Old Buffers is recognition of almost 100 years of skiff racing and it all happens in one day each season.

On the same week some of the golden oldies of world tennis turned back the clock to again reach the summit, Manly 16ft Skiff Club welcomed the return to prominence of a host of the sport's leading names.

The likes of former Australian 16s champions Trevor Barnabas, Gavin Jones and Bill McMahon took to the water for Manly's long-running Old Buffers' day on Saturday.

The annual event features top sailors from yesteryear competing with and against the current fleet of skippers and crew.

"It's one of the most important events on the club's calendar," president Rolf Cohen said.

"The club championship and pointscore races are the current generation's "majors" but they play out over the length of a season.

"Old Buffers is recognition of almost 100 years of skiff racing and it all happens in one day each season.

"The young guys love it as much as the older guys and the story-telling continues long after the race is run and won."

Fire Stopping hasn't stopped winning at local and state levels this season and continued that golden run on Old Buffers' Day.

Guest skipper David Taylor showed he had lost none of his magic, steering the boat to a narrow win over Belsah (Warwick Rooklyn) and Holmes Marine (Graeme Ferguson).

C-Side Surveyors (Stephen Iles) won the handicap division from Bart (Chris Smithers) and Chapman High Performance Sailing (Rod Childs).

"It was a fresh breeze and a tough day physically, so they all did well to get around the course and survive the night's festivities," Cohen said.

"I'm sure they all slept well after it. It was another successful day and a reminder of the rich history of this club and the 16ft class itself."

The Manly fleet will be divided this weekend, with up to 10 boats heading north for the annual Belmont regatta.

The remaining boats will face the starter's gun in Manly's ninth pointscore race of the season.

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Michael Chittenden

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