Women Skippers win Spring Series in two divisions

15 December 2012

Peter Campbell

In an historic day for women’s sailing at the Squadron, owner/skippers Julie Clarke and Cheryn Croker last Saturday helmed their yachts to overall wins in Divisions 2 and 4 of the Spring Series.


Julie, an experienced yachtswoman of long standing, sailed Senta, a Beneteau First 35 she owns with husband Terry, to victory in Division 2, taking line honours for the first time this season and placing second on corrected time.


Cheryn, in her first season of open competition in the Squadron’s Saturday racing, won the final race on Saturday with her Compass 29, Daydream, to clinch the Division 4 pointscore on a countback.


The Spring Series ended in a light to moderate and rather variable north-easterly breeze that ranged from 12-18 knots with a strong turn-out in all divisions and one-design classes.


“I didn’t’ realise we had a chance of winning the Spring Series until I looked up the pointscore last Friday, but I didn’t tell any of the crew, so they sailed without any tension about winning or losing,” recalled Julie Clarke, who helms the boat with husband Terry on mainsheet.

“It has taken us a year to get to know the new boat, but having a fairly regular crew has made the difference,” she added. “The big thing has been to get the better of the J35s – and we did it on Saturday, getting the gun for first time. But we still have not won a race on handicap!”

Julie’s passion, other than for sailing, is grand opera and their boat, Senta, is named after the heroine in Wagner’s grand opera, The Flying Dutchman.


Senta won the Division 2 Spring Series with a net 41.54 points, with second place going to the J35 Soundtrack (John Amos) on 45 points and Arcturus III (Peter Davenport) on 47.62 points.


Cheryn Croker was ecstatic after the countback showed that Daydream had won the Division 4 Spring Series. “The girls are tickled pink”, she quipped.


Cheryn explained how the crew taped together a headsail that had been ripped the previous week and then damaged further in the strong breeze during the Friday twilights. “Luckily, we got hold of some wider tape and hurriedly repatched it in the pond on Saturday morning,” she said.

“We also ripped the spinnaker from to end to end on our last downwind leg on Saturday. We only had four crew on board and we did not let off the halyard in time for the drop; it came apart in the foredeckie’s hands as she tried to haul it in.


“Saturday was the first time we had seriously kept up with the fleet, but there was a lot riding on it,” Cheryn added.


Daydream and Stafford Watts’ Folkboat Beowulf finished equal on 29 points after three discard races, but the countback went to Daydream with five first places to Beowulf’s four over the spring season. Kerstin II (John Bowman/Ken Chase/John Goldie) finished third on 33 points.


Division 1 saw another close result, with Charles Curran’s Sydney finishing on 45 points to Ian MacDiarmid’s Hell Razor’s 48.84 points, third place going to Impetuous Too (Graeme Lambert).


Division 3 Spring Series ended with just one point separating Mystere (Malcolm Shaw) and Tingari (John Jeremy) third place overall going to Zeus II (Jim Dunstan).


The International Etchells Spring Series of 25 races went to Ciao (Doug McGain) on 68 points, with McGain not needing to sail the final race. Alchemist (Richard Hammond and Roger Gain) finished second on 77 points with a last race win, third in the series going to Unami (Matt Whitnall and Ant Elliott) with 107 points.


Mexico Olympics sailor Carl Ryves followed up his New South Wales championship win in the International Dragon class by dominating the Spring Series, winning seven of the nine races with Sidewinder to finish with 7 points. Liquidity (Richard Franklin) ended with 23 points, with Indulgence (Robert Alpe) third on 27points.


With the previous weekend’s Dragons states restricted to five races, Sidewinder had a 4-3-8-1-1 scorecard with Riga (Martin Burke) second and Hooligan (Marcus Blackmore) third. The Dragons are now heading to Botany Bay for the Prince Philip Cup in January.


In the Intentional Yngling class, Miss Pibb (Hamish Jarrett and Max Hayman) notched up five wins and two seconds to comfortably win the Spring Series from Black Adder (Gary Pearce) and Shining Star (Chris Harper).


AFR Midnight Rambler wins historic Morna Cup

AUSPAC Regatta

10 November 2012

Karyn Gojnich

Over the weekend Squadron members were joined by a number of ladies from Manly Yacht Club to participate in the AUSPAC regatta. Sailed in the one-design International Yngling the weekend provided an opportunity, for ladies in particular, to have a sail in a smaller keel-boat and then in teams of three test their skills in a friendly, supportive environment.

Saturday was a scheduled familiarization and train day with Olympian Karyn Gojnich and Hamish Jarrett from the Yngling class. The south-eastern gusting over 22 knots proved challenging but also invigorating. “The boat was so responsive, we were so close to the water, surfing waves – I loved it” commented Wilhelmina Harder when back on shore after the Saturday training session.

Typically most of the participants had sailed on larger keel boats and had not had the responsibility of helming, especially while racing.

Sunday with a light easterly blowing conditions were perfect for six short course races. Race wins were spread across all the fleet however it was consistency and a string of seconds saw Ivana Gattegno and her crew take out the regatta.

AUSPAC 2012 Results:
AUS 39 - Ivana Gattegno, Nicola Reade, Gary Pearce (11 pts)
AUS 56 - Jan Newland, Barbara Jones, Lyn Humphreys (12 pts)
AUS 29 - Marike Koppenol, Wilhemina Harder, Joshua (17 pts)
AUS 39 – Tricia Coxen, Jan Bartel, Megan McCormick (20 pts)

The Manly Yacht Club will be holding the annual Women’s Challenge on Sunday March 24, 2013. Boats of all sizes are welcome and there will be a trophy for the largest one-design class.

Cheryn notches up four straight wins in Division 4

27 October 2012

Peter Campbell

The Squadron’s only all women crew racing in the Saturday cruiser/racer divisions, Cheryn Croker and her team aboard Daydream last Saturday scored her fourth straight win in Division 4.

No other yacht has yet to achieve such a result in the division so far this season, and this is only the second season of open Saturday pointscore racing for Cheryn and her crew.


While she admits the victory of the season was the outcome of several yachts sailing the wrong course “winning the Rawson Cup by default still spurred us on.”


Describing Daydream as “old, heavy and slow, but very stable, but perfect to learn on” Cheryn said most of her crew were novices and ranged in age from mid-40s to 62.


“Not a bad effort from some very keen ladies,” she added. “We may be light on in muscle but having a competitive edge just makes it all worthwhile!”

Cheryn and her crew have certainly maintained that competitive edge, notching up three more consecutive wins in Division 4 with Daydream.


Daydream’s win last Saturday week proved the ladies can match the mostly male crews of their competitors in most weather, with the wind gusting to the low 30 knots. “We did not launch the spinnaker due to the strong, gusty wind and shortened crew numbers,” Cheryn recalled. “Even poling out the headsail was fraught with problems as the wind was so changeable.”


Daydream was last to finish the race but close enough to the leaders to win on corrected time and she repeated that performance last Saturday, beating fleet line honours winner Solay (David Smith) and Beowulf (Stafford Watts) on corrected time.


After eight races in the Spring Series, Daydream and Beowulf are level on the pointscore but after one discard race, the ladies are leading and to quote Cheryn are having “a hoot of a time out there!”


Last Saturday produced big winning margins on corrected time in Divisions 1 and 3 but a close double victory in Division 2.

Etchells Milson Silver Goblets

23 October 2012

Mike Tyquin

Following a highly successful World Championship in February, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron is again set to host a large and highly credentialled Etchells fleet in November. The Sydney Fleet and Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron will host its annual Milson's Silver Goblets regatta each evening on Sydney Harbour from Monday 12 November to Friday 16 November and on Saturday 17th a 3 race mini regatta will be conducted offshore on the same course areas used for the World Championships.

As Sydney Fleet Captain, Richard Hammond explains "with no major regattas until early next year, we have decided to combine two of our key events to provide an opportunity for Etchells sailors to get in some high quality regatta sailing. The Milson's Silver Goblets is a highlight of the Sydney Fleet season. With a 1745 warning signal, sailing on the harbour without the usual weekend traffic issues is a fantastic experience. Traditionally we have attracted 30 boats or more and early signs are for a large high quality fleet. On the Saturday immediately following, we return to the world championship track for a 3 race mini regatta. All up its shaping as a great week."

The RSYS mini regatta season has so far attracted over 20 entries including current world champion Tom King and past world champion Cameron Miles and a strong turnout for both the Milson's Silver Goblet's and mini regatta is expected. To assist vistors The Squadron has arranged trailer parking and will conduct The Milsons Silver Goblets as a wet regatta. As with the Worlds, tow vessels have been arranged to get the fleet offshore for the mini regatta on Saturday the 17th.

Entries are now open for both The Milson's Silver Goblets and the Mini Regatta with the NOR and entry form available at www.rsys.com.au or contact Sydney Fleet Captain Richard Hammond richard@astormetalfinishes.com for more details.

As with the Worlds, the Squadron is seeking the assistance of volunteers to conduct the racing to ensure the smooth running of the event.

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