Growing on the success of the previous Heritage Ferry Challenges, Davistown Putt Putt Regatta & Wooden Boat Festival again welcomes participants to the 2023 event

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Over 400 years of Sydney Harbour History battled it out in the inaugural Heritage Ferry Challenge in 2019, and its about to happen again in 2023.

Sydney Heritage Fleet, Central Coast Ferries,  Brooklyn Ferry Service, Transport Heritage Australia and a number of private owners are again coming together together, donating their time and their heritage ferries to participate in this special event to raise money for the Kids with Cancer charity and we look forward to this continuing as a regular addition to the Regatta weekend activities.

Our Heritage Ferries travel from far and wide to join us including Sydney Harbour, the Hawkesbury, and Lake Macquarie. If you wandered down to the shores of Sydney Harbour through most of the 20th century you would have seen hundreds of vessels just like these going about their daily work. They were a mainstay of our all our ports and their industry. Sadly, with the passing of time their numbers have dwindled, however we are fortunate to be able to create this opportunity to showcase the largest gathering of timber ferries and launches left in Australia.

After the excitement of the Heritage Ferry and Workboat Challenge on the Saturday, the fleet heads to Davistown on the Sunday joining the many on water festivities including the Grand Parade. There are opportunities for visitors to the Regatta to hop aboard and look closely at the craftsmanship and beauty of these historic timber vessels and joy rides are also on offer throughout the day.

The Organising Committee also thank Central Coast Ferries for providing the Sorrento to act as a spectator vessel for sponsors and other spectators to sail aboard to watch the Heritage and Ferry & Workboat Challenge and to the Gosford Sailing Club for generously making their facilities available.

Limited spectator tickets are available for this great event. Come along and cheer on these wonderful old boats. Tickets can be purchased online at: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/putt-putt-regatta-heritage-ferry-and-workboat-challenge-tickets-716905211787?aff=oddtdtcreator

We expect a minimum of 10 Heritage Ferries & Workboats to participate in the 2023 Challenge with individual sponsors supporting each vessel. The fleet will include the following vessels and we look forward to welcoming these vessels and more back to the 2023 Davistown Putt Putt Regatta and Wooden Boat Festival.

  • Codock II – former Cockatoo Island launch / ferry built in 1945. Spent most of her working life carrying workers to and from the Island. Now a ferry operating on Brisbane Water.(current owner Central Coast Ferries)
  • Leura –  former Stannards & Hegartys ferry built at Holmes Yard, Lavender Bay c1940. Spent many years as the Lavender Bay ferry taking people to Luna Park, Jeffrey St, and McMahons Point, as well as operating school runs.(currently privately owned)
  • Clarence Head – Built in 1945 as an RAAF bomb scow, she was later converted to become a ferry, operating in Newcastle and Yamba. (currently charter vessel owned by Broken Bay Charters).

Online links with further information:

Kids with Cancer Foundation:


Phone: (02) 9680 7444

email: fundraising@kidswithcancer.org.au

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