SPONSOR: Sponsorship available
SAFETY CATEGORY: 5 (Feeder) & 6 (Classic)
SERIES: Coastal Series
NOTES: Moorings and a ferry service to shore are provided. Lunch available at TCYC.
Presentations for both races will be held at FSC followed by a combined club dinner in the Galley.
Boats from other clubs wishing to participate may arrange with our Harbour Office for a berth at FSC. Visiting Vessel Form
The Catalpa escape is the incredible true story of one of the most extraordinary and inspirational prison breaks in Australian history.
Between the 17–19 April 1876, Members of the Clan-na-Gael agitors for Irish freedom; hatched a plan to free six Irish Fenian prisoners from the most remote prison in the British Empire, Fremantle Prison in Western Australia.
Under the guise of a whale hunt, Captain Anthony sets sail on the Catalpa to rescue the men from the stone walls of this hell on Earth known to the inmates as a ‘living tomb’. What follows is one of history’s most stirring sagas that splices Irish, American, British and Australian history together in its climactic moment.
The last prisoner ship to Australia was the convict ship Hougoumont, in 1869, pardons had been issued to many of the imprisoned Fenians. Another round of pardons was issued in 1871, after which only a small group of “military” Fenians remained in Western Australia’s penal system.
In 1874, prisoner James Wilson secretly sent a letter to New York City journalist John Devoy, who worked to organize a rescue!
Using donations collected by Devoy from Irish-Americans, Fremantle escapee John Boyle O’Reilly, then living in Boston, purchased the merchant ship, Catalpa and sailed her to international waters off Rockingham WA.
On 17 April 1876 at 8:30 am, Wilson and five other Fenians working outside the prison walls, Thomas Darragh, Martin Hogan, Michael Harrington, Thomas Hassett, and Robert Cranston, boarded a whaleboat O’Reilly had dispatched.
They made there way to sea and were taken aboard the Catalpa, and escaped to New York.