2014 Interclub: RSYS bring the trophy home after a 5 year absence

The Interclub Challenge is a friendly regatta between sailors from the youth keelboat programs at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. Racing takes place over three Sundays each June, each club taking turn to host a day of racing.

The two teams from RSYS consisted of Eddie Moult, Angus Olding, Andrew Yu and Cameron Lonsdale with guest appearances from Mitch Evans, Nick Rozenauersand Theron Sims. RSYS was also represented by our new all girls team Claudia Thackray, Sophie Shannon, Natalie Wubben and Alex Ford.

The racing was close and exciting, with 19 races conducted over the 3 days. RSYS teams lead from start to finish but only just. Going into the last round at RPAYC on the iconic Pittwater; RSYS held a narrow 6 point lead. The RPA teams fought well on their home waters closing the gap the three points, but alas for them it was not enough to knock our guys off the top.

Move of the series goes to the team lead by Claudia: On starboard they approached three boats coming in on the port layline, about 50m away from the top mark. They lined the first boat up perfectly not giving them a chance to duck forcing all three to tack onto starboard. Claudia and the team then tacked for the top mark leaving the others with no option but to tack back and follow them around the top mark.

Regatta Results

Chapman places 2nd in Chicago Match Cup Qualifier

RSYS's David Chapman placed 2nd in an all-star class at the Chicago Match Cup Qualifier series to Chris Steele.

Steele from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and his team of Walker Banks on Main, Hamish Hardy on Jib and Tim Siemers on Bow have prevailed in blustery conditions today to win the ISAF Grade 2 Chicago Match Cup Qualifier. In a come-from-behind effort, Steele defeated Australia’s David Chapman 2-1 in a fiery series of matches that were shortened to a first-to-two point series due to strong wind and high wave conditions on Lake Michigan.

Racing in 15-20 knots and lumpy seas, Steele’s road to victory started with being down 2-0 to CMRC’s Don Wilson in the Semi-Final, and then coming back to win the next three to go to the Final to meet Australia’s David Chapman, who won 3-0 over Steve Lowery. 

Then the wind picked up to gusts to over 30 knots with seas building even higher, so CMRC race managers decided to put up the Z flag to indicate that spinnaker use would not be allowed. The lack of these sails did nothing to minimize the action, as the TOM 28’s could easily surf downwind in the huge waves and create and break overlaps quickly and change the tactical game in an instant. The waves were high enough to even scare off the CMRC’s signature houseboat regatta center, which left the race area and headed for safety into nearby Belmont Harbor.

The Finals started well for Chapman, who scoring first blood and put Steele under pressure to win the second match and stay alive for the series. Steele and team did exactly this, setting the stage for a dramatic final showdown. 

In this last match, Chapman took what looked to be a commanding lead, which on the first downwind leg looked safe at 10 lengths. But then Steele surfed a wave into the bottom gate, acquired right of way, and when Chapman did not yield and came out in front, the match umpires gave him a red flag penalty, requiring an immediate penalty turn. This allowed Steele to take the lead and sail to victory.

And in the one-match sudden death Petit Final, Wilson defeated Lowery to take third place overall.

Steele’s only other appearance at CMRC was at last August’s Grade 2 Grand Slam event, where he finished second in a field of 12 teams from 6 nations. This event featured a slightly smaller field - ten teams from four nations - but with valuable Grade 2 winning points Steele should make a significant advance up from his current position of 22nd on the ISAF Open World Match Race Ranking list. 

Chicago Match Cup Qualifier Final results:

1. Chris Steele (NZL)

2. David Chapman (AUS)

3. Don Wilson (USA)

4. Steve Lowery (USA)

5. Stefan Lindberg (FIN)

6. Scott Dickson (NZL)

7. David Storrs (USA)

8. Chris Poole (USA)

9. Tyler Rice (ISV)

10. David Niemann (USA)

Chapman Leads Final Four at Chicago Cup Match Qualifier

In an exciting finish to a perfect day, the final match determines the Final Four teams to advance to tomorrow's Semi-Finals

Chicago, IL - Under perfect blue skies and a building southerly that peaked at about 14 knots, the second Round Robin of the Chicago Match Cup Qualifier today yielded some surprising winners and losers in Day Two of this ISAF Grade 2 event. Among a competitive field of ten teams from four nations it was Australia's David Chapman and Chicago's Don Wilson who emerged on top, having each won 13 matches each among their 18 sailed.

Since Chapman defeated Wilson, the Australian has earned the right to choose his rival in tomorrow's Semi-Final round, where the winners will be the teams that first earn three points to advance to the Finals. The eventual winner of the event will receive an invitation to the Chicago Match Cup in September, a prize-money ISAF Grade WC event that is the only US stop on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.

Besides Wilson, Chapman's other Semi-Final choices include another Chicago-area team,

Steven Lowery, who impressively finished this stage of the competition on 12 points despite being ranked 77th in the world, and the only other antipodal team in the competition, 22nd-ranked Chris Steele from New Zealand.

Despite being the series leaders after the first day of racing, Steele's team fell into a losing streak and just barely squeezed into the Final Four, having defeated Staffan Lindberg from Finland in the final match of today. Lindberg's fall from the top ranks was an unexpected result: not only was he the winner of the first Round Robin in defeating Steele in the first match of the day, but he and his team had entered the event as the highest-ranked entry: 10th in the ISAF Open World Match Race Ranking List.

"The competition here has been really tough," said Lindberg. "I did not start today expecting to have to fight for the final spot in the last match, but this is how it goes sometimes. Chris and his team sailed very well."

Chapman will announce his choice at tomorrow's skipper briefing at 8 AM, with Semi-Final match racing action due to start at 9:00 AM on courses set just east of the entrance to Chicago's Belmont Harbor. Finals and Petit-Finals will then follow.

For more information, results and live feeds on Twitter and Facebook, visit the CMRC website at www.chicagomatchrace.com

by CMRC Media

Cruise 2014 - Race 1 Abandoned Saturday 12th April 2014.

Dear Competitors,
Sadly the forecast weather has got worse and the once slight chance of strong to gale force winds from the south has now materialised across all weather modelling systems.
Clouds Badham forecast is as follows;
The trough system moving across NSW has increased speed and a low pressure system will develop off the far south coast of NSW this morning. The low will then move NNE to be off the Sydney and then central coast tomorrow (Saturday)  and then move further away to be over the central Tasman later Sunday. 
The movement of the low pressure system up the coast tonight and tomorrow will generate SSW winds along the NSW coast tomorrow, slowly easing back Sunday.
A second burst of strong to gale force S-SE winds is now likely mid to later in the week – with the same low pressure system still operating over the central to eastern Tasman Sea. This is not yet certain and depends on the remnants of TC ITA that are now forecast to join with the low over the Tasman Sea.
SW/20-30 increasing SW/30-35 inshore and SW/30-40 offshore
SW tending SSW-S overnight
2m waves increasing 2-3m in close and 3-4m immediately offshore on a 1m SE swell 
A few showers, mainly afternoon
SW-S/20-30 easing to S/20-25
2-3m seas on a 1-2m S swell
A few showers
Sadly Cloud’s forecast marries up with all other forecasts from other organizations and after waiting for later forecast the situation has not improved.
Therefore the Race Committee has abandoned tomorrows scheduled 10am Race (Saturday 12th April).
For the information of all competitors the following has been agreed to by the race committee;
  1. Saturday 12th April Race is abandoned due to adverse weather and sea conditions.
  2. The intended mooring location for those in Pittwater on Saturday evening is now Refuge Bay. There unfortunately will be no organized BBQ.
  3. Race 2 on Sunday 13th April will be delayed until roughly 1400hrs to allow for late competitor arrival and the weather to settle. Please be aware that this may change.  
  4. All competitors are now asked to make their own way to Pittwater. 
CAUTION: Competitors should take suitable precautions while travelling to Pittwater in unstable weather. Competitors should ensure they have suitably experienced crew for the conditions. All care should be taken in reading up-to-date weather forecasting information and be aware that conditions can deteriorate without warning.
The Cruise Committee & Race Committee apologize for any inconvenience and it is their intention to resume the Cruise and racing as soon as weather and conditions allow.
Should anyone have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact the sailing office.
Chris Stone - RSYS Sailing Manager

Squadron sailors shine at NSW Optimist Championship

The 2014 International Optimist NSW Championship was held last weekend at Georges River 16' Skiff Sailing Club with almost 150 boats racing across Open, Intermediate  and Green Fleet divisions. 8 members of the Squadron's Optimist Sailing program competed over 2 days against sailors from clubs across NSW and the ACT as well as from Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

Great conditions and good racing at a terrific dinghy venue made for plenty of fun and smiling faces across the fleet and a chance for the Squadron's sailors to sail against and meet sailors from other clubs.

The Optimist Association ran a fantastic event with Open and Intermediate Fleet racing on the main race area in Botany Bay and the Green Fleet enjoying "stadium racing" just off the beach at Dolls Point giving parents and supporters a great view of sailors enjoying their first regatta experience.

In Green Fleet, which is the first / introductory regatta level, Phoebe Thackray, Vaughan O'Shea and Anna Tyquin all sailed well representing the Squadron and while in Green Fleet there are no formal results or trophies, each sailor in Green Fleet received a medal at the prize giving and showed great promise. To cap it off Anna and Phoebe both won prizes in the lucky dip and look forward to cashing in their vouchers at NB Sailsports for some new "go fast" gear for their boats soon (and their parents saving some $$$s too)!

The Intermediate fleet for the next level of sailors looking to develop their racing had 5 Squadron sailors, Henry Davison, Maddie O'Shea, Riley Evans, Gretel Payne and Carl Hansen. With 58 entries and long course racing over 8 races, it was a big programme but supported by coach Mike Leigh each sailor performed well with all team members recording at least 1 top 10 race finish and the highlight being Henry Davison's 3rd place overall and win in race 1. Congratulations Henry for your outstanding result.

Apart from the performances of our Green and Intermediate Fleet sailors, the camaraderie, team spirit and support for each other within the Squadron team was fantastic and no doubt was a massive factor in the fun that was had and enjoyment of each sailor.

With the Squadron Opti programme being in just its second season, there were no RSYS entries in Open fleet with the title being taken out by Flyn Twomey from MHYC just ahead of current national champion Otto Henry from Woollahra Sailing Club and Middle Harbour's Archie Cropley a close third. First girl was Isabelle Kenny all the way from South of Perth Yacht Club! Congratulations to Flyn on becoming the NSW Champion.

Congratulations to all the RSYS team and to the medal and trophy winners from all clubs.

All of the RSYS sailors who attended the States were very fortunate to have dual Olympian, Canadian Mike Leigh as their coach leading up to and at the regatta and have along with other RSYS Opti sailors been getting a huge amount out of the Friday afternoon sessions with about half the Green Fleet group making it to at least 1 friday session in recent weeks. With almost 10% of the combined Intermediate and Green Fleet entries at the States the RSYS Opti programme has a great platform for future - and the fun is guaranteed!

A big thank you goes out to the Opti Association, Andrew McLaughlin and the team at GRSC, RSYS - particularly coaches Josh Chant and Mike Leigh and lastly the parents and volunteers for a great event.

Mike Tyquin

Summer 2013-2014 Photos

Plenty has been happening at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron over the past few months from special member guest speaker events through to regular Friday night twilight racing.

Throughout that time many members have taken countless photos of the Squadron as they sail, enjoy the facilities, attend friend's weddings and watch the sunrise. So as we enjoy the last few days of summer, we decided to go back through these photos and share them with all our members to relive the Summer of 2013-14.

To view all the photos or to share your photos with us, don't forget to 'Like' us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (@RSYS1862) or Instagram (@RSYS1862).

William Houston - RSYS Intermediate Committee

45th RSYS Annual Cruise

A fleet in excess of 30 racing yachts and support boats are anticipated for the RSYS Annual Cruise which will commence Saturday 12th April and finish in Pittwater on Thursday 17th April. This one is a bit unique due to Easter falling right in the middle of the school holidays. The committee deemed it best to have the cruise prior to Easter and finish it at Pittwater in case some boats would like to stay and enjoy Pittwater over the Easter period.

So I guess we better pack 8 days of fun into 6! I am sure we are up to the challenge and just to prove there is no rest for the wicked there is no lay day this year due to the Cruise finishing on Thursday.

This year the program for the Cruise is primarily in the Hawkesbury with the final night at the always welcoming Royal Motor Yacht Club for our traditional Cruise function. A great way to end the cruise.

Racing will again be managed by Rob Ridley and Chris Stone with the aim of having the last boats finish within around 2.5 hours of starting for the inshore races.

Saturday 12th will be the first ocean race to Pittwater, weather permitting. The fleet will rendezvous at Hallets Beach where the committee will put their cooking skills to the test serving up over 150 complimentary sausages on a roll to the hungry hoards.

Sunday will be a gentle inshore race with a raft up at the typically tranquil Mushroom Bay. This is handy for changing crews on Sunday night at Akuna and the famous Progressive Dinner will be on to sample the fleets culinary skills.

Monday will be our second inshore race with a raft up in Pinta Bay, often we see 20 or more boats anchored stern to shore. The bay will abound with aromas as the competitive crews vie for supremacy in the Creative Cuisine cooking competition. Of particular note this year is that a winning meal will be served in the Careening Cove Room for a limited period of time.

On Tuesday the second and final Offshore race will take place to determine the winner of the prestigious Alan Payne Trophy followed by a get together in Yeomans Bay, a location we have not really explored before.

Our second last day will see the 3rd Inshore race followed by meeting in Refuge Bay with BBQ’s available on the beach for those who want to cook their own and regardless I am sure crews will get together to discuss the days adventures.

Finally on Thursday we will enjoy the concluding race of the inshore series and return to civilisation at the Royal Motor Yacht Club for our final function dinner and get to marvel at the dance moves of the fleet. Not to mention announcement of the Creative Cuisine competition.

Additional activities include a Youth sailors prize that will be given to the boat with the lowest average age of people on board across the Inshore Series races.

We are delighted that Bill and Dee Manning have again prepared our Cruise Crossword.  The Crossword is a challenging and entertaining way of filling idle hours between sailing and partying.

Vice Commodore Richard Chapman (Nand V) is again donating a prize to the winner of the ETA competition; an ICOM VHF Handheld Radio .  This is awarded to the boat that most accurately assesses its elapsed time across all of the 6 races.   We are very grateful for Richard’s continued generosity and I am sure you will all join me in thanking him.

There will be no official RSYS event over the Easter period however I am sure interested parties will discuss possible venues to meet up during Easter.

I would like to re-iterate that the cruise is not just for racing sailors. More and more people are enjoying the cruise on their motor boats and taking advantage of our proximity to the incredibly beautiful Hawkesbury and the company of their friends. Most participants come back year after year and I can recommend you give it a try, you just might get hooked!

Cruise Captain
Julian Farren-Price

Wet weekend for Etchells State Championship

A wet and, at times, windless weekend on Brisbane Waters,  saw only five races sailed in the 2014 Etchells NSW championship.  Victory went to Graeme Taylor’s Magpie from the Mornington Yacht Club in Victoria and his crew of international sailing stars Steve Jarvin and Grant Simmer.

Four Sydney fleet yachts finished in the top ten placings with former world champion Iron Lotus winning races, but placing seventh overall because of an OCS in race three.

Gosford Sailing Club hosted the championship which attracted a fleet of 39 yachts, 11 from the Sydney fleet. Unfortunately, races five and six had to be abandoned because of a windless waterway but the best sailing was reserved for the last race when 22 knots of breeze came in from the south.

Iron Lotus, with Tom King at helm, led almost throughout the final race with Magpie finishing second to clinch an overall win from last year’s champion Caio (Doug McGain) who sails with the Sydney fleet as a member of the CYCA. 

Magpie had a consistent score of 2-1-3-9-2 for 17 points, Caio finished with 21 points from a scorecard of 1-7-6-2-5.  Third overall went to RSYS member Matt Whitnall in Umami, with 34 points from placings of 3-3-11-6-11.

Michael Coxon, sailing No Star,  placed fifth overall on 34 points, seventh to Iron Lotus on 64 points.

Peter Campbell


Hell Razor wins Milson Memorial Cup

Prominent Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron member Ian MacDiarmid on Saturday sailed his harbour racing yacht Hell Razor to a somewhat rare victory for a RSYS boat in the Squadron’s historic Milson Memorial Cup.

In recent years, results of the Milson Memorial Cup, one of three short ocean races conducted each year by the Squadron, have been dominated by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia boats contesting the Milson Cup as part of that clubs’ Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore.

Ian MacDiarmid normally races Hell Razor in the Squadron’s Division 1 of the Harbour racing series, but enjoys the break to go racing off Sydney Heads in his club’s traditional short ocean races.

Hell Razor was declared provisional winner of the Milson Memorial Cup, decided on PHS handicaps, second and third place going to two CYCA boats, Warwick Sherman’s Occasional Coarse Language and Adrian van Bellen’s Jackpot.  In fourth place was another RSYS yacht, Rod Pearse’s Ultreya.

In Division 2, the Royal Thames Yacht Club Eddystone Lighthouse Trophy, went to CYCA entrant Saltshaker (Peter Franki), second place going to Soundtrack (John Amos), third to the RSYS entrant King Billy (Phil Bennett,).

Olympic yachtsman David Forbes has clearly lost none of his helming skills over the near 42 years since he won a gold medal in the Star class at the 1972 Munich Games.

While his current yacht, the Kaiko 52 Merlin is a far cry from the two-man Star, the need for good helming and tactics remain unchanged to be successful, and Forbes certainly is still a leader in the sport.

Merlin today scored a fine line honours win in the Milson Memorial Cup, finishing well ahead of Nine Dragons (Box Cox) and Occasional Coarse Language (Warwick Sherman).

Merlin revelled in what principal race officer David Reid described as “a beautiful Sydney summer nor’easter.”   Reid expressed surprise at the small size of the fleet, including CYCA boats contesting their Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore.

“Forbes had got an excellent start with Merlin leading the 22 boats fleet around the windward mark for the first time and extending that lead by the second rounding and on the run back to the finish in Watsons Bay,” Reid reported from the RSYS committee boat.

Of 30 entries for Division 1, only 12 started in Division 1, 10 in Division 2. Division 2 was reduced by two when Crosshaven (Justin Pelly and Sean Rahilly) and Orbit (Matthew Brown) retired shortly after the start.

Peter Campbell

Jordan Reece scores another Cup win for Squadron

For the second consecutive year, a representative of the host club, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, has won the prestigious Hardy Cup Under 25, ISAF Grade 3 match racing event on Sydney Harbour.

Jordan Reece (22) and his Estate Master crew of Max Vos (19), Milly Bennett  (19) and Jaiden Stevens (21), headed the leader board from day one,  winning 24 matches and losing just three in a dominating demonstration of match racing in small boats.

Their tactics were near perfect, as were their sailing techniques in handling the Elliott 8 sports boats in a wide variety of breezes. Today’s semi-finals began in very light conditions but freshened to 8 knots from the south-east, enabling RSYS race officers to complete the entire program on schedule.

For Jordan, victory came with his fifth attempt to win the Hardy Cup, donated by eminent yachtsman and Squadron member Sir James Hardy to promote the skills of match racing among youth sailors. 

For crew Max Vos and Milly Bennett this was their first Hardy Cup, but along with skipper Reece and Jaiden Stevens they proved a formidable combination against leading youth sailors from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

After two round-robins, the four finalists were Jordan Reece (RSYS), David Gilmour (Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, WA), Chris Steele (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, NZ) and Jay Griffin (Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW).

Reece chose to take on Gilmour in the first semi-final but lost the first flight to the West Australia who last won the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta in Perth, WA. “We had a hard fight back to win the next two races and move on to the final,” Reece said.

With Jay Griffin making a late burst, beating the leading New Zealander Chris Steele 2-0, the stage was set for a final between teams from either side of Sydney Harbour.

The RSYS team skippered by Jordan Reece won the first two matches against Jay Griffin and his CYCA team,  but Griffin fought back to take out race three.

“In the fourth match Jay was leading with about 50 metres to the finish,” Reece recalled. ‘’We gybed, luffed them and they received a penalty;  game over for Jay!”

In the petit final David Gilmour defeated Chris Steele 2-0.

Jay Reece’s win in the Hardy Cup 2014 follows the victory by another RSYS skipper, David Chapman.  Since the first Hardy Cup match racing in 2001, Squadron teams have now won eight times, three of those victories going to Michael Dunstan in 2002, 2005 and 2006.

Sir James Hardy watched the three day event from his classic gaff-rigger Nerida and it must have given him great pleasure to see his concept of youth match racing bearing fruition. 

Of the eight individual winners of the Hardy Cup, almost every one has gone on to achieve further national and international success as key adult crew members, including tacticians aboard high-performance keelboat classes such as Farr 40s and TP52.

In fact, Jordan Reece and two of his crew,  Max Vos and Jaiden Stevens will be racing aboard rival Farr 40s in the Tasmanian and Australian champions in Hobart starting on Friday week, 14 February.  Last year’s Hardy Cup winner, David Chapman will also be racing, as tactician aboard the crack Tasmanian contender Voodoo Chile.  

Then it’s off to the USA for Reece, taking up the role of Director of the Chicago Match Racing Centre through to the end of the year.

It will be no slowdown for the other member of the winning Hardy Cup crew, with Milly Bennett moving up to the role of helmsperson in a New Zealand regatta.

Peter Campbell

Close scoring for Perseverance Trophy

Only one point separates the top three yachts in the Perseverance Trophy going into Saturday’s Milson Memorial Cup, the last of three short ocean races conducted each season by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

The Trophy is awarded for yachts entered through the RSYS in the Gascoigne Cup, the Morna Cup and the Milson Memorial Cup and is based on combined division PHS results in each race.

Going into Saturday’s short ocean race, Rod Pearse’ Dehler 41 Ultreya is on 4 points while equal on 5 points are Peter Williams’Oceanis 50 Ceilidh and Phil Bennett’s King 38, King Billy. 

Ultreya has had two second placings under Perseverance Trophy scoring,  while King Billy and Ceilidh have each had a first place and a fourth.

She is also leading the Division 1 of the Squadron summer harbour pointscore by just one point from Ian MacDiarmid’s Hell Razor and Charles Curran’s Sydney.

A fleet of 40 yachts has been entered for the Milson Memorial Cup, which is also part of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Grant Thornton Short Ocean Pointscore.

The impressive fleet includes several Rolex Sydney Hobart Race competitors, including Tony Kirby’s Patrice, Paul Clitheroe’s Balance, the Ed Psaltis-skippered Midnight Rambler and Chris Bran’s Branew,  along with Bob Steel’s Quest and David Forbes’ Merlin.

Also among the Milson Memorial Cup fleet are several of the Squadron Division 1 harbour racing fleet, including Ultreya (Rod Pearse), Willyama (Richard Barron), Huntress (Philip Grove), Wine-dark-sea (Peter Lowndes) and Hell Razor (Ian MacDiarmid).

Peter Campbell