Cicely June

Launched 1969
Owner Josh & Rachelle Lobodin
Purchased Nov 2013
Contact jlobodin@gmail.com
Configuration UK hull & deck, single spreaders, double lowers, deck stepped
Colour White
Berthed Rosslyn Bay, near Yeppoon, Qld
Sail Number
Australian Registration
State Registration
Call Sign Cicely June
Builder Michael Winfield, UK
Hull Number Uncertain, but one of the first built worldwide, and the first in Australia
Fit Out Was imported as a shell and fitted out in Western Australia
Previous Owners Pat Dixon (original owner), R. H. Lamplough, Ray Weir, then Peter Wilkinson and Mike Turner (Aug 2009-Nov2013)
Previous Names Was renamed Astrid, but Peter & Mike restored her original name

The Yacht’s Story

Cicely June was the first S&S 34 brought into Australia. She was imported privately as a shell by Pat Dixon in 1969 with the intention of competing in the 1969 Sydney-Hobart race. She was fitted out in Western Australia and did sail over and compete in that year’s race, which was made famous by the late Ted Heath, leader of the UK Opposition (& later PM) who won in the S&S 34 Morning Cloud. Pat was assisted by well known WA yachtsman Merv Finn. To read Merv’s account of the race and events leading up to it, click here

Merv’s son Mike recalls Cicely June, and the admiration of everyone locally for such a fast and beautiful yacht. He remembers his father saying however that she was a fairly standard cruising layout, and compared to the purpose built racer Morning Cloud with her special gear and tall rig they felt a bit outgunned.

Cicely June inspired the three Swarbrick brothers in Perth to build some like her locally. Tom Swarbrick went over to England and finding the UK builder Michael Winfield suffering some financial difficulties persuaded him to sell them the mould. This was duly shipped out in early 1970, with a hull laid up inside. This was completed and became Swarbrick hull no 1, Western Morning, which was completed with the UK coachroof so identical to Cicely June.

The Swarbrick brothers however figured they could make a better deck than the original S&S design, and in consultation with S&S the Australian deck and coachroof mould was made, with it sitting on top of the hull (ie about 4″ higher), a straight coachroof with 6’1″ headroom in the saloon and about 2″ lower forward and larger cockpit without the bridgedeck (the mainsheet being on the end of the boom and the traveller aft in the cockpit). The mast and boom were also extended by 1′ to improve performance.

Production began immediately in 1970 and as they say, the rest is history. Although the 1970s were the most productive years, many boats were made in the 1980s and production then continued in smaller numbers. The moulds were refurbished to accommodate resin infusion in 2002 and several boats have now been produced in vinylester foam sandwich with resin infusion, using the well preserved and updated but still original moulds, which up to 2009 had produced around 130 boats in Australia.

All of which may not have happened had not Pat brought Cicely June to Perth in 1969.

 Click here to read the 1991 Yachting Monthly Classic Yachting articles on Sparkman & Stephens and the S&S 34 that Peter Wilkinson found on board when he bought her in 2009 (scroll down to 1991 for both articles).

About the Owners:

Both Peter and Mike are ex R.A.N., Peter from engineering and Mike from stores.

Photos

Rediscovered July 2009
Photograph: Peter Wilkinson

The Start of the Fremantle to Geraldton race 1972
Photograph: courtesy of Mike Finn

The first 3 boats in order are: S&S36 Hotspur (Peter Packer), S&S 34 Western Morning(Jim Taylor) and S&S34 Cicely June (Pat Dixon)

Click on the photo for an enlargement of the original

In the yard awaiting restoration, 2009

One thought on “Cicely June

  1. It’s great to see my late Dad’s “Pat Dixon” boat again after all these years! Cicely June was named after my late mother and I think she and dad would be so pleased that the old girl is still afloat ! We lived just around the corner from the “South of Perth Yacht Club” and my dad would take us down to the club on a Wednesday evening to race Cicely June in the twilight race held through the Summer months on the Swan River in Perth . I was just eight or nine years old the first time I sailed on her and I have lovely memories spent sailing with my Dad and Mum. I do however have a vague memory of my dad coming back from an ocean race in which he was away for about four or five days! He came through the front door looking totally exhausted with what looked like a beard having not shaved and by the look of him slept in days, telling my mum that his ocean racing days were over and he must go to bed! We didn’t see him as he slept for the next 24 hours straight!!
    We later found out Cicely June with other yachts from Perth where the first yachts to race from Perth to Cape Leeuwin “the third most dangerous cape in the world” and back to Perth ! Dad later told me the seas where the biggest he had ever seen with waves much higher than the 40 plus foot mast. All crew where strapped into the cockpit with two men holding the tiller to try and stop her broaching running down these enormous waves ! A couple weeks later he was out racing again!

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