Please make sure when you are the last to leave the clubhouse that the doors are locked and the alarm is set. If it has been used also please check the member’s fridge is locked.

You need both your key and card to enter the club. Details regarding the alarm were sent to all eligible key and card holders.

The places for the GFS Australia Day races for yachts (Twilight and Saturday Series) are below.

First place winners will be invited to Sydney Town Hall to receive their Medallions in March.

Medallions for second and third places have either been handed out at the club or can be picked up there.

In more sad news: former GFS member, sailor and documentary producer Rob McAuley passed away on Tuesday 14 January 2020. Rob had a long and productive career in journalism and film dating back to the Melbourne Olympic Games and had many years with Film Australia. He was a great friend and mentor to many people in the film industry.

His publications include  the TV movie ‘The Hunt for HMAS Sydney’ which Rob directed.

His friendly and jovial nature were the essence of life at GFS in the nineties and beyond after a distinguished sailing career with the CYCA. The last boat in which he competed at GFS was the Etchells Raptor.

The two links below give an essence of who Rob was.

CYCA Archive Project Part 1 –

CYCA Archive Project Part 2 –

There is a great tribute to Rob on the CYCA website . A true sailing legend.

2020 marks the 6th edition of the combined club’s West Harbour Summer Series.

Race 1 of the 6 race series commences this Sunday the 19th of January at 1300 hours.

Entries via the Balmain Sailing Club website ASAP.

Please be reminded that this is a Pursuit Race. Entrants and their individual start times will be listed here by no later than 0900hrs on the morning of the race.

The Sailing Instructions and Course Maps are available online.


David Stenhouse. BSC

It is with sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Elaine McLaughlin past member of GFS and wife of longstanding member Bill McLaughlin.  Elaine died peacefully at home on January 9th with Bill and her family by her side.

Elaine had a very long association with GFS, sailing for many years with Bill in our Cruising Division then more recently supporting Bill, daughter Leigh, her partner Margie and son Mark racing on Folklore on Wednesday nights.

Family and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Elaine’s Life on 21 January at 2.45 pm at Vaucluse House, Wentworth Road Vaucluse.

On behalf of all GFS members I express our sincere condolences to Bill and his family.

Pam Joy


On behalf of GFS Members a belated ‘well done’ to Christian Beck and crew for their efforts in the recent Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

InfoTrack finished the race for line honours in second place and were 3rd IRC in Division 0 and 18th IRC overall.

As first Yacht out of Sydney Heads, the Jack Rooklyn Memorial Trophy and Cannon were awarded to InfoTrack. InfoTrack also received the CYCA Trophies for second over the line and third in IRC Division 0.

This covers shortening the course for Saturday series races. Sailing Instructions (Full and Cockpit versions) on the Yachts – Racing Information page have been updated. Changes in bold type.

14.         Shortened Course. 

a. If a course is shortened after the start, Code Flag ‘S’ displayed at a rounding mark indicates that the course has been shortened.  All yachts after rounding the mark shall proceed directly to the finishing line.  If a Division Flag is also displayed with Code Flag ‘S’, the course is shortened for boats in that division only.

b. The course may also be shortened either at a mark of the course or other suitable location. The Start boat will fly a Blue Flag to signal they are on station and Code Flag ‘S’ at the finish. Yachts should pass between the club mark and the start boat from the direction of the previous mark of the course.

20.       Finish Line. 

a. When finishing, boats must pass between the Club mark and the Blue Flag on the Clubhouse mast or on the Blue Flag on the club launch.  The Clearance mark does not apply at the finish.

 b. Where the finish is from the Club launch the line will be set at an appropriate position relative to the last mark passed. The Start boat will fly a Blue Flag to signal they are on station and Code Flag ‘S’ at the finish.

 c. When a finish buoy has been set a yacht must not re-cross the finish line after it has finished (pass around the buoy end of the line). Also see SI 26(b).

d. In Twilight and Saturday Races, a finish line may be set from the club launch without a pin end buoy. Code Flag ‘S’ and the Blue Flag will be flown from the club launch and the line set between the launch and either the green navigation buoy at Greenwich Point OR the green navigation buoy at Balls Head OR the ferry wharf at Longnose Point OR the flag mast at Hunters Hill Sailing Club OR the flag mast at Balmain Sailing Club depending on the last leg of the course being sailed.

e. Note:  RRS. Rule 31 applies at the finish.

Best wishes to Christian Beck and Crew in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

Christian’s yacht InfoTrack is representing GFS in the race. Their progress can be followed using this link to the race tracker

The Blues Point Yacht Club has a couple of events coming up in early February 2020. They would be very happy for suitable GFS yachts and crews to participate.  The events are a mixture of yacht racing and relaxed social interchange over drinks and dinner.

The Don Deller Offshore Race was first held in 2009 to honour Dr Don Deller, one of the founding members of the BPYC, The Don Deller will be a single-division, PHS race consisting of yachts of various types.

Commencing at 10:00 hours on 8th February 2020 yachts race from a start line between the Race Committee Vessel and the AS mark in Obelisk Bay, Port Jackson, and finish on a transept from the easternmost point of Lion Island.

Each competing yacht must hold a current, audited Category 4 Safety Certificate and suitable insurance cover of not less than $10 million.

The Double Sprint

The Double Sprint will be a single division PHS Race consisting of yachts of various types. BPYC invites boat owners from its own fleet and from other clubs affiliated with Australian Sailing to join the 2020 Pittwater Double Sprint Race 1, then berth overnight at Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay, before completing the 2020 Pittwater Double Sprint Race 2 the following day.

Race 1, post-race, competitors and crew are invited to join at their own cost, pre-dinner dinks on the 1st floor balcony of RMYC and then join the BPYC dinner in the RMYC Brasserie. 

Race Two, scheduled to start at 10:00 hours on Sunday 9th February, on a line between Scotland Island and Taylors Point then finish on a line between the easternmost point of Lion Island and Barrenjoey Light.

Post-race, competitors are invited to cruise in company back to Port Jackson.

Details are in the NORs. Don Deller and Double Sprint

The GFS Committee wishes to remind all club members that Sydney is currently on Level 2 water restrictions.

Consequently, we urge all skippers to refrain from using the hose at the club to wash boats. It is still permissible to fill water tanks as long as the hose is not left unattended.

Please be mindful of the need to conserve Sydney’s precious drinking water wherever possible.

It is with sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Keith McAlpine. Keith was an active sailor at GFS with his wife Diana in their yacht ‘Perquisite’.  He later became the club driver and custodian of Pegasus in a voluntary capacity for Saturday starts. Diana even made the curtains for Pegasus. He was a staunch club member.

Keith passed away on November, 23. A celebration of Keith’s life will be held in the South Chapel of Northern Suburbs Crematorium on Monday December 2 at 2.00pm

Please be aware that there is an open for inspection and auction on site this Saturday (November 30) which may impact on access to the club. 

Open from 12:00pm and auction at 12:30pm.

Any offers?

It is with great sadness that I advise the passing of Brian Cunynghame, one of our longstanding members and past Commodore of GFS. He died at the SAN Hospital on November 15th, 2019 with his family by his side. His cancer had been diagnosed in February.

Brian was an active and involved member of GFS and was Commodore from 1983 to 1985.  It was on his 70th birthday 11 years ago that he introduced Flashback to the club after having returned from 2 decades in the UK. He relished the Twilight and Down-Harbour racing and particularly enjoyed the comradeship he had with members of the Club over the last ten years.

Brian had his 81st birthday last Tuesday which was a special family time together. 

A Service celebrating Brian’s life will be held on

Monday 25th November 10.30am

All Saints’ Church

Corner of Ferry and Ambrose Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110

All are welcome.

On behalf of all GFS members I express my sincere condolences to Brian’s wife Joan, his family and many friends.

Pam Joy   Commodore

Brian Talking about his family in Oberon NSW

The 2019-20 Summer Series will be a Handicap Start Series. This series will not be counted in the overall season results.

Yachts will start on the appearance of their start handicap on the white boards with black numerals located on the clubhouse ramp.

Yachts will retain their normal division and sail the course set for that division.

The first boat to start will be at 1745 hrs (5:45pm)

Initial handicaps will be assigned by the club handicapper based on current PHS handicaps.

Handicaps for each race will be emailed by the Monday before the next race. The start list and handicaps will also be posted on the GFS website and the Club Notice Board.

Starters will not communicate details of handicaps to yachts or do a countdown for each minute start by VHF radio.

Sailing Instruction Changes

The following Amendments have been made to The GFS Sailing Instructions and are available on the Yachts – Racing Information page of the GFS Website. Full and Cockpit versions can be downloaded from the website. The changes are in red.

10. Starting Procedure

iii. Twilight Series – Handicap start

11.        Starting Rules.

a              RRS. Rule 30.1 applies at the start.

b           Yachts are required to keep clear of the starting line before their warning signal. 

i. In Twilight Scratch starts yachts are to keep clear of the starting box/exclusion zone until 5 minutes prior to their assigned starting time – see SI 8 vi.

ii In Twilight Handicap (Pursuit) Starts yachts are to keep clear of the starting box/exclusion zone until 3 minutes prior to their assigned starting time – see SI 8 vi.

c           Yachts sailing in the starting area prior to their One Minute Signal must keep clear of all yachts sailing after their One Minute Signal.  Yachts not complying may be protested by other competitors or disqualified by the starter.

d           i. If a Club Buoy and/or Clearance Mark have been laid, no yacht shall cross the starting line from the direction of the first mark after its preparatory signal.

 ii. No ‘dip starts’ are permitted – Code Flag ‘I’.

iii. Yachts may pass either end of the club mark, launch or clearance buoy (if laid) to re-start.

e           The starter will remain on station for 15 minutes after the last start.  No yacht will be recorded as a starter after that time.

f              The procedure for Handicap Starts outlined in SI 10 iii modifies rule 12(c).

g             If no club buoy or launch is used at the start a yacht must return completely to the pre-start side of the

             transit line before re starting. This modifies SI 11(d, ii).

13.         Recalls.

a             Individual RRS Rule 29.1 will apply.

Code Flag ‘X’ will be displayed accompanied by one sound signal.  The offending yacht may be advised by

hail; however, the onus is on the offending yacht to return and restart.

b             General RRS Rule 29.2 will apply as modified.

First Substitute will be raised accompanied by two sound signals.  Four minutes later the First Substitute will be lowered accompanied by one sound signal.  One minute later the Class Flag and Preparatory Signal (for the Twilight Point score races) and the Class Flag (for the Saturday and Winter races) will be raised accompanied by one sound signal. Thereafter the starting procedures return to normal.

If a second general recall occurs the recalled division will then start 10 minutes after the last division start.  The Preparatory Signal (Twilight races) or the Class Flag (Saturday & Winter races) will be raised five minutes after the last division starts. 

c             For Twilight Handicap (Pursuit) Starts, Individual recalls may not be signaled, the onus is on the offending yacht to return and restart. This modifies RRS 29.1.

If any yacht is on the course side of the starting line at the time of her start may restart the race or be given a two-minute penalty at the finish.

Any yacht starting more than 1 minute before her start may be recorded as DNS at the discretion of the starter.

The start list for DH Race 5, January 11, the first Saturday Race for 2020 is on the Results page. Please check. If you intend to sail and are not listed, please enter the Down Harbour Series through TopYacht.

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