Archive for November 2015

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 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.

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

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