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Department of Premier and Cabinet

William Percy Batt

William Percy Batt

Member 1987

W. P. 'Skipper' Batt, as he was universally known, was certainly Australia's finest helmsman between the two World Wars. He was scrupulously fair, a credit to yachting and his ability to tune-up a boat was unsurpassed.

During his outstanding career Skipper dominated the Forster Cup, by far the most important of interstate yachting competitions to be held prior to World War II. It was a series of races for '21 Foot Yachts' and was first held in 1922. By 1925 it had truly become an Australia-wide competition with all states taking part.

Skipper designed TASSIE which was radically different from the other 21 footers of its time. He helmed this yacht to victory in the Forster Cup on no less than six occasions: in 1925, 26, 27, 29, 1934 and 1936 a feat that no other person has equalled.

He was also four times successful in the Albert Cup, an Invitation Race. Skipper also designed Tassie Too and Tassie III, which won the Forster Cup nine times between them with different helmsmen. His name will always be linked with the Forster Cup and Tasmania's illustrious Tassies.