Gascoigne Cup 2017

The Gascoigne Cup, the first of the RSYS ‘Triple Treat’ offshore events, was held on Saturday 21 October.  The Cup dates back to 1886 when Colonel F. G. F. Gascoigne presented a Challenge Cup to be competed for annually by yachts over five tons, until won three times in succession. The course was to be at least 30 miles, including an ocean stretch.  The first winner of the Cup was a famous yacht called Magic, owned by RSYS Commodore J. R. Fairfax.  Saturday’s race was shorter but did include an ‘ocean stretch’ with the start and finish In Watson’s Bay.

The fleet consisted of yachts from the CYCA, MHYC and the RSYS and there were 25 entrants in Division 1, competing for the cup and 20 in Division 2 competing for the Thelma Plate.  The Thelma Plate was donated to the RSYS by Charles Lloyd Jones after a tragic incident in 1913 when the yacht Thelma was wrecked on the bombora off Dobroyd Head with loss of life.

The wind was a gusty, 20 to 30 knots offshore, with the expected lumpy sea.  Race Officer David Ross set a masterly start line at a suitable angle to South Head to ensure the fleets were spread down its length.

A short spinnaker to the Heads and on the wind around the corner to head south east to the first mark.  Many yachts overlaid the first mark, playing follow the leader.  The current was running south helping the progress.  The top mark was a starboard rounding gate, then a square run parallel to the coast.  Many yachts did not opt for a kite on the run with the gusty conditions and confused seaway.  Back on the wind for a 2.5 mile dead beat to windward, then around the top mark for a quartering run home.

The Cup was won by Matt Allen in Ichi Ban (pictured) by 2 mins 16 secs from Michael Spies in the TP 52 Fifty Two Hundred.  Ichi Ban is a brand new state of the art Botin 52 and Matt has hit the water in spectacular fashion with back to back wins in his first two events.  He also cleaned up the IRC division by 4 mins 39 secs, a very large margin in a race which took him merely 80 minutes to complete.

At the other end of the fleet, the 48 year old Morag Bheag won the Thelma Plate.  It was great conditions for my old girl.  We hit a personal best of 13 knots under spinnaker on the run home and even got back in time to whip another coat of varnish on the cabin top!  Second was Foreign Affair, a Farr 30, owned by Matt Wilkinson.  Matt is quoted as saying the boat hit 18 knots running home.  IRC in Division 2 went to Ed Psaltis in Midnight Rambler, just holding off Foreign Affair and a keen fleet of Sydney 36s.

A vote of thanks to Rob Ridley and the team who set the marks.  It must have been dreadful to do so in awful conditions but it was a perfect course.

By John Maclurcan


Admiral's Cup keeps growing

The Admiral’s Cup Anniversary Regatta has already outgrown expectations, as David Salter reports.

When an informal committee of offshore veterans first met six months ago to put flesh on the bones of a Classic Yacht Association of Australia idea to hold some form of a regatta to mark the 50th anniversary of Australia’s first win in the Admiral’s Cup, their aim was to attract a fleet of 10 yachts. 

It now seems likely that more than twice that number will take part in the event to be sailed in Sydney on December 1, 2 and 3. 

“What most of us believed would be not much more than a few nostalgic toddles around the Harbour has taken on a real life of its own”, says regatta chairman David Champtaloup. “We’ve been amazed by the response. 

“Boats are coming from as far away as Queensland and Tasmania to join the Sydney and Pittwater entrants. There are already around 20 solid entries with a few more expected. Old crews are getting back together. It promises to be quite an event.”

Jointly hosted by the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, CYCA and RSYS, and with continuing support vfrom the Classic Yacht Association of Australia, the regatta comprises two around-the-buoys harbor races and one short offshore. The specially commissioned first place trophies for each race are named after the three members of Australia’s victorious 1967 team – Balandra, Mercedes III and Caprice of Huon.

Caprice and Mercedes III will compete in the 50th Anniversary Regatta, however Balandra is still being restored in Tasmania.

Entry is open to any yacht that represented Australia in the Admiral’s Cup or contested the selection trials. The illustrious old ocean racers that will be racing in December include Love & War, Kingurra, Syonara, Mister Christian, Camille, Vittoria, Sagacious V, Impetuous, Spirit of Koomooloo (the first Ragamuffin) and the original Wild Oats. 

They will be competing against Mercedes IV, Too Impetuous, Black Magic, Auric’s Quest, Apollo VI and Salacia II. In addition, Lorita Maria and Anitra V have been invited to join the fleet in recognition of the enormous contributions made to Australia’s Admiral’s Cup challenges by Norman Rydge and the Halvorsen brothers. 

The SASC is providing Race Management for the two Harbour races while the CYCA will manage the short offshore event.

Organising committee member Peter Shipway – himself an Admiral’s Cup veteran – has been heartened by the enthusiastic response from former skippers and crew. 

“They’re all coming out of the woodwork”, he says. “Most of them have put their hand up for a ride on one of the boats. Some of the older blokes have settled for a spot on the spectator boat, but we’ll do our best to make sure anyone who’s up for it can sail as guest crew for at least one of the races.”

Among those who’ve already indicated they’ll be racing are some of the most celebrated names in Australian yachting. They include Col Anderson, Rob Brown, Peter Mounsey, Bernie Case, Richard Chapman, Phil Edmonds, Tony Ellis, Gary Geitz, Peter Hemery, Mike Hesse, Peter Tierney, John Wigan, Doug Paterson and Bruce Gould. 

In addition, two of the Regatta Patrons – Gordon Ingate and Sir James Hardy – will be sailing as guest helmsmen. No doubt the third patron, Syd Fischer, will offer his usual robust brand of criticism from a dry berth on the spectator boat.

There will social occasions for sailors, family and friends after each day of racing. 

The formal welcome dinner is at the RSYS on the evening of Friday 1 December, followed by a crew party at the CYCA following the offshore race on Saturday 2 and a final presentation BBQ at the Sydney Amateurs on the Sunday.

For further information contact:  Peter Shipway at or, David Salter at 


Photo caption:  Mercedes III hard running on the Solent during the 1967 Admiral’s Cup, Beken of Cowes

MC38s action at RSYS

Act 1 of the MC38 2017-18 Summer series was conducted last weekend out of the RSYS. There were nine boats competing with big names joining the racing such as Tom Slingsby and Iain Jensen, most of the regulars, as well as an RPAYC Youth team. The first day of racing enjoyed SSE winds between 18-24kts. Leslie Green’s Ginger cleaned up and took out Boat of the Day with a scorecard of 2, 1, 2, 2.

On day 2 the weather had different ideas: the breeze was much lighter at 8-11 knots from the ESE. Neville Crichton’s Maserati had an excellent day on the water with a scorecard of 1, 2, 2. This allowed them to move into 2nd place in the series on a countback against Hooligan and receive Boat of the Day for Sunday.

RSYS members competing included David Chapman (tactician) and Richard Allanson on winning boat Ginger; Michael Dunstan (helm) on Hooligan; Martin Hill (helm) on Maserati; Chris Hancock on Vino and Stephen Barlow on Light Speed.

Ginger once again exhibited their dominance in the class with a 10 point lead over 2nd place. The other boats will certainly be hungry to knock them off first place in Act 2 which will be held on 18 - 19 November at The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.



1. Ginger – Julian Plante – CYCA – 13 pts

2. Maserati – Neville Crichton – RNZYS/CYCA – 23 pts

3. Hooligan – Marcys Blackmore – RPAYC – 23 pts

4. Lightspeed – Stephen Barlow – RPAYC – 27 pts

5. Lazy Dog – John Bacon – RPAYC – 38 pts

6. Easy Tiger – Chris Way – RPAYC – 40 pts

7. Vino – Chris Hancock – RPAYC – 45 pts

8. Dark Star – Sarah Parker – RPAYC – 47 pts

9. Ghost Rider – Ross Hennessy – RPAYC – 63 pts


Articles, photos and videos at the MC38 Class Association Facebook page

Article by Angus Olding
Photo by Tillylock Media

An Evening with Peter FitzSimons

Squadron Speaker event 23 November. Peter FitzSimons is popular in equal measures for his work as a journalist, historical author, political activist and former sportsman. He will cover
all this and more in his inimitable style for what will no doubt be a stimulating, entertaining and thought-provoking evening.

Event details
Date: Thursday 23 November
Time: 6.30 for 7pm 
Venue: Carabella Room
Cost:  $85, includes main, cheese, beer, wine & soft drinks.

Members book online here






Etchells Mini A regatta 7 October

The Etchells Mini A regatta on Saturday 7 October saw 18 boats participate. They enjoyed an excellent day on the water: it was a sunny afternoon, the breeze was SE 10-15 kts with gusts up to 18kts. Race Officer Rob Ridley ran three races on course 2 off Chowder Bay. After the first race, he shortened the length form 1.2NM to 1NM and adjusted the bearing from 145° to 155° to 160°. 

Shindig and Top40, both RSYS, placed in two races apiece, dominated but Ciao's (CYCA) consistent performances, with win and a pair of seconds, won the day. 


Scratch results:

Race 1
1st   1244 Ciao McGain/O'Brien CYCA
2nd  1268 Shindig Thackray/Weir/Tyquin RSYS
3rd   1332 Top40 Bonouvrie/Merrington RSYS

Race 2
1st   1332 Top40 Bonouvrie/Merrington RSYS
2nd  1244 Ciao McGain/O'Brien CYCA
3rd   1268 Shindig Thackray/Weir/Tyquin RSYS

Race 3
1st   1306 The Hole Way Crowle RSYS (pictured above)
2nd  1244 Ciao McGain/O'Brien CYCA
3rd   1346 Avalon Bellingham, Tait RSYS 

Full results here

View photos and videos at


Article, photos, videos by Isabel Wartho