Winning margins of seconds in Etchells Mini Regatta

The Squadron’s first mini regatta of the season for International Etchells underlined what the class is all about - close one-design fleet racing with just a few seconds deciding two of the three races for the 23 boat fleet. The end results also emphasised that consistency of placings is the keynote to success in any Etchells regatta series.  

As far as the Squadron fleet goes, the mini regatta showed what a strong fleet, with great depth of talent, is racing on Sydney Harbour this summer.

With a light 10 knot south-easterly breeze, race officer Ian Kingsford Smith set courses from the start line in Taylor’s Bay to marks near Shark Island (125ºfor the first two races and 140º for the third).  The first two were over two laps, for the third he set three shorter laps with the weather mark now south-west of Shark Island.

The mini regatta saw three different winners while the minor placings were spread between four more boats.  Yet none of the three overall placegetters won a race, they just sailed consistently well.

Rupert Henry, helming Vivienne, set the pace for close racing in the first race, with a seven second win from Dot (David Seaton),  third going to Umami (Matt Whitnall).

Race two saw a wider margin for winner Shindig (Paul Thackray) from Special Mention (Mark Anderson) and Dot.
With the south-easterly shifting in direction and dropping in strength, the fleet started the third race with five boats in with a chance of being overall winner on the day: Umami (Matt Whitnall), North Star (Michael Coxon), Alchemist (Richard Hammond), Shindig (Paul Thackray) and Vivienne (Rupert Henry).
Hammond led for most the last race but was beaten right on the line by Doug Flynn’s Wobbegong. The official margin was one second – less than a foot. A close third was Umami.

Consistency paid off with Umami taking out the mini regatta with placings of 3-6-3, North Star finished second with a 4-4-5 scorecard, Alchemist third with placings of 5-7-2.   

The division racing on Saturday saw the biggest fleets of the season so far with 10 boats in Division 1 and Division 4 boosted to a dozen starters with the addition of three International Ynglings.

In Division 1, Euphoria (Anthony Coleman) led the pursuit of line honours winner Sydney (Charles Curran) and on corrected time took first place from Hell Razor (Ian MacDiarmid) and Ultreya (Rod Pearse).

Bruce Millar’s Jessica Rabbit scored an outright win in Division 2,  finishing far enough ahead of the rest of the fleet to take handicap honours from Campeador (Jonathan Threlfall) and Ambitious (David Matthews).

Wingsong 2(John Vickery) led home the fleet in Division 3, but placed well down on handicap, first place going to Marigot Bay (Merryl Semple) from Tingari (John Jeremy), third to L’Eau Co (Grant Pollock).

Til the Fat Lady Sin,  David Smith’s Sayer 25, scored her third consecutive line honours in Division 4,  but on handicap placed second to the 33-year-old Bonbridge 27 Hornblower (Steve Sweeney) the margin just 5 seconds.  Third place went to the Hood 23 Esquisse 2 (Richard Staines) just 20 seconds further back.

By Peter Campbell

International Fleet Review Road Closures & Traffic Restrictions

IFR Road Closures & Traffic Restrictions:

Kirribilli Peninsula traffic restrictions commences at 3.00pm. Further information on the pennisula closures can be found here.

Members who are already inside wishing to leave may do so freely until 6.00pm ie. Members booked for the daytime functions do not need a traffic letter.  If members unsure of their time of exit they can collect a letter on the day from Reception.

Members wishing to enter the peninsula between 3 – 6pm will need an original copy of the letter signed by CEO (available from Reception).

No access in or out of the peninsula will be allowed between 6 – 11pm.  Once Members are in for the evening functions they will not be allowed to leave until then.

Parking is for Members only, guests will need to find alternate forms of transport. Please note photocopies of the access letter will not be accepted by authorities..

For the latest traffic information including road closures and special event clearways visit Fleet Review Transport info website or call 132 701.

For timetables, maps and trip planning use the Fleet Review Transport info website or call 131 500.

2013 International Fleet Review

The IFR and associated events are scheduled for 3-11 October to commemorate the centenary of the first entry of the Royal Australian Navy's Fleet into Sydney.  With a fleet of approximately 60 ships participating both from Australia and overseas, it will be a spectacular event not to be missed.  It is tipped to rival the scale and public impact experienced during the RAN 75th Anniversary in 1986 and the Bicentennial Naval Salute in 1988.

On Saturday 5 October the following options will be available for Members and their guests wishing to celebrate this very special Harbour event;

RSYS IFR Family Day, 10am – 3pm,  to be held on the Club’s magnificent harbourside grounds.  Food and beverage stalls will be dotted around the lawns and a jumping castle provided for the kids.  Bookings are not required however an indication of attendance would be appreciated for catering purposes, please phone 9955 7171.

RSYS IFR Buffet Lunch, 12pm - 3.30pm where you can enjoy the fleet review from the comfort of the Carabella Room.  Tickets are $65 per person and bookings are essential. Please phone 02 9955 7171 for bookings.

RSYS IFR Careening Cove Anchorage Dinner, 5pm - til 9.30pm where you can enjoy the evenings fireworks and the brasserie menu.

All Members planning to attend either the Family Day, Buffet Lunch or the Brasserie Dinner on Saturday 5 October should collect a parking access letter from Reception prior to the day.  The Kirribilli peninsula will be closed to traffic from 3pm – 11pm.  Only those with an access letter will be allowed entry/exit during this time.

The Carabella Dining Room and Careening Cove Anchorage will be open as usual throughout the week should you wish to make a booking for lunch or dinner and enjoy the spectacular harbour views afforded from our location.

Further information is available from the IFR website at: 

VHF radio proves its value

The new safety rule requiring all boats racing in the Squadron’s Harbour Summer Series to carry a VHF radio proved its value in last Saturday’s fresh to strong winds. As did the rule empowering the Race Officer to order crews to wear PFDs as a safety measure.

Race officer Ian Kingsford Smith effectively used VHF to communicate with the fleet in the International Dragon and International Yngling Mini Regatta about a delayed start and course change.

Hoisting code flag Y, he also used the radio to advise the Dragons and Ynglings that he was invoking Rule 40 for the last race, requiring all crews to wear PDFs. 

“This is not a mandatory safety rule, but can be invoked as the discretion of the race officer,” Kingsford Smith explained. “Conditions were deteriorating with the southerly increasing to 20 knots plus and as there had already been some wild broaches and a man overboard situation in the Yngling fleet, I decided it was a wise move".

“The crewperson who went overboard was recovered quickly, again underlining the Squadron’s requirement that all boats must have a creditable MOB recovery plan. I hoisted code flag Y at the warning signal for the final race and also notified competitors by radio. “In fact, as Miss Pibb crossed the finish line, flying under spinner, we noted 26 knots on the committee boat,” he added.

Kingsford Smith said he had used the VHF radio to communicate with the Dragons and Ynglings that the race committee was postponing the start of the Mini Regatta after receiving information that a southerly was moving up the coast to the harbour. “Using the radio, we were able to tell the crews the reason for the postponement and indicate a change from a westerly course to a southerly course”.

Miss Pibb, skippered by Hamish Jarrett, clinched the Yngling mini regatta with a spectacular win in race three,  following an equal third in race one and a win in race two. 

Miss Pibb finished the regatta with 5.5 points, just half a point ahead of Schadenfreude (Daniel Marlay) which won the first race and followed this with a second and a third.  Third overall went to Karma (Gary Wogas) with only four of the nine boat fleet starting in the final race as the southerly continued to freshen. If you are travelling to UK to sail have a look at this Heathrow Airport Transfers website to book cheap airport taxi home.

A disappointing fleet of only three Dragons turned out for the mini regatta with Liquidity (Richard Franklin) winning two races and French Connection (Anthony Armstrong the other winner.

The strong southerly took its toll on the International Etchells fleet, with eight of the 17 starters in race two of the Spring pointscore pulling out as the breeze freshened to 25 knots-plus on the main harbour course.

Michael Coxon steered North Star to a comfortable win from Alchemist (Richard Hammond) and Wobbegong (Doug Flynn).

Division 1 saw a close handicap result with Equiknox (John Molyneux) winning by just 31 seconds on corrected time from I Super (Robert Peter Campbell), third place going to Ultreya (Rod Pearse).

The front runners in Division 2 also did well on corrected time.  Limelight (Alan Husband) finished third across the line but won handsomely on handicap from line honours winner Jessica Rabbit (Bruce Millar). Soundtrack (John Amos), second to finish, placed third on corrected time.

Robert Albert’s Norn finished second in fleet but first on handicap in Division 3, with Tingari (John Jeremy) notching up a second, third going to Windsong 2 (John Vickery, the first boat to finish.

In Division 4, Til the Fat Lady Sins (David Smith) again outsailed the fleet but did not finish far enough ahead to repeat its double the previous Saturday. First place went to Beowulf (Stafford Watts), second to Til the Fat Lady Sins, third to Hornblower (Steve Sweeney).

By Peter Campbell 

Splendid start to Squadron’s 152nd summer season

The Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron began its 152nd season of summer racing on Sydney Harbour last  Saturday, 7 September – a splendid sunny spring day with light easterly winds and a warm 29ºtemperature.  

Everyone was back ashore by the time a fresh to strong south-easterly change came through late in the afternoon.

The one disappointing aspect (blame it on Election Day, boats returning from the Race Weeks in Queensland, others still on the slipway, the football) was a relatively small turn-out of yachts. There were only five starters in Division 1 and seven in each of the other divisions. In the International one-design classes, 14 Etchells sailed their usual close competition, five Ynglings raced, but only three Dragons turned out. 

However, the outlook for the rest of the season is heartening; the club has received a total of 78 entries for all divisions and one-design classes – and more are expected.

For example, a total fleet of 21 boats has so far entered for Division 1 and 21 for the Etchells class.

Those who did sail last Saturday must have thoroughly enjoyed the conditions.  One skipper who should have been pleased with his racing debut at the Squadron is Royal Edward Yacht Club member Richard Smith with his fast Sayer 25 Til the Fat Lady Sins.

Til the Fat Lady Sins spreadeagled the seven-boat fleet, taking line honours by 9 minutes and 27 seconds and winning on handicap by just less than two minutes.

Second place on line and handicap went to Richard Staines’ Hood 23 Esquisse, third to Beowulf (Stafford Watts).

Geoff Davidson’s Jackie Claire sailed its usually consistent race to win Division 1 by a comfortable margin from I Super (Robert Peter Campbell), third place going to Hell Razor (Ian MacDiarmid).  Sydney (Charles Curran) led the fleet around the course, but in the light airs could not sail to her rating, placing fifth and last on handicap.

Division 2 stalwart John Waring was in good form with Alouette, finishing second astern of Ellipse II (Brian Bergin) but reversing the order on corrected time.  Third place went to Jessica Rabbit (Bruce Millar).

In Division 3, first place went to Come by Chance (John Nutt) from Mingara III (Philip Crane), an impressive third to newcomer to the division,  Grant Pollock’s l’Eau Co, which also was second to finish astern of Windsong 2 (John Vickery).

The International Etchells had the biggest fleet on the day, 14 boats enjoying the light breezes to engage in some tactical racing.  Dot (David Seaton) got the gun by just five seconds from North Star (Michael Coxon) with Avalon (Michael Bellingham) a more distant third. 

Former Olympic sailor Karyn Gojnich began the Yngling class season well, scoring a convincing win with Evie, beating the champion boat Miss Pibb (Hamish Jarrett),  third place going to Black Adder (Gary Pearce).

In the Dragons, Liquidity (Richard Franklin) had a runaway win from Tom Thumb III (Norman Longworth) and Abracadabra (Nicholas Hogg).

by Peter Campbell