RSYS Optis at NSW Championships 

The NSW State Youth Championships were held at Point Wolstoncroft from 5-7 October 2019. Joining the Squadron's strong representation in Lasers, 420s and Boards, seven young Optimist Dinghy sailors enthusiastically participated.

Benedict McKay reports:

In the Intermediate class we had Ben Tattersall and Stirling McKay, and in the Open fleet, Harriet McLachlan, Spencer McKay, Connor Warner, Louis Tilley (pictured above) and myself. 

Day 1:
The Opti fleet had 70 boats across the Open and Intermediate fleets, many of these from interstate. After all the boats were rigged our Squadron sailors were ready to go for a 10am start. The course was set just around the head with a 6-10 knot breeze. At the end of the day, both fleets had some very impressive results, Stirling managed a 7th in the Intermediates, while in the Open fleet Harriet and Spencer both took advantage of the left-hand shift and achieved top 20 results.
Day 2:
Day two saw more consistent breezes which meant the race committee aimed to get four races in. The conditions were 7-15 knots as well as a consistent oscillating breeze. Both the first and second races were very light which proved testing for our sailors. The third and fourth races had more breeze which made the races very tactical. At the end of the day, Ben T finished with a very strong top 10 finish as well as two other top 20s. The Open fleet also had some good results: I finished 10th and Connor climbed in the standings after some good races.
Day 3:
The sailors left the beach at 9:15am ready for the last two races of the regatta. The forecast was looking light but as the competitors left, strong winds greeted them on the way out. In the Intermediate fleet, Ben finished the regatta with a 17th and a 15th which put him into a great spot to finish the regatta. In the Open fleet, the sailors were fatigued which meant that they had mixed results. In the last race, Spencer finished with a 12th place. The participants were done for the weekend and were pleased with their results. Everyone achieved their personal bests - a big shout out to Louis who smashed his previous record.

Thank you to RSYS Intermediate Members Charlotte Griffin and Jack Littlechild who coached both fleets and did a great job teaching everyone new skills and helping them to improve.



LOTS of courage, competition and camaraderie

Young Madi Kornman, skipper of the all female crew racing Zig Zag 2, steeled her nerves, called for the spinnaker hoist and beheld a most satisfying sight as the red kite unfurled and set.

"I had been too nervous to fly the kite in the first two races, but on the third, I finally summoned my courage and went for it. It was so exhilarating to watch it fly, my crew did an amazing job," said Madi afterwards.

Madi's sentiments were echoed by many other participants at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's inaugural Ladies of the Sea Coaching regatta held over the weekend 5-6 October. Many women said they had long sailed with family members but were now discovering sailing for themselves and especially the joy of helming. 

"I've sailed with my father, my brothers, my husband... Now I'm sailing for myself!" said one.
"I loved helming a smaller boat as a change from crewing on a yacht," said another.

The one design fleet

​Each day kicked off with a good stretch during the morning Yoga session.

An integral component to the event was classroom and on-water coaching conducted by Australian Sailing’s Chief Keelboat Instructor Nickie Jones, Ocean Respect's Vanessa Dudley and Lindy Hardcastle - a Sydney-Hobart veteran who worked with the larger keelboats. RSYS Captain Karyn Gojnich led the coaching for the One Design division with help from Linda Bell (Balmain SC), Courtney Smith (Newcastle YC) and RSYS Members Michael Nash and Eddie Moult.

Nickie commented, "I believe in showing, not telling. First we discuss techniques and manoeuvres in the classroom and then they head out on the water and try it for themselves. That kind of trial and error is invaluable to building skill and confidence." 

Her method certainly seemed to work: "It was great to test out what we'd learned in coaching. I've grown in confidence. I'm not just participating, I'm here to compete!" enthused one sailor.

The keelboat fleet

The regatta attracted 104 sailors across seven keelboats and 14 one design crews participating in International Ynglings and Elliott 7s. Teams nominated to sail in either an All Female or Female Helm category. In addition to 13 crews drawn from Squadron Members, we were delighted to welcome teams from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Manly YC, Middle Harbour YC, Sydney Flying Squadron, three teams from the Australian Defence Force Sailing Association as well as many individuals from Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Newcastle YC, Northbridge Sailing Club, Concord-Ryde SC, Lane Cove 12ft SSC, Woollahra SC, Georges River SC and Double Bay SC.

Bonded by a common love of sailing, the sense of collective purpose was palpable:
"It's brilliant to meet women sailors from so many clubs."
"I love the camaraderie, the sense of community."

Has the Squadron ever witnessed such a sight – more than 90 women gathered on the lawn around Captain Karyn Gojnich to mark the conclusion of a successful weekend of women's sailing. 

Has the Carabella Room ever witnessed such a sound - the laughter and excited chatter as our wonderful community came together for the presentation dinner on Sunday night.

Lisa Darmanin, Katie Pellew-Spithill, Lucinda Whitty, Karyn Gojnich

First there was a standing ovation for Karyn Gojnich whose brainchild this event had been. The audience was then treated to a talk and Q&A with Rio Olympic Silver medallist Lisa Darmanin, Match racing champion and Ocean Respect's Katie Pellew-Spithill, and London Silver medallist Lucinda Whitty, pictured above. They discussed the challenges all had faced balancing sailing at an elite level and progressing a career; their desire to see equal opportunities for females in sailing, equal pay and prize money; and how they juggled an Olympic campaign with family life. When asked what boats they would like to sail next, Lucinda exclaimed "A foiling moth!" adding “although maybe I am not ready to take on the associated boat work."  Lisa is considering an A class cat, and Katie will settle for a windsurfer: “Fast, but without the boat work." 

The event was also an opportunity to recognise and mentor females in the race management team. Regatta Principal Race Officer Trish Stanley was helped by Pat Grace, Robin Bishop, Nina Flakelar and Anna Connery. Eric Duggin helped as coxswain on Mischief and Trent Goldsack was laying marks.

The Zig Zag 2 crew

We are particularly grateful to the Squadron Members who offered their boats to our competitors:
Zig Zag, all Female Crew, Malcolm Shaw
Solange, Female Helm, Andrew King/Will Hutchinson
Rapunzel, Female Helm, Richard Lawson.
Sophie Nelson and Genevieve Slattery sailed their own boats.  

We also owe a debt of thanks to these Squadron Members for their time, effort and assistance in bringing this event to fruition: Jan Harper – graphic design; Amanda Hicks – sourcing sponsor prizes; Chris Harper – CCA set up; Kirstin Reblin – 2IC on the night; on-water coaches Eddie Moult, Michael Nash … and of course Karyn Gojnich.   

Keelboat Female Crew        
1    Zig Zag 2 (581)    Madi Kornman    RSYS
2    Finn (6508)    Janey Treleaven    CYCA
3    Lively (SM74)    Sophie Nelson    RSYS

Keelboat Female Helm        
1    Genovefa (6998)    Genevieve Slattery    RSYS
2    Peach Teats -Velocity (YC868)    Meredith Trevallyn-Jones    MYC
3    Rapunzel (3458)    Sandy Lawson    RSYS

One Design Female Crew        
1    RSYS 4 - Elliott ADF Lightening    Meika Wright    ADF
2    Mojo (AUS 47)     Kirstin Reblin    RSYS
3    RSYS 3 - Elliott    Rowena Cremer    SFS
One Design Female Helm        
1    CYCA 9 Elliott Toga    Samantha Morley    ADF
2    Holly (AUS58)    Elyse Guevara-Rattray    RSYS
3    CYCA 7  Elliott    Emma Cook    ADF

View full results here

There was a plethora of scintillating prizes from our event partners including Paspaley, Mariner Boating, Everyday Cashmere, Above and Beyond Boating and Marine Safety Works. First prize winners received beautiful Paspaley Keshi pearl earrings, second overall a Super Soft cashmere scarf from Everyday Cashmere, and third overall a Shrug from Everyday Cashmere.

Karyn Gojnich commented "To me it is great to place in a regatta but I also feel it is important to recognise participation. We had some great prizes for those that sailed with us and did not get on the podium.”  All participants went into a lucky draw and the winners were:

Louise Tillett       A place on the Mariner Boating Holiday Mallorca Yacht Rally in 2020
Vanessa Stack     Three nights at the Beach Club, Hamilton Island
Kate Moriarty      A Safety & Sea Survival Course with Marine Safety Works 

Each boat that entered received a voucher for an Online VHF Radio Course with Above and Beyond Boating.

We are grateful also to Berkelo for their fresh bakery treats and Dr Michael Finkelstein for his dental care packs.


Photo credit: Margaret Fraser-Martin
Hi res images available on request

Article by Isabel Wartho
RSYS Marketing & Communications Officer

#rsys1862 #rsyslots #shesails



NSW Youth Championships

The Squadron was well represented at the NSW Youth Championships held at Point Wolstoncroft on the shores of Lake Macquarie over the long weekend 5-7th October.

The event is the first big regatta of the Youth sailing season and more than 270 boats competed in 11 classes. RSYS fielded 18 sailors across the Optimist Intermediate and Open division, Laser 4.7s and Radials, and in Windsurfers.

RSYS Youth Members Otto Henry (pictured 2nd from right) had a convincing win in the Laser Radial class, and Mina Ferguson (pictured far let) placed 4th and won Best Female in the Laser. In the Windsurfers, Vaughan O’Shea placed 3rd in the Techno Plus class.

The Club sends out a big Thank You to Member Nikki O’Shea who played 'Camp Mum', preparing meals for all the RSYS competitors and their families who stayed together on site at Point Wolstoncroft.

The next big regattas for the Youth classes are Sail Sydney in early December and National titles held in Melbourne shortly after Christmas. 

The RSYS summer Youth sailing programme will restarts after the school holidays at the Club on 20th October 2019.
Tackers information here
Teens information here

RSYS Members shortlisted for AS Awards

We are proud to announce that four Squadron Members are in the running for Australian Sailing awards:

Male Sailor of the Year - Will Ryan with Mat Belcher (470)

Offshore Sailor of the Year - Matt Allen AM

Youth Sailor of the Year - Will Cooley with Rebecca Hancock (Nacra 15, pictured above) and Max Paul with Archie Cropley (29er) 

The winners will be revealed at the Awards gala dinner on Friday 18 October at the Sofitel, Sydney.  

Good luck all!

Read the full media release here


School holiday training camps

It's been a busy week for Club Dinghy and Youth sailing.

We have 18 youngsters going through the 'Tackers' learn to sail programme in the Club-owned Optimist dinghies and 13 teens sailing the Club Elliotts in the new 'Out There' sailing programme.

Why not introduce your children/grandchildren to the joy of sailing? There are a limited number of places still available for both the kids and teens learn to sail courses from the 8th to 11th October. Open to non-members.
Click here for more information on our courses

In addition to learn to sail activities, our Club ran a Laser performance camp from Monday through to Wednesday that was attended by 14 Laser sailors, pictured above.

Mike Leigh, our Laser coach commented, “The Laser camp has been a great training opportunity for our junior Members preparing to sail in the NSW Youth Championships. We have also welcomed a few newcomers to the group who are stepping into a Laser for the first time.”