Custodian: Jill Hartley; 1985 – 2003
Eloise, the former Ticonderoga, was designed by Ken Lacco and built by Tim Phillips at the Wooden Boat Shop (WBS) in Sorrento, Victoria in 1985. She was built for Jill Hartley. As an owner of the smaller Kentdale, Jill had become attracted to the larger sized Couta Boats after having viewed many times ‘their disappearing sterns’ on the race course.
She was originally named Ticonderoga, after the clipper ship that arrived in Port Phillip, Victoria in 1852, with many passengers onboard suffering from typhus. These circumstances brought about the establishment of the Quarantine Station, where incoming travelers were temporarily isolated from the Victorian community with hotel style accommodation and hospital facilities, beside what is now called Portsea, inside Port Phillip Heads.
With Tim Phillips and Christopher Sinn, Rip C06, Jill met with boatbuilder Ken Lacco in Newhaven on Phillip Island, to discuss the design. The result was a design for the build of Ticonderoga and Rip. Ken had designed Ajax for Will Baillieu and Kate for Bill Davis, both of whom had become regular competitors in the growing Couta Boat fleet out of Portsea.
Back in the Wooden Boat Shop (WBS) at Sorrento, Ticonderoga was built side by side with Rip, the owners sometimes ‘tossing’ for first claim on the materials required for the construction, such as the timber for the rigging. Many of the original moulds for the deck fittings were made by the WBS, while the manual bilge pumps were made by Peter Locke. Throughout the build, Jill maintained a personal involvement, which added to her experience and understanding of having a boat built.
Ticonderoga was sailed in most of the early Couta Boat races, with various crews onboard and with varying results. She was considered to be a relatively fast boat and in later years, when sailed by a very experienced crew headed by Alan Williams, Ticonderoga turned in consistently good results.
In 1988 Ticonderoga was transported to Sydney for the Bicentennial celebrations. Jill recounts the experience:
Camaraderie prevailed and we all pitched in to get the boats ready, loaded from the Wooden Boat Shop yard and off overland. The summer was hot and dry and we jumped in our cars off to Sydney. It was an exceptional sight to see Ticonderoga cruise past on a low loader, accompanied by Kate, when we had stopped for fuel at Albury.
For Jill, the Bicentennial celebrations were an unforgettably happy experience. The excellent hospitality of the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, sailing on Sydney Harbour and later, a close-up view of the QEII cruising ship, were a dream come true.
Jill sailed Ticonderoga in the Couta Boat fleet out of Sorrento Sailing Club (SSC) then later to become the Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club (SSCBC) for almost 20 years, until 2003 when she was sold to Michael Arcaro.
Custodian: Michael Arcaro; 2003 – 2008
Having successfully sailed on Joan C99 for a season or two and also Jennifer C70 for a couple of years, Michael was ready to purchase his own boat.
He acquired Ticonderoga in early 2003, and for the next five years he successfully campaigned her as the owner skipper in most SSCBC Series and Aggregate races.
She was usually transported to Michael’s property in Rosebud South on the Mornington Peninsula each spring for her annual maintenance. In 2008, Michael sold Ticonderoga to purchase Jennifer C70 with Mark Abbott.
Custodian: Peter Cook; 2008 – 2015
Peter Cook purchased Ticonderoga for his son Michael who renamed her Eloise after his young daughter.
Custodian: The Chris Gosselin Syndicate; 2015 – 2019
In January 2015, Eloise was sold by Peter Cook to a Sydney syndicate originally headed by Chris Gosselin from the Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club (RPEYC), Point Piper on Sydney Harbour. The syndicate also purchased Makama C77 in October 2015.
Custodian: Adrian Broadbent; 2019 – Present
Custodianship of Eloise was transferred to Adrian Broadbent in 2019.
The purchase of Eloise and Makama was supported by RPEYC to increase Couta Boat sailing from the Club and provide a boat more suited to its ageing demographic. By 2021, the fleet has increased to six Couta Boats moored off the Club, and the number of active sailing members of the Club had almost doubled.
Eloise has been regularly raced on Sydney Harbour with the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club (SASC) Classics fleet in summer, the Combined Clubs Winter Series Classics Division, RPEYC Sunday series and the Thistle Cup for Couta Boats. She has also sailed to Pittwater to join with the Couta Boat fleet for Wattle Cup regattas, the Royal Motor Yacht Club (RMYC) Classics regatta, NSW Couta Boat Championships and the CBA Nationals in 2017.
Along the way, Eloise has had a few breaks, including: a gaff when running downwind in a 25 knot southerly, a mast in a gusty westerly, and a jibboom when a drifting 38 ft Farr yacht collided when on her mooring. And to cap it all, she sank (again!) when overwhelmed by a ferry wash and a wind gust in a 20 knot nor’easter. The sinking also cracked the boom. All spars are now replaced!
There have been some highlights. She won the SASC Winter Series Classics Division in 2015, the Muriel Trophy (SASC) in 2016 and was placed 2nd in the RMYC Classics regatta in March 2019.
A further highlight was competing in the 22 boat fleet of Couta Boats in the Gaffers Day held on Sydney Harbour in October 2017. Ten boats from SSCBC were transported to Sydney to join with the Sydney and Pittwater fleets for the regattas.