Wentworth Falls Sunday 7 September 2008

Sunday 7th September saw the Task Force 72 fleet return to Wentworth Falls. While Sydney and most of the coast was drenched in rain and bad weather for the preceding week, a glorious spring day and perfect sailing conditions in the Blue Mountains greeted our Commanding Officers as the ships weighed anchor for a hugely successful day of fun.

The Task Force 72 fleet continues to grow in diversity, as members take on increasingly challenging and interesting projects. The fleet was out in force with warships, merchant ships and submarines from Australia, the United Kingdom and Russia on display.

The Australian ships included Mike James’ ACGV Nemesis, Geoff Eastwood’s award winning MV Cape Don and Phil Somerville’s Daring-class destroyer HMAS Vendetta. Their Royal Navy counterparts included Allan Pew’s beautiful HMS Lincoln and Type 42 destroyer HMS Manchester by David Rowlands.

The Russian Navy were there to challenge the Australians and English on the high seas. KGB Dzerzhinsky, John Konda’s magnificent Krivak III class frigate is a regular performer at Wentworth Falls and she was joined by sister ship RFS Storozhevoi (Carl Linkenbagh).

The two Krivaks were in company with their Australian and British counterparts, and the highlight of the day was the 5 frigate sized vessels providing members and the public with impressive displays of officer of the watch manoeuvres, single ship steaming, flank speed running and high speed turns. Nowhere else in the world will you see such a superb and diverse fleet of model warships built to a common scale sailing together.

The largest vessel (at 2.4m) sailing was Carl’s Typhoon class ballistic missile submarine RFS Dmitri Donskoi. Carl is still perfecting the submarine and took the opportunity to take the twin shafted underwater colossus on sea trials. The boomer provided a stark contrast with Mike Brown’s lovely RN tender vessel and Peter Jones’ beautiful tugs, dwarfing them as they came alongside. It made for some interesting and excellent photography!

The day was enormously successful and thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended, including the many passers by. This was once again a day to enjoy what Task Force 72 is all about- great models and great company in a superb location.

See you at Manly on 04 October.

Report: Carl Linkenbagh, images by Allan Pew, Mike Brown and Carl Linkenbagh

The Russians are coming!

Carl Linkenbagh’s Dmitri Donskoi surface running

This photo does no justice to just how big this thing is

Mike Brown’s Lamlash is dwarfed by the Typhoon

Donskoi’s sail alone is larger than Lamlash

Storozhevoi leads Dzerzhinsky in officer of the watch manoeuvres

Vendetta keeps a close eye on the Soviet frigates

The music from Jaws would seem appropriate at this point

A running Typhoon class ballistic missile submarine, the product of a lot of hard work

Mike James’ Nemesis rides at anchor, back from monitoring the Russian task force

Ships from three nations rest in the anchorage

Cold war warriors resting at anchor together, Lincoln and Storozhevoi

Donskoi dwarfing Dzerzhinsky

Dmitri Donskoi submerges near the anchorage

Peter’s inter-war coastal tanker rests at the buoy

Final manoeuvres in the gathering dark