2016-17 Season Review

The Squadron has enjoyed notable success this past season: our Club conducted numerous world-class regattas, Members again did well in the Sydney Hobart Race, entries were strong in division and class racing and we saw greater participation in the Tuesday and Friday Twilights. The Mini regattas continued to grow in popularity and the Squadron successfully conducted another bigger and better Hardy Cup. Members competed with excellence in Australian championships and regattas, while our Youth sailors excelled in national and international events.

Here is a selection of the countless highlights of the RSYS’s 154th season of yacht racing:

Bruce Watson sailed his yacht Imalizard, an 11.8m long Welbourn 12, to finish 1st in PHS overall, in the Sydney Hobart. Other prominent performances included Paul Clitheroe’s Balance, finishing 1st in IRC Division 1 and 12th in Line honours, Rupert Henry’s Chinese Whisper which finished 9th in Line honours, Springday Pazazz, skippered by Rob Drury, finished 1st in IRC Division 2 and Sean Langman’s Maluka of Kermandie, the smallest and oldest yacht in the race, finished 1st in IRC division 4. 

The 154th season once again saw professional and volunteer race management teams maintain the highest standards of yacht racing, both in the Harbour and offshore. It is these qualities of race organisation and management that see the Squadron regularly asked to conduct National and World Championships. 

In December, we hosted the Final Act of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series which showcased the exciting new foiling GC38s right in front of our clubhouse. In a head-to-head that went right down to the wire, Alinghi took out the Sydney finale as well as their third Extreme Sailing series victory. 

That extraordinary yachtsman Gordon Ingate once again reclaimed the Prince Philip Cup in the International Dragon class, hosted at the Squadron this season. The former Olympic sailor, America’s Cup and Admiral’s Cup skipper, and runner-up in a Sydney Hobart Race won his first Prince Philip Cup in 2008 – after 50 years sailing a Dragon. This season, he won it again after finishing second in last year’s regatta, a tremendous result. Ingate also won the NSW Dragon Championships. 

The International Yngling class went from strength to strength with 14 boats contesting the Australian Championship on the Harbour. Australian champion once more is Miss Pibb (Club Members Hamish Jarrett and Max Hayman.) 

This season was another successful year for the Squadron’s Mini B regattas which included the Ynglings and the Sportsboat division. Karyn Gojnich’s Evie won the Yngling Mini regatta series and Tim Ryan’s James once again won the Sportsboat division. 

The Mini A regattas were again very popular among the Etchells and Dragons. The Milson Silver Goblets regatta of six races attracted a fleet of 26 Etchells and delivered classic one-design racing in both twilight and day races. It was a very competitive regatta and the boat to come out on top was Iron Lotus skippered by Julian Plante. Over the season, Top 40 (Bonouvrie/Merrington) took out the Etchells Mini A series, while Christian Brook and Ant Elliott’s Umami won the Saturday Main Series. Gordon Ingate won the Mini A series in the Dragons. 

We witnessed some exceptional performances by Squadron Members in the Saturday Club racing. In division 1, Geoff Davidson sailed Jackie Clare to victory in the Spring, Summer and Main categories of Division 1. Peter Campbell sailed I Super to claim the RPEYC series, as well as winning the Varuna Cup, a race between Division overall winners. In Division 2, David Matthews’ Ambitious won the Summer and Main point scores. Jonathan Threlfall of Campeador won the Spring Series and Solange Andrew King/Trevor Carroll/Will Hutchinson) won the SIS series. In Division 3, Jim Dunstan’s Zeus II took out the main and Summer pointscore, whilst Ken Chase of Kirsten II won the Spring and SIS pointscores. 

Every summer, RSYS conducts three short ocean races for perpetual trophies of great significance to the history of the Squadron. Within these three races is the Perseverance Trophy, a pointscore series that is open to yachts entering the Morna Cup, Milson Cup and Gascoigne Cup races through the Squadron. The winner this year was Willyama, jointly skippered by Richard Barron/Trish Stanley/Stephen Sanlorenzo.

By Angus Olding