Joe White and His Acrospires

Joe White’s line of Acrospires made a name for themselves in the yachting history of Victoria. They had their origin on Lake Wendouree at Ballarat, when in 1903 Mr White became a keen yachtsman as a result of purchasing Acrospire I. With her he won many cups and shields.

In 1911 he had built by Chas Peel, Acrospire II. At the time she was the largest in racing yachts designed for the inland lakes of Victoria and caused a sensation. She won many races and in 1977 became ‘The flag ship’ for the Albert Park Yacht Club.

In 1915 Joe White again commissioned Mr Peel, one of Australia’s foremost designer builders at the time, to design a fast yacht of 30 feet. Acrospire III (‘AcK’) was built by Hayes and Son in Sydney and launched in 1924. Amongst its many race wins, she won the championship of the bay, the Association Cup in 1927 and 1928.

In 1928 there was secretly being built at Joe White’s Malthouse in Collingwood, another yacht to the design of Mr Peel, with the express intention to win the Sayonara Cup following several failed attempts with Acrospire III. Acrospire IV (‘Big Ack’) was 34 feet L.W.L. and was lowered into the Yarra river in November 1929, and was to become the flagship and pride of the R.StK.Y.C.fleet for many years. At Victoria’s Centenary Regatta in1934 Acrospire IV scooped the pool in the A1 class. At the Royal Hobart Centenary Regatta she won the 100 mile Bruny Island race and set a race record time that stood for 20 years. She also won the Sir Earnest Clarke, Sir Thomas Lipton and John Colvin Cups along with the grand aggregate trophy. In 1960 following the death of Joe White, Acrospire IV was sold to a syndicate from the R.Y.C.V. with the expressed intention of training Victorian crews for America’s Cup challenges. She was sold to Western Australia in 1971, where she remains to this day.

In 1933 Acrospire V, a six metre, designed by Wm Fife of Scotland and built by Chas Peel at Northcote was launched. Little is known of this boat and it is believed to have been renamed and now owned in Sydney.


With apologies to Bert Ferris   R.M.Y.S. 

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