Ultreya confirmed as winner of Gascoigne

Rod Pearse’s Dehler 41 cruiser/racer Ultreya has been confirmed as winner of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s historic Gascoigne Cup for 2014 following the hearing of requests for redress by two competitors.

The Protest Committee found that the race officer had made the first Warning Signal at 11.50, five minutes ahead of the scheduled time and thus started Divisions 1 and 2 five minutes ahead of time.

Between half and two-thirds of the Division 1 fleet had started at the 11.55am time, the remainder waiting for the 12.00 noon start. 

A few minutes after the 11.55 start of Division 1, all boats turned back towards the start line.  Some returned and restarted, others went part way back and then resumed racing.

Hell Razor (Ian MacDiarmid) in Division 1 and Outlandish (Sean Barrett) in Division 2 were each awarded redress in that their elapsed time was reduced by five minutes.

The effect on the corrected time results saw Hell Razor lifted from 19th to 17th place in Division 1 while Outlandish’s place in Division 2 remained at 8th.

Squadron member Paul Clitheroe’s Balance was first boat to finish the course to Botany Bay and return among the Gascoigne Cup entrants, with Ultreya taking first place on PHS handicaps from Ceilidh (Peter Williams) and Much Ado V (John and Michael Stephens).

Both Ultreya and Much Ado V, a Ker 11.7, are regular competitors in the RSYS Division 1 fleet rather than the CYCA’s Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore series which includes the Gascoigne Cup.

Their performances were impressive against the more offshore-orientated boats, including several entrants for the 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

The Thelma Plate for Division 2 went to Soundtrack (John Amos) on corrected time from Crosshaven (Justin Pelly and Sean Rahilly) which had fastest time in this division.   Third place went to Damien Barker’s Alpha Carinae.

The RSYS’s results for the Gascoigne Cup under IRC scoring saw Imagination (Robin Hawthorn) score a narrow win from Just a Dash (Philip Dash) and Nine Dragons (Bob Cox).

IRC Division 2 went to Crosshaven from Saltshaker (Peter Franki) and Soundtrack (John Amos).

Peter Campbell


Rolex Sydney Hobart entrants in historic Gascoigne Cup

The winner of Saturday’s Gascoigne Cup will have its name engraved on the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s historic yachting trophy but it’s doubtful if it will receive the same accolade as the first winner of the Cup, Magic.

Launched in 1875 and owned by then RSYS Commodore J R Fairfax,  Magic’s sailing prowess inspired a popular jingle around the waterfront:

Magic’s a billow puncher

Scorning squall and spray

She’ll small her way to windward

Any stormy day



The Gascoigne Cup dates back to 1886 when Colonel F G F Gascoigne presented a Challenge Cup to be competed for annually by yachts over fives tons, until won three times in succession.

The race, over a 30 nautical mile course off Sydney Heads but starting and finishing in the Harbour, is now one of three short offshore races the Squadron conducts each season, each one now part of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore.

Saturday’s fleet of 40 modern racing yachts is a far cry from the cutter-rigged Magic and her competitors, most of which carried huge gaff mainsails and topsails with headsails set on long protruding bowsprits. 

According to RSYS records, Magic had a load waterline of 48 feet and a sail area of 2,054 square feet.

The original deed of gift has been modified, giving the Squadron scope in deciding the course while the Gascoigne Cup itself is now a perpetual trophy.  The names of many well-known yachts that raced out of Sydney over the past 128 years are engraved on the trophy.

Forty boats have entered for Saturday’s Gascoigne Cup, including eight yachts that have entered the 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race:  Paul Clitheroe’s Farr-designed TP52, Balance,  Robin and Annette Hawthorn’s Beneteau 47.7, Imagination; Andrew Dally’s DK46, Khaleesi; Tony Kirby’s Ker 46, Patrice; Rob Drury’s Cookson 12, Pazazz;  Bruce Foye’s Sydney 38, The Goat; Michael Cranitch’s LC60, Triton; and Richard Barron and Trish Stanley’s Beneteau First 40, Willyama.

Pazzaz is in good form, scoring a clean sweep under both IRC and PHS handicap categories in last weekend’s 47th Rubber Kellaway Plate,  with her nearest competitors in that race also entered for the Gascoigne Cup, with Michael Cranitch’s Triton again expected to set the pace along with Paul Clitheroe’s Balance.

The Cup fleet will have two divisions, with the Gascoigne Cup itself decided on PHS scoring for Division 1 while the Thelma Cup will be awarded to the PHS winner of Division 2. 

As the event is part of the CYCA’s Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore, both Divisions will also be scored under IRC ratings. 

The race is scheduled to start in Watson’s Bay at 12 noon on Saturday with the fleet sailing an offshore course to be set on the day.

Last Saturday saw another Rolex Sydney Hobart Race entrant, Damien Parkes’ Judel Vrolijk Duende win the Squadron’s Division 1.

Division 2 went to Andrew Butler’s Astral while Marigot Bay (Merryl Semple) won Division 3.

The Etchells Mini Regatta produced three winners: Fifteen+ (David Clark), Alchemist (Richard Hammond and Roger Gain) and North Star (Michael Coxon).

Peter Campbell

Dragon sailor’s brief interlude with a Flying Dutchman

Carl Ryves still holds a firm grip on the Dragon Gold Cup pointscore, despite finishing out of first place for the first time in five races in last Saturday’s Mini Regatta on the Harbour.

At the helm of Sidewinder, Carl managed a 5-3-2 score in the Dragon Mini Regatta, for a net 12 points after a total of nine races to date in the Gold Cup still 7.5 points ahead of his nearest rival Anthony Armstrong, sailing French Connection.  Sidewinder’s previous results had been a second and five firsts.

Of course,  Carl may have been distracted from Dragons after helming a Flying Dutchman with the Woollahra Sailing Club’s fleet – the first he had been in the back end of FD  in 25 years.

Not bad for a 74-year-old to sail one of the world’s fastest centreboard dinghies!  But then Carl and Dick Sargeant did represent Australia in the Flying Dutchman class at the Mexico 1968 Olympics. 

Sailing the original Sidewinder, they finished fourth overall, just 0.7 point out of a medal. 

This summer Carl will be an interested onlooking when the Flying Dutchman world championship will be staged on Sydney Harbour with the Squadron hosting the event for between 50 and 60 competitors.

So, after a Sunday sailing an FD once more, Carl Ryves was back at the helm of the Dragon called Sidewinder last Saturday competing in a competitive fleet of eight of the classic keelboats, like the Flying Dutchman a former Olympic class.

Riga (Martin Bourke and Ian McCrossin) won race one from Indulgence (Robert Alpe) by 17 seconds with Sidewinder third.  However, as Riga is not an entrant in the Gold Cup, top points went to Liquidity.

Race 2 saw Anthony Armstrong’s French Connection win by 25 seconds from Indulgence with Riga third and Sidewinder fourth.  Riga took out race 3 by 35 seconds from Indulgence and Sidewinder, Liquidity fourth.

Riga was the top-scoring boat in the Mini Regatta, while the pointscore for the Gold Cup saw Sidewinder on 12 points, French Connection 19.5, Shapes (Wolf Breit) 25,  Liquidity 30 and Indulgence on 45 points.

In Division 1, Geoff Davidson’s Beneteau 36.7 Jackie Clare won the day to strengthen her lead in the Spring Series pointscore, taking out the race from Impetuous Too (Graeme Lambert) and Euphoria (Anthony Coleman). 

After six races in the Spring Series, Jackie Clare has a net 9 points, followed by Sydney (Charles Curran) 17 points and Much Ado V (John & Michael Stephens) 23 points.

Only 34 seconds separated the top three placegetters on corrected time in Division 2, with Will Hutchinson skippering Solange, a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409, to first place from Ellipse II (Brian Bergin) and Jessica Rabbit (Bruce Millar) which took fastest time.

‘Til the Fat Lady Sings (David Smith) notched up her fifth line honours and third corrected time wins in Division 3, winning Saturday’s race from Therapy (Tom Cehak) and Esquisse 2 (Richard Staines).

In the Spring Series pointscore, ‘Til the Fat Lady Sings has a net 11 points, just one ahead of the Hood 23 Esquisse II (Richard Staines) which so far has only once placed worse than third in six races. Third overall is Come by Chance (John Nutt) on 20 points.

In the International Etchells Spring Series race,  Doug McGain steered Ciao to victory from Top 40 (Peter Merrington and Geoff Bonouvrie), third place going to Magpie (Steve Jarvin).

Peter Campbell

Biggest fleet of the season on Sydney Harbour

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron Spring Series attracted the biggest fleet of the season so far last Saturday with a total of 74 boats taking part in all Divisions and One Design classes.

Division 1 attracted 21 boats, including 13 from Middle Harbour Yacht Club, sailing a long and slow race in a light easterly breeze. In fact, the last boat did not finish until 16:50, taking 3 hours and 55 minutes to sail the course.

Line honours winner, Charles Curran’s Sydney, had an elapsed time of 3 hours and 4 minutes, and finished last on corrected time.

First place went to Hell Razer, Ian MacDiarmid’s F36 Razer, with a margin of just 42 seconds on corrected time from Neil Padden’s Wailea from MHYC, third place going to Damien Parkes’ Duende.

As far as the RSYS Spring Series pointscore went, Hell Razor got top points from series leader Jackie Clare (Geoff Davidson) and Impetuous Too (Graeme Lambert).   After five races Jackie Clare has a series score of 13 points, Sydney 19 and Ultreya (Rod Pearse) 24 points.

The International Etchells’ mini regatta drew 29 starters with Steve Jarvin having a great day at the helm of Magpie,  scoring two wins and a third place in closing one-design racing.

Michael Coxon’s North Star was the other winner, also notching up a second and an eighth place while Philip Merrtington and Geoff Bonus sailed Top 40 consistently with a 3-4-3 scorecard.

While Division 1 hosted the Middle Harbour Division 1 fleet, the Squadron’s Division 2 fleet sailed with Middle Harbour on that club’s courses.

Will Hutchinson’s Solange was provisionally placed first on corrected time of the Squadron boats, but later retired after the skipper realised he had sailed the wrong course – in fact, Solange had sailed a longer course than the rest of the fleet.

Revised results gave first place to Can Can (Roman Tomawsky) with Molly (Frank Hetherton) second and Campeador (Jonathan Threlfall) third.

Former Division 4 boats again dominated the top placings in Division 3, with David Smith’s Sayer 25 ‘Til the Fat Lady Sings outsailing the fleet to take the double of line and handicap honours.  In second place on corrected time was Richard Staines’ Hood 23 Esquisse 2, third going to Robert Albert’s Norn.

‘Til the Fat Lady Sings’ now leads the Spring Series on 17 points, one point ahead of Esquisse 2,  with Come by Chance (John Nutt) on 20 points.

In the International Dragons, Sidewinder (Carl Ryves) won from French Connection (Anthony Armstrong) and Whimsical (Gordon Ingate) while in the Ynglngs, Miss Pibb (Hamish Jarrett)  also had a comfortable win from Black Adder (Gary Pearce) and Shaden Freude (Daniel Marlay).

Peter Campbell



New Training Courses at RSYS

This season the club is pleased to launch a series of new training courses. These courses are ideal for the casual harbour racer, the cruiser or crew planning to campaign for a Sydney to Hobart.  Should anyone have any queries please not hesitate to contact the RSYS Sailing Office for further details.