2017 Trans-Tasman Challenge

It was that time of year again: two of Australasia’s leading Royal Yacht Squadrons battled it out for Trans-Tasman Challenge glory and bragging rights.

Since its inception in 1974, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (RSYS) and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) have competed in this special ‘Mate vs Mate’ regatta which has become an important tradition for both clubs. Each year alternating in location and typically represented by Flag officers from each club.

Having been hosted and won by RSYS in 2016, RNZYS were certainly keen to use their home advantage to reclaim the win for 2017 at their home club in Auckland. The two day regatta was held on 29 and 30 April and consisted of six races being completed on the Squadron's fleet of Elliott 7s. Unfortunately, the RSYS could not retain the win this year. Yet it is always an amazing experience and great to spend time with our good friends across the Tasman. Congratulations to RNZYS for winning. 



  1. Aaron Young – RNZYS – 13 pts
  2. Ian Cook – RNZYS – 18 pts
  3. Steve Mair – RNZYS – 19 pts
  4. Andrew Aitken – RNZYS – 24 pts
  5. Richard Chapman – RSYS – 29 pts
  6. Geoff Davidson – RSYS – 33 pts
  7. David Wood – RSYS – 34 pts
  8. Richard Hammond – RSYS – 46 pts


View Full Results here


By Angus Olding

Navigating the Barrier Reef

Barry Cuneo, Rear Commodore of Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, will address the Cruising Division on 24 May, focussing on cruising the Barrier Reef and cover route and weather planning and ‘lessons learnt'. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from an expert in coastal navigation! 

Event details
Date: Wednesday 24 May
Time: 6pm for 6.20pm start 
Venue: CCA
Cost: There is no cost to attend the presentation, but please RSVP to assist with the setting up. Why not stay for dinner afterwards and continue the discussion with other cruising enthusiasts. 

We will meet in the Careening Cove. The Bar will open at 5.30pm for a drink beforehand. Dinner will be served in the Carabella Room afterwards if you would like to continue the discussion with other cruising enthusiasts.


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