The Balmain Regatta 2014 is just around the corner. This great event, one of the oldest organised sports activities in Australia, is more than just a boat race it is a celebration of a unique community and its links with the greatest harbour in the world.

Notice of Race – Balmain Regatta – 26 Oct 2014

GFS, Balmain Sailing Club and Drummoyne Sailing Club have been forging closer ties over the last two winters.  If you want to take part in something different on a Sunday then why not race in the Balmain regatta!

The GFS Committee has arranged on behalf of the GFS Membership a special, and what will be a very rewarding, ISAF Rules Information Evening.

The club has been very lucky to secure the services of Mark Pryke, International Judge, International Race Officer and ISAF Instructor for this presentation.

Mark is one of the few individuals who holds three ISAF Race Official positions – a Race Officer since 1998, an International Judge since 1997 and an International Umpire since 1997. He has a massive breadth of experience which ranges from Olympic Games to World Championships, including past ISAF Youth Worlds.

Date/Time:      Monday 27th Oct – 6.30pm-9.30pm

GFS Skippers and their crews, GFS youth sailors (& their parents) are very welcome to attend this free of charge event.

The format of the evening will be more question and answer driven as opposed to being too structured or formal.

  • What rights does a port tack boat have?
  • What are the rights / obligation of an overtaking vessel?
  • What three elements must be in place for you to be sailing a proper course?
  • Continuous obstruction?
  • Rules on the start line?
  • Mark Roundings?
  • Does the boat on starboard always have rights over the port tacking vessel in the zone?

!! Dont forget to bring some questions for Mark to answer !!

This will be an evening not to be missed.

Rich Imlay is acting as Rear Commodore Junior Sailing until we can get a new recruit to the role.

Rich explains…. After 8 years and putting my three kids sailing through GFS it is time for us to “hang up the boots”. My kids have transitioned to more senior dinghies at Lane Cove, but they will all still put in appearances at GFS on most Sundays.

I am hoping that someone else in the club or perhaps a new entrant would be interested in taking up responsibility for Sundays. This could be a Sabot parent or a Laser sailor. The role is quite manageable if you can delegate responsibilities amongst a willing volunteer base. The responsibilities of the Rear Commodore role are here.

Please give it some serious thought. It is an important part of GFS and to the sport of sailing.

Working Bee

Folks busy at Club Working Bee

There are a few dates that deserve your attention, it may be worth putting these in your diary:

Saturday September 6th – Spring race 1
The opening event for the new season, be there, have a great race and then return to the deck of knowledge for the all important de brief, the camaraderie you’ll experience from your fellow Saturday sailors is well worth the effort.
Saturday September 20th – Equipment Audit
Sunday September 28th – Equipment Audit

Download your Cat 7 audit check list here. After downloading and printing, take it to your yacht and do the owners audit, giving yourself plenty of time to correct any deficiencies before presenting your boat for audit.

Wednesday October 1st – Compulsory Skippers meeting for Saturday and Twilight Series (at the Clubhouse 1930 hours).

The 2014-2015 Season Program can be found here.


Sunday sailing at GFS starts on September 14. For more detail click on the”Dinghy Racing” tab above.

The Saturday Sailing Season commences on Saturday September 6.

We would especially like to encourage our regular Twilight skippers and their crews to join our relatively small Saturday fleet.  There are two divisions which will allow competitive and safe racing for any boat from any of the Twilight Divisions.  Handicaps will account for boats not wishing to carry spinnakers, skippers will appreciate the generally less crowded conditions with more room on the water to manoeuvre.  Marks are laid and sometimes Island courses are used.  There are no duty crews as regular starters have been engaged to organise the start and finish.

You may also just choose to compete once a month in the Down Harbour Series or in the 6 race Mick York Series.  Dates are detailed on the Season Program on the GFS web site here.

In preparation, please remember that Equipment Audits are a mandatory requirement prior to racing.  The date set aside for Saturday competitors is Saturday August 30.  Please download and complete the form from the web site. Please initial the equipment required (not tick) and, on the day, have everything laid out for the auditor.

Once again please consider sailing with the GFS Saturday Fleet.  It is important that we maintain a strong presence on the water on the weekend.

At the July 15 GFS AGM a number of new faces were elected to the Committee. The 2014-2015 Season Committee members and their roles are as follows:

Commodore David Edmiston
Vice Commodore Pam Joy
Secretary Pam Buchanan
Treasurer John Veale
Membership Secretary Roger Gee
Sailing Secretary  Saturday Captain Phil Hare
Sabots  Lasers TBA
Sunday Captain
Twilight Captain Andrew Limmer
Social Secretary Glenda Cameron-Strange
Humbug Editor Graeme Davey
Clubhouse Manager Mark Rhodes
Liquor Licensee Michael Murphy
Safety Officer Julian Todd
Webmaster/ Handicapper Harvey Porter

After over 19 years of service with his last two years being as Commodore, Geoff Lucas has stood down for the time being from a Committee involvement with the Club. More on Geoff’s superb achievement for the Club in a later post. Our heartfelt thanks to you Geoff for your enormous contribution over the years.

And welcome back Roger Gee as the Membership Secretary after a two year leave of absence.

Please note we have also lost Rich Imlay from the Committee as Rear Commodore/Youth Sailing. He will not be lost in terms of involvement with Sunday sailing but he is taking a well earned break from this official role. We therefore have a big set of shoes to fill to replace him. Sunday dinghy sailing and youth/junior sailing in particular is a critical element of the Club’s raison d’être. If anyone out there is willing to assume this role even in an interim capacity we are very keen indeed to have you come on board. To find out more contact Rich Imlay or the incoming Commodore, David Edmiston.

Remember, to contact any of the Committee fill in the ‘Contact Us’ form here.

Members who paid fees during the 2013-2014 GFS Sailing Season on their own behalf or on behalf of themselves and their family group will by now have received an email inviting them to renew their membership(s) for the coming 2014-2015 Sailing Season. The renewal process will entail signing into and using the same online payment facility members used to renew last year.

Please note there has been a $10 increase in membership fees this year. Yachting Australia increased the fee we are charged for each member attached to the Club by that amount.

As a reminder of the steps involved to complete a membership renewal online, they are:

1)    Access your GFS Membership Home Page here

2)    Complete entry of the 2014-2015 Season Membership Fees & Charges options

Click the Blue “2014-2015 Season Membership Renewal” button at the top of the Membership Home Page screen and make the fee and other information selections appropriate to you.

3)    Enter your credit card details in the Registration page

We only accept Mastercard and Visa credit card payments.

4)    Receive payment confirmation

An email will be sent to you confirming the receipt number and amount paid.

A more extensive set of notes to assist those who may have less experience with online payment arrangements can be found here.

Members who encounter difficulty or need one on one assistance with this renewal process should contact the GFS Membership Secretary via the Committee Contact page here.

We’ve changed the menu bar slightly to create space for a new website feature – a GFS member exclusive classified Ad facility.


This is a free service for GFS Members. In much the same way as members can presently place a paper advertisement on the bulletin board in the Clubhouse now you can place a notice to members online.

Skippers may place an ad seeking crew members. Crew members can place an Ad seeking to secure a crew position on a GFS Club yacht. Or if you have an item of sailing paraphernalia to sell, this is the place to let other members know.

Ads_PageTo add a new classified Ad:

Step 1. Choose the “Member Classifieds” menu item second from the right on the main menu bar and then click the “Place a Classified listing” link located as shown in this screen image.

Step 2 Select the classified category you wish to list under from the drop down menu. Presently there are only three categories available: ‘Crew Wanted'; ‘For Sale; and ‘Looking To Crew’. Click the ‘Continue’ button.

Step 3. Fill in the form with your Ad information. When finished click the ‘Continue’ button. Note you will need to fill in the simple maths question at the bottom to show us you are human and thwart spam bots.

Step 4. Upload any images you would like associated with your Ad. You can upload up to four images. Click the ‘Finish’ button and you are done.

Once your Ad is ready it won’t immediately appear on the site. The following security provisions must first be satisfied.

  • A verification email will be sent to you which you must respond to in order for us to verify your contact email address. Your Ad will remain disabled until you verify your address.
  • All listings must first be approved by a GFS club officer before they will be published. Only after this officer has approved your ad will it become visible on the site.
  • If you uploaded images with your Ad they will also not show up until a Club officer has approved them.

Should you have any queries regarding how to use this service or any other query or comment you may have about it, please contact the GFS Membership Secretary via the “Contact Us” facility in the main menu bar above.

You can see Paul Atwood’s description and photos covering Caliban II’s fabulous podium finish in the 2013 Sydney Hobart on the link here.


The smiling Caliban II crew in Hobart looks a little different – don’t adjust your computer this is our new web site.

You should be able to find all the relevant information, documents and results from the old site here. We have added upfront spots for news and notices. Standby for other improvements.

If you hanker for the old site you can still visit it here. There are some sailing photos and videos on the old site which you can see on the link here.

Jackpot2GFS Black Division Jackpot owned by Maree and Adrian Van Bellen’s finished the CYCA Short Offshore Points series with Division 1 handicap win, 5 points ahead of the second placed boat. Jackpot also finished 6th (out of 17) in the extremely competitive Division 1 of IRC.

Another GFS yacht Velocity, Brian Carrick finished the same series with a credible 7th with Soundtrack, John Amos just 2 places further back on handicap in division 2 of the same series.

New member Michael Groves won the recent Jeanneau rendezvous regatta in Aggrovation on the Pittwater, not too bad in a boat that literally was just launched a couple of months ago.

YALogoGreenwich Flying Squadron is a sailing Club affiliated to Yachting NSW and Yachting Australia (YA), this affiliation means that GFS is part of the broader sailing community bringing with it many benefits, tangible as well as more abstract. YA holds a Personal Accident Insurance Policy that provides insurance to all current registered Club Members, providing insurance cover while participating in Sailing. More details can be found on the YA web site here.

All GFS on water events are conducted in accordance with the Racing Rules of Sailing 2013-2016. Rules 46 and 56 relate to those in charge and crews’ membership of an affiliated sailing Club, rule 56 allows for a non member to participate in 3 races in any one sailing season. To comply with the Racing Rules of Sailing and provide all crew with the benefits of YA membership, we should ensure they are members of a YA affiliated Club, GFS Crew membership forms can be found here and the joining process is outlined on the Membership Page of this site or click here.

DefribulaatorYour Club has recently acquired a defibrillator, an important first aid asset that hopefully will never be needed.

It is our intention that initially all committee members will be certified in its use.


We are fortunate to have a well-equipped clubhouse. While it maybe not on the same level as some of our more ritzy compatriots further east, you only have to sit on the deck at sunset on a balmy Sydney evening to realise how fortunate we are.

In the main members and their guests do the right thing, but just occasionally standards do slip. So a few gentle reminders:

  • If you use it, clean it (if necessary) and return it to where you got it from.
  • If you opened, also close it.
  • If it has a lock make sure it is locked before the last person leaves.
  • If you tuned it on, make sure it is turned off.
  • The only vessels which are permitted to be cleaned or maintained at the Club are those on the Club register and belonging to a financial members.
  • Make sure the alarm is armed when the last person leaves the club.
  • If you are not the last to leave a gentle reminder to those still present to lock up would not be taken as an insult but would demonstrate your care for your Club.

Upcoming Events

  • 26/10/2014Balmain Regatta
  • 27/10/2014 18:30Special ISAF Rules Information Evening
  • 21/02/2015GFS Annual Social Event
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