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

Anybody looking for a crewing position should send their request for posting on this page to
Harvey Porter
Any Yacht seeking crew should provide an position vacant ad. on this site by emailing the address above.

Darren Beck’s add for crew for a trip to Brisbane and Hamilton Island proved successful.

Ads will be withdrawn on request or after a month.

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.





In light of the incident where a DSC yacht (Hartley TS 16) lost its keel and capsized and now the death to one and serious injury to another sailor during a race on Pittwater, GFS skippers are urged to copy and keep a Safety Card on board.

Skippers should be aware of the potential danger when fleets with boats of different capabilities are sailing in restricted waterways especially when the fleets converge as was the case in the Pittwater incident.

The Safety Card can be downloaded from the Club Documents page on the GFS site or here .

Humbug_Dec_15Humbug Dec 2015


The latest Humbug (March 2016) has been distributed by email.  A copy is here.

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



The annual Prize Presentation will be held at the club house TODAY Saturday May 21. This event should not be missed it is a celebration of GFS Sailing for both the prize winners and all competitors.


Skite plates are awarded to winners and place-getters for each Series. If you have achieved a place please attend.


For others it is a great chance to add to the wind which always blows across the ‘Deck of Knowledge’.


Kick off 1500Hrs.

Again great weather and just enough wind for the final Down Harbour race of the season. Well done to the series winners.

In Blue Division the Etchells team battled the yachts as they made for Clark Island.  Solitude made a great start and escaped through Humbug which was at its fickle best.  The light wind justified the choice of course and resulted in a journey of about 2 hours. Saints II sailed a great race to be second and not far ahead of Flashback which had a good run back under their huge asymmetrical kite. Handicap results were Saints II, Blue Chip and Chloe.  Series results to Eggshells, from Blue Chip with Flashback and GWhizz equal third with exceptionally small margins.

White Division headed off to round Fort Denison and Umzimkulu II established an early lead with Tana, Out of Africa and Joka endeavouring to catch up. They ended up very close together at the finish.  Wind Charmer were not far behind them as was Paca.  Umzimkulu II were back ahead of Joka and Tana.  On handicap Umzimkulu II from Joka and Out of Africa. Series results to Joka from Umzimkulu II with Tana and Out of Africa equal third.

In Red Evo took the water and handicap double after a close race.  Flair led momentarily at the start but were hampered by a lack of sail area.  Evo were ahead at the Goat Island rounding and held the lead on the spinnaker run to Cockatoo.  Flair nearly caught up on the next spinnaker run from Cockatoo to Humbug but to no avail and Evo crossed the finish line just over a minute ahead.  Series results to Flair from Evo and Barubi.

Since its inception in 2013 the WHWS has been a huge success and we are hoping to build on that success in 2016.  The Notice of Race for the 4th Annual West Harbour Winter Series (WHWS) is here.  As with previous years, there will be 7 races, commencing with Race 1 on the Sunday the 15th of May 2016.

We are again looking forward to some great racing across at least 4 divisions.

The inaugural 2013 Series was hosted by BSC however in 2013 it was DSC who out-performed the other clubs. In 2014 DSC hosted the series which was dominated by GFS.  GFS hosted the 2015 series which was dominated by BSC.

In 2016 the WHWS has come full-circle with Balmain Sailing Club becoming the host club.

With support from Yachting Australia we are planning on introducing the measurement handicap system ‘ORC Club’. This will not replace the usual PHS handicapping system. Results under the ORC Club rule will be published alongside the PHS results.

Unlike other measurement based systems ORC Club is an inexpensive, ‘owner declared’, measurement system that has a transparent formula for determining a boats rating. (Anyone who holds a current ORCi Certificate can compete without having to apply for an ORC Club certificate).

I’d encourage people to read the information on the following links:

PHS favours consistent sailing, and occasionally favours those that consistently improve. However, unlike PHS, ORC Club won’t penalise you for sailing well – it will give you a fixed rating based on the design characteristics of your boat (it will favour those with clean hulls, decent sails and good teamwork!).

Yachting Australia will be hosting a Q&A seminar on ORC Club and local Sailmakers and sponsors of BSC and DSC, Sydney Sailmakers have agreed to assist owners with boat measurements following the seminar.

The Balmain Sailing Club invites all competitors interested in getting an ORC Club rating to the Q&A session at 10am on Sunday the 10th of April at the Balmain Sailing Club.

Yachting Australia have agreed to process Certificates for a promotional rate of $60.00 (cost).

The WHWS, with support from GFS, DSC, BSC, Yachting Australia and importantly competitors will be the first in Sydney to embrace this initiative.

Please, get on board and support this initiative and help us to position the WHWS at the forefront of racing development in Australia.

All competitors need to enter the WHWS via the Balmain Sailing Club website. There is no fee payable for entrants from BSC, DSC and GFS who have paid their club’s annual entry fee. Your entry automatically puts you into the PHS series and you will have the option of entering under the ORC Club rating rule.

Come along to the Q&A seminar and consider having your boat rated under the ORC Club rule.

Race 1 of the inaugural BSC Friday Afternoon Non-Spinnaker Series saw a fleet of 5 sail in perfect sunny conditions that saw NE breezes averaging around 10 knots.

For most, the finish was close with Balmain Tiger taking the win. See the link to the results below.

All of the competitors came back to the clubhouse for drinks and the consensus was that this series will surely grow.

We have since had additional entries.

The series will run every Friday afternoon until the end of July and will appeal to those who are retired and can muster a crew – or, those who ‘work from home’.

This is a Non-Spinnaker Pursuit Race commencing at 1330 hours. The series will be split into 2 (Series 1 and 2). There will be 3 discards in Series 1 (9 races) and 3 discards in Series 2 (also 9 races).

This is a low-management series with no laid marks, no starters and no tender services. The BSC will publish offset times on their website every Friday morning. There is ONE course and start times will be determined by the forecast on the day.

Skippers will be required to text their first lap and finish times to me on my mobile [0411206347]. Please ensure that your finish time includes hours, minutes and seconds!

Following the race, boat owners are invited to come back to the BSC for drinks and a sausage sizzle. Those coming from further afield are welcome to tie up in our new marina.

For those who have yet to enter, you can do so by clicking on the link below:

The list of entrants and their handicaps/offset times for Race 2 will be published on Friday morning prior to the race.

Below is the link to the Sailing Instructions

If you are not on the current entry list and intend competing, or, if you intend entering and require assistance, please feel free to email me for further information.

Light winds prompted the choice of Course 17A which at one point looked like it was too long.  However, the starters were aware and prepared to finish the race ‘outside’ if the wind had not filled in late as it more-or-less did.

In Division 1 Sweet Chariot powered away in the conditions to leave the fleet in their wake to record a comprehensive victory on the water and on handicap.  Velocity and Irukandji kept together and escaped marginally from the others.  Chloe led the Etchells group with 4 boats racing, others were Forte Forever, Eggshells and Foxy.  Blue Chip managed to fit in somewhere in amongst the Etchells ‘Fleet’.

Welcome to Peter Francis in Wind Charmer for their first Saturday race in a different boat, although they started in Division 2 they may be better suited to Division 1 especially when Gwhizz and StarElan are sailing. They were so far ahead that the computer has momentarily missed them.

In the rest of Division 2 each boat led the race albeit momentarily in the case of Flair. Paca eventually escaped to lead the fleet in pursuit of Wind Charmer. Umzimkulu II made a supreme effort to catch them and Flair continued to sail into every hole in the breeze at every point on the course.

Next Saturday, April 9, is the last Down Harbour Race of the season.


A good representation of GFS skippers attended a function in the Lord Mayors reception room at Sydney Town Hall to receive first place medallions for the GFS races held to commemorate Australia Day. The group looked resplendent without their boats in a convivial atmosphere.



First place recipients in GFS Yacht Divisions

Twilight Blue Division French Connection Michael Murphy
Twilight Green Division Shemozzle John Hayward and Paul Clune
Twilight White Division Jaytripper Mark Rhodes
Twilight Gold Division Jester Tim Harrington
Twilight Orange Division Evo Richard Wood
Twilight Black Division Lisdillon Andrew Richardson
Saturday Division 1 Sweet Chariot Ralph Pickering
Saturday Division 2 Flair Phil Hare

Dinghy classes first placings were –

Sabot 1 Up Whisper Felix Laubi
Sabot 2 Up Splasher Isaac Edmunds – Skipper
Liam Barry  – Crew
Senior Laser Max Efffort Ray Vaughan


Again spectacular autumn weather with a breeze that seemed to come from a variety of directions made for a tricky but enjoyable sail. Added to the need for skippers and crews to watch for wind shifts the antics on various harbour cruise boats added an additional distraction.

1531In Blue Division Irukandji were powerful and made perfect use of their asymmetrical kite in the shy conditions as they led the fleet.  Likewise Gwhizz sailed an excellent race and a good dice with Peach Teats Velocity for position on the water. Blue Chip were not far back. StarElan, Foxy and Speedwell sailed as a bunch and seemingly had a good race.  Handicap results were Irukandji, Gwhizz and StarElan.

The Reds had a good race where each yacht had a turn at leading on the water.  Paca were powerful and made a break on the others, Umzimkulu lost a bit of ground shaking out their reef and Flair managed to read the wind shifts so well that they found every hole around the course. A rare spinnaker run through Humbug allowed Flair to make up enough distance to win on handicap from Paca and Umzimkulu.

Next week is the Easter break and Saturday sailing resumes on April 2.

Upcoming Events

  • 05/06/2016West Harbour Winter Series Race 3
  • 14/06/2016GFS Committee Meeting
  • 19/06/2016West Harbour Winter Series Race 4
  • 03/07/2016West Harbour Winter Series Race 5
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