Youth Teams Racing fun

24.2.20 On the weekend of 22-23 February, a young team of eight sailors from RSYS competed in the 2020 ACT Teams Racing Championship on Lake Burley Griffin, ACT. The event was hosted by the YMCA Canberra Sailing Club, alongside 17 other teams from NSW and ACT schools and the ANU. 

L to R: Issy Payne, Xavier McLachlan, Abby Gilbert, Raph McLachlan, Viraj Gupta, Hamish Longstaff, Oliver McLachlan, Ben Tattersall.   

It was the first teams racing experience for most of our squad, and a steep learning curve. The team competed in seven races in variable conditions, from drifting starts in the morning with patches of wind coming through the course, to a thrilling afternoon of 10-15 knots. After tight losses against the experienced ANU and CGGS squads, our team quickly improved with the super-calm and supportive assistance of coach Zac Quinlan, finishing with four wins out of seven races (2, 2, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1) and a creditable 9th place after the first day. 


The improvement across the day was marked, as the squad learned from the short-course format, using their fleet racing backgrounds to improve on the start line and get to the first shift. All our young sailors enjoyed it immensely, especially the instant debriefs with coach Zac after each race as the boats were changed over, putting new plans into practise in their next races and acquiring skills they’ll be using back in normal fleet racing.

Coach Zac Quinlan commented, 'The Squadron team did a great job to focus on their boat speed and were often some of the fastest boats in their races. Throughout the day, our sailors proved that as long as you have good boat speed you are able to get out of almost every teams racing situation and often sail around competitors.'

The squad were very keen to get back out there on Sunday, but a complete glass-out saw all racing cancelled by 1:30pm and an early departure for Sydney.

Abigail Gilbert, Xavier, Oliver, and Raphael McLachlan, Viraj Gupta, Isobel Payne, Ben Tattersall and Hamish Longstaff represented the Squadron, alongside two teams from SCEGGS Redlands, who also train at our Club. It was a sociable event, with much friendly rivalry between RSYS and Redlands (and parents). We gathered for a group dinner at the Kingston Hotel which was another highlight of the weekend. It was very pleasing to see the Squadron and Redlands teams working together as one big team to look after our Club's Pacers before, during and after the regatta to unload, rig, derig and reload the trailers. Special mention to Abby Gilbert, assisting so many boats out of the water on Saturday afternoon.

The RSYS team would like to thank the Sailing Office for their support and the provision of the RSYS Pacers for the weekend. We also thank coach Zac Quinlan, and Club Captain Karyn Gojnich in particular for her assistance and encouragement in sending this first team from the Squadron to a schools Teams Racing event.  

Article by Sophie Hunt


PONANT Friday Twilights

We are delighted to announce that PONANT, the luxury expedition cruising specialists, will support our Club’s Friday Twilight series for the next two years. 
This agreement builds on an established connection: Club Member Sarina Bratton is the Chairman of PONANT for Asia Pacific, and several Members have enjoyed cruises with the company. 
RSYS Vice Commodore Christian Brook said, “We are very excited to have PONANT on board. They are the world leaders in Cruising and offer a prestigious partnership. We look forward to the exciting opportunities they will offer our Members."
After racing on Allegro last Friday with John Taylor and crew – and winning their division! – Captain David Marionneau and his wife Johanna Stansfield, PONANT Partnerships Manager for Asia Pacific, presented the weekly prizes to our division winners. 

Captain David Marionneau said, “I’m honoured to have presented our new alliance with the Squadron last Friday. We feel a positive synergy with the RSYS as we share fundamental values including Excellence, Integrity and Respect for the sea. Yachting is part of Ponant’s DNA with our emblematic triple-masted classic sailing yacht Le Ponant. Our fleet of modern luxury expedition small ships sails across the seven seas to encourage our guests to live curiously, explore our planet and become ambassadors for sustainability. We look forward to welcoming you on board.’’

We will shortly reveal the grand prize to be awarded at the end of season presentation dinner on 3 April 2020. Stay tuned!

If you would like to learn more about PONANT cruises, please visit their website at


Image @StudioPONANT/Philip Plisson 

What's new in sail technology?

Club Members, their guests and all sailing enthusiasts are invited to a hear an in-depth talk on what's new in sail design on Wednesday 26 February. 

Our speakers are Andrew Parkes and Alby Pratt from North Sails and they will cover topics such as: sail design, the latest technology, sail handling systems and sail finishing details to suit them. 

All RSYS Members are very welcome to attend this event and to bring guests.
Interested non-members should please contact David Henry.


Event details
Date: Wednesday 26 February
Time: 6pm for 6.20pm start 
Venue: Careening Cove
Cost: There is no cost to attend the presentation, please RSVP for dinner afterwards.
RSVP here


SailGP inspiring RSYS Youth


RSYS Youth Members Harriet McLachlan and Benedict McKay will taste the thrill of racing on the RS Cat14 when SailGP returns to Sydney Harbour from Friday 28 to Saturday 29 February.

Our sailors will get the chance to rub shoulders with world-class athletes in Sydney through SailGP Inspire, the championship’s youth and community outreach arm. Inspire has selected eight teams of two (one boy and one girl under the age of 15) who will take to the water on 27 February in the event's opener.

Sailing on the RS Cat14 gives a unique insight into what it’s like to be onboard an F50 catamaran. The boats have similar characteristics but without the foiling, the sailors also race on a mini version of the SailGP racecourse, a great first step for up and coming junior sailors.

SailGP Youth Program Manager Tom Herbert-Evans said: “Whether they’re aspiring to one day join the league on a national team, want to learn the science behind the sport of sailing or get behind-the-scenes work experience, young people around the world gain access to unique opportunities through SailGP Inspire. We’re excited to bring Inspire to Sydney for the first time, with a variety of new components, in what is shaping up to a historic second season.”

Good luck Harriet and Benedict, we look forward to hearing all about your day!



Harry Price of CYCA wins Hardy Cup 2020

Media release 10.2.2020

Harry Price of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and ranked 5 in the world beat the odds to triumph against defending champion no 2 ranked Nick Egnot-Johnson of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. 

Sir James Hardy OBE presents the Hardy Cup trophy to Harry Price's team from CYCA

The talented young crews gave a master class in match racing techniques and exhibited some of the best quality racing seen in the Hardy Cup. Time and again, Price’s clean starts and superior boat speed allowed him to get away and maintain the lead. The petit final and grand final were intense - the racing was so close, any of the top four deserved to win, but Price sailed faultlessly after the first final race to take the overall win. 

Price v Egnot-Johnson 

The semi-finals were closely contested. James Hodgson (CYCA, AUS) incurred a penalty on the finish line in the fourth race to give Price his entry into the final. Price and Egnot-Johnson exchanged penalties in the final sailed in light east, nor’east winds on the race course area just off the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. Egnot-Johnson won the first race but then Price took the next three to claim the 2020 Hardy Cup. While Price has previously contested the Hardy Cup as crew, this was his first win in the event as skipper.

Price v Hodgson
The ‘King of the Castle’ format was used to determine 5th to 13th positions after the quarter finals, and enabled Aurelien Pierroz (Noumea YC, New Caledonia) to climb from 12th after the round robin to finish 9th overall in the event. 


The Race Officer team comprising RSYS’s Ian Kingsford Smith and Rob Ridley, together with Ryan Parkin and his cadre of umpires, did an outstanding job to conduct 203 races in four days, completing the round robins and concluding the regatta with a quality finals series. 

RSYS Captain of Sailing Karyn Gojnich commented, ‘The Hardy Cup celebrated its 20th year at the Squadron with a record field of 13 teams. I was delighted to welcome international competitors from Denmark, Sweden, Great Britain, New Zealand, New Caledonia as well as Australia. I was particularly proud of our own Squadron teams who fought some close battles and improved with each race. I believe match racing is a fantastic way to develop skills that can be applied across the many disciplines of sailing.’   


The Squadron held the inaugural Hardy Cup Lunch on 4 February to popular acclaim. The audience was privileged to hear from double Olympian, World Champion, America’s Cup sailor and Event Patron Sir James Hardy OBE whose vision and on-going support continues to promote match racing helming and tactical skills among young sailors. 
Many teams will now head to New Zealand to contest the Youth World Match Racing Championship in the Elliott 7m class in Auckland, New Zealand.
Photos by Darcie Collington Photography and videos by TillyLockMedia at  Facebook/hardycup and Instagram/rsys1862.

History of the Hardy Cup
The RSYS Youth sailing program commenced in 1960, and in 2001 the Squadron hosted the inaugural Hardy Cup. The trophy was donated by long-standing Event Patron Sir James Hardy OBE who wanted to foster the match racing and tactical skills of young sailors. 
Further information
Angus Stranack  (Hardy Cup info)
RSYS Sailing Academy Manager
m. 0408 247 571 e.

Isabel Wartho (PR & Media enquiries)
RSYS MarComms Manager
m. 0404575 886 e.