Four Winds Trophy

Douglas Potter at the helm of Four Winds

Potts as he was known to all joined GLYC around the early fifties. I’m not sure of his exact Committee life within the Club, but he was Vice-Commodore for two seasons 1963-65, Secretary for 9 terms between 1954-64, Treasurer for 11 terms between 1955-71, and became a Life Member in 1969. He retired from sailing 1972-73 but continued his interest around the Club until his death in 1985.

The trophy was first sailed for during the 1953-54 season as the Annual Ocean Grange Race and was won by Brian Jennings sailing the Payne Mortlock sailing canoe Havoc, later purchased and sailed by Terry Webster. When Potts retired from sailing Four Winds he sold the boat to me when we were reforming Lakes Entrance Yacht Club in 1973. To commemorate the name of his boat at GLYC he endorsed the trophy by adding the name Four Winds at this time.

About Four Winds she was originally owned by Glenn Heath, who commissioned Paynesville shipwright C. C. Neill to build her, an American designed daysailer Meteor class, in 1948, Glenn, along with Marg Vaughan and Robert Glenn sailed her to her first Club Championship in the 48-49 season. Glenn sold the boat to Albert Howlett who sailed her to her second Club Championship in the 53-54 season along with Eric McCrae and Jock Fussell. Albert then sold the boat to Potts and she went back on the Championship board in the 57-58 season crewed by Potts along with Merv Busch, Henry Klopper and Geoff Ray. She won one more Championship at Lakes Entrance and was then retired. I still have her boom and bow section as mementos. I tried to give her away as a dinghy when the deck rotted off, but she wasn’t wanted.

I sold her mast to the Lawrence family at the Lakes Entrance Central Hotel. It flys the flag on the western end to this day and if you look at it closely you’ll see a spike fitted to the top, put there by Albert Howlett when she lived on the beach south of the Club. The engraving on its side reads Alberts Anti-bird Shitter. There were four other Meteors sailed on the Lakes during those times Quest built by Thomas McKnight Hamilton and sailed with son-in-law Jack and grandson Tom Langtree from Ensay. She was kept in the family boat shed below Ilfracombe on Newlands Arm. Quest was sliding gunter rigged, all the other being marconi. I started on Quest when my father sailed her in the Club’s first Opening Day Race Feb. 6th, 1937 as bailer boy along with Tom Langtree. We finished second to the father and son combination of Ralph and Brendon Thomson sailing Nancy Lee, an International Snipe class they built from teak salvaged from the Huddart Parker steamer Riverina when she founded behind Gabo Island on the 16th April, 1927.

The others were sailed at Lakes Entrance being Bob Foards Chloe built by Joe Bull of Metung, Jack Sutherlands Meteor built by his father Fred who was Harbour Master at Lakes and Bob Gilders Licola built by Sale boat builder Norm Shepard and named after Bobs home town. Bob Coate and I had a good look at her recently, laying as a wreck alongside the family holiday home at New Works Lakes Entrance a sad sight remembering her as the lovely little boat she once was.

Leigh Robinson