Archive for October 2016

Again windy conditions kept crews on their toes to deal with shy spinnaker runs, strong gusts and tricky mark roundings.

img_2249In Blue Division 1 Pistol Dawn powered away at the start to win on the water by a considerable margin from Solitude and Blue Chip which were close at the end.  The Etchells had a good close race with Foxy gaining the upper hand from Chloe and Eggshells to win on handicap from Pistol Dawn and Blue Chip.

In Green Division 2 Gwhizz powered away at the start and was well set up for the conditions with a reefed main.  The chasing pack swapped positions several times in the course of the race.  At the end StarElan made it back after Gwhizz with Hasta La Vista not far behind them.  Paca, Joka  and Umzimkulu II all finished within a minute just behind HLV and not far ahead of Speedwell.  Handicap results went to Umzimkulu ii from Paca and Joka.

doyleShane Guanaria of Doyle Sails Sydney has kindly offered to host a visit by GFS members to the Doyle Sails loft on Tuesday November 15 at 6:30pm

Places are limited to the first 30 to apply – RSVP to Maree Van Bellen

Shane’s impressive resume covers offshore racing, including nine Sydney-Hobart races, and several classes.  He started his sail making career under the guidance of Ian MacDiarmid, working at MacDiarmid Sails for seventeen years before eventually purchasing the company in 2013 prior to merging with Doyle Sydney in 2015. From skiffs to maxi yachts, Shane has the expertise for building all types of sails and is an integral part of the Doyle team in Australia.

On the night beer and pizza will provided. The loft is located at 25a 33-37 College Street, Gladesville.

sat-22The race was held under overcast skies but the predicted rain held off and even a patch of sunlight emerged to make for a quick sail in wind around 20kts from the South.  Course 18 didn’t quite work as planned and provided mostly reaches and short spinnaker runs mainly from Goat Buoy to Longnose Point.


In Blue Division 1, Solitude edged away from the chasing fleet with Forte Forever, Chloe and Blue Chip vying for the next spot on the water leaving Foxy and Eggshells to have a close race. It was good to see 4 Etchells on the water racing competitively with each other. Provisional results on handicap were Foxy, Chloe and Blue Chip.

In Green Division 2 distance seemed to be the dominant factor.  Gwhizz powered away from the start to establish a significant lead. Initially Umzimkulu II and the Speedwell went with them. Paca after a poor start sailed excellently to finish third on the water behind Gwhizz and Speedwell to win the race on handicap.


There is a Marine Safety Presentation by Genevieve White of Marine SafetyWorks at the GFS Clubhouse on Monday October 24 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm.

Genevieve founded Marine SafetyWorks in 2004 as a result of extensive experience in marine safety over 30 years of yachting in the competitive, cruising, training and development arenas. She has logged 99000 offshore miles from deliveries and offshore racing which includes the 2001-2002 Volvo Ocean Race as navigator for the Nautor Challenge entry Amer Sports Too. Her experiences in the Southern Ocean and in those many offshore miles have highlighted the absolute necessity for a professional approach to marine safety issues.

Genevieve was very closely involved in the development of the Australian Yachting Federation (now Australian Sailing) Safety and Sea Survival course which was adopted by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and is now presented worldwide as the ISAF Safety and Sea Survival Course. It is an integral part of offshore racing in Australia. Genevieve is also qualified to teach and invigilate Marine Radio for the Office of Maritime Communications, First Aid for the Australian Red Cross, and Safety and Sea Survival for Australian Sailing.

It will be invaluable for GFS skippers and their crew to hear Genevieve’s presentation.


There is some confusion which relates to a statement made by the Service NSW Representative at the recent Skippers’ Briefing regarding the Bradley’s Head Safe Water mark.

bh-markFor our courses it is a requirement that this mark be left to PORT if you are sailing in the vicinity of the mark.

Sailing Instruction 25 n vii states the wording which was included in the GFS Aquatic Licence –

‘Bradleys Head Safe Water Mark – Condition 100 of the GFS Aquatic Licence. All vessels navigating in the vicinity of the safe water mark, 350m from Bradleys Head, should pass to the North of the buoy when proceeding westward and should pass to the South of the buoy when proceeding eastward.’

This simply means it should be left to Port when travelling in either direction and as it is included in our Sailing Instructions it must be complied with in order to sail the correct course.

A good sized fleet contested DH race 2.  Starting in pleasant conditions the wind built up considerably to make sailing conditions difficult. Nevertheless each division had close racing and no damage, all being accounted for after the race. Generally, spinnakers enjoyed the journey firmly hidden in their respective sail bags.


In Blue Division 1 there were 9 starters and given the strong conditions Irukandji sailed exceptionally quickly to be back a couple of minutes ahead of Flashback.  Provisional handicap results Hasta La Vista, Blue Chip and Tana.

In White Division 2 also with 9 contestants, a couple of boats were not included in the results which will have a considerable effect. These will be adjusted later this week.

Red Division 3 saw 5 boats engaged in racing which was close early and then firstly Barubi then Umzimkulu II gaining the lead with Joka making a late run to make it back after Umzimkulu II at the end.  Umzimkulu II were worthy handicap winners after sailing well in the strong conditions. Barubi also managed the conditions extremely well to be third on handicap.

The strong and gusty wind reduced the fleet numbers as skippers evaluated the safety of competing in adverse conditions relative to their particular boat or crew.



The start from the club and Course 35 made for a quick race. In Blue Division Irukandji powered away at the start.  Solitude after a slow start made up ground throughout the race to only be a minute behind at the end similarly, Chloe, Eggshells and Blue Chip were separated by only 40 odd seconds. On handicap Chloe won from Blue Chip and Eggshells.


Only two starters in Green division with Hasta La Vista escaping at the start and were 8 minutes ahead at the end. However, Umzimkulu II won on handicap.


Eggshells and Solitude

There is a strong wind warning for Sydney waters for Saturday.

Wind Warnings for Saturday 8 October – Strong Wind Warning for the following areas: Sydney Closed Waters, Byron Coast, Coffs Coast, Macquarie Coast, Hunter Coast, Sydney Coast, Illawarra Coast, Batemans Coast and Eden Coast.

For Sydney the BOM predicts north to northwesterly winds 15 to 20 knots ahead of a southerly change 20 to 30 knots in the morning. Winds decreasing to 15 to 25 knots by the evening.

Seabreeze looks ugly!


As such there is the chance that Spring Race 4 will be abandoned.

A cool and gusty wind greeted the over fifty starters for the first Twilight race of the new season.
In a change in starting order the seven starters in the Black division started ahead of the Blue fleet. Normally the Black division would be sent on a long course and the earlier start is intended to get the Black fleet all back home before the breeze dies. Tonight with the course setters believing the forecast for dying winds the Black division was sent out on the same short course around Cockatoo and Goat and home and they enjoyed an early finish.
Just before the start we saw 25 knots on the wind speed indicator on Passion and while the breeze did lighten off later the fresher breeze and short course made for a quick trip around the islands. The eight starters in Blue could see the gold fleet heading back into Humbug just as the Blue fleet was rounding Cockatoo on the way out.
It was fortunate that the race was quick and the results produced quickly too as it was chilly on the deck so thank you to all the hardy souls that came back for our on deck BBQ.

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Upcoming Events

  • 23/03/2019Saturday Autumn Series Race 5
  • 27/03/2019Twilight Autumn Race 8
  • 30/03/2019Saturday Autumn Series Race 6
  • 03/04/2019Twilight Autumn Race 9
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