Cheers to our Volunteers

This week, 21-27 of May, is officially National Volunteer Week, an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. Did you know, more than 6 million Australians volunteer every year!

RSYS would like to contribute to raising awareness of this important area for clubs and organisations by sharing the story of some of our Club's volunteers. One example is Ian Kingsford Smith who, together with a large number of talented sailors and race officials, supported the sailing events for the 2000 Olympics. Many, just like Ian, were active sailors who still raced on a regular basis. Ian enjoyed volunteering at the Olympics and has conducted races at the Squadron ever since. Ian also gives generously of his time in many other areas of yacht administration. Other volunteers that have been active since the Olympics include David Flakelar, who is still an active Race Officer.

Some Members began their involvement well before the Olympics: our Chairman of Race Officials Martin Clark has been officiating since the early 90's. Another sterling example is Joyce Warn, who still conducts various Twilight events. Our Honorary Handicapper John Maclurcan has been dedicated to volunteering both for RSYS and other Harbour clubs for the better part of 40 years.

All in all, more than 40 Club Members volunteered for the Sailing Office during 2017-18. We are tremendously grateful to all those individuals, as the Squadron sailing calendar could not have been delivered without their dedication and support. We estimate that, including the work of our Committee Members, our volunteers probably did in excess of 5,000 hours of volunteering at the Squadron. 

We believe this calls for a week of celebration!

By Johan Hedberg, Sailing Manager

Youth Sailing Prize Giving

The Youth Sailing Prizing Giving was held on 18 May 2018 and concluded the 2017-2018 season. The event celebrated the achievements of the youth sailors with a number of them receiving awards recognising their outstanding performances. More than 110 youth sailors and parents attended the event, along with their coaches and the Youth Sailing Committee. During his welcoming speech, Commodore Richard Chapman reflected on the sense of community that had been engendered over the last season and congratulated all the sailors on their achievements throughout the year.

Presentations and awards:

Optimist Green Fleet
Most Improved – Ben Tattersall
Most Outstanding – Oliver Swiderski

Optimist Fleet 
Junior Sailing Pointscore Trophy – Isobel Payne
HB Jarrett Junior Sailing Championship Shield – Rohan Stannage
Most Improved – Abby Gilbert
Most Outstanding – Rohan Stannage

Laser 4.7 
Youth Committee 4.7 Handicap Trophy – Ashleigh Baber
Marj Colman 4.7 Scratch Trophy – Dan Costandi
Most Improved – Gretel Payne
Most Outstanding – Brooke Wilson and Dan Costandi

Laser Radial 
T E Morgan Memorial Trophy – Tim Stubbs-Race
Youth Committee Radial Scratch Trophy – Campbell Patton
Most Improved – Zac West
Most Outstanding – Maddie O’Shea and Campbell Patton

Laser Club Championship - The Chairman’s Trophy of Youth Sailing
Laser Radial – Campbell Patton
Laser 4.7 – Dan Costandi

Optimist Club Championship
Optimist – Rohan Stannage

RSYS Youth Summer Camp Australia Day Regatta Trophy
Winner – Team Yellow: Rowena Brown, Douglas Cassidy, Harriet McLachlan, Charles Smith, Sylvie Stannage, Simon Swiderski, Marlena Berzins (coach)

Special Perpetual and Clubmanship Awards:

Swish Perpetual Trophy
Charlotte Alexander

Optimist Achievement Award
Oliver McLachlan

Optimist Award for Excellence
Rowena Brown

The ‘Spirit of the Squadron’ Trophy
Charlie Smith

The Paul Warring Memorial Trophy
Oskar Hansen

The Norman G Booth Trophy
Tim Stubbs-Race

2018/2019 Season Youth Captains
Sylvie Stannage and Charlie Smith

2018/2019 Squadron Development Program Captain
Charlotte Griffin

Article and photos by Zac Quinlan

Success at MHYC Women's Regatta

Last Sunday three boats represented RSYS in the inaugural MHYC Women's Regatta. Boats were crewed by RSYS Members and LOTS graduates, who in some cases were participating in their first regatta. There were 22 boats from six clubs around Sydney that were split into three divisions: Keelboat all-female crew, Keelboat female helm and One Design female helm.

It was an almost perfect Autumn day - magnificent sunshine and mild temperatures, but very light and variable breezes. The morning westerly progressively backed all the way to the east, never exceeding 7kts and sometimes disappearing altogether. Visiting Race Officer Elaine Fowler from RPAYC and the MHYC team managed to complete one windward/leeward and one passage race, both with shortened courses.

Elyse Guevara (RSYS/GSC) claimed the Adams 10 division win on a countback. Amanda Hicks (RSYS) on board Solacious 4441 (pictured top) finished third overall with her all-female crew, and our Tuesday Series winners Penny Scardifield, Margret Houston and Sally Pixley sailing on Cavatina were 4th in the same division.

Crews representing RSYS were:

Solacious (Beneteau First 29)  Skipper Amanda Hicks (RSYS), crew Muffi Barbour, Angelica Veness, Sue Roberts, Meredith Trevallyn-Jones, Christine Patton, Karyn Gojnich
Cavatina (Cavalier 26) Skipper: Penny Scardifield, Crew: Margret Houston, Sally Pixley
Lumine Lunae (Adams 10) Skipper: Elyse Guevara, Crew: Maria Nash, Liz Borberg, Olga Skatkova, Tong Gong

Thanks go to RSYS Members and owners of Lumine Lunae who loaned their boat to Elyse and crew who are preparing to sail in the Australian Women's Keelboat Regatta to be sailed in Melbourne in June.

Save the date - September 29-30, 2018.  RSYS is planning to hold a Women's Coaching Regatta combining racing, coaching and socialising.

article by Karyn Gojnich
photos by MHYC


2018 Cruise Presentation

The presentation on 11 May wrapped up an extremely successful 2018 Squadron Cruise. After spending five days in Pittwater from the 21 to 25 April, the event was a great opportunity for participants of the cruise to reconnect. Several of the cruise committee members commented on the presentation, particularly noting the wonderful camaraderie between all the participants.

At the presentation, Julian Farren-Price was awarded the Brian Northam Trophy for embodying the 'Spirit of The Cruise'. Julian has served on the Cruise Committee for 18 years and has been Cruise Captain twice.  John van Ogtrop was awarded the Erica J Trophy for 'Spirit of Whole Hearted Competition and Participation'.

The presentation also saw Arthur Psaltis pass over the flag to John Taylor (presented by Richard Lawson) after serving as Cruise Captain for the last two years. We thank Arthur for his contributions to the cruise and wish JT luck for his time as Captain.  

List of Awards

Article: Zac Quinlan
Image: Rene Chapman

Victory in the 2018 Trans-Tasman Challenge

Since the inaugural event in 1974, the Trans-Tasman Challenge has seen the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (RSYS) and Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) come together each year to determine whose Flag Officers are the best sailors. 

This year’s regatta was hosted by our Club, using our Elliott 7s and Members' Etchells. Despite a fickle north-westerly on the first day, the Squadron teams took an early lead with our boats securing the top spots in the first four races. Our Commodore Richard Chapman had a particularly good day with the lowest overall scorecard including two wins.

The second day of racing saw similar conditions to the first day with teams locking into their light wind modes. With a significant lead already built up against them, the RNZYS teams struggled to get momentum, and despite winning two races that day, could not close in on the Squadron’s lead. At the end of the day's racing the Squadron had claimed victory with a 47 point lead and consequently won the 44th Trans-Tasman Challenge.

Overall the regatta was a great success. In his closing address, Commodore Chapman reflected on 'The importance of the Trans-Tasman Challenge in keeping the relationship between the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and our own club so strong.' 

Rear Commodore David Ward also expressed his gratitude to those who had contributed to the event: 'My thanks go to the Squadron’s race committee who did an outstanding job running five races each day; the Senior Development Program Members who sailed with the Flag Officers on the Elliott 7s; and the Club Members who offered their Etchells.' 

Our Flag Officers look forward to next year’s regatta, to be hosted by RNZYS, when they hope to win the cup for the 23rd time. 

1st     Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron            – 157 pts
2nd    Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron  – 204 pts


article by Zac Quinlan
photos by Rene Chapman

ICOYC Cruise British Columbia

This year’s International Committee Of Yacht Clubs cruise will visit British Columbia from 3-13 September. The fleet will comprise 25 boats, both power and sail. Crews come from the Seattle YC and Royal Vancouver Yacht Club together with members of ICOYC yacht clubs from around the world including Royal Southern YC on the Solent and three from our own RSYS.

Members from the Squadron include David & Jill Henry, John & Robbie Hancox, James & Gaila Merrington, David & Sarah Salt, Peter Hemery & Pamela Hennessy, Richard & Sandy Lawson, and Rob Anderson along with several friends. The Salts, the Lawsons and Hemery participated in a previous ICOYC Cruise on the Chesapeake Bay in 2015 which was an outstanding event. 

Find out more here

Cruising Division presentation

The Next Cruising Division talk will take place on 23 May. Come and hear Sarah Goddard-Jones and Pete Lowndes of Wine-Dark Sea describe the first leg of their planned circumnavigation of Australia which commenced in Sydney but curtailed in Darwin, and the method by which the boat was returned to Sydney.

Always entertaining, Sarah and Pete are certain to provide an interesting evening.
Members may book online here

This presentation replaces the scheduled talk by Michael Thurston on Drina's South Georgia Expedition.

Drina departed Brisbane in September 2017 bound for South Georgia and a circumnavigation of Antarctica but has experienced two knockdowns in the Southern Ocean which has resulted in serious damage to the yacht, requiring a diversion for repairs and wintering. 

You can read about the knockdown events on their Facebook page dated 11 April here.

Youth Sailors Compete in Europe

Congratulations to the RSYS sailors who competed in the European championships last week.

In the Radials, Campbell Patton (pictured above) had a terrific event in Hungary finishing 3rd out of 154 boats. This has been a huge past few weeks as just a week ago he qualified to represent Bermuda at the Youth Worlds in Texas later in the year.

The 4.7s Europeans were held in Greece, and RSYS was well represented with Brooke Wilson finishing 11th, Sylvie Stannage 20th and Mina Ferguson 25th in a fleet of 104 boats. In the men's fleet, Boston Cortis did a great job finishing 32nd from 200 entries.

RSYS Members also participated in the presitgous Princess Sophia Trophy in Palma Majorca last week, with over 1200 Olympic class sailors competing in one of the largest events on the circuit. Finn Alexander led the Laser Mens Open fleet after two days and finished very credibly in tough conditions against a number of Olympic Medalists.

We will provide updates throughout the year of some of the RSYS sailors on the Olympic circuit, as August will see the first opportunity for countries to earn qualification to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Back at home, several of our Youth sailors made the NSW Youth Sailing team in numerous classes. RSYS will be represented in the 4.7s by Sylvie Stannage, Mina Ferguson, Brooke Wilson, Daniel Costandi and Evie Saunders (trial). In Laser Radials by Campbell Patton, Maddie O’Shea, Zac West, Boston Cortis and Tom Green. In Windsurfers by Vaughn O’Shea and in Nacra 15 by Will Cooley. This is a great achievement by all who have made the squads.

An Etchells shines brightest in the Varuna Trophy

Ten of our RSYS champion yachts and sailors came together to challenge for the Varuna Trophy. This challenge is by invitation only and the invitees are the top place getters in RSYS various classes and divisions. This makes for very exciting and competitive racing.  

Winds on Saturday 14 April were strong and shifty, which made racing demanding but still a lot of fun, according to the sailors.

The winner of the 2018 Varuna Trophy is the RSYS flagged Etchells Roué skippered by Mike Morris and crewed by David Brittain on mainsheet and bowman Matthew Seidel.

“This is a wonderful way to complete the season” said the winner Mike. When asked about his race strategy, he said it was quite simple: "Get in front of Malcolm Shaw and stay there!”  Congratulations to all on Roué for a great victory.
Second place went to another RSYS boat, the Sydney 60, aptly named Sydney and skippered by David Kellett and Charles Curran. The third placed yacht was the Etchells Plan A skippered by Andrew Patterson and sailing under the CYCA burgee. Congratulations to these crews as well.

A huge thank you to all competing champion yachts and we are looking forward to even greater numbers next year.

View the results here

RSYS Sailing Survey 2018

We have come to the end of another busy sailing season and in preparation for next season we would appreciate your input to sailing activities at RSYS.  We have prepared a short survey that should take no more than 10 minutes of your time to complete.

We would like to hear from boat owners and crew, both RSYS members and non-members and would appreciate your response by Thursday 26 April.

The survey is anonymous however all survey respondents that choose to leave their contact details at the end of the survey will go into a draw to receive dinner for two at the club up to the value of $250. 


We have also designed a survey for our Tuesday Twilight community

Your feedback will assist in future planning of the Club's sailing activities.
Yours in sailing,
Christian Brook and RSYS Sailing Committee

Yngling 50th Anniversary Celebration


Join us to celebrate 50 years of sailing in the International Yngling Class at the RSYS on Sunday 27 May.

Relive Yngling history via our 'sailors from the couch' covering the Early Days, Wittey Era, Olympic Era and the Present Day. 

Discover Sailing
Time: 10am to 12:30pm
A short sail (30 - 60 minutes) on an Yngling with experienced Yngling Sailors. No charge but you must register via Try Booking system below.
Time: 1:00pm
Venue: The Dining Room and Verandah
Graze from a selection of international foods from the countries where Ynglings are sailed
Cost: $50pp (drinks not included - available from the bar)

For queries, please contact Gary Wogas 0424 999 047 or

Please book via this Trybooking link