Race 2 is this Sunday May 20 – Updated Divisions and Entries can be found here.

Race 1 saw boats out on the water on a beautiful Autumn day which finally saw the race commence when the breeze filled in after a delayed start. The course yesterday was shortened at the start for all divisions and further shortened during the race. It should be noted that when a course is shortened during a WHWS race, the committee boat will fly an ORANGE pennant and code flag S Flag and be positioned adjacent to a rounding mark. A black and white checked flag waved from the committee boat will signify that you have finished.


Yesterday’s course was shortened for all divisions at the Manns’ Point Mark. Race 1 results can be found on the Balmain Sailing Club website or hereStandout GFS performance in Race 1 was Hasta La Vista – first on handicap in Black Division.

Sailing Instructions and 2018 Course Maps are available from the BSC’s website. If you are a current member of GFS, PRSC or DSC and have paid your annual race fees you do not need to pay to enter and you can still enter using the Top Yacht Entry System by clicking here.

Please do not assume that you are in the same division as you were last year. Several boats have been moved to even out the number of boats competing in each division and to create closer racing.


All remaining Winter Series dates are as per the GFS Sailing program –


Race 2     May 20

Race 3     June 3

Race 4     June 17

Race 5     July 1

Race 6     July 15

Race 7     July 29

One of our long-standing GFS members was delighted with a fine, cool day to go and work on his yacht engine. He set off from home, unloaded his dinghy from the dinghy rack, dragged it as usual down to the edge of the pontoon, locked the clubhouse, hopped into the dinghy and with his hand pushed the dinghy away from the pontoon.

An unseen fish hook at the end of a fishing line caught in the side of his little finger. As the dinghy moved sideways from the pontoon the hook became embedded further into his finger.  With one oar and one hand he managed to move back closer to the ramp and the only way he had to free his hand was to chew his way through the nylon fishing line.  How he managed to drag the dinghy out of the water on to the concrete ramp, up the deck into the clubhouse and lift it end-on into the dinghy rack is beyond comprehension!

Back home with a length of line hanging from his finger and an embedded hook at the end of the line he was taken to the GP who didn’t want to touch it as the finger’s nerve was comprised. GP wrote a referral to RNS where he spent the day, X-rays then a number of local injections prior to surgical removal of the hook. He has a return visit to RNS next week.

I would like to suggest that GFS members look carefully as errant casts from fisher-persons on Bay Street Wharf often land and snag on our ramp and pontoon.

Well done to David Edmiston and crew – 2nd on handicap in Division 1 Race 2 of the Performance Crusing Division.

Both the Hasta La Vista (John Veale) and Sweeney Todd (Julian Todd) crews continue to enjoy the competitive racing.

All results can be viewed at http://www.topyacht.net.au/results/2018/sps/index.htm

The 2018 West Harbour Winter Series will commence with Race 1 on this Sunday, May 6.

The Sailing Instructions and the 2018 Course Maps are available via the BSC’s website.

If you are a current member of GFS, PRSC or DSC and have paid your annual race fees you do not need to pay to enter, however you still need to enter using the Top Yacht Entry System by clicking here.

Please do not assume that you are in the same division as you were last year – check the link to the list of entrants and divisions for Race 1 . Several boats have been moved  to even out the number of boats competing in each division and to create closer racing.

At this stage the forecast for Sunday’s Race is for light and variable winds under 10 knots.

BSC will host a prize giving ceremony and BBQ after race 1. Race results will be announced at 1630hrs. You are invited to come along and meet your fellow competitors.

All Winter Series dates are as per the GFS Sailing program –

Race 1     May 6

Race 2     May 20

Race 3     June 3

Race 4     June 17

Race 5     July 1

Race 6     July 15

Race 7     July 29


To mark the end of the 2017 – 2018 Down Harbour Series, or just owning a boat, participant skippers and crews are invited to come back to the club and partake in friendly banter related to sailing on the day, in the series, sailing generally or not at all.


It would be nice to bring some food to share.  However, there will be a supply of bread and sausages in the members’ fridge for all to consume.


This promises to be another quality event to enhance the already lofty reputation of the GFS ‘Deck of Knowledge’.

The 11th annual Sail Port Stephens regatta, home of the Commodores Cup, NSW IRC Championships, Australian Sports Boat Nationals, Super 12 NSW Title and Port Stephens Trophy (Performance Cruising + Racing) runs from 9-15 APRIL 2018.

GFS has two competitors in the Commodores Cup and Performance Cruising events and we wish David Edmiston and crew (Passion X) and John Veale and Crew (Hasta La Vista) best of luck in the competition.

Passion X is also competing in the Newcastle – Port Stephens race on Sunday April 8.


It is with sadness that we note the passing of another previous GFS club member.

Geoff was a keen racer and sailed his J24 Grott with the club in the 1980s and 1990s with young Harvey as an active crew member.

His funeral notice appeared in the paper on Monday –

OTTEWILL, Geoffrey Rabone

March 14 2018
Aged 82 years

Dearly loved husband of Bev, loved father and father-in-law of Mark, Susie, Anthony, Robert and Meaghan. Loving grandfather of Max, Hannah, Sascha, Abby, Lola and Charley.

Family and friends of Geoff are invited to attend his funeral service to be held at Magnolia Chapel, Macquarie Park at 11am, Thursday 22 March and afterwards for refreshments from 12-2pm.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Parkinson’s foundation.

This is a post on the GFS Facebook page by Graeme Davey skipper of G-Whizz detailing the events that unfolded in Race 4 of the Summer Twilight Series on January 12, which graphically brought home to Graeme the potential for disaster inherent in yacht racing.

It is worth reading in detail HERE if you haven’t already. Thankfully Graeme and the G-Whizz crew were on hand to affect a rescue of the persons in the water.

Three GFS yachts rounding Cockatoo in an area prone to sudden windshifts. Click to enlarge.

The photo was taken at the very moment of the incident, you can see the splash of a crew member hitting the water on the port side of  the leeward yacht. 

Photo courtesy Jeff Lewis. 


The Laser Metropolitan Championships will be held at the Drummoyne Sailing Club on the weekend of the 17th and 18th of March 2018.

There may be at least 80 Lasers – courses around Cockatoo, Snapper and Spectacle.

We may set a ‘Down Harbour’ course.

Rule 14, avoiding contact, is a rule that always applies, anywhere on the racecourse.

A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible. However, a right-of-way boat or one entitled to room or mark-room (a) need not act to avoid contact until it is clear that the other boat is not keeping clear or giving room or mark-room, and (b) shall be exonerated if she breaks this rule and the contact does not cause damage or injury.

The rule’s intended message is, put simply: “Sailing is not a contact sport.”

Linda and Wally are converging as they approach the line to start. Neither changes course and they collide with damage to both boats. Linda protests Wally.

At Position 1, Wally must keep clear of Linda (Rule 11) and he also must avoid contact (Rule 14). Because the starting mark is surrounded by navigable water, Rule 18 doesn’t apply (see the Preamble to Section C of Part 2).

Wally is barging and Linda is under no obligation to give him mark-room.

Wally could avoid breaking any rule by luffing and leaving the mark to port. But he doesn’t, and just before Position 2, Wally commits to sailing between Linda and the mark. At that moment, it becomes clear that Linda needs to take avoiding action in order not to collide with Wally, so Wally is not keeping clear (see part (a) of the definition Keep Clear). At the same moment Rule 14(a) begins to require Linda to act to avoid contact, which she easily could do by bearing off a few degrees.

The protest committee disqualifies both boats—Wally for breaking Rules 11 and 14 and Linda for breaking Rule 14.

There will be a quiz coming soon.


The following first place winners will be invited to Sydney Town Hall on Tuesday March 27 to receive their medallions.  Invites have been sent.

Class or Division Boat Name OR Sail Number Skipper /Crew                        
Twilight Blue AVANTI Peter Clarke
Twilight Green SILVER SPRAY David Wells
Twilight White AMATEAU Brian Davey
Twilight  Orange FOLKLORE William McLaughlin
Twilight  Gold ETESIAN Bram Penberthy
Twilight Black LISDILLON Andrew Richardson
Saturday Division 1 TANA Pam Joy
Lesley Barr
Saturday Division 2 PACA Paul Hanly
Sabot 1-Up MISS BEHAVING Elliott Wilson
Sabot 2-Up WILD SIDE Aiden Senior
Tristin Power
Junior Laser FULLY WORKING Jessica Challenger

A funeral  for Ross will be held this Friday February 23 at 10:30 am at the Camellia Chapel, Macquarie Park (corner of Delhi Road and Plassey Road).

The service will be followed by a celebration of Ross’ life at The Deckhouse, Clarke Road Woolwich from 12 to 3:00 pm.

This invitation extends to all Ross’ sailing friends.


Please be advised that the members’ fridge is provided as a service for members. It is an honesty system and is not available on days when the club’s licence allows the bar to be open. It is available at all other times – weekdays, Saturday and Sunday race days.


At present the funds collected are not matching the funds expected. The system is currently under review and is being monitored to ascertain whether the shortfall is continuing and whether the service should be continued.

Dear Club Members

I was informed this Thursday morning of the passing of Ross Springer, owner and skipper of the blue fleet yacht Izzi.

Ross competed in Izzi on Wednesday night and was in the raft up at the club when the 40 knot southerly hit.

I saw him waiting patiently in the raft up for the outer yachts to clear little suspecting it would be his last visit to GFS.

Ross passed away at home Wednesday night and we will circulate details of funeral arrangements in due course.

Ross has been a valued member of the club and for several years we raced against him in the Blue division and also the Winter Wednesday events at RANSA.

Ross has been a loyal supporter of racing at GFS and will be greatly missed.

On behalf of all GFS members I express my sincere condolences to Ross’ family.


David Edmiston






Click to enlarge

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Upcoming Events

  • 21/11/2018Twilight Spring Series Race 7
  • 24/11/2018Saturday Summer Series Race 1
  • 28/11/2018Twilight Spring Series Race 8
  • 01/12/2018Saturday Summer Series Race 2
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