The Halvorsen Story

The Halvorsen Story

From November 13, 2018 07:00 until November 13, 2018 08:30

At Piato Restaurant

Posted by Ken Preshaw

Categories: Regular Breakfast Speakers

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We are all immigrants to this country seeking a better life for ourselves and our families. The Halvorsen family was typical in that it came with very little and worked very hard to build a better life. However, the Halvorsen family did more than that - they showed extraordinary commitment to boat building and excellent craftsmanship and boat design skills that made their boats desired by wealthy business people, commercial companies and key politicians.

They also demonstrated outstanding seamanship by designing, building and sailing their yachts with great success in all the classic ocean racing events and closed water racing. They won back to back handicap honours three times in the Sydney Hobart race. They also built and raced the first Australian challenger for the America's Cup - GRETEL for Frank Packer. Winning one race put America on notice that Australia was a fierce competitor and would be back. Years later SOUTHERN CROSS would be built for Alan Bond - designed by Ben Lexcen.

Many people enjoyed a holiday on a Halvorsen cruiser based at Bobbin Head. This was the largest hire fleet in the southern hemisphere with lots of celebrities enjoying the beautiful Hawkesbury River.


Noel Phelan's first career was as a science and mathematics teacher. He then moved into IT with IBM where he spent 25 years in various technical and management positions.  He has been a volunteer guide at the Maritime Museum for several years and enjoys showing visitors over HMAS Vampire, HMAS Advance, HMAS Onslow and First Lady. Noel is also the team leader for the museum speakers.