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


Friday Twilight Presentation

The Carabella Room was packed to capacity on 7 April as eager Friday Twilighters gathered for a chance to win the Audi Alto Artarmon participation prizes. 

We received 107 block entries for the series, an increase of 5 boats on last season, and 44 boats met the participation criteria of 72% of the races to be eligible for the lucky prize draw. 

Sarah Connell, Alto's Marketing and Communications Manager, thanked Squadron Members for their support and then drew the winner: John van Ogtrop of Out of the Blue.  He wins a holiday for two to Qualia on Hamilton Island to enjoy Race Week. Two consolation prizes of tickets to the Audi Drive Experience were then drawn and presented to Glenn Richard of Ostara and Malcolm Shaw of Zig Zag II.

'Rain, Hail or Shine' prizes acknowledge those skippers who steadfastly compete in every race. Garth Eather from Meerea Park Wines made awards to:

•    Koolaroo – David FitzSimons
•    Gail Force – Graeme Smith
•    Viva La Vita – Howard Elliott
•    Willyama – Trish Stanley

Pictured top: John van Ogtrop flanked by Sarah Connell, Marketing&Communications Manager - The Alto Group, Aari Gispan - Sales Manager Audi Alto Artarmon and Jamie Sandilands - General Sales Manager Audi Alto Artarmon.

Pictured below: Malcolm Shaw and Glenn Richard. 

The 2017-18 Friday Twilight season will commence 6 October. See you there!

Varuna Trophy

The prestigious Varuna Trophy race was held on Saturday 8 April. The wind direction on the day, once established, was a solid North-Easterly, reaching strengths of around 15 knots. The course was approximately 11 miles long which created a great couple of hours racing for all competitors. The day was topped off by the very pleasant, warm and sunny weather.

Racing on the day was very close, especially between Jackie Clare and Willyama. Both boats fought it out the whole day; yet in the end, Jackie Clare was able finish nine seconds before Willyama. Congratulations to all who participated and to I Super who won the Varuna Trophy. The trophy will be awarded at the Annual Prizegiving on Friday 2 June.



  1. I Super – Peter Campbell
  2. Kirsten II – Ken Chase / John Bowman
  3. Jackie Clare – Geoff Davidson
  4. Willyama – Barron / Stanley / Sanlorenzo
  5. Ultreya – Rod Pearse

By Angus Olding

Numbers Fly for RC Dragonforces

The second mini regatta of the new RC Dragonforce class was held last Wednesday with the fleet building again to have a great nights racing. With a east-south easterly coming in late afternoon it allowed the race committee to take the fleet off shore in the Neutral Bay Circle, outside the pond for some fun sailing without too many waves.  It was great to see almost all of the original 11 from the first week turn up plus another 7 new sailors to the RSYS fleet taking the total fleet to 17 for the night.

Kel Burgess started where he left off with winning the first race, however a new sailor to the RSYS fleet but experienced RC sailor Paul Martin was right on his toes never falling out of the top 2 for the night. Stuart Thorpe and Graeme Lambert made a solid night of it and consolidating on their first weeks results by climbing up the ladder to sit second and fourth respectively.

The newcomers to the fleet had a bit of a tough night but had great results in some races, Ollie Hartas came away with a string of fourths to allow him self to sit mid fleet and a chance of a podium finish. Tony Pfeiffer who is running a 2 boat program had a mixed night with one boat showing some potential with the other needing some practice but showing speed in a straight line. Club youth members Mitch Evans and Henry Davison dueling it out with the back markers reminded everyone that its all about skill and patience sailing the boat and reading the wind that will win you races.

The next race day will be on Wednesday the 12th of April and with Daylight Saving finished we will be asking all competitors to be prompt on the start time to get our races in. We will have some flood lights available but we ask that everyone racing to be on time to take advantage of the natural light.

Moving forward the sailing office is looking at putting on more mini regattas through out winter so keep an eye out for more information. 

For more information please email Locky at

View full results here

Optimist and Laser Pointscore Winners Declared

As the end of the Spring/Summer Season is now upon us and with the Winter season just around the corner, last Sunday (2 Apr), saw the final weekend of Club Championship racing in the Optimist and Laser Classes, where the winners of all pointscores were duly declared.

As the forecast had predicted, the Race Committee and competitors alike had to face up to a stiff Southerly breeze (20-25kts), to stage the final three races of the season. Capsizes were random rather than regular, a true testament to the skill on display by all sailors, as they pushed themselves and their competitors to the edge.

Optimist Review

In the Optimist Class for the 2016-2017 Club Championship on ‘Scratch’, it was a very close call as the competition between the top two sailors came down to the wire. Going into the last race of the final day, Chapman Tanner (Redback), held the slimmest of leads, (0.1 points), over fellow Optimist sailor Paul Davison (Groova2).

As fate would have it, Davison held his nerve and took the final race from Tanner by 23secs, to finish the season 0.9 points ahead and claim the Club Championship on ‘Scratch’ from Tanner, second. Vaughan O’Shea (Boat) had a steady final day to secure third place overall for the season.

On ‘Handicap’ for the Club Championship, Henry Collyer (Flying Dugong) showed the most consistency over the entire season to finish on top and take out first place in the pointscore. Henry’s worst score for the whole season, after drops were excluded, were a handful of 4-point race scores, a super effort to be able to keep ahead of the pace of handicap adjustments. To round out the top three, Davison and O’Shea placed second and third respectively for the season overall.

Laser 4.7 Review

A name that will surely feature for years to come, is that of Jack Littlechild. Having had a stellar season in the Laser 4.7, Littlechild (Fast Forward) wrapped up first place on ‘Scratch’ for the Club Championship on Sunday, to go along with his two-other stand out performances for the season; Australian Champion and Australian Youth Champion in the Laser 4.7 Class.

Pushing Littlechild right through the Club season were Mark Louis (Remarkable) and Daniel Costandi (The Force Awakens), placing second and third respectively. For Costandi, this is a fine effort having only just stepped into the 4.7 for the first time this season, having previously sailed an Optimist.

Costandi also backed up his maiden performance, by claiming first place and the Club Championship in the Laser 4.7 on ‘Handicap’. Consistent improvement is the key to win on handicap and Costandi had in bucket loads. Sealing second place was Riley Evans (Firebolter). Unfortunately for Evans, having missed three races late in the piece which claimed three significantly sized drops, Evans may have narrowed the margin and could have had Costandi looking over his shoulder on the final day for the overall lead, but it wasn’t to be. Rounding out the top three was Littlechild placing third on ‘Handicap’.

Laser Radial Review

Within the Club’s Laser Radial fleet are several sailors that have had to juggle their passion for the wind and water, as well as their studies, all season long. This makes the pecking order shuffle around from week to week, especially when the fleet acquires a bunch of new and late recruits stepping up from the 4.7 Class.

Although small on numbers, but by no means attitude, the Club Championship on ’Handicap’ for the 2016-2017 season, was a terrific battle. Finishing on top and taking the silverware was D’Arcy Kemp (The Apparatus), from Club Captain Maddie O’Shea (Pickle) second, with visiting German National and honorary Squadron member Carlotta Cruseman (Gone With The Wind) placing third.

On ‘Scratch’, it was again last season’s Champion, Oskar Hansen-Lindbjerg, locking out the Championship with a near perfect and always dominate performance. In all but one race that he started, Hansen-Lindbjerg took the bullet each time. It was in the first race of the final day of racing that he came to a disastrous (and somewhat hilarious) tangled engagement with an Optimist race mark, therefore causing him to have a singular black mark on his scoresheet, a lonely DNF. He certainly smartened up his act after that, claiming the next two bullets in the day.

Displaying great international talent and determination all season long was Cruseman, revelling in the warm weather that Sydney is renowned for, hoping to never return to her homeland in Germany for another winter sailing season ever again. Overcoming gear breakages and new surroundings, placing second overall on ‘Scratch’ for the season caps off a very successful period for the bubbly international. There’s no doubt that the lure of sailing in Sydney will have her back for more in the years come.

Finally, duking it out for third overall on ‘Scratch’ for the season were Kemp and O’Shea, finishing each race never more than two places apart. Although the difference separating their final standings was just over 8 points, the fight and the rivalry was always a spectacle in each race that they started together, with O’Shea rounding out her season with a brilliant final day of racing. It was however, too little too late for O’Shea, having to settle for fourth overall in the season, with Kemp nailing third place overall.

As such, the racing for the Spring/Summer season has been run and won and Daylight Saving has fallen by the wayside too. Attention now turns to the Winter Season with a once a month, Sunday morning, race series scheduled. Additionally, the Annual Prize Giving is almost a month away and will be held at the Club on the evening of Friday 19th May. To be sure to make a night of it, purchase your tickets early, which are now available and on sale via the online booking form.

For further information, click on the links below;

Club Dinghy Racing – Results, Winter Notice of Race, Winter Sailing Instructions, Winter Entries: Click Here

Annual Prize Giving – Book Tickets now for the Youth Annual Prize Giving, Friday 19th May 2017: Click Here

Youth Winter Training – Winter Green Fleet, Winter Optimist Fleet, Winter Laser Fleet: Click Here


Photos by Chris Stannage & Locky Pryor