Click on the image to enlarge.flares

There is some confusion which relates to a statement made by the Service NSW Representative at the recent Skippers’ Briefing regarding the Bradley’s Head Safe Water mark.

bh-markFor our courses it is a requirement that this mark be left to PORT if you are sailing in the vicinity of the mark.

Sailing Instruction 25 n vii states the wording which was included in the GFS Aquatic Licence –

‘Bradleys Head Safe Water Mark – Condition 100 of the GFS Aquatic Licence. All vessels navigating in the vicinity of the safe water mark, 350m from Bradleys Head, should pass to the North of the buoy when proceeding westward and should pass to the South of the buoy when proceeding eastward.’

This simply means it should be left to Port when travelling in either direction and as it is included in our Sailing Instructions it must be complied with in order to sail the correct course.

The Roster and Duty Crew responsibilities are on the is on the Yachts/Twilights page. Or here roster and responsibilities.

A great day on the water albeit with short courses which were called as a result of the BOMs wind prediction for Sydney with 10kts and falling breeze.  Sadly the actual conditions didn’t comply. As it was it took around 2 hours for most boats in Blue and White Divisions to complete the race.


The arrival of the tanker also presented an unknown as to when it would make it through the congested harbour after its scheduled arrival time at the Heads.  Fortunately, Red Division remained ahead of it and the remainder of the fleet followed it through the narrows to its berth at Gore Cove.


Thanks to Harvey Porter for manning the start, recording the finish and entering the results with the regular starters competing in the Greenwich Games.


It seemed to be fairly close on the water in all divisions with handicap results in Blue to Hasta La Vista from Blue Chip (pictured) and StarElan.  In White the Etchells had the upper hand with Chloe on the water and handicap from Eggshells and Forte Forever.  In Red Wind Charmer powered away to be back ahead and with Paca shared the placings on handicap.



There is a commercial enterprise called Spot A Yacht which takes photos of yachts.  You can search on your sail number and purchase the image if you wish.

The link is


Sunny skies and a busy day on the water with the regular Laser and Flying 11s from Lane Cove, Hartley TS16s from Drummoyne and added to this the MHYC 7 Islands Race and heats of the NSW State Cherub Titles from DSC.  If this was not enough in the windy conditions a tanker arrived to berth in Gore Cove.

sol-2For Course 18, I had the starters move the Goat Buoy mark over towards Ballast Point as I was aware of the arrival of the tanker.  Please be aware that this location may be used again in the future.

Also, please understand that there are some areas which are deemed prohibited areas for GFS races – all skippers should be aware of these – read SI 25 (n). If you do not comply you have not sailed the course and should not be recorded as a finisher. It is up to the integrity of the skipper and crew to sail fairly within the Racing Rules of Sailing and the modifications imposed by our Sailing Instructions.

The handicaps for the Summer Series were recalculated and  based on averages calculated from actual performance during the Spring Series.  With blended divisions this season handicapping has proved difficult.

Standout performances in Summer Race 1 were Solitude (pictured) and StarElan both of which mastered the windy conditions, congestion and other GFS competitors to be back first in their respective divisions.

Even though the Sailing Program had Spring Race 8 on November 19 only 6 races were sailed in the series which resulted in the final point score only dropping one race.  In both divisions the series results were closely contested.

Spring Race 8 was sailed in cloudy conditions with occasional bursts of sunshine. The wind was flukey and shifted from dead south to east-southeast and maybe reached 12 knots.

Course 26 made for an interesting decision just after the start as to which way to pass Cockatoo Island on the way to Snapper.

In Blue Division 1 Irukandji powered away on the water and were chased all the way by Blue Chip and Chloe.  Spinnaker runs were again difficult.  Handicap result was Chloe, Blue Chip and Irukandji. Series a well-deserved win to Blue Chip from Chloe and Foxy.

In Green Division 2 Velocity and Dreamer escaped early and sailed in the wrong division. Flair made a good start and soon were swamped by the rest of the fleet. Gwhizz took the low side of Cockatoo and led the fleet from Snapper to the finish. Speedwell, Umzimkulu II and Paca were close and swapped positions. StarElan left early leaving Flair to discover parts of the course which had no wind whatsoever. Umzimkulu recorded a good win in the race and in the series from Paca.

ex-sAs a result of the Extreme Sailing Regatta  from December 8 to 11 GFS Down Harbour Race 4 has been moved to Saturday December 3.


Saturday Summer Race 2 will consequently now be on Saturday December 10.


Although the Extreme sailing event has been moved to the northern side of the harbour in the vicinity of RSYS, the expected spectator fleet may restrict our race.


The following week December 15 to 18 is the Sail Sydney Regatta with various classes contesting events on several harbour locations.


For details regarding Extreme Sailing follow this link

and for Sail Sydney

Contrary to the weather report the race was sailed in sunny conditions with a wind around 15kts from a variety of directions E, ENE, N, NE and finally W (after most had finished).The changing wind direction kept crews alert especially on the spinnaker run home.

Although the fleet was somewhat depleted in all divisions the racing was keenly contested. In Blue Division 1 the results at this stage are provisional depending on the outcome of a protest over an incident at the start.  However, Flashback and Irukandji had a good on water tussle and it was only at the end of the run home that Flashback was able to establish a good margin, Tana sailed a good race to be back third. Hasta La Vista has now been added as they were initially missed in the results.  Tana took the handicap result from Hasta La Vista and then Monkey Business (revised).

In White Division 2 Solitude stole a march on the others and with Jester led the Etchells, although Eggshells was only a few seconds behind Jester at the end.  It seemed a good day to have an asymmetrical kite.  Handicap result to Eggshells from Foxy and Solitude.

In Red Division 3 Wind Charmer led from the start and established a good lead on the way to and from Shark.  Umzimkulu and Joka had a good race trading places before Joka pulled away to finish behind Wind Charmer and ahead of Umzimkulu which also was the handicap result.

Due to wind gusting over 30kts at Sydney Airport racing at GFS is abandoned today Saturday November 5.


Again windy conditions kept crews on their toes to deal with shy spinnaker runs, strong gusts and tricky mark roundings.

img_2249In Blue Division 1 Pistol Dawn powered away at the start to win on the water by a considerable margin from Solitude and Blue Chip which were close at the end.  The Etchells had a good close race with Foxy gaining the upper hand from Chloe and Eggshells to win on handicap from Pistol Dawn and Blue Chip.

In Green Division 2 Gwhizz powered away at the start and was well set up for the conditions with a reefed main.  The chasing pack swapped positions several times in the course of the race.  At the end StarElan made it back after Gwhizz with Hasta La Vista not far behind them.  Paca, Joka  and Umzimkulu II all finished within a minute just behind HLV and not far ahead of Speedwell.  Handicap results went to Umzimkulu ii from Paca and Joka.

doyleShane Guanaria of Doyle Sails Sydney has kindly offered to host a visit by GFS members to the Doyle Sails loft on Tuesday November 15 at 6:30pm

Places are limited to the first 30 to apply – RSVP to Maree Van Bellen

Shane’s impressive resume covers offshore racing, including nine Sydney-Hobart races, and several classes.  He started his sail making career under the guidance of Ian MacDiarmid, working at MacDiarmid Sails for seventeen years before eventually purchasing the company in 2013 prior to merging with Doyle Sydney in 2015. From skiffs to maxi yachts, Shane has the expertise for building all types of sails and is an integral part of the Doyle team in Australia.

On the night beer and pizza will provided. The loft is located at 25a 33-37 College Street, Gladesville.

sat-22The race was held under overcast skies but the predicted rain held off and even a patch of sunlight emerged to make for a quick sail in wind around 20kts from the South.  Course 18 didn’t quite work as planned and provided mostly reaches and short spinnaker runs mainly from Goat Buoy to Longnose Point.


In Blue Division 1, Solitude edged away from the chasing fleet with Forte Forever, Chloe and Blue Chip vying for the next spot on the water leaving Foxy and Eggshells to have a close race. It was good to see 4 Etchells on the water racing competitively with each other. Provisional results on handicap were Foxy, Chloe and Blue Chip.

In Green Division 2 distance seemed to be the dominant factor.  Gwhizz powered away from the start to establish a significant lead. Initially Umzimkulu II and the Speedwell went with them. Paca after a poor start sailed excellently to finish third on the water behind Gwhizz and Speedwell to win the race on handicap.


There is a Marine Safety Presentation by Genevieve White of Marine SafetyWorks at the GFS Clubhouse on Monday October 24 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm.

Genevieve founded Marine SafetyWorks in 2004 as a result of extensive experience in marine safety over 30 years of yachting in the competitive, cruising, training and development arenas. She has logged 99000 offshore miles from deliveries and offshore racing which includes the 2001-2002 Volvo Ocean Race as navigator for the Nautor Challenge entry Amer Sports Too. Her experiences in the Southern Ocean and in those many offshore miles have highlighted the absolute necessity for a professional approach to marine safety issues.

Genevieve was very closely involved in the development of the Australian Yachting Federation (now Australian Sailing) Safety and Sea Survival course which was adopted by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and is now presented worldwide as the ISAF Safety and Sea Survival Course. It is an integral part of offshore racing in Australia. Genevieve is also qualified to teach and invigilate Marine Radio for the Office of Maritime Communications, First Aid for the Australian Red Cross, and Safety and Sea Survival for Australian Sailing.

It will be invaluable for GFS skippers and their crew to hear Genevieve’s presentation.


A good sized fleet contested DH race 2.  Starting in pleasant conditions the wind built up considerably to make sailing conditions difficult. Nevertheless each division had close racing and no damage, all being accounted for after the race. Generally, spinnakers enjoyed the journey firmly hidden in their respective sail bags.


In Blue Division 1 there were 9 starters and given the strong conditions Irukandji sailed exceptionally quickly to be back a couple of minutes ahead of Flashback.  Provisional handicap results Hasta La Vista, Blue Chip and Tana.

In White Division 2 also with 9 contestants, a couple of boats were not included in the results which will have a considerable effect. These will be adjusted later this week.

Red Division 3 saw 5 boats engaged in racing which was close early and then firstly Barubi then Umzimkulu II gaining the lead with Joka making a late run to make it back after Umzimkulu II at the end.  Umzimkulu II were worthy handicap winners after sailing well in the strong conditions. Barubi also managed the conditions extremely well to be third on handicap.

The strong and gusty wind reduced the fleet numbers as skippers evaluated the safety of competing in adverse conditions relative to their particular boat or crew.



The start from the club and Course 35 made for a quick race. In Blue Division Irukandji powered away at the start.  Solitude after a slow start made up ground throughout the race to only be a minute behind at the end similarly, Chloe, Eggshells and Blue Chip were separated by only 40 odd seconds. On handicap Chloe won from Blue Chip and Eggshells.


Only two starters in Green division with Hasta La Vista escaping at the start and were 8 minutes ahead at the end. However, Umzimkulu II won on handicap.


Eggshells and Solitude

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