Archive for March 2017

The presentation of first place Australia Day Regatta medallions took place at Sydney Town Hall on Tuesday March 28. The function was hosted by Deputy Lord Mayor Professor Kerryn Phelps AM in a convivial atmosphere.


It was pleasing to see a good contingent of GFS members on hand to collect their medallions. Both Sabot 1-up winner Alex Drew and the Sabot 2-up skipper Matt Haywood and crew Joseph Morton were in attendance. Australian Sailing President Matt Allen emphasised the importance of junior members as the grass roots and future of sailing.


Other GFS sailors in attendance were Graeme and Ann Davey, Jim Lelliott, Pam Joy, Lesley Barr, John Amos and Mike Wise (pictured) representing both Twilight and Saturday divisions.


The function highlighted the range of diverse sailing activities held to commemorate Australia Day not only in the designated harbour regatta but in wide ranging areas such as Lake Illawarra, Wangi, Botany Bay and Pittwater. Boats represented at events included ocean racing yachts, various mixed classes of yachts, trailable yachts, classic yachts, modern and historic skiffs, a huge range of other dinghy classes including Lasers and Sabots and radio controlled yachts.


The ceaseless clicks of the gathered paparazzi (the Cannon Camera Group) heralded the start of Autumn Race 6 as the fleet headed off on Course 18A. The day remained dry and the wind attempted to last, albeit for a few bits especially at the end. Thankfully the finish line was set in the mouth of Humbug rather than at the club.


Well done starters!


In Division 1 Pistol Dawn returned to battle with the Etchells and this resulted in a close on water race with Forte Forever. Foxy gained the superiority over the others and for once the Etchells group had the ascendency over Blue Chip. The published results are in need of scrutiny and hopefully the camera group can provide evidence of the actual finish order.  Anyway it looks like the placings will be shared by Forte, Foxy and Chloe.



In Division 2 the fleet remained as a bunch in the early stages of the race. We also welcomed Colin Legg and crew in the Thunderbird 26 ‘Snowgoose’ for their first GFS Saturday series race. It was great to see the use of spinnakers making for a very colourful day on the water. (But where was the camera group?) Hasta La Vista again made a break on the fleet and were pursued by Gwhizz and StarElan. This left the rest of the fleet to remain close until the vagaries of the wind stretched distances between them.  Paca and Joka (pictured) made up much ground. The near windless run to the finish tested tacking ability and patience.  By the end Gwhizz had caught Hasta with StarElan third. On handicap Joka from Umzimkulu II and Paca.




Please remember that there are parking restrictions behind the club.


The recent heavy rain and wind has reinforced this requirement!

Sydney’s weather turned it on again! Wind, rain, sun, no wind, more wind and sadly many skippers and crews were disappointed as they were dressed as if they also expected snow. Anyway it’s a healthy lifestyle to venture out into the elements, hardy souls as we are.


In Blue Division 1 Irukandji sailed very quickly to minimise their exposure to the changing conditions leaving Foxy, Blue Chip and Eggshells to scrap it out. Eggshells finally pulled the pin as they had a malfunction causing them to lose their main source of shelter. Foxy Four-up made it back behind Irukandji and Blue Chip returned safely after them. Foxy were successful in negotiating the Top Yacht system ahead of Irukandji and Blue Chip.


In Red Division 2 Flair won the start; however, the race is over a longer distance. Hasta La Vista powered away and were ultimately caught by Gwizz. Clovelly Pacific well suited to the conditions also powered their way through the fleet to ultimately return after the Gwizz – Hasta combination. Paca and Umzimkulu again had a good race. On handicap a good win to Paca from Hasta and Flaira.


A reminder that Course 17 requires yachts to leave Cockatoo Island to Starboard (marked by *** on the course sheet) on the way to the finish from Snapper Island.

At last sunny skies and a light relatively consistent breeze saw the fleet heading to their respective rounding marks at Nielsen Park, Shark and Clark Islands. Luckily most of the fleet avoided the tanker’s departure from Gore Cove.


Welcome to Mark Donnelley and crew in Sirocco an Elan 37 for their first Down Harbour race. In the Blue Division race, Flashback were back well ahead of Blue Chip and Hasta La Vista. On Handicap Hasta from Gwhizz and Blue Chip.


In White Forte Forever without kite made it back ahead of Eggshells (pictured) and Speedwell with Speedwell just pipping Eggshells to be second on handicap.


In Red Umzimkulu II powered away to lead the fleet all the way. Paca, Wind Charmer and Joka challenged until Wind Charmer broke away under kite to be back a few minutes after Umzimkulu with Joka a few minutes after.  Handicap results to Umzimkulu II from Wind Charmer and Flair.

Well the weather predictions again proved inaccurate. Originally expecting winds around 10kts a well known wind site actually changed their prediction after the event to be upwards of 25kts. Seabreeze shows the wind recorded yesterday.

      Click on the image to enlarge (Seabreeze)

Given the unstable weather it was decided to start from the club and Course 63 proved very well suited to the actual wind direction and speed.


In Blue Division 1 a depleted fleet met the challenge, initially exiting the variable wind directions in Humbug and then the strong gusts which seemed to materialise from nowhere. Foxy sailed well to lead the fleet leaving Eggshells (pictured) and Blue Chip to scrap it out for the minor places on the water. Blue Chip again showed their ability to run under spinnaker in the strong conditions. Scratch and Handicap results were Foxy, Eggshells and Blue Chip.


In Green Division 2 Hasta La Vista led the fleet for the entire race leaving the others to sail as a group for a while until the wind came in and StarElan was able to break away. With gusts upward of 30kts between Longnose Point and Goat Island Flair and Paca were in survival mode. At the end Hasta was well clear of StarElan and Paca. Handicap result to Hasta from Flair and StarElan.


Rod McCubbin, the creator of Top Yacht, has kindly agreed to host a Workshop and Q&A session at the Balmain Sailing Club on Monday 6th of March, commencing at 6.30pm.  GFS members are welcome to attend.

The BSC clubhouse (and the bar) will be open from 6pm. Address is Water Street. BIRCHGROVE NSW 2041

Participation is FREE OF CHARGE and is open to all sailors, regardless of where you sail, who are interested in the complexities of handicapping.

Please have a think about the questions that you might like to ask in advance. And in particular, give some thought to *What makes a good performance handicapping system?*



A cordial invitation is extended to owners of eligible Etchells yachts to enter this event on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd April 2017 on Pittwater. The Regatta will consist of six races conducted by the Avalon Sailing Club (ASC).

An interim presentation for Races 1, 2 & 3 will be held at a catered dinner on the Saturday evening at ASC. Bookings are essential. The Don McLachlan Perpetual Trophies presentation plus presentation for Races 4, 5 & 6 will be held after the race on Sunday 23rd April at the Clubhouse.

According to Richie from Eggshells, ‘It would be fun to sail an Etchells to Pittwater. But I think we would need a few boats to sail together’. Apparently many Etchells have gone up and down the coast without any problems including Foxy.

10th Don McLachlan NOR and SI.

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Upcoming Events

  • 20/02/2019Twilight Autumn Race 3
  • 23/02/2019Saturday Autumn Series Race 2
  • 27/02/2019Twilight Autumn Race 4
  • 02/03/2019Saturday Autumn Series Race 3
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