It was good to see a good winter turnout following the West Harbour Winter Series race yesterday July 17.


Sadly the race was abandoned but this allowed the Deck of Knowledge to meet and discuss matters of importance some of which related to sailing and boats.


The final race of the 2016 WHWS is July 31 and the after race presentation for the race and for the series will be at Balmain Sailing Club.

The sailing Program for the 2016 – 2017 season is available on the Yachts page or here – GFS Sailing Prog_2016 _17.

The 2016 – 2017 sailing season is fast approaching with Saturday Spring Series Race 1 on September 3.

Equipment Audits for Saturday Series Yachts will take place on August 20 (Twilights – September 17 and 25). In preparation please review the required equipment you have on board before for having it checked by an auditor.  The form is available both on the Yachts page or here – GFS Cat 7 Form_2016.

As an initiative to promote safety of skippers and crew you will be required to carry on board a completed GFS Safety Card copies of which will be provided at the time of your audit. These provide specific information of what to do in an emergency and a reminder to inform crew of the location of equipment which may be required. The card is available on the yachts page or here – GFS Safety Card.

AUS REO is looking for crew to return the yacht from Southport to Sydney. Details are under YACHTS – sub-tab “Crews Yachts”.  For crew looking for a position on a yacht and yachts looking for crew visit Crews Yachts or simply click the link HERE.

Next Sunday July 17 is WHWS Race 5.  The after race presentation is at GFS from 4:00pm. It would be good if all GFS Skippers and their crews could attend. Other skippers from Balmain and Drummoyne may also attend so it is a good opportunity to have some cross club discussion.

There is also an amendment to the Sailing Instructions to allow the provision of shorter courses. This amendment will be emailed but can also be found here. Please update your course sheet as it looks like light winds again this Sunday.

The next WHWS race is the coming Sunday July 3.  Hopefully the weather gods will smile on the fleet!

A couple of GFS yachts were awarded honourable mentions in the race manager’s report.

Race 3 of the West Harbour Winter Series saw a depleted fleet of 29 competitors brave miserable wet conditions to complete the race.

In Division 1, Ray Parrott’s X332, Xray, sailed impressively leading division 1 for two-thirds of the race to place first on handicap (ORC and PHS) and second over the line ahead of Simon Oliver’s MD35 Matag’. Second place on PHS went to Bill Ure on his Hick 35 Hick Up and in third place was Conrad Johnston on his Fareast28r Wildling 2.

In Division 1 ORC, first place went to Xray ahead of Matagi and Steve Piper’s Adams 10 Coconut Telegraph.

In Division 2 (PHS) Peter Horne’s Diamond Red October placed first just 32 seconds ahead on corrected time from Craig Armour’s Hick 30 Delirium. Third place went to last years division winner Denis Speyer’s Swarbrick 945 Between Partners. In Division 2 ORC, Mal Thompson’s Young 88 Pistol Dawn placed 1st well ahead on corrected time of Adam Baggett’s Farr 1020, Tenspeed, which was in turn ahead of David Edminston’s Jeanneau 37, PassionPassion finally received their ORC Club certificate and their back-dated results under ORC places them in equal first place for the series in division 2 ORC.

In Division 3 (PHS) Peter Francis’ Hanse 325 Wind Charmer won the daily double of first over the line and first on handicap after a closely fought battle with the slightly larger Hanse 350, Les Girls II owned by Susan Geary who crossed the line just 8 seconds after Wind Charmer. Third place went to Doug Allan’s Peterson 30 Silhouette. In Division 3 (ORC) the difference in corrected time of the first three yachts was less than 1 minute with Silhouette ahead of Les Girls II and Wind Charmer.

In Division 4 – PHS, Michael Bleakley’s modified Crossfire 20 Loose Change also was first over the line and first on handicap. In second place was Jeff Finnegan’s Endeavour 26 Witchways II  a minute ahead on corrected time of third placed Hughie II Karen Abel’s Northshore 27.

At the half-way mark of the series there remain many competitors vying for podium finishes. Fingers crossed for favourable (or evan pleasant) conditions.

Race 4 of the West Harbour Winter Series is this Sunday the 3rd of July and competitors are invited back to the Balmain Sailing Club for the post-race prize-giving and sausage sizzle.

David Stenhouse, Race Manager

Following the abandonment of the race a fortnight ago, Race 3 of the WHWS will be held this Sunday.

Unless there is a Gale Warning (or worse) the race will go ahead, regardless of rain!

Following the race, competitors are invited to Drummoyne Sailing Club for the official prize-giving.



A Text has been sent cancelling  WHWS Race 3.

The extreme weather/wind conditions resulting from an East Coast Low has managed to get Seabreeze’s wind prediction into the Brown Pants Zone.


Hopefully Race 4 on June 19 will have better conditions.

There is an amendment to the WHWS Sailing Instructions

It brings the scoring system to be fully in line with the RRS and the standard TOPYACHT settings. See here.

The actual published results on the website are in accordance with this amendment.

With respect to final series results, it is unlikely that any boats will be disadvantaged by this change.

However, if any boat thinks they are we will review and if required amend the final series results to ensure that is not the case.


IMG_1633The Annual Prize Presentation was, as always, a glittering affair and despite some notable absences was well attended. On display were trophies, some of which have a long and significant history and are extremely valuable.  They provide a record of past achievements and past members.  When all set out they make an impressive display.

One trophy of special significance is the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Australia 1997 IMG_1647Commemorative Trophy.  This trophy is awarded to a club member for service to GFS over a long period.  This year the worthy recipient was Richard Imlay for his role in fostering and organising the GFS Junior Sailing program for several seasons.  The trophy was presented to Richard by out-going Club Patron John Notley (pictured).





Another GFS Trophy of significance which was presented was the Balmain and Allan Trophy awarded to best performed yacht in the Twilight fleet over the entire season. This was presented by John to Malcolm Blomfied – BLUE CHIP.


IMG_1670As the Saturday fleet does not have a weekly prize presentation like the Twilight fleet more trophies are awarded for Saturday winners. Of special note is the sponsorship of the Down Harbour Series by Joe Walsh Rigging Services. We thank Joe for his continuing support. In Joe’s absence the Down Harbour Trophies were presented by Harvey Porter recently awarded Lane Cove Citizen of the Year.

Pictured is Harvey presenting the Joe Walsh Down Harbour Division 2 Trophy to Cec Williams – JOKA.

A full listing of this season’s GFS Trophies and the reason why they were awarded is here.

Following this race, races will be fortnightly, WHWS Race 3 is on June 5th.

WHWSThere will be a presentation of prizes in the Sailor’s Bar at DSC after Race 2 on Sunday.

The next presentation after Race 3 will be at BSC.

Thanks to Gerry Brooks (DSC) for this report. Last Sunday was a bit of a disappointment. Race 1 started in light winds of about 5 Knots from the North West. This held up for a while, but, sadly faded away as the afternoon wore on. The course was shortened at the Manns Point mark and about half the fleet finished.

Balmain Tiger led the first division fleet with X-Ray in second place. Delirium showed a clean stern to Red October in Division 2. Division 3 was won by Eau De Vie and in Division 4, only two boats finished before the deadline; Loose Change and Umzimkulu 2. The 5th Division consisting of six J70s was won by Y-Knot which took the honours from Juno by a margin of 4 seconds.

Congratulations Harvey!

Lane Cove’s Annual Citizenship Awards were held on Wednesday 11 May to recognise the outstanding contribution of individuals and organisations within the Lane Cove community.

HP2Councillor Deborah Hutchens, Mayor of Lane Cove, opened the proceedings with Councillors presenting Awards across 12 categories.

The evening culminated in the announcement of Harvey Porter as the recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award for 2015. Harvey has been the President of Lane Cove RSL-Sub Branch since 2001 and has been actively involved in a number of organisations including the Greenwich Flying Squadron.

Rosalie Lucas was the recipient of this prestigious award for 2014.

Photo: Alfonso Calero

The Combined Clubs (BSC, DSC and GFS) are very pleased to announce that as of Thursday (May 12) 65 yachts have been entered in the 2016 West Harbour Winter Series.

This year there will be in Five Divisions, with the 5th division being for a fleet of J70s.

Follow the link below to the Sailing Instructions. Note: There is also an amendment which includes Division 5  (J70s) –

Follow this link to entrants, divisions and handicaps:

The level of interest in the measurement handicapping system being used in this years series, ORC Club is most pleasing. It is expected that as many as 18 competitors will be competing under the ORC Club measurement rule. ALL competitors will still be rated using the usual PHS which remains the events principal handicap. Those with an ORC certificate will be given PHS and ORC results.


The final race for the GFS 2015-2016 season was sailed in balmy conditions – warm temperature with little wind.  The wind apparently was somewhere from the North or North West or West, who could tell. There was barely enough breeze to fill spinnakers of those who decided to carry them.  In the case of Gwhizz they seemed to sail quite well without using a kite.

Initially the fleet in both divisions stretched out only to bunch up at the shortened course finish. In all a memorable day to end the season.

Provisional results –

Autumn Series

Blue Division               Foxy, Speedwell, Gwhizz.

White Division             Paca, Umzimkulu II and Flair equal second

Overall Series

Blue Division               Blue Chip, Gwhizz, Eggshells

White Division             Flair, Umzimkulu II, Paca

I would like to thank the starters Hugh and Xavier for their effort and dedication this season. Their involvement has allowed us all to sail and provided a consistent start regime.  Also thanks to the skippers and crew who have participated in Saturday sailing this season.

Upcoming events –

WHWS (entries via the Balmain Sailing Club website).  Race 1 – Sunday May 15

GFS Prize presentation – Saturday May 21 from 1500hrs.

Well done  to club members David Edmiston, Geoff Lucas and Kevin Phillips who competed in the 2016 Laser Worlds in Mexico on Banderas Bay.

Geoff was 4th in the ‘Legends Fleet’ (75 and over) out of 8 competitors and Kevin 5th and David 6th out of 36 competitors in the Radial Masters Fleet. Full results listing and information can be found on the competition website

Upcoming Events

  • 31/07/2016West Harbour Winter Series Race7
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