate in the cruise, which will be led by the Commodore (Mr E.T. Early) and Mrs Early in Nyalla, the vice-commodore (Mr Joe Manahan) and Mrs Manahan in Mooloola, and the rear commodore (Mr J Davies) and Mrs Davies in Cherooke.

On the Saturday night a dance and presentation of trophies will be held at Bribie Hotel.

Brisbane Telegraph 18.8.1953 p.17 

Brisbane to Bribie Race Highlights
4KQ reports on race progress
Courier Mail 29.8.1953 p.7 

Last Saturday night the 4KQ "Fine and Dandy" Show was heard from Bribie Island in conjunction with Little Ships Club Brisbane to Bribie boat race. A description of the race was given by Peter Clarke, followed by the presentation of trophies and the variety show conducted by Allen Brandt on the lawns at the Bribie Island Hotel.

If you have any photos of the Little Ships that participated in the 1952 / 1953 races, or any other years, please send us an email at 

41 Ships in race. Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 31.8.1952 p.3 

Busy weekend. Brisbane Telegraph 18.8.1953 p.17

Further Reading:

Little Ship Club, Stradbroke Island

article: The Old River, 40 years ago, Memories of Little Ships. By a Skipper. Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 13.11.1932 p.20