Sydney Hobart flavour to Morna Cup short ocean race

The Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s historic Morna Cup on Saturday had a distinctive Rolex Sydney Hobart Race flavour about it, with Cup winner Ron Forster’s Ariel an entrant in the blue water classic and runner-up Minerva skippered by the chairman of the Sydney Hobart Race committee, Tim Cox.

Minerva also took first place on PHS scoring in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore results of which the Morna Cup is part of the summer racing calendar.  Ariel is not an entrant in that series.

Seven yachts entered in the 70th Rolex Sydney Yacht Race contested the Morna Cup, although last year’s winner Victoire, an entrant, did not start.

The Morna Cup is one of three short ocean races conducted each summer by the RSYS with today’s 28-boat fleet sailing off the heads in a light south-easterly breeze, starting and finishing within the harbour at Watsons Bay.

The RSYS’s Morna Cup is decided on PHS scoring with Ariel, a Beneteau First 40, winning on corrected time by a close 1 minute and 12 seconds from Minerva, a Reichel/Pugh designed DK43, third place going to the J122 Jackpot, skippered by Adrian van Bellen.

Ariel has not entered the Grant Thornton SOPS series, with first place in the PHS division then awarded to Minerva from Jackpot and another entrant for the 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, Willyama. 

Willyama, also a Beneteau First 40, was helmed today by Trish Stanley but co-owner Richard Barron will be skipper in the Sydney Hobart.

Forster and van Bellen both race out of the CYCA while Tim Cox is a member of the RSYS, as is Trish Stanley.

Cox will again be chairman of the race committee for this year’s 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart which will be officially launched this week with a fleet of 118 boats expected on the start line on Boxing Day, 26 December.

Division 2 yachts raced for the G Carter perpetual trophy with first place going to Velocity (Brian Carrick) from Arcturus 3 (Peter  Davenport) and Solange (William Hutchinson).

IRC results for the Grant Thornton SOPS series saw Division 1 go to Justadash (Philip Dash) by just 28 seconds on corrected time from another Rolex Sydney Hobart entrant, Robin Hawthorn’s Imagination, and Jackpot.

IRC Division 2 went to Saltshaker (Peter Franki) from Crosshaven and King Billy (Philip Cox).

Peter Campbell



Sail Sydney 2014 open for youth entries.

The 2000 Sydney Olympics are almost a generation past, but the legacy for both dinghy sailors too young to be part of those Games and those on track for the Rio Olympics in two years’ time carries on.

Race days for Sail Sydney 2014, based at Woollahra Sailing Club at Rose Bay in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, are spread from Tuesday December 2 through to Sunday 7. The Olympic, Moths and the Flying Dutchman classes are first off the blocks before the remaining youth and open invited classes take to the three Sydney Harbour course areas Friday through to Sunday.

Summer in Sydney dials up consistent north-easterly sea breezes and these reliable conditions plus the close scheduling of Sail Sydney and Sail Melbourne and the fact they are now both ISAF graded events offers competitors, particularly international athletes, twice the value. The peak body for the sport of sailing in the state and organiser of Sail Sydney, Yachting NSW, is pleased to announce that the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has this year granted Sail Sydney 100 point status. This means competitors can earn points towards world championship qualification in their chosen class.

More than 20 dinghy classes are likely to draw in excess of 300 boats and 500 competitors to Sail Sydney 2014. Early international entrants include Canadian Laser Radial sailor Isabelle Bertold and Finnish Laser sailor Frederik Westman. The last time Sail Sydney was held, in 2012, 480 boats represented more than ten countries and every state and territory in Australia decorated Sydney Harbour. December is the festive time of year in the harbour city and these sorts of numbers soak up the available space and enliven an already busy month for maritime activities.

Sail Sydney was established in 1994 to serve as a training regatta in the lead up to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. The event has grown considerably and other than last year’s cancellation is a permanent fixture on the sailing calendar. The NSW government is a key Sail Sydney supporter along with Nautilus Marine, Gill Marine clothing, Steve Jarvin Motors, Lejen Marine, Tohatsu Outboards and Sydney Harbour Boat Storage.

Sail Sydney 2014 is open to all RSYS youth and dinghy entries. Competitors can enter through the event website at . Final entries close on December 7 and good luck to all the RSYS Youth sailors.


Josh Junior wins the 2014 New Zealand Match Racing Championships

Josh Junior has taken out the 2014 NZ Match Racing Championships in an awesome display of speed and tenacity, winning 8 matches from 10 in a gruelling day on the Waitemata Harbour.

Josh and his crew of Jason Saunders, Daniel Willcox, Gemma Jones and Caleb Armit had a day of close races with barely seconds between opponents in most matches. In the finals a fluffed gennaker hoist nearly cost him the regatta giving a huge one minute lead to runner up Chris Steele. Josh’s comments on today’s racing were “Stoked to win. It was a long day and we were penalised in the first race of the Semis meaning we had to regain the point we lost at the protest. David Chapman was hard to beat; we had heaps of close races against him. Overall it has been a great learning week for a crew of dinghy sailors!” At Prizegiving Junior was proud of his crew and has lined up 9 year old Caleb Armit to sail with them again. Caleb had the role of counting down the starts and looking after the Protest flag, the Umpires and Race Management were impressed with Caleb’s efforts!

Steele who had managed a clean sweep of the round robin never lost a race today until he and his crew of Graeme Sutherland, Garth Ellingham and Harry Hull came up against Junior. During the Quarter and Semi-final stages their margins were convincing leaving no room for doubt that they wanted the trophy. And then with the one minute win against Junior this experienced crew must have felt the regatta was theirs, however in flight 2 Junior sneaked past Steele right on the finish line winning by a tiny 4 seconds. Steele said “we were looking really strong. Then we had a couple of incidents in the finals, the gennaker in match 2 and then gaining a penalty against Junior in the final match pre-start which we just couldn’t clear Junior enough to complete our turn. Good work by the crew, we couldn’t have asked for better.” Due to the Junior/Chapman protest meaning the second semi-final series went to all five flights Steele and crew spent a bit of time waiting, going off the boil during the day.

Chapman and his crew of Ross Vickers, Jaiden Stevens and Matt Stenta had a cracking day winning the Quarters convincingly, then taking Junior to the last race in the Semis. The slimmest of margins – 1 second in match three gave them a glimmer before Junior snatched it away. It was a long nine flights today for Chapman. The highlight being in the top three of a full-on regatta with tough competition and beating Dickson in the Petite finals in two very close matches. “It was a good regatta and our crew have only sailed this regatta together, so three days! Full credit to Josh. He deserved the win.”

Scott Dickson’s crew were happy to have a day without huge gusts and rain. “What a difference a day makes! This is a really well run regatta and we had some really challenging conditions. Hats off to my team. We didn’t finish worse than we started and we made it to the top four!” said Dickson. With Guy Pilkington, Michael Boucher and today Jamie Dawson substituted for Samantha Osborne the crew worked hard but some mistakes cost them races. Dickson was happy though to be in good company and is looking forward to his return in 2015. We look forward to seeing him back home here also!

For Mackay, Chatonnier, Pyatt and Brasell a promising forecast on the water today couldn’t change their placing’s. Such talented sailors couldn’t get past the brutal scoring of Match Racing, meaning although they improved, raced fantastic races and gave it their all, they just couldn’t get past the top four during the Quarter Finals. And for Alan Quere and crew from New Caledonia and Peter Waring with crew from Napier Sailing Club and Murrays Bay. It was a disappointing regatta. The weather was not kind and Saturday’s cancellation of racing due to a 35-50 knot gale meant there was no chance to redeem themselves after only gaining one point each in Round Robin One.

Despite the wind and rain during this regatta which forced a change in racing schedule, the Orcas on Friday and the awesome heavy air breeze still gave the sailors a great ride and we hope they will return to give it a go again in 2015.


Results for the 2014 NZ Match Racing Championship are:

Overall Results
1st Josh Junior – Worser Bay Boating Club

2nd Chris Steele - RNZYS

3rd - David Chapman - RSYS
4th - Scott Dickson - LBYC
5th - Sam Mackay - RPNYC
6th - Lucas Chatonnier - RNZYS YTP
7th - Susannah Pyatt - MBSC / RNZYS
8th - George Brasell - RNZYS YTP
9th - Alan Quere - CNC
10th - Peter Waring - NSC


Major Finals:

Race 3: Junior beat Steele by 24seconds.

Race 2: Junior beat Steele by 5seconds.

Race 1: Steele beat Junior by 1minute.


Petit Final 

David Chapman beat Scott Dickson 2 - nil


Semi Finals Results
SF1 - Race 3: Steele beat Dickson by 55s

Race 2: Steele beat Dickson 1m15s

Race 1: Chris Steele beat Scott Dickson by 1m50s
SF2 -

Race 5: Junior beat Chapman by 22s

Race 4 Junior beat Chapman by 20s

Race 3 Chapman beat Junior by 1s

Race 2: Junior beat Chapman 26s

Race 1: Josh Junior beat David Chapman by 1m8s (deducted 1 point for pre-start collision)

The Fast, The Fun and The Killer Whales - Day 2 NZ MR Championship

It has been a full-on day here at the RNZYS with the 2014 New Zealand Match Racing Champs. The boats docked out this morning tentatively in a fresh breeze that couldn’t make up it’s mind. In typical Auckland spring weather the squalls rolled from the Manukau Harbour over the Waitakere Ranges and swooped down upon the fleet in waves gusting over 30 knots. The boats returned to the dock and waited for the tide to turn which brought the breeze into manageable proportions. Flights took less than 25 minutes to run.

So where does that leave the table? Steele has a clean sweep, and Josh Junior is hot on his heals with 8 wins from 9 races, however today’s racing brought smiles to the faces of all and the resounding comment is “it was FAST and fun today!”

Steele was pleased with the solid performance he and his crew put in today. They put a good performance on the water with only one close finish against Scott Dickson winning by a mere 11s. “We are getting off the start line fast. We just feel like we are getting faster and faster.”

Josh Junior didn’t have quite the same feeling at the end of the day after  having to claw back his placing’s following the loss of a couple of pre-starts. The highlight for Josh and his crew was seeing Orca’s cruising down the Waitemata Harbour. Said Josh “we are starting to come together as a crew! We won all our races today and we are FAST!” Josh’s closest margin was 14 seconds at the finish against Dave Chapman. Chapman had two losses today and said “We should have had that win” (against Junior). Not a bad day for them as this is the second time they have sailed together. Scott Dickson said his team did a really good job today “the skipper needs glasses however” was his crew’s comment. This was after looking at the wrong bottom mark (!). Dickson got a proper ribbing from his crew for that! Sounds like it is just as well they are all great mates!

Tied in 5th place are Sam Mackay, Susannah Pyatt and Lucas Chatonnier all on 4 wins from 9 races. Susannah Pyatt was stoked “we had two good races against the top teams with our best race being against Dave Chapman. The race was tight with Pyatt and Chapman fighting for the bottom mark until one of Pyatt’s crew went swimming. Picked up by Chapman and returned to Pyatt the Race Committee were impressed the final difference was only 20 seconds! Mackay and crew started well, but in the end were just too indecisive, struggling to put the first beat together after winning the pre-starts. Chatonnier and crew won their final three races today after a difficult first day on the water, in conditions that were certainly challenging for the younger and lighter crews.

Worser Bay Boating Club’s Josh Junior v Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s David Chapman

For Quere it was good to finally get on the points table in their last match of the round robin against Waring who also managed to gain a point with a win against Brasell. Geroge Brasell and crew are from the RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme and won today’s race against Scott Dickson. Dickson has YTP Coach Guy Pilkington sailing with him “it’s always fun to beat the coach! We had a bit on with the conditions. It was really windy and we were sailing well but couldn’t finish”.

Tomorrow the forecast is looking similar today and the Race Management team will wait until the morning to decide where to next. Will they be able to complete a second Round Robin or will they have to shorten the regatta to a finals series. We certainly hope for the sailors sakes the wind finally will be kind.

The Squadron Website ( and Facebook page ( features the latest results and photos; be sure to follow the Website and ‘Like’ our Facebook page to stay up to date with the on the water action.

Download the Full Official Entry List and Official Race Documents on our Website Now.

- RNZYS Media

Squally day produces some great and some hairy conditions

The New Zealand Match Racing got underway this morning with conditions opposite to the forecast wet and squally weather expected. With blue skies and 10-15knot south-westerlies the Race Management went out onto the Waitemata Harbour only to find it a typical Auckland day with shifty breeze and four seasons all rolled into the six hours that were used.

RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme Graduate Chris Steele, ranked 15th in the ISAF rankings kicked off the regatta as he intends to complete it, we are sure, with four wins from four races. Clipping his heels however is the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron crew ably helmed by Dave Chapman also on four wins, Scott Dickson, Long Beach Sailing Club, USA, and Josh Junior, Worser Bay. We last saw Scott Dickson in 2012 and Josh Junior in 2010 where he was runner up.

Chris Steele flew back to NZ Wednesday morning following a spell in Australia training for the 2015 International Moth Australian & World Title Championships and is sailing with a new crew. “Coming back to the YTP Elliott 7m boats was exhilarating – especially downwind later today” said Steele with a big smile “having to sail with the smaller Gennakers (because of the forecast 35kn) was not much fun! It is challenging and there are some great crews out!” Chris has a full crew of YTP Graduates in Garth Ellingham, Graeme Sutherland and Harry Hull.

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron skipper David Chapman had a good day although his first match was abandoned due to a massive shift in wind direction during the match. “With no practice yesterday due to the massive breeze, today was our first go on the boats. Matt Stenta on Bow, Jaiden Stevens and Ross Vickers were trimming. We are getting used to the Elliot 7m and each other and in these conditions everything was super quick! We are really hoping tomorrow is better weather-wise and we will be looking to improve our performance.”

Scott Dickson a New Zealander living in California and flying his local club burgee, Long Beach Yacht Club, with crew Guy Pilkington (coach of the RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme), Michael Boucher and Sam Osborne, both YTP Graduates, the highlight of their day was sailing downwind on the Waitemata Harbour with mates. Dickson has 3 wins from 4 races.
Josh Junior is sailing with a crew full of champions. Jason Saunders & Gemma Jones ranked 5th in the Nacra 17, Daniel Wilcox 3rd at the 2012 Olympics in the 470’s crew, and Caleb Armit – Opti Sailor. Josh has been concentrating on Finn Sailing since we last saw him here in the NZ Match Racing Championships. Josh also has 3 wins from 4 races.
The Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club crew helmed by Sam Mackay say they could have done better today. Not too many smiles there after their great start with winning their first two matches. Susannah Pyatt and her crew are really happy with their two wins, crew work and mark roundings and are really looking forward to improving their table position tomorrow as is George Brasell who has one win. The New Caledonians with Alan Quere as skipper are wanting a better day and along with Lucas Chatonnier a score on the board. Napier Sailing Club Peter Waring have one match to make up at the end of the Round Robin.
Best Hairy Moment today goes to Scott Dickson with a massive broach on the final downwind leg of the day.
Day two’s forecast is for 18-25knots SW and we hope to complete Round Robin One and be a good way into RR2. Stay tuned for updates at

Results for Day 1 are:
Skipper Wins/Loss/Races sailed
Steele 4/0/4
Chapman 4/0/4
Dickson 3/1/4
Junior 3/1/4
Mackay 2/2/4
Pyatt 2/2/4
Brasell 1/3/4
Quere 0/4/4
Chatonnier 0/3/3
Waring 0/3/3

Melanie Best | Sailing Manager | Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
101 Curran Street, Westhaven Marina, Auckland | PO Box 46182, Herne Bay, Auckland 1147
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