2019 Gascoigne Cup and Thelma Plate

The second race of the CYCA Short Ocean Racing Series was held on Saturday, writes John Maclurcan. Under a long standing arrangement with the CYCA, the RSYS ran the race, awarding the Gascoigne Cup to the winner on PHS for Division 1 and the Thelma Plate to Division 2. The race was also the first heat of the Perseverance Trophy, an event exclusive to those who enter at the RSYS for three offshore races spread through the season.

The weather forecast predicted westerly, shifting in both strength and direction, which is always a great challenge for the race officials. David Ross, Race Officer of the day, once again set a really good start line for the reach to the Heads. He cleverly angled it so that neither end was favoured and this was reflected in the spread of competitors along the line for both Division 1 and 2. Rob Ridley’s course was perfect with two good windward legs and two good squarish runs.
In Morag Bheag, as 'Tail-End Charlie' in a big fleet of 16 entrants in Division 1 and 21 in Division 2, I am unable to tell you much about what all of the fleet were doing though we observed a few Chinese gybes and broaches on the second run but I can tell you about our exciting race: A quick reach to the Heads and as soon as we pulled away around the junction buoy off Lady Bay, up went the bulletproof 2.2oz kite. The wind was gusting 20+ kts and was quite shy but Morag Bheag was able to carry the kite and  run to leeward but abeam of larger boats who were without kites. The mark was laid four miles east of North Head. The wind backed and most yachts by now had kites. The breeze also abated in typical westerly fashion. When it returned, it had a nor’west slant and as the southernmost yacht, we were last to get it, dropped astern and were last to the first mark. There was plenty of southerly set running too.  

On the wind with a full main and no 2. There were plenty of shifts for the beat back to the shore to a mark north east of Bluefish. I tried to play the shifts which is not a good idea in the heavy Morag Bheag but eventually we settled into a 25 kt lift on the port tack, overtaking one boat. The run back out was very square so I opted to pole out the No 2 and we ran comfortably at 7.5 kts on a nice straight course to the mark, allowing for the set. As I felt the breeze was strengthening, the crew prepared the No 3 headsail for the beat back in and were we glad we made the change. With a full main and No3, the beat back to Bluefish was exciting but arduous and Morag Bheag ploughed through the choppy sea. The wind was easily over 30 kts and after we passed the mark at Bluefish, we put a reef in the main. I had been hesitant to do so earlier, although it might have been prudent, simply because I did not want to take any risks flogging either the sail or the rig any more than necessary. I felt it was better to feather the boat in the gusts. We beat back through the Heads very comfortably and eased sheets slightly for the leg to the finish.

In a race that favoured the big boats, Samarkand from MHYC won the Gascoigne Cup and the Sydney 38 Shine On from the CYCA won the Thelma Plate. Of the Perseverance Fleet, Peter Williams' Erica was first. and Ian MacDiarmid on Hellrazer, pictured above, came 2nd in Division 2. On Morag Bheag we achieved a 5th in Division 2 and the Perseverance, and it was one of those results where 5th place felt like a million dollars. We had a ball in a most challenging and thrilling event although I detected that the boat gave a groan of relief when it reached its mooring.

View results here

Article by John Maclurcan

Photo of Hellrazer taken April 2019 by Paul Barbour.

J/70 Australian Championship

The J/70 Nationals hosted by the CYCA last weekend attracted nine boats including three from RSYS and two from Victoria.  

Conditions on Saturday were challenging with a very shifty westerly which at times gusted over 30 knots.  Exhilarating downwind rides were offset with the lottery of the top mark rounding that quite often saw positions change as the breeze literally rotated 360 degrees around the mark underneath Bradley's Head. Sailing on Sunday took place in a 10 to 12 knot sou'easter with much closer racing in the fleet. Reg Lord and the team on Juno showed their experience and won each race of the regatta to take out the 2019 Australian Championship title.

Competing in the fleet was RSYS Captain Karyn Gojnich who said afterwards: 'Sara Ladd and I took ownership of the Jackal during the week so we were pleased just to get out to the race course and finish each race.  Big thanks to Pete Lowndes and Ewa Lindelöf who joined us for the weekend.'

Ray Carless of Junior commented: 'The winds and harbour conditions were at times challenging but overall it was an excellent event with great sportsmanship, camaraderie and most of all, fun J/70 sailing.'  

RSYS Members Sara, Karyn, Pete and Ewa on The Jackal

If you're wondering what J/70 sailing is like, RSYS Member Michael Nash explained why he is a fan: 'The J/70 is a great boat for mixed sailing as the main is manageable for anyone and the spinnaker is not too powerful. Olga (Skatkova) said just yesterday that she was surprised she had no problems playing the spinnaker on Saturday. The future for sailing could be mixed sailing with both men and women skippers. The nice thing about the J/70 is that even though it is manageable for women and us small men, it is still a wild and exciting ride for anyone when the wind gets up. The other great thing is you can sail four up if you are bigger or five up if you aren’t, as the ideal weight is 320 to 340kgs. I like the J/70 because it is a light, nimble boat, easy to manage coming into and in the dock and a pleasure to sail as the helm is super light.'

The 2020 Nationals are scheduled to take place over Easter, hosted by Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron.  RSYS is currently hosting a J/70 Twilight series with racing on Thursdays 31 October and 7 November.  J/70s can also be seen racing in the RSYS Mini B regattas in the sports boat division.

J70 One Design                                 Skipper                     Club     R1    R2    R3    R4    R5    R6    Points
1    Juno (7071)                                  Reg Lord                  CYCA     1       1       1      1       1     -1       5
2    James (AUS007)                          Tim Ryan                 CYCA     2       3    -10      4       3      3     15
3    Jabberwocky (AUS1129)              Andrew Tompson     MHYC    3       4       2     -6       2      5     16
4    Maybe-J (1303)                            Peter Nash               RSYS    -7       5       3      2       5      6     21
5    Spike (AUS196)                            Tony Landgren         SYC       9      -9       4      3       6      2     24
6    Madness (1305)                            Paul Breslin             RSYS    -8       2       5      5       7      7     26
7    The Jackal (AUS1130)                  Karyn Gojnich          RSYS     5       7       7     -7       4      4     27
8    Jumpin’ Jack Flash (AUS1284)     Andy McIntyre         BYS        4       6       6      8       8    -8      32
9    Junior (AUS7082)                         Ray Carless             MHYC    6       8    -10      9       9      9      41


Pictured top - Madness, Paul Breslin
Photos by Beth Morley of www.sportsailingphotography.com, view more at www.facebook.com/jboatsaustralia

Next gen mast and sail systems

Bret Perry from Advanced Wing Systems will give a free talk on Wednesday 23 October about new soft wing technology.

Drawing on his experience with America’s Cup and Farr, he will break down the myths and misconceptions about soft wings and explain why they are the perfect alternative for racing and cruising alike.

Over the past five years Bret has been primarily focused on the R & D of the Advanced Wing Systems soft wing – the SRW. He will bring the K8 Sports boat (pictured above) to the Squadron to give you a close look at the system, and if the wind allows, hoist the SRW in the dock. Please make your way down to the Pond from 5pm to examine this fascinating new technology. Do book a table for dinner afterwards.


Event details
Date: Wednesday 23 October
Time: 6pm for 6.20pm start 
Venue: Carabella Room
Cost: There is no cost to attend the presentation, but please RSVP to assist with the setting up. Please make a reservation for dinner in the CCA.










Sunday Twilights underway

The first Sunday Twilight race kicked off last weekend under spectacular conditions. After a weekend of showers, the sky cleared to a beautiful blue and we had a really pleasant 8-10 knot nor'easter. 

This season we have moved to fortnightly racing. We have 15 boats entered in the Open (non-spinnaker) division, and currently four in the One Design (spinnaker) division.  The Club Elliotts are available to charter for anyone looking to get out on the water, please contact the sailing office to find out more. 

Sunday twilight is a great way to finish off the weekend.  It is a family affair on 'Solacious' pictured above, with three generations on board.  I can highly recommend a roast for the family back in the CCA.  Please help our Club by booking in advance for your Sunday night dinner, and if you want to order a roast, orders need to be in by 3pm the Thursday prior to racing. Contact Reception. 

Next race is on Sunday October 27.



Laser 'Coasts' Championships 

RSYS was well represented this year at the Coasts, held at Gosford Sailing Club from 12-13 October. Three Laser 4.7 and seven Laser Radial Youth sailors made the trip to Gosford. They were ably coached over the two days by RSYS coaches Mike Leigh, (Saturday), Finn Alexander (Saturday and Sunday) and Oskar Hansen (Sunday). 

Winds on Saturday were light to medium, varying between 4 and 11 knots between noon and 4 pm. On Sunday they were again light and variable, from 4-7 knots. 

In the 4.7 fleet of nine, Xavier McLachlan made a tactical error in race 1 for a DNC, but followed this with two bullets to be well placed. Kane Seblatnig led into day 2 with a highly consistent three second places. On Sunday they swapped a 4th and 2nd place, and being even on points, Xavier took the regatta win - a little luckily - on a count back. Garth Bickford scored a bullet in the last race to finish 4th and will be a serious threat in the coming regattas. 

In the larger Radial fleet of 35 sailors, Otto Henry led into Sunday with Dan Costandi a strong third. These positions held at the end of the regatta, and Mark Louis finished a close 4th. It was great to see RSYS super coach Marlena Berzins return to dinghy competition and Matt Whitnall competing for RSYS in a full rig Laser. 

As always, Gosford Sailing Club ran a great regatta and were terrific hosts. 

By Richard McLachlan


Click here for regatta report from GSC

Full results here 

More photos