It is with great sadness that I advise that Keith Tierney our Club Patron, longstanding GFS member and good friend passed away yesterday on December 5th.  He died peacefully at home in the company of his loved ones.


Keith has been a highly regarded member of GFS whose sailing experience and expertise were respected by all. He first learned to sail at the club in 1936 and subsequently raced competitively in skiffs (12ft, VJs and 16ft skiffs) in various clubs around the harbour. He later progressed to yachts, sailed his first (of 15) Sydney to Hobart race in 1950, regularly competed in his own yachts (S&S 40ft and later a S&S 37ft) at the CYC before returning to GFS in 1995 to race his most recent boat Arawa – a Cavalier 28.


A full story on Keith’s career on the water can be found on the website at


Keith actively participated in club activities and many members have benefitted from his knowledge of sailing tactics, wind and tide.  His knowledge of local conditions was extensive and he was rarely passed by another yacht in Humbug. Along with Harvey Porter he had been setting our Twilight courses for several years and (almost) always got our fleets home safely and in time for dinner!


Keith was elected Patron of GFS in July 2017 and generously continued to support the club and its members in this role. He was a much respected member of the GFS sailing fraternity and will be greatly missed by all of us. On behalf of all GFS members I express my sincere condolences to Keith’s wife Judith, his family and many friends


Pam Joy, Commodore

Please return all tickets to Danni or Glenda.  Contact Glenda on 0419 983 680 if  you have any issues.
The Greenwich Flying Squadron thanks you for your support.

Next Wednesday GFS is hosting YOTS (Youth of the Streets).

If you normally tie up alongside the club before racing please keep the two sides of the pontoon clear from 5:00 pm so that members can launch tenders from the sides and give clear access for yachts to come alongside to pick up visitors.

The club must take extra care with visitors and keeping the pontoon readily available will help.

Also a reminder to skippers to offer the visitors life jackets if they are not strong swimmers and to provide safety information of some of the inherent dangers of sailing, especially swinging booms.

The RSYS will be sailing West of the Harbour Bridge.  They have potentially around 50 yachts in 6 Divisions including an Etchells class. Some yachts in the RSYS fleet are well over 40ft.  Sail Sydney Regatta is on the Harbour.

They are using islands as marks, passing all to starboard. Various divisions will do two or three laps of either Cockatoo or Snapper, Spectacle and Goat Islands.

Their start times commence at 1245 Hrs with the faster divisions first.

There are two more occasions when they will do the same – one to avoid foiling catmarans and one the Sydney Regatta.

RSYS monitors races on VHF 73. Their on-water co-ordinator is Rob Ridley 9017 0151.

Please take care with the additional traffic, we will attempt to set a course which will fit in.

In view of the possible congestion in the vicinity of the bridge and beyond the Down Harbour Race on December 8 will now be held on the following Saturday December 15.

The race on December 8 will be Saturday Summer Series Race 3. Details regarding this race will be revealed soon.

Revised courses will apply.

I am genuinely surprised there were not more protests and more damage in last night’s twilight race…

In Humbug and in particular, off the Goat Island Red Channel Marker, numerous Skippers failed to acknowledge or follow the rules that apply when either overtaking or when passing a continuous obstruction.

•  Boats were pushing for room (on the inside) around continuous obstructions when they had no right to do so.
•  Overtaking vessels were not giving room to the vessel in front.

If there is not the room available in front of you, whether it be off Onions Point, going through Humbug, or when passing continuous obstructions…
ie plan ahead on the race track.

Skippers and Tacticians
in particular, please read some of the key rules detailed below and note that under Rule 19.2( c ) in particular if you don’t have room, the port/starboard and windward/leeward rules are switched off whilst rounding a continuous obstruction.

The Sailing Instructions state that the Goat Island Red Channel Mark is a continuous obstruction: (25 (vii) (b) ) and that Rule 19 applies.
(Don’t forget the islands are continuous obstructions…as was the Tall Ship last night off Goat Island….)

Some of the key rules that apply in the above scenarios include :
19.2 Giving Room at an Obstruction

(a) A right-of-way boat may choose to pass an obstruction on either side.

(b) When boats are overlapped, the outside boat shall give the inside boat room between her and the obstruction, unless she has been unable to do so from the time the overlap began.

(c) While boats are passing a continuing obstruction, if a boat that was clear astern and required to keep clear becomes overlapped between the other boat and the obstruction and, at the moment the overlap begins, there is not room for her to pass between them, she is not entitled to room under rule 19.2(b).  While the boats remain overlapped, she shall keep clear and rules 10 (port/starboard) and 11 (windward boat keeps clear) do not apply.

When a boat acquires right of way, she shall initially give the other boat room to keep clear, unless she acquires right of way because of the other boat’s actions.

If a boat clear astern becomes overlapped within two of her hull lengths to leeward of a boat on the same tack, she shall not sail above her proper course while they remain on the same tack and overlapped within that distance, unless in doing so she promptly sails astern of the other boat. This rule does not apply if the overlap begins while the windward boat is required by rule 13 [your rights/obligations whilst tacking] to keep clear.

The 2018 – 2019 sailing season is well underway.

The GFS Committee has arranged for Above and Beyond Boating to present a Man Overboard Masterclass for GFS skippers and crew in November.

This is a short, action-packed seminar will take the fear out of an MOB scenario and show you how to create and implement a practical and MOB plan for your vessel.

Even experienced sailors, including our Race Coordinators, believe these courses are invaluable, particularly for crew who do not train regularly.

  • Shore Based Training – strategies for preventing and recovering a person overboard, including a simulated recovery of a 100kg person.
  • Location – Greenwich Flying Squadron
  • Date and Time – Tuesday 20 November at 1800 – 1930 hrs
  • Course – run by the professionals at Above and Beyond Boating.
  • Cost – Free for all GFS financial members (both skippers and crew).

The Man Over Board Masterclass is an intensive 90-minute seminar.
You will experience recovering ‘BOB’, a 100kg artificial human.  As part of the class, AA Boating will bring you up to date with the latest advances in technology from modern life jackets and harness lines, to lights, beacons and recovery aids.

To confirm your attendance – you need to follow this link for all booking and communications

AAB Boating has conducted similar pre-season courses at the RPAYC.
Above & Beyond Boating are well known locally and internationally for thinking outside of the box, whilst raising the standards of safety everywhere they go.

There will be added congestion on the West Harbour which coincides with our Summer Series Race 1 this Saturday (November 24) .

The MHYC is contesting its annual 7 Islands Race which will have their fleet rounding Cockatoo, Spectacle, Snapper and Goat Islands.

Start times – Handicap Start

1220 Hrs Course Board Displayed
1230 Hrs Start Count-up Sequence


Start Hunters Bay, Balmoral
1 AS Mark Shark Island (S)
2 Shark Island (S)
3 Fort Denison (P)
4 Cockatoo Island (P)
5 Spectacle Island (P)
6 Snapper Island (P)
7 Goat Island (P)
8 Fort Denison (P)
9 Clarke Island (P)
10 Bradley’s Head Safe Water Mark (P)
Finish MHYC

If any thing untoward occurs contact –

Organising Authority
Middle Harbour Yacht Club
Lower Parriwi Road, The Spit Mosman, NSW 2088
PO Box 106, Seaforth, NSW 2092
P: 02 9969 1244 E: W:

Our GFS trophies were moved last Friday to the the Diddy (Longueville Sporting Club) which has generously agreed to provide us with temporary storage and display facilities. Thanks very much to Rosalie Lucas and Ann Davey for their help in selecting, recording and polishing the trophies that are now on display at the club.

Please be aware that there could be added boating activity in the vicinity of Cockatoo Island today. The D and D of Sussex will travel by boat to Cocktatoo Island to attend the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge.

This could possibly be completed prior to GFS racing.

During the current state of alert as a result of the Lane Cove Sailing Club storage shed fire the GFS committee has arranged for temporary storage of the trophies, photographs and historical memorabilia usually housed in the club to an offsite facility. Here the level of risk to the irreplaceable and valuable objects will be minimised

As well the trophies and artefacts will be digitally recorded in the near future.

Entries are now CLOSED for Race 1. You can view the list of entrants and Divisions by going to the Yachts Page – Results – Twilight Spring Series – Race 1.  The list of entrants is way over on the right hand side.


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Late entry is still available for future races in the series – they must be completed by the Monday immediately before the first race you wish to enter. Entry details and documents are on this website.

Prior to Saturday Spring Race 4 the assembled representatives of the Deck of Knowledge gathered to marvel at the precision and skill of the persons with chainsaws and big machines repairing Bay Street wharf.



Click to enlarge




CUTOFF for race entries for next Wednesday’s Twilight race is 5pm next MONDAY 8th October.

We have set this deadline as divisions and handicaps need to be allocated.Pending the division allocation, there may be changes to the SIs prior to Wednesday’s race.

So, if you intend to race next week and would like your results to be recorded, please make sure you have paid your GFS Membership fees, you have entered your vessel in Wednesday’s race AND you have uploaded the requisite Safety documents (ie both pages of the GFS Cat 7 document & your current insurance) to the Topyacht race management system.

Scroll down to find instructions for documents (SIs and Courses).

Entry information is on the Yachts / Racing Information page.

It was sad to hear of the ‘capsize’ and grounding of the yacht at Kurnell during the week. Unfortunately the skipper perished in the incident, but luckily the young crew person managed to swim to safety.

The trail in the post which can be viewed here should reinforce why we have safety inspections and skippers’ briefings.

GFS Facebook Group

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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