BLUEWATER BUSHMEN

2004 Limited Edition 

BRUCE STANNARD AM

 

 

 


THE COLOURFUL HISTORY OF THE GREAT OPEN BOATS OF SYDNEY HARBOUR 


 

 

 

 

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In 1981 journalist and author, Bruce Stannard, coined the phrase 'Bluewater Bushmen' to describe the crews who manhandled the thousands of square feet of canvas sail atop the 8, 10, 12, 14, 18, 19, 22  and 24 foot open boats on Sydney Harbour.  The phrase immediately entered into Australian sailing vernacular.

"In the mythology of Australian sport there are few legends more colourful or enduring that those that surround the great sail-carrying open boats.  Throughout the 19th century, long before cricket and the turf became obsessions in the infant colony, vast crowds, often hundreds of thousands strong, jammed every vantage point about Sydney Harbour, and packed aboard fleets of steamers, to gamble and to gape at the incredible antics of the men who dared to race the big boats.

"In those days races were often won not so much by brainpower as by the number and accuracy of punches thrown at, and by, rival crews.  Faint-hearted men simply didn't sail open boats.  In many ways the open boatmen might be described as blue-water bushmen, for the rough and ready Sydney Harbour sailors did embody many of the characteristics which were so readily ascribed to their country cousins - their courage and daring, reckless have-a-go spirit and intense personal loyalty and mateship, their willingness to have a fight at the drop of a hat and love of a sporting contest, their hard drinking, rough language and appetite for gambling all seem to confirm their relationship."

The original Bluewater Bushmen was awarded Boating Book of the Year for 1981 and immediately sold out.  Since then there have been repeated requests to republish this classic and in 2004 The Heritage Press undertook a Limited Edition reprint.  The text has been updated to include information on the replica boats, many new photographs are included which have never before been published, and the overall quality of printing has greatly improved.

Each book is signed and numbered by Bruce Stannard.  The price of the Limited Edition through this website is A$35 within Australia (including GST and postage).  For orders to be sent outside Australia, the price is A$65.00, including packaging and airmail postage. To purchase your copy please email Bruce. 

 

Contact Bruce Stannard                                                          Further Information on Bruce Stannard AM


 

 

 


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