• Bill Manning

Shenanigans in Hobart following the race

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

In 1989 the Margaret Rintoul finished the race in Hobart at 1400 hrs on New Years eve. I had pre-booked my accommodation at the Hilton just opposite Constitution Dock. A bit of comfort after 5 days racing, or so I thought. Bruce Gould (the owner skipper) had booked the crew into a restaurant within 100 meters from where the boat was moored.


A crew member who shall remain anonymous (he was and is a single man) had instructed us all that if we came to the boat and saw a upside-down bucket on the foredeck the boat was ‘in use for some horizontal dancing’. We shall call him Paddy. He also made it known that he had also imported a lady from Mosman (in Sydney) for company. We all knew the lady whom we nick-named Miss Latvia 1935. She was attractive but had seen a few Christmases in her time.


Bill Manning - Blog post | After 1989 race
The 1989 crew in Hobart left to right Paul Kerrigan, Johnny Wigan, Peter Hemery, Bruce Gould (owner) second row, Malcolm Levy, Peter Green,Bill Manning and in front Dave Hagon.

At the stroke of 12 midnight Paddy and his lady friend quietly left the gathering. He was immediately followed by Malcom Levy with a sly grin on his face. At the boat while Paddy was getting a bucket and placing it on the foredeck using the starboard side, our Malcom was entering the boat across a boat moored along side, on the port side. On arrival back in the cabin Paddy was greeted by Malcolm in the bunk with the lady who as undressed. Well this was a bit much for Paddy. He picked up Malcom from the bunk and through him out of the hatch and into the cockpit in one movement. Malcom picked himself up feeling somewhat injured and decided to go to Billy’s room in the hotel. He soon was grinning again as he saw Bruce returning to the boat with three bottles of port with mates from Hobart and the other crew members. Paddy would have to contain himself for the night.


Next Malcom was knocking at my door in the hotel. On opening my door he announced he was kicked off the boat and therefore had to sleep in my room. He then saw a baby’s cot in the corner and in one bound jumped in. The cot then collapsed in the middle capturing Malcolm with his hands grabbing his ankles. I the had to lay the cot on its side to allow him to exit. I can then remember phoning his wife Lynne at approximately 0100 hrs to establish which side of the bed he uses. In the morning I was greeted not with 'a good morning Bill’ but ‘if farts were brown I would not be able to see you’.


Readers will recall the on the race we had a serious problem with a bad leak in the stem of the boat. This necessitated slipping the boat at the Royal Hobart Yacht Club. So during the day we had the boat towed to the Club and placed on the slipway. Readers will also recall we emptied the fuel tank which also involved sucking 38 years of fuel dregs through the fuel system and thus warranted a major overhaul of the system.


Bill Manning - Blog post | Margaret Rintoul close hauled
Margaret Rintoul close hauled

That evening was the prize giving at the Casino. We got dressed into yachting jackets and attended with the rest of the crew. That is all except Paddy (and his lady friend). We has a strong suspicion that Paddy was attempting to get what he did not get the night before. He was likely to be on the boat. At approximately 2200hrs, just on dark, Malcom, Johnny, Peter, myself and Jimmy Dunstan assembled down the yacht club by the slipway underneath the boat. We then appointed Malcom and Jimmy to two hoses which they had at the ready up the two hull outlets (the sink and toilet drains), I was on the rudder ready to swing it and turn the steering wheel at pace and Johnny and Peter were manning the hose pointing at the cabin hatch. At the signal we all started to cause as much noise and disturbance as possible.

At this Paddy sprang into action. He knew what we were up to. He immediately instructed his lady friend the start filling balloons with water from the hand pump at the sink. He then appeared at the hatch in the nude except for a condom in the shape of an elephants head and trunk. We were dodging water filled balloons thrown by Paddy for a couple of minutes. We then beat a strategic retreat, just as a group of Japanese yachtsmen came to look at the boats on the slipway. They coped a balloon full of water and also beat a retreat.


We then retired to our Hotel room with a case of Cascade beer. We the called the Tasmanian police and reported a disturbance at the Yacht club slipway and eventually went to bed.


Bill Mannig - Blog post | Margaret Rintoul down wind
Margaret Rintoul down wind

The next morning Malcolm and myself slept in feeling a little worse for wear. We were still in the double bed when there was a knock on the door. I said to Malcolm on no uncertain terms

‘do not answer the door !!’.

Malcolm got out of bed and went to look through the viewing hole in the door. Once again I said

‘do not answer that door’.

Unfortunately Malcolm was looking at Miss Latvia 1935 standing outside the door with a bath towel wrapped around her. On seeing a shadow over the viewing hole Miss Latvia 1935 unwrapped the towel to give Malcolm a full stand up view of herself in the nude! All the was too much for Malcolm who went to pieces, forgot what my instructions were and unlocked the door and opened it. As he did Paddy who was out of sight from the viewing hole and lying on the floor in the hall, poked the fire hose inside the room and turned it on full pelt.


At this stage Malcolm screamed at me

‘Billy, Billy help’.

Paddy had gathered the fire hose from its storage in the hallway and lying down out of sight and positioned himself so as to be able to jam the door open and turn the hose on just as Miss Latvia 1935 fully exposed herself. He was able to withstand the two of us with shoulders pushing the door trying to close it. The rest of our stay at the hotel was spent squishing water with every step we took in the room.


Malcolm and myself got dressed and went downstairs to the bar leaving Paddy and Miss Latvia 1935 in the room up to god knows what. We ordered two beers and had just got started when we spied a likely lad with a back pack on, looking around for a seat. We called him over and offered him a seat and a beer which he accepted. We introduced ourselves. He turned out to be a 22 year old school teacher at Queenwood School on holiday. We brought a second round for beer.


We then said we would like him to go over to the house phone, dial our room number and tell the man who answered that you had a parcel delivery for the room. He did this and came back to tell us the man who answered was rather sharp in his response. He said to leave the parcel at reception. We said have another beer.


After 5 minutes we asked our school teacher to go back to the phone, dial the room again this time saying the reception would not take the parcel and it had be delivered personally. He reported that the man in the room was very testy and said to come up and leave it outside the room. We said have another beer.


After 5 minutes we asked our school teacher to go back to the phone, dial the room again this time saying the instructions required him to get a signature for the delivery. He advised that the man answering the phone was ropable and said something about getting those bustards. With that we left the bar and hotel. Just as the lift opened and a red faced Paddy came out looking for us.


I left for Sydney to fly home the following day. Malcolm and I swore we would tell nobody about the cost of the room a promise which we have kept. Malcolm, Paddy and Bruce Gould took Miss Latvia 1935 and Bruces wife Prue on the trip of a lifetime up the Tasmanian coast. Unfortunately the engine was not fixed in Hobart and the had to keep it running the whole time they were on board 3 days and 2 nights.


There was a lot of shenanigans that year in Hobart.

302 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All