The genesis of the Regatta was the social and competitive gathering of “Putt Putts”, as they are now known, by the early builders, residents and boating enthusiasts of the district.
Regattas were often held at Davistown in the early 1900’s. Challenges between boat owners/builders were designed to determine who had the fastest Putt Putt or who could row the quickest.
Re-introduced as an annual event by a quorum of enthusiasts in 1996/1997, the Regatta is a principal event on the Central Coast calendar.
The structure of the Davistown Putt Putt Regatta & Wooden Boat Festival has evolved over the ensuing years and has been supported by a number of local organisations including: Coastal Patrol, SES, Rural Fire Brigade, Volunteer Fire Brigade, Andersons Boatshed, Mitre10, Davistown RSL, Bendigo Bank and many others.
The event has been blessed over the years and has only had to be cancelled or postponed on 2 occasions.
The original committee handed over the reins to the Lions Club of Green Pont Avoca who ran the event from 2012 to 2017. In 2018 the event was subsequently handed over to a small group of enthusiasts who now manage the event.
After the heartbreaking decision to cancel the event in 2018 due to the foreshore becoming unusable, the 2019 (and 20th anniversary) event was an outstanding success and attracted in excess of 60 boats and approximately 15,000 spectators.
The 2019 “Davistown Weekend” also saw the introduction of the inaugural Kids with Cancer Heritage Ferry Challenge in which a number of boats from the Sydney Heritage fleet and other privately owned vessels challenged each other over a course from Woy Woy to Gosford. They were joined by a fleet of Putt Putts who cheered them on. It is hoped that this event will occur again in 2020.
The committee is continuing to plan for the 2020 event but will be guided by government regulations relating to the gathering of large numbers of people as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
2020 will also see the Regatta weekend become events under the banner of the annual Lakes Festival which provides some 20 events over a 10 day period.
Meet the Committee
i. Neil & Doreen Mulcahy
Since moving to Davistown in 2011, Neil and Doreen have embraced the Putt Putt ethos and have entered boats in each years Regatta since. After becoming involved with the Lions Club, providing administrative and operational support to the Regatta since 2016, Neil has taken on the role of Chairman/Treasurer of the committee while Doreen has been the driving force behind the Putt Putt Charity Dinner and is the Committee Secretary.
ii. David & Leone Roach
David, Leone and family have been residents of the area for over 25 years. Since purchasing his first Putt Putt (Scallywag) in 2017, David has become an avid Putt Putt enthusiast. Scallywag is arguably the most used Putt Putt on Brisbane Water. Dave is officially the Public Officer of the Davistown Putt Putt Regatta & Wooden Boat Festival Inc. and Leone has become an integral member of the committee and provides further support to the Charity Dinner.
iii. David &Cheryl Hall
Cheryl & David Hall have been Davistown residents for over 32 years. While not Putt Putt owners, Cheryl and Dave are keen supporters of the event and are passionate about the area. Cheryl readily took on a role on the new committee and is working with Doreen and Leone to ensure that the 2020 Charity Dinner is a success. David has also taken on the role of Vice President.
iv. Brett Smith
Joining the committee this year is Brett Smith. Brett is a long time “boatie” and has been the driving force behind the inclusion of the Heritage vessels and the management of the Heritage Challenge.