Finish line looms for 1959 Sydney to Hobart yacht Jindivik

HIGH AND DRY: Bega Valley Shire Council wants the Jindivik, which competed in the 1959 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, removed from Quarantine Bay. Picture: Liz Tickner

HIGH AND DRY: Bega Valley Shire Council wants the Jindivik, which competed in the 1959 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, removed from Quarantine Bay. Picture: Liz Tickner

Almost 60 years after competing in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the Jindivik is facing an inglorious end after being left high and dry in the bush near Eden.

The Jindivik – which lost its mast off Gabo Island in the epic race of 1959 – was left in the scrub at Quarantine Bay when its current owner, Jim Horvath, ran out of money.

Quarantine Bay will be one of the key pick-up points for tours of the Bundian Way trail. The tours start next month.

Bega Valley Shire Council and the Eden Aboriginal Land Council say the derelict yacht and other junk around Quarantine Bay detracts from the Bundian project. 

Their aim is to have the site cleared by the first week in November. 

Speaking to the Magnet yesterday, Mr Horvath, who now lives in Mallacoota, said he had given permission for the Jindivik to be cut up and taken away unless a yachting or maritime enthusiast, or philanthropist, comes forward within the next few days to save her.

His dream is for the Jindivik to be restored and used as a sail training yacht for disadvantaged youth or people with disabilities.

“It’s a shame,” Mr Horvath, a disability pensioner, said. “She’s got such a rich sailing heritage.”

The Jindivik competed in many major Australian yachting events, including the Sydney to Hobart, Melbourne to Hobart and Melbourne to Devonport races.

Mr Horvath was living on the Kiah when he bought the Jindivik in the late 1990s and moored it in Twofold Bay.

When a severe storm hit Eden several years ago, the Jindivik was ripped from its mooring and on to the rocks; to stop it from sinking, it was dragged into the scrub.

However, he cannot afford to move or restore the yacht. 

Some Eden yachting fraternity members now believe the old timber yacht may be past the point of restoration. 

Bega council rangers will consider placing formal clean-up notices on the items, but BVSC and EALC hope it will not come to that.

“It’s a really scrappy look and I don’t think it’s how the community would like the area to be presented to the many visitors we are expecting on the walk and tours,” Bundian Way project manager Noel Whittem said.

Jindivik is Aboriginal for “the hunted one”.

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