Optimist Travellers Trophy regatta

It is a great demonstration of the strength of RSYS Youth Sailing that 16 of our Youth Sailors, with ages ranging from 8 to 14, represented our Club at RPAYC in the International Optimist class on Sunday 3 March. There was a total fleet of more than 105 boats, so RSYS sailors made up over 15% of the overall fleet, and the eight RSYS Green fleet sailors amounted to more than 30% of their fleet. If our Youth are an example, the future of RSYS is assured.

Conditions were fantastic, with sunshine all day and moderate winds on the three courses on Pittwater near Scotland Island, allowing four to five races to be completed by each fleet. The regatta was very well run by our hosts at Prince Alfred.

Several of our sailors stepped up to Intermediate from Green fleet, and in particular our girls Harriet McLachlan and Vidhi Gupta sailed really well, with Harriet winning the first race and finishing 5th overall and Vidhi finishing her first regatta in the Intermediate fleet. 

A few of our Open sailers were fatigued by the schools regatta at Woollahra the previous day, but overall everyone performed well with Connor Warner our standout and strongest Open sailor.

Our Green fleeters had a great day. Stirling McKay scored a second place and many had several top 10 finishes. It was a great regatta for the Green fleet sailors, several of whom were in their first Optimist Regatta, demonstrating great depth and hope for our future Youth program, and most importantly, they had great fun!

Our next Optimist regatta is the NSW State Championship at Gosford on 30-31 March, and we hope for a similar representation from RSYS Optimist sailors. We also have the Laser Metro Championship at RPAYC on 15-16 March, so March will be very busy for the Youth sailors, staff and coaches.

By Richard McLachlan

The National Sailing League


The Sailing Champions League (SCL) is a winning concept in the northern hemisphere, taking off from the start-up league in Germany in 2013 to involve 21 nations and more than 300 clubs in 2019. Now it’s the southern hemisphere’s turn!

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, host club of the recent SailGP world premiere, is the launchpad for the first ever National Sailing League (NSL) event in Australia. The regatta will run from  25 – 28 April 2019. The format is three days of one design keelboat racing, using six Elliott 7s, and a maximum of 24 teams competing in 45 races of 12-15 minutes duration to find the top two clubs in the Women’s, Youth and Open divisions.

The top Australian and New Zealand Open division teams automatically qualify for a spot at the SCL final in St Moritz, Switzerland in August. 

The top two Youth teams will be eligible to compete at the SCL Youth Event in Kiel, Germany in June and the top two Women's teams at the SCL Women’s Final in 2020.

RSYS will enter up to three teams (one in each division) and we are looking for teams (made up exclusively of RSYS Members) to represent our Club at this event. You must submit an expression of interest to register your interest.

Send us your Expression of Interest today

Read more about the NSL and how to participate

General Enquiries to the NSL


Photo Darcie Collington Photgraphy


Tuesday Twilight Presentation Night

Tuesday 12 March is our final race of the series and also the third race in the Trophy series. After racing, please join us in the CCA for the pointscore and series trophies presentations.

We have a number of prizes to award: 
•    Spinnaker Mini Series - the Bluebird trophy (2018 Miss Pibb) 
•    Non-spinnaker Mini Series - the Gypsy Moth IV trophy (2018 Cavatina) 
•    Spinnaker Main series -  the Lady Helm trophy (2018 Yertle)
•    Non-spinnaker Main series - the Jan Rowed Memorial trophy (2018 Cavatina) 
•    Open Division - Cellar & Crested Goods Gift Voucher (2018 Mercier)


Our generous sponsor Paspaley will present eight pairs of Keshi stud earrings and award one lucky crew an exclusive Pearl Discovery experience which includes a visit to the Pearl Room located in the heritage bank vaults that lie beneath their flagship boutique in Martin Place. Four pairs of earrings will be awarded to overall winners and the rest to four boats drawn on the night. To be eligible for the draw, boats must have sailed 75% or more of the series.

Paspaley will also display their latest collection and sailors will be served pearl meat canapés and a glass of bubbly. 

Reservations are essential! Please contact Reception, giving your boat name, 9955 7171. 

Duel on Derwent for Sayonara Cup Defence

The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania has received a challenge from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron for the coveted Sayonara Cup, renewing the match-racing contest between two of the nation’s senior clubs after a break of a decade.

The RSYS has already named its challenging yacht and team, Whimsical and skipper Matt Whitnall, the RYCT’s Defender Trials will be held this coming Saturday with a best-of-seven match races between prominent club members Nick Rogers and Elliott Noye.

The Defender Trials and the Challenge Match will be sailed in International Dragon class yachts. The Deed of Gift of the Sayonara Cup does not restrict the event to one particular class but it has been sailed in the Dragon for the past 30 years.

Rogers won the Sayonara Cup from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in 2009 and is a veteran of the Dragon class, winning the Prince Philip Cup 11 times as well as a World championship and this year winning the Masters and Corinthian trophies at the Worlds in Perth.

His crew of Karabos XI on Saturday will be Leigh Behrens and Simon Burrows.

Noye, the 2019 Tasmanian champion in the SB20 class, is a newcomer to the event. He is sailing Ridgeway with his crew, Ed Snowball and Ollie Nicholas.

The RSYS team comprises Matt Whitnall (helm), David Chapman and David Giles sailing Whimsical. Team patron is the doyen of the Dragon class Gordon Ingate.

Whitnall is an active Etchells sailor out of the Squadron, Chapman a former Hardy Cup winner and international sailor in varied classes, notably as a tactician. Giles has sailed for many years with Ingate on his International Dragon, Whimsical.

The Sayonara Cup was the premier trophy for Australian yachting from 1903 to 1962. Modelled on the America’s Cup Deed of Gift, it was established as a match-racing event between large yachts representing New South Wales and Victoria.

The perpetual trophy was named after the winner (from Melbourne) of the first challenge match between the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

Despite periods when no events took place, the Sayonara Cup remained well-known to the general public and the experience gained by Australian yachtsmen racing for the trophy led them to consider challenging for the America’s Cup in the late 1950s when the New York Yacht Club adopted the International Twelve Metre Class.

The Sayonara Cup was then sailed in the slightly smaller International Eight Metre Class yachts, with the event expanded to include challenges from Tasmania as well as NSW and Victoria, with the RYCT’s challenger Erica J bringing the trophy to Tasmania for the first time.

Colourful Sydney yachtsman Bill Northam introduced new competition when he imported from England what was reputed to be the world’s fastest Eight Metre, the Fife designed Saskia. For the first time in 24 years the Sayonara Cup returned to the RSYS.

With Australian yachtsmen focusing on the America’s Cup challenges in Twelve-Metres, the Sayonara Cup became dormant until the 1980s when it was contested in the one-

design International Dragons. Victorian, NSW and Tasmanian boats have all taken part at different times.

In 1984 and 1985, the RSYS defender won, but in 1987, the RYCT challenger took the trophy back to Hobart, and it was successfully defended in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992.

In 1993, the RSYS challenger won, but the RYCT regained the trophy the following year in 1995. In 1996, the Sayonara Cup returned to Sydney but this time to the Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, which then defended in 1997, 2000 and 2004 before the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s Nick Rogers won again in 2009.

Over a period of 56 years the RYCT has won the Sayonara Cup nine times, past winners being the Eight-Metre class yacht Erica J, skippered Ted Domeney in 1953, then the International Dragon Maj Britt helmed by Stephen Boyes (1987 and 1988), followed by Nick Rogers sailing Karabos VI in 1989, Karabos VII in 1990, 1991 and 1992, Karabos VIII in 1994, and regained from the RSYS with Karabos IX in 2009.

Rogers’ winning crew in 2009, Leigh Behrens and Simon Burrows are back aboard Karabos XI for this Saturday’s Defender Trials on the River Derwent.


Words: Peter Campbell

Photo: Penny Conacher

Havoc wins Etchells NSW Championship

Congratulations to Havoc, skippered by Colin Beashel and crewed by Henry Kernot and RSYS Member Richard Allanson, for winning the 2018-19 Etchells NSW State Championship. The event was hosted by the Gosford Sailing Club and the Gosford Etchells Fleet from 15-17 February. 

Second place went to Magpie skippered by Graeme Taylor with crew Ben Lamb and RSYS Member James Mayo.

RSYS member Jeanne-Claude Strong on Etchells 1435 took 3rd place with crew Seve Jarvin, Kate Devereux and RSYS member Marcus Burke. Congratulations all!

See the full results here

Photo by Alex McKinnon Photography