The waters off St Kilda will see Port Phillip’s history come alive with the Mercedes Benz Brighton Couta Boat Challenge. These handsome timber boats are an iconic part of Victoria’s boating history and will provide a great Victorian accent to the ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne to be held in early December.
The Couta Boat was originally built as a traditional fishing boat from 1870 and gets it’s name from it’s preferred catch – the Barracouta (not the Barracuda). These boats would head out through The Heads, between Portsea and Queenscliff, proving their seaworthiness in these notorious waters. Once their quota of barracouta was met, the fishermen turned and headed back to port, this is where speed was important, as the first boat back got the highest price for their catch.
With the introduction of modern engines, the Couta Boat became obsolete as an efficient fishing vessel. Today they aren’t used for commercial fishing but are a popular recreational sailing boat amongst a large group of sailors who appreciate the beauty and history of these craft. On Friday 11th December the Couta Boats won’t be racing to the finish line to get the best price for their catch, they will be vying for the Mercedes Benz Brighton Couta Boat Challenge Trophy.
If you would like more detailed information on the event please visit the event website