The Extreme Sailing Series™, stadium racing global circuit returns to Sydney Harbour December 10 to 13. Thousands of spectators are expected to line the waterfront at Mrs Macquarie’s Point to watch.

Ext Sail


Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres said the event will see high performance sailing craft racing in close proximity to the Sydney Harbour foreshore, in a new-look course bounded by Garden Island, the Sydney Opera House and Fort Denison.

As a result the GFS Down Harbour Race originally scheduled for that weekend will now be held on Saturday December 19.

For Twilight Spring Race 2 our new caterer ML is providing 5 vegetarian and 5 ready made meals. If you wish to order the vegetarian meals in future (week by week) you should email a request to the caterers. To achieve that, hover your mouse pointer over the YACHT tab on our website and sub-tabs will appear namely Results and Twilights : by clicking on the Twilights  will be able to access the caterer’s email address and also be able to check the Twilight Duty Roster.

The October issue of our magazine HUMBUG has been posted – access it via the Humbug Tab

The balmy conditions expected of summer did not eventuate.  However, grey skies and a good breeze gave the GFS fleet a quick race on Course 18.

MHYCThe addition of the Middle Harbour YC fleet contesting their 7 Islands race made for some extra obstacles.  The congestion was extreme around the islands as the DSC fleet added to the mix especially for the Whites along the Cockatoo shore.

Irrukandji revelled in the conditions and powered away to lead the Blue Division fleet getting home by 5 minutes.  Solitude tried to bridge the gap and were closely followed by Forte Forever.  There were several close races in amongst the fleet with Blue Chip and Eggshells always close as well as Gwhizz and Peach Teats Velocity. Handicap results went to Irukandji from Naughty Call and Gwhizz.

DJ’s British racing green Foxy Etchells (AUS 758) must have been mistaken for the start boat and it didn’t appear in the finish results.

In White Paca led from start to finish leaving Flair and Joka to swap places at various times.  Mistress were well suited to the heavy conditions and were well rewarded by second on handicap.

A good fleet materialised to bid farewell to the Saturday Spring Series. The post-race discussion, amongst other things, centred on the balmy conditions and fair winds anticipated for the Summer Series which begins next Saturday (November 28).

It was good to see representation from a large number of competing yachts all sitting around the same set of tables rather than individually.  The camaraderie after racing is excellent.

Course 19 proved to be a good choice given the wind conditions which swung from SE to SSE and back to SE around 16kts with gusts up to 20kts.

SolIn Blue Division Solitude (Pictured – thanks AR) after scaring the starters in a final luff as they hit the start line managed to keep ahead of the other 11 boats in the fleet. At the end Irukandji were only 30 seconds behind with Blue Chip not far away in third just ahead of Sweet Chariot.  The Etchells, Eggshells and Saints II continued their close rivalry. Well-deserved series results went to Blue Chip from Eggshells and Gwhizz.


In White Division racing was close between Paca, Umzimkulu II and Flair. Highland Ghost made a valiant effort with only two crew in a 33 foot boat in the challenging conditions. Flair made several breaks only to find holes in the wind where the others didn’t.  Paca were fast and were unlucky not to win on the water.


The leg along the Drummoyne shore for all the White boats was pretty tricky as it appeared that the DSC starter had released every conceivable boat in their control (Hartleys, Cherubs, etc) at once to tack up the narrows against the GFS fleet.  Series results to Flair from Umzimkulu II with Paca and Highland Ghost tied for third.

GW and BC


The crew of G-whizz would like to express their appreciation to the skipper and crew of Blue Chip for waiting at the entrance of Humbug for 10 minutes, allowing G-whizz to catch up and compliment the crew of Blue Chip on their sailing ability that enabled them to get back from Lady Bay some 10 minutes ahead of G-whizz.

The crew of Blue Chip would like to note that after allowing the skipper and crew of G-whizz to catch up and exchange pleasantries, they did not comply, but continued on, powered by their own private zephyr and tidal eddy to finish three minutes ahead.

Grey skies and an elusive wind prediction met the GFS fleet as it assembled in the vicinity of the club to await the start.

MC38Again Blue Division had a good sized fleet with White and Red not quite so good.  The wind at first had a fair bit of East but as the race progressed it went more to the South.  The opinion on Flair was that we visited parts of the harbour that we had never been before.

In Blue Division Flashback were powerful and made it to Lady Bay and back successfully negotiating the melee of boats on the harbour including the final point score races for the MC38 Open Regatta to decide the first-ever MC38 Australian Season Champions.  The MC38s (pictured) looked impressive and sailed in a confined area between Clark Island and Kirribilli.

Conquista and Solitude took the other places both on the water and handicap.

In White, Umzimkulu II took the lead and with Tana in pursuit led the fleet toward the bridge. Tana powered away to be home ahead with Joka third.  Umzimkulu took the handicap result from Tana and Joka.

In Red Flair had an exciting race firstly with the Historical Skiffs, then the Food and Wine Festival at Clark Island, then the RSYS Etchells, MC38s and whatever else had the myriad of inflatable marks in the vicinity of Clark Island.  Finally we challenged the West Harbour dinghy fleet and Flashback to return safely to the club.

Please note the change of date for the next Down Harbour Race – December 19.

The weather held off until a healthy crowd gathered in the ‘Cabin of Knowledge’ to discuss the normal variety of topics related to the day’s race and life in general. It was good to see crews representing 8 boats deeply analysing issues such as the number of times a person sleeps on their boat, the benefit of owning an Etchells, how good it is to sail an Etchells and where have they all gone.



The Start boat failed to materialise past the pontoon so the courses sailed were 49 for Blue and 48 for White with a start from the deck. An interesting choice as it had both fleets rounding Goat Island in a different direction.

Nevertheless all went well and Irukandji again powered away to lead the Blue fleet closely followed by Solitude with Blue Chip and Sweet Chariot (pictured – thanks AR) close on the water.  At the end the entire fleet were only separated by 6 minutes on corrected time after racing through the computer.  Sweet Chariot Arrrrrr! took the handicap result from the well sailed Blue Chip 3604 and Eggshells the Etchells.

In White all competitors had a go at leading the race at some point on the water.  Highland Ghost won the start, Paca took the lead on the reach to Spectacle, Flair up to Goat, Umzimkulu II after Goat.  The finish order on the water mirrored the computer results which again had the fleet’s corrected time all within 5 minutes.

Next race Down Harbour 3 November 14.

Please check these carefully as they were updated.

Course 66


Cockatoo Is (P) ++++++

Spectacle Is (P)

Snapper Is (P)

Cockatoo Is (P) ***



Course 67


Cockatoo Is

Snapper Is

Spectacle Is

Cockatoo Is ++++++


Where marked ++++++ Cockatoo Island must be rounded completely.  

Please note that in both courses Cockatoo Island must be rounded completely (circumnavigated) 

When marked *** you are NOT required to round the island completely.

An updated bright yellow course sheet will be available from the club and a new sheet can be downloaded from the Yachts page or here.

The wind came in to challenge crews and with gusts up to 28kts it BCmade for an interesting day on the water.  Course 13 added some tricky bits with disturbed wind around the Berrys Bay mark and the double gybe required to round Goat Buoy.

The blue fleet again had a healthy size with 9 competitors.  Irukandji powered away and kept in front for the duration of the race. The Solitude crew tried their best to catch them and the boat was leaping out of the water under their asymmetrical kite.  Blue Chip (photo courtesy Andrew Richardson) was not far behind and was well rewarded with the win on handicap. The Etchells battled each other throughout the race and Saints II reversed the on water positions to be second on handicap from Eggshells.

The white fleet sailed the shorter course and with 5 starters had a good race.  Umzimkulu II led from the start, revelling in the heavy conditions.  Joka challenged for the lead and made a break on Paca.  Highland Ghost sailed a strong race and recorded an excellent win on handicap from Umzimkulu II and Joka.

Race 6 results are here

Again the weather gods relented and provided an excellent day for a race.  The expected wind conditions were not as predicted by the various sources and exceeded the quoted 6 to 14 knots to reach 20 knots for much of the afternoon.

Again a good sized fleet set out on course 57 (57A for the white fleet) with 12 yachts on the water.


In Blue, Irukandji was powerful and made a break on the remainder of the fleet and Sweet Chariot finally overcame Eggshells and Blue Chip to make it back next. GWhizz, Speedwell and StarElan kept in contact with Speedwell recording a good handicap result.

In White, at last a healthy sized fleet emerged with the return of Paca, Highland Ghost and Mistress.  Paca and Umzimkulu II fought for the lead with Flair not far behind. As handicaps balance out with regular racing this will be a closely fought division.

Again a healthy group assembled on the ‘Deck of Knowledge’ to discuss a varied selection of topics, including the advantages of owning an Etchells, the upcoming rules night and why there was a vehicular ferry at Balls Head.

Thanks to Harvey for manning the start, apparently no one had their radios on and missed several of his jokes.



A Twilight sized fleet gathered to contest DH race 2 and this was very gratifying. The weather held and in a lightening breeze the Blue fleet made it back from Nielsen Park, White from Shark and the Red(s) from the Fort.

The ‘big’ boats – Clovelly Pacific, Sweet Chariot, Flashback, Lisdillon and GWhizz, made the Blue Division a daunting site as they entered Humbug.  With 14 boats in the blue fleet for the race it was an excellent turn-out.

Photograph courtesy Andrew Richardson – click here for more photographs from Andrew for DH Race 2


White division also looked healthy with 5 contestants – Tana, Out of Africa, New Territories, Joka and Umzimkulu II.

Sadly the Red fleet was depleted.  However, there seems to be building interest and the fleet size looks like increasing in the very near future.  There is still room for boats from the Red and Green twilight fleets to join and enjoy a day on the water on a Saturday.

The return to west of Bridge coincided with the departure of the fuel carrier Elka Delphi.  The red fleet, observing the procedures outlined at the Skippers’ briefing, slipped by along the Snails Bay ‘shore’ as the vessel was manoeuvred out from its berth in Gore Cove.  I’m sure the rest of the GFS fleet also observed the correct procedure.

Next Saturday Race is Spring Race 5 – October 24.

An excellent day for a sailing race with an ENE breeze ranging from about 7 to 15 kts.  Course 18 gave the navigators a bit of a challenge with Blue Division rounding both Goat Island and Goat Buoy on different legs of the course and Green/White only Goat Buoy.

It was good to see a healthy fleet in Blue Division and we welcome the return of Phil and Steven Lucas in Solitude and Colin Wiley and crew in Naughty Call for their first appearance in Saturday Series races with the club.  Also the re-crewed Irukandji with Paul Stubbs and Steve Nash in control was a welcome addition.

It is sad that the number of boats in Green/White Division has declined as it would be a perfect opportunity for Twilight Green and Red Division boats to sail on the weekend.  Handicaps would accommodate non-spinnaker sailing and the shorter course means a shorter afternoon. Please consider.

Next Saturday race is Down Harbour Race 2 (October 17).

In case you would like to review some of the matters covered in the recent Skippers’ Briefing please follow the link below.  It may be worthwhile for crew to view, especially regarding keeping an eye out for commercial shipping particularly ferries and reviewing the racing rules.

GFS Skippers Briefing 2015_2016 Season

Race 1 of the Down Harbour Series was contested in light winds and magnificent weather.

New to Saturday Down Harbour Races were Lisdillion and Clovelly Pacific who raced in Blue Division.  Many of the White and Red Division were missing and it is hoped that these fleets will build over the coming races.

View an updated race report here

It was good to get back on the water after the winter lay off or the WHWS no wind or extreme wind races.

The start from the deck gave the fleet the normal challenge through Humbug with the added wind shear at Onions Point to add to the fun.


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Upcoming Events

  • 02/12/2015Twilight Spring Series Race 9
  • 05/12/2015Saturday Summer Series Race 2
  • 09/12/2015Twilight Summer Series Race 1
  • 12/12/2015Saturday Summer Series Race 3
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