Optimist NSW State Championship

After great lead up work and training from Locky and the coaches, RSYS Youth Sailing assembled a big fleet of Opti sailors to head up the M1 to Gosford for the Annual State Championship.

TJ Ly pulled on the RSYS bib for his first regatta, so big congratulations to him, he did really well.  Unfortunately injuries to three of our team left us with 17 at the starting gun. Heavy rain Friday night and Saturday morning made for a muddy boat park, however the skies cleared and the wind blew for terrific conditions by the first signal on Saturday. 

The Open fleet were in their 3rd race on Saturday before a very strong southerly, gusting well over 20 knots, blew up Brisbane Waters and had its way with the fleet. Luckily the Intermediate and Green fleets were already safely ashore. Harriet McLachlan was the top girl in Intermediates on day 1, and Connor Warner and Benedict McKay had a great first day in the Opens.

Sunday started early after the premature finish on Saturday. The first gun was at 10am, again with superb conditions of 10-12 knots, though with a slightly strong (for the Green fleet ) southerly with a bit of a nip to it, so all sailors rugged up.

Stirling McKay showed real class in Green, but they all sailed really well and as always learnt a lot with time on the water.

A special mention to RSYS sailor Nick Kellaher in Green fleet: he won the Sportsmanship award for pulling out of a race and circling RSYS sailor Abby Tattersall in his boat when she was in trouble, blowing his whistle to attract the attention of the coach boat and staying with her until they came over. As a result he didn’t have time to finish the race, but that didn’t bother him a bit. This fantastic effort is wonderful and Nick is highly commended for his great efforts and tremendous values.

In Intermediates, Harriet worked hard and just held on to her top 10 position, winning the trophy for highest placed female sailor, with Ben Tattersall and Maddie and Kate Atkinson showing great improvement and good results from their hard work. They will be a real threat in future regattas.

In Opens our team worked hard for some mixed results. Benedict and Spencer McKay showed their class and experience and were the top RSYS sailors at the end of the weekend and big congratulations to them, both having a better second day. 

Congratulations to Gosford Sailing Club who ran a great regatta all weekend and were terrific hosts. The location, management and organization could not be faulted. 

The Summer season finishes soon, and then we move to Winter training, the East Coast Championships in June and State Youths in September. The Squadron looks forward to hosting a Travellers Trophy Regatta for the Optis in late August.

By Richard McLachlan

DF65s Boatshed Challenge

The big RSYS Boatshed Challenge was held last Wednesday using the Dragonforce65s loaned by our Radio Sailing Division owners.

It started out as a team building exercise and quickly developed into a fun event with plenty of banter, shouting and a few beers. The racing was very close and we were amazed how easily these boats sail and how close the One Design racing is.


These photos showcase the beautiful RSYS location and the ideal sailing location. Bragging rights went to Max on a countback from Justin.

  1. Max 23 pts (countback on more wins)
  2. Justin 23
  3. Robbie 24
  4. Alex 32
  5. George 34

Thanks to all the DF65 owners who loaned their boats for the Challenge and Bruce McArthur for being RO. The Boatshed team are keen for a rematch, so will organise another event  in the coming months.

By Phil Burgess

Sayonara Cup heralds new era of Match racing

'Sydney sailors wrest back control of Sayonara Cup,' writes John Curnow in the Sydey Morning Herald. 

'A thrilling duel on the River Derwent and the triumphant return of the Sayonara Cup to the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron points towards a match-racing revival among young Australian sailors after a decade of dormancy in Hobart at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

Dubbed a mini-America’s Cup, the Sayonara Cup is one of the oldest and most famous yachting trophies in the southern hemisphere. For more than 115 years, the trophy has cast a special spell over match racers, providing a forum for racing in its purest form since 1904 when a race between Australia’s two most powerful racing yachts was felt to mark the occasion of Federation well.

The more recent knife-edged battle between two of Australia’s oldest Royal sailing clubs and their finest teams attracted crowds on the sparkling waterway and drew immediate offers to challenge from Tasmania and Western Australia.

“It seems the Sayonara Cup has opened up an area of sailing that people thought they had moved on from,” said Australian Sailing performance director Iain Murray, who has skippered, directed and designed boats for the America’s Cup.

“We all look to the recent editions of the America's Cup and think of speed and foiling but there is a genuine appreciation of the original skills of match racing used in past America's Cups and the Sayonara Cup. The technical skills of match racing - principally of tacking, gybing and boat placement over technology - are skills that are often sought at the highest level and that have been the foundation of Australian crew saturation on the world sailing stage."

Murray is positive about the future of match racing at a national level.

“The values of club, state and national-originated challenges have an important place and now RSYS has the helm it is important to re-establish the Sayonara Cup as a desired pathway for our future champions.”

The buzz about match racing is in part due to the quality on board each boat. David Chapman, the emerging 30-year-old star tactician on the RSYS challenger Whimsical, is nephew to one of Australia’s greatest ever tacticians Hugh Treharne of the ’83 America’s Cup crew of Australia II.

Armed with local knowledge and a steely determination to win, he joined a stealth trio that included Olympic veteran David Giles and the coolly-collected World Cup helmsman Matt Whitnall. Enjoying the match race structure and the chance to sail with and against the greats, Chapman says: "I really liked the idea of the Sayonara Cup for there is a massive hole in match racing around the world.”

Read the full article in the SMH here

Youth success at NZ 420 Nationals

RSYS Youth Sailors Natasha Nisbet, Gretel Payne, Jack Ferguson and Ryan Littlechild made the trip 'across the ditch' to the New Zealand 420 National Championship in Takapuna, Auckland from 13 - 17 March. 

Natasha and Gretal were the 5th female team and 15th overall. 

Ryan and Jack were 3rd overall.

In the photo above are Jack and Ryan, 2nd and 3rd from left. Natasha and Gretal, 2nd and 3rd from the right with two 420 Victorian Teams.

Well done!

Nominate your Sailor of the Year!

RSYS Yachtswoman, Yachtsman and Crewperson of the Year awards - let's recognise our top sailors!

The RSYS Sailing Committee is calling upon Members to nominate an appropriate person for one of the three significant awards for the 2018-2019 sailing season.

Those awards are: 

Yachtswoman of the Year (Joanne Trophy)
Awarded to a Squadron Member who sails regularly from the Squadron, is enthusiastic, deeply involved and an active participant in any aspect of sailing.

Yachtsman of the Year (Idris Cup)
Awarded to a Squadron Member for excellence in local, national and international sailing competition who has demonstrated the art of good seamanship and sportsmanlike conduct. 

Crewperson of the Year (Carabella Tray)
Awarded to a Squadron Member who has shown outstanding achievement as a crew member of a team or yacht.  

If you know someone who you think should be acknowledged, please complete the online nomination below:
Nominations close on Monday 7 May.  

Annual Awards nomination
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Past Winners

Yachtswoman of the Year
2017-18 Maddie O'Shea (pictured above)
2016-17 Jeanne-Claude Strong
2015-16 Millie Brown
2014-15 Jeanne-Claude Strong

Yachtsman of the Year
2017-18 Rupert Henry and Greg O'Shea (pictured above)
2016-17 Rob Lowndes 
2015-16 Paul Clitheroe
2014-15 Roger Hickman

Crewperson of the Year
2017-18 Will Ryan
2016-17 David Chapman 
2015-16 David Chapman
2014-15 David Chapman