Custodian: Rob Garnsworthy, Colin Mitchell and Terry Smith; 1999 – 2005
Custodian: Colin Mitchell and Terry Smith; 2005 – 2013
Custodian: Colin Mitchell; 2013 – Present
Rhapsody was built in 1999 by the Wooden Boat Shop for Rob Garnsworthy, Colin Mitchell and Terry Smith, all long term members of the Sorrento Sailing Club, and was exhibited at the Melbourne Boat Show in the Melbourne Convention Centre the same year.
Built of Queensland Kauri with an Iroko Deck and painted in the stand out Marie Louise Green, she is arguably one of the most attractive boats in the fleet, for a syndicate of gentlemen, sailors and the odd ratbag.
Rhapsody was initially crewed by Harry Baker, Rob Garnsworthy, Colin Mitchell, Bill Seward and Terry Smith. A few years later Leigh Norrie and Barry Dawes signed on, and then a bit later Paul Gulliver, Neil Cathels, Leigh Halkyard and Peter Dixon. The latest three’s pedigree comes from Accounting, Dentistry and Plastic Surgery; all possibly fit for purpose and may come in handy in the future…
Greg Chisholm has skippered Rhapsody since inception, despite receiving endless advice which is more than likely ignored for the better.
Never aggressive on the start line and always courteous to all boats in the fleet, including Division 2, calm and considered advice from both bow and stern crew members is adjudicated by the skipper, with the owner weighing up any financial implications of decisions made.
The boat’s ‘motto’ is to have fun and not take things too seriously; she has witnessed many dramas, both on and off the water.
Success, failure and endless banter, but most importantly lots of fun. Highlighted perhaps by a fateful day in April 2014 when in 25 knots and with three on board, someone said ‘we can handle this, let’s go a bit harder’; within seconds the boat disappeared into the depths of Port Phillip Bay off Sorrento; Colin inflated his life vest, both Greg and Barry wisely saved $60 by not inflating their life vests, instead choosing to hold onto Colin’s shoulders. All’s well that ends well, as the crew were rescued within three minutes from cold waters and the boat was immaculately resurrected by Tim Phillips to sail another day. However the blame game still continues to this day.
Rhapsody has travelled to Sydney on eight occasions and has sailed successfully in regattas both on Sydney Harbour and Pittwater. In 2015, she won the inaugural Thistle Cup and in 2017 won both line honours and handicap in the Sydney Amateurs Gaffers Day Regatta. The trophies were presented by none other than the Prime Minister of the day Malcolm Turnbull and yachting legend Sir James Hardy. Rhapsody has also won the Wattle Cup Line Honours on three occasions.
All the Rhapsody’s crew have greatly enjoyed the friendships made both with the Pittwater and the Sydney Harbour Couta Boat fraternity.
Rhapsody is moored at Sorrento and sails in Division 1. Colin says:
Everyone who sails her loves the experience and appreciates the unique history of the Couta Boats. As for sailing at Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club, it’s full of fantastic and unique characters and is a fun place to be!