Anchorages and Destinations on Sydney Harbour​

Members and their guests are invited to the Cruising Division's next Forum: 'Anchorages and Destinations on Sydney Harbour​' on 28 March.     

The Squadron’s Cruising Division came to be a result of trying to offer more for those that may not see racing as their number one priority but enjoy being out on the water. Your committee’s main aim is to encourage members to use their boats, and in the case of racers, to use their boats for more than just racing.

The Cruising Division has hosted many an interesting evening where we have learnt much about the history of our harbour, to following the adventures of fellow mariners in the Med, the Antarctic and even in the Americas and Admiral’s Cup, however in March we’d like to focus on what YOU can do having a wonderful cruising playground right on your own bow (doorstep).

Greer Leonard and Anthony Bell from aboard The Count will host an evening where they’ll share a few easily accessible anchorages and short trip locations that are possible to reach short handed and importantly all a safe distance and safe sailing from home.

They’ll also offer a fun prize for a next season’s Twilight race for the winner and some friends.



Event details

Date: Wednesday 28 March
Time: 6pm for 6.20pm start 
Cost: There is no cost to attend the presentation, but please RSVP to assist with the setting up.

Book here

NB This event is open only to RSYS Members and their guests.









Calling all boat owners!

Is herding cats easier than locating crew? And once found, do you struggle to keep them onboard (figuratively that is!) 

The Sailing Office has a solution...

RSYS has adopted 'Sail Connect', an app that 

 - captures crew's details

 - allows you to 'invite' them to one or many races/regattas/series

 - lists events at RSYS and other clubs

 - at a glance shows you who's coming. 

Saving you time and bother!

RSYS Club Captain and General Manager at Australian Sailing David Edwards says, "SailConnect is a fantastic tool for managing your sailing calendar and communicating with crew. It is simple to set up, easy to use and far more effective than email. It saves a lot of time and you can see who is rostered on at a glance. With SailConnect there are no more excuses for not being able to find crew!"

See for yourself by downloading the Sail Connect app from the App Store today. 

Find out more at

Northern Havoc takes out 2018 Etchells NSW Championship

Iain Murray’s Northern Havoc sailing for the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and Chris Hampton’s Tango from Brighton, Victoria, maintained the rage to finish first and second at the 2018 Etchells NSW title sailed on Sydney Harbour in superb conditions.

 >> View day three video here

 “We’ve had lovely nor’easters for the past two days and quite strong ebb tides which really opened the race course and the opportunities, and you could see this in the scores,” Murray commented. “You had to get a good start and get up that first beat. It wasn’t easy. We had some good races and some less so - in the end our tough races weren’t as tough as for others.”

 Murray and Hampton finished day one Captain and Commander respectively, and that’s how the final series scores panned out, just a single point separating the two front-runners after three days of hard grind hosted by the Sydney Etchells fleet.

 “Iain and his crew really won the regatta on Saturday when they carried on with a broken backstay in the second race and then with a jury-rigged set-up posted a good score in race 6,” said Sydney Etchells Fleet Captain Mike Tyquin adding, “That performance really underlined how well they sailed”. 

 Martin Hill’s Lisa Rose moved into third overall from a 40-boat fleet representing NSW, Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria. Hill is spreading himself across two classes approaching the season-end; the Farr 40 nationals next month at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron as skipper of HillPDA Racing and the 2018 Etchells World Championship.

 “This was our first regatta as a team on the new boat and we are building up to do as well as we can at the Brisbane worlds in October we’ve luckily already qualified for,” said tactician David Chapman. “We have a three-year campaign planned and we are trying to work out the best crew fit. Martin steers, Julian Plante’s on main and he used to steer, I’m doing tactics and I used to do main and Mark Langford is on the bow.

 “In two weeks we are going to defend our Etchells NZ National Championship title, then we’ll do the Victorian States and then we are ramping up for the world championship at RQYS. We’ve committed to next year’s worlds in Texas then Fremantle the year after. After that Martin will decide whether he’s happy to continue; as he says, ‘it’s the best fleet in the world’,” Chapman added.

 Matt Chew’s Gen XY was the highest placed Queensland team, fourth in the final standings against Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron clubmate Peter Conde’s Encore in seventh place and winning Etchells Grand Masters.

The Royal Perth Yacht Club team campaigning The Cure finished just outside the top 10 but in terms of their worlds preparation skipper Ray Smith said the series was perfect. “It was fun and challenging with difficult conditions on Friday. We had fairly specific goals for this regatta and while it’s nice to get higher up the results sheet they weren’t the only criteria - we were trying out a couple of new systems and sails, and it wasn’t my boat. A very tough fleet; at least 15 solid crews.”

 One of four Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club youth teams cracked a top ten finish on day three, Sunday February 18, 2018, skipper Will Dargaville leading the crew. He described Friday’s outing as “average” then on Saturday in the final race Pam was holed solidly at the bow (not their fault). A quick duck and sail-repair tape patch job later and the youth crew went back out on Sunday to finish tenth over the line in the series’ final race eight. A lucky draw winning ticket also gifted the team a brand new North Sails jib.

 “We’ve been sailing for a couple of months; we’ve never really done big fleet keelboat racing and we improved each day,” the young skipper said. In awe of the talent on display Dargaville added: “the fleet quality this weekend will be hard to beat heading into the worlds.”

 The RSYS’ next Etchells event is the Etchells Sydney Fleet’s world qualifying series March 27 to April 7 comprising seven races.

 RSYS race officer Rob Ridley said Saturday and Sunday were picture perfect, nor’easters averaging 17 knots and boats spread across the width of the harbour from the start north of Clark Island to the top marks towards Watson’s Bay. “The fact they were using the whole harbour means they felt they could do well right across the course,” Ridley said.

 The Sydney Etchells thanks fleet sponsors ZhikNorth Sails and Mercedes-Benz Sydney who between them provided excellent competitor prizes.

Sydney Etchells list of entries and website 

Full results

Find out more at:


By Lisa Ratcliff/OCC

Photo by Andrea Francolini

NSW Championship - day one to Iain Murray

Three races into the 2018 Etchells NSW Championship and the 1984 class world champion Iain Murray and one of his crew from that campaign lead the series and an A-grade fleet.


Each race produced a different top three on day one, Friday February 16, 2018, sailed in average 15 knot sou’easters on Sydney Harbour under the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and Sydney Etchells fleet banner.

RSYS Member Murray’s Northern Havoc leads Chris Hampton’s Tango, the defending NSW champion from Victoria, and Tom King’s Iron Lotus, another former world championship heavyweight.

“We had a good day considering we started with a recall in race one,” Murray said. “The sou’easter was pretty gusty giving quite a lot of opportunities for shifts. There’s plenty of golf left in this game.

“Paul Westlake was one of my winning crew in 1984 so other than the odd day yacht here and there it’s been 34 years between drinks.” Grant Simmer will replace Westlake when it comes to Murray’s final world championship line-up, with Richie Allanson the third crew member. “Richie and I are two peas in a pod,” the Australian Sailing performance director added.

Hampton hasn’t reached the heights of world champion yet, but he’s managed some noteworthy class results and on debut at the state title was well placed among the talent pool he says goes very deep.

“Our results improved as the day went on; we don’t have any local knowledge and having an island at the top end of the course was a new experience for us, and a bit of a handicap for the visitors. Our boat speed was good and we could hold lanes. We are on a worlds campaign taking in the major regattas and we’ll just keep pushing on.”

Second in race one was Peter Alexander, a popular four-decade long Etchells veteran whose nickname is Pierre le Grand and boat name is Tonic. Explaining the moniker he says: “I had previously used long names and wanted a short name that was not serious, so Tonic, as in life not the drink with Gin, filled the brief.”

RSYS race officer Rob Ridley said the racing was compact and competitive with little spread between first and last finishers on two course areas, one starting in Taylor’s Bay and the other in Chowder Bay to accommodate the right trending breeze.

“The fleet enjoyed fluctuating 15kts gusting up to 18, a bit of a lottery with the wind, plenty of summer sunshine and Sydney Harbour to themselves,” Ridley said, noting Saturday will bring the hordes from Sydney’s many yacht clubs plus recreational boaties out in numbers, thereby changing the series’ dynamics.

Racing commences at 1330hrs on Saturday February 17 in forecast nor’easters and on Sunday the first warning is at 1230hrs with the presentation ceremony conducted at the host club immediately after racing.

The Sydney Etchells thanks fleet sponsors ZhikNorth Sails and Mercedes-Benz Sydneywho between them have come up with some excellent competitor prizes.


Sydney Etchells list of entries and website 

Full results

Find out more at:


By Lisa Ratcliff/OCC

video by mikemcloughlinmoments

photo by darcicphotography

Etchells NSW Championship - the path to the Worlds


The Australian Etchells fleet is edging towards a world championship in Brisbane and the NSW title regatta on Sydney Harbour this weekend is an important opportunity for those crews with a worlds challenge brewing to test their mettle against some of the class’ best. 

Four Queensland entries plus one each from Victoria and Western Australia are making the journey to join the majority NSW contingent in the three-day regatta, February 16-18, hosted by the Sydney Etchells fleet out of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. 

A strong fleet of 41 Etchells will commence their NSW title contest on Friday, among them many former national champions and a number of world-beaters, in the popular one design class that’s been around since the 1960s and according to Queenslander Matt Chew “has always been cool”. 

For Gen XY skipper Chew and his crew Ashley Deeks, Ben Vercoe and Brian Donovan, the NSW title marks the start of their run towards a home world championship at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in October. 

“We have kept training pretty low key and now we are doing the NSW event and then the Victorian championship. We are ramping up and planning to peak at the end. We’ll see; we are trying to time our run to the worlds,” Chew said. 

On the cool factor he reckons: “Etchells have always been cool. I sail all the foiling boats but there’s something about coming back to an Etchells that levels the field. In other classes it’s about athleticism but with Etchells it’s who picks the wind. It’s very pure and simple; I think that’s why a lot of pro sailors come back to the class, to measure themselves against their peers.” 

Sydney Etchells fleet captain Mike Tyquin says, “Yet again after more than 40 years the Etchells Class shows its depth of class and broad appeal with a fantastic 41 boat fleet in Australia’s largest and leading one design keelboat class. The racing will be a real spectacle on Sydney Harbour and RSYS is ready for the fleet to put on a great regatta. Looking at the start list I can make the case for about a dozen boats to have a claim on winning the regatta, and of course plenty of well-performing club crews will mix up the results. I am very excited about what the four youth teams from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club will bring, I expect them to perform very well." 

Winner of the RSYS Milson’s Silver Goblets last November, Jeanne-Claude Strong’s Yandoo XX, is just one of the notable entries. Other ranked sailors include past world champions Iain Murray (Northern Havoc), Peter Merrington (Top 40) and Olympic gold medallist Tom King skippering the 2012 Etchells Worlds victor Iron Lotus he co-owns with David Edwards and Ivan Wheen. 

An eight-race schedule is planned over three days and each afternoon the ‘Maillot Jaune’, or in this case a yellow North Sails flag, will be awarded to the ‘boat of the day’ with the best set of scores. 

The weekend forecast indicates strongest winds on Friday - up to 19kts of SSE breeze, SE to 8kts on Saturday and even lighter sou’easters on Sunday.

On Friday 16 February the first warning signal is at 1230hrs, on Saturday the program commences at 1330hrs and on Sunday it reverts back to first warning at 1230hrs with the presentation ceremony conducted at the host club immediately after racing.

The Sydney Etchells thanks fleet sponsors ZhikNorth Sails and Mercedes-Benz Sydney who between them have come up with some excellent competitor prizes.

View list of entries and crew at  
Full results will be posted at

Find out more at:


 By Lisa Ratcliff/OCC


Landmark Hardy Cup Win

Congratulations to Clare Costanzo (RPAYC) and her team who have won the Hardy Cup 2018. 

For the first time since its inauguration in 2001, a female led all-women crew brilliantly captured the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s longstanding Hardy Cup Sydney International Match Racing Regatta trophy at the end of four days of intense competition on Sydney Harbour.

Last year Clare Costanzo and her Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club teammates finished bridesmaids at the same event. On Thursday February 8, 2018 the RPAYC’s five-strong youth team beat George Anyon’s Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron team 3-0 in the finals, sailed in 20+ knot nor’easters off the host club at Kirribilli.

In doing so Costanzo broke an 18-year run of gun male skippers taking out the grade 3 youth event, and with an all-female crew.

l to r: Ruby Scholten, Celia Wilson, Jess Angus, Hannah Lanz and Clare Costanzo

Costanzo, Jess Angus, Hannah Lanz, Ruby Scholten and Celia Willison celebrated with a swim and some champagne then official photos before three of the five dashed to the airport for a 7.30pm flight to New Zealand, where training for the final youth match racing regatta in the series of three begins today, Friday 9 February.

“We’ll have to celebrate our win at the end of the next regatta, the Nespresso Cup,” the 21-year-old winning skipper said from the airport, flanked by Angus and Lanz and a change of teammates for New Zealand’s premier youth match racing event.

“We were aiming for a podium finish; to win is amazing. The results are a credit to the crew, we won by out-sailing the boys in terms of our crew work. On the last morning we said to our coach Tom (Spithill), ‘where’s our motivational speech?’ and he said, ‘you don’t need it!’ A big thank you to Tom, who never stopped believing in us, and the RSYS race management team,” Costanzo added.

Spithill has spent the week on-water supporting his two RPAYC crews, the other helmed by Clare’s younger sister Juliet. Today he’s waking up in Auckland where he will coach and mentor two different teams fielded by his club for the Nespresso Youth International Match Racing Cup, February 9 - 13.

“The result is huge for women in sport. This team proved how competitive they are both in terms of their match racing tactics and boat handling skills on the Elliotts,” the proud coach said of the ground-breaking Hardy Cup victory.

Second was George Anyon (RNZYS) and third was Tom Grimes (CYCA).

Anyon (RNZYS) vs Costanzo (RPAYC)

RSYS Commodore Richard Chapman summarised: “The Hardy Cup sits at the end of the youth match racing summer calendar so the teams are well-practised and we’ve been privileged to watch first-rate competition all week. In Thursday’s finals we witnessed some of the best and closest match racing we have ever seen.

“It’s been an excellent regatta for top youth sailors like Clare and George Anyon, but also for the less-experienced skippers such as Hayden Brown from Sandringham and the RNZYS’s Patrick Harris, who made it through to the semi-finals and pushed Clare all the way.

“It’s wonderful to see match racing return to favour; it’s a terrific discipline for both young sailors learning their craft and also the sailing stars of tomorrow who have America’s Cup ambitions,” the Commodore added.

The four-day schedule of round-robin racing whittled down to four finalists was completed under the guidance of race officer Ian Kingsford Smith and his on-water team in consistent Sydney summer conditions. Morning winds were generally too light for racing to commence, then the NE sea breeze arrived at lunchtime and built to 18 knots over the course of most afternoons, stronger on the last day.

Very noticeable to RSYS organisers was the camaraderie between the teams from NZ, interstate and around Sydney, and the respect shown to Costanzo and her team throughout the series.

The Hardy Cup Sydney International Match Racing Regatta will be held at the Squadron next year from the 3rd to 7th of February 2019. 


Article by Lisa Ratcliff, On Course Communications
Photos by Darcie Collington, Darcie C Photography
Video by Mike McLoughlin, Mike McLoughlin Moments


Hardy Cup Day 3

Competitors enjoyed an excellent day on the water today, 7 February, with the first of the knock-out rounds.

George Anyon's team (RNZYS) continued to find their form, the only team to make it through to the semi finals 3–0. The teams skippered by Clare Costanzo (RPAYC) and Tom Grimes (CYCA) both went through 3–1, while the match between John Lynch (DSC) and Patrick Harris (RNZYS) was a real thriller with five races. After Harris took the first race, Lynch won the next two putting them on match point. Lynch took a "must win" match to draw level, two apiece, and then went on to take the final deciding match to go through to the semis 3–2. Incredibly close racing!

The Semis and Finals will be held tomorrow, Thursday 8 February - come down to the squadron and watch the action!
Sailing will take place in front of the Clubhouse between 11.30pm and 3.30pm. The best view will be from the lower (Junior) lawn. We will set up tables and chairs so that Members and their guests can order snacks, meals and beverages from the CCA and enjoy the afternoon's racing accompanied by a commentary by super-coach Nev Wittey.

RSYS Youth Coach Klade Hauschildt commented 'This regatta was an essential learning experience for Charlotte Griffin and her all-girl crew. Individually, they are talented sailors but this is their first season together, so I'm not focussing on their result (12th) but I am confident they will coalesce into a formidable team next season. Nick Rozenauers' team got through to the Quarter Finals however some technical faults in their starts saw them lose out to Tom Grimes, CYCA. They then took 7th place overall in the playoffs. Neverteess the crew is happy and motivated for the coming year for which they will remain together as a performance crew.' 





Hardy Cup Day 2

Tuesday 6 February saw completion of the Round Robin stage, and it was Clare Costanzo's ladies team from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club who took an unbeaten run today to finish top of the leader board with a 10–1 score.

The teams lead by John Lynch (DSC) and Tom Grimes (CYCA) fill the remaining podium spots, both with a score of 8–3, but with Lynch taking the tie-break and 2nd place. The RSYS team helmed by Nick Rozenauers are through to the quarter finals which will be held tomorrow, 7 February. The top eight will be paired off into a first to three wins knock-out, followed by play-offs for 5th to 12th places overall. 




Watch the action on Thursday 8
Sailing will take place in front of the Clubhouse between 12.30pm and 3.30pm. The best view will be from the lower (Junior) lawn. We will set up tables and chairs so that Members and their guests can order snacks, meals and beverages from the CCA and enjoy the afternoon's racing accompanied by a commentary by super-coach Nev Wittey.

Hardy Cup Day 1

Twleve teams took to the waters just off our clubhouse yesterday, 5 February. They represent: Royal Freshwater Yacht Club, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, Sandringham Yacht Club, Darwin Sailing Club, RPAYC, CYCA and RSYS.

After six flights, John Lynch from Darwin (below left) ended the day in the lead with a perfect scorecard - despite falling out of the boat at one point! His success marks a dramatic improvement on his performance at the Hardy Cup last year. He is closely followed by Tom Grimes, CYCA and Clare Costanzo, RPAYC (below right) who each achieved 5 out of 6 wins. 

The Squadron is fielding two crews. From l to r: Madi Kornman, Mitch Evans, Marlena Berzins, Charlotte Alexander, Charlotte Griffen (H), Nick Rozenauers (H), Tiana Wittey, Zac Quinlan, Charlotte Porter and Angus Olding, with coach Klade Hausschildt, far left.

A number of spectators gathered on the Junior lawn for a clear view of the events unfolding in front of the Clubhouse whilst Event Patron Sir James Hardy observed the action from his boat Nerida. 





Watch the action on Thursday 8
Sailing will take place in front of the Clubhouse between 12.30pm and 3.30pm. The best view will be from the lower (Junior) lawn. We will set up tables and chairs so that Members and their guests can order snacks, meals and beverages from the CCA and enjoy the afternoon's racing accompanied by a commentary by super-coach Nev Wittey.




Ron Holland, Speaker Event

For more than 50 years Ron Holland’s innovative designs have repeatedly shaken up the world of yacht design, both for ocean racing and superyachts. 

His memoir 'All The Oceans – Designing by the seat of my pants' is being launched at RSYS, and though it's a private event, RSYS Members are welcome to attend.

Event details:
Date: Monday 26 February
Time: 6pm
Venue: Carabella Room
Cost: $95 incl. book + welcome drinks & canapés

>> Book via the organiser's website here


Hardy Cup 2018 set to Illuminate the Harbour

Some of the best Trans-Tasman youth match racing teams will traverse the continent to be part of the Squadron’s longstanding Hardy Cup Sydney International Match Racing Regatta to be sailed February 5 - 8 on Sydney Harbour.

Twelve youth teams of males and females aged 18 to 25 will represent two nations, three Australian states plus the Northern Territory and eight different yacht clubs in Australia and New Zealand at the Grade 3 Hardy Cup the RSYS first hosted back in 2001.

America’s Cup and Olympic sailor Sir James Hardy put his name to the prestigious trophy at the outset and he’s still Patron, saying “It is a tremendous pleasure to watch Australia’s future champions developing their skills on Sydney Harbour.”

George Anyon from the RNZYS, and ranked number 14 in the world starts the Hardy Cup as favourite. The CYCA’s Tom Grimes is another high-ranking skipper expected to be among the finalists.

Clare Costanzo is one of three female skippers, two of those from the RPAYC’s Youth Development program including her younger sister Juliet who is following in her match racing wake. Clare is ninth in the women’s world rankings and finished the Hardy Cup runner-up in 2017, behind DBSC’s team of Ashlen Rooklyn, Ben Robinson, Pete Langman and Chris Steel.

The third female skipper competing at Hardy Cup 2018 is Charlotte Griffin from the Squadron. The cup will be Charlotte’s third youth match racing event. Previously Charlotte has competed at the Harken International Youth Championships and the Marinassess Women’s Matching Racing Regatta where her skill and speed on the water drew a lot of attention from other competitors. Coming from a dinghy background Charlotte has competed in 420’s for several years and recently competed at the 420 World Championship in Perth.

The five-stage Hardy Cup competition is as follows: stage 1 - a single round robin, stage 2 - a single round robin, stage 3 - quarter final knockout & semi-final knockout, stage 4 - petit final knockout and lastly, stage 5 - the final knockout.

For plenty of information on the Hardy Cup including all regatta documents, list of competing teams and live results once the regatta begins go to and

History of the Hardy Cup
The Squadron's youth sailing program commenced in 1960 and in 2001 the club hosted the inaugural Hardy Cup, the trophy donated by longstanding regatta Patron Sir James Hardy who wanted to foster the match racing and tactical skills of young sailors. Prior to 2001 the Royal Australian Navy conducted the event for many years but due to the changes in the Navy training structure the competition lapsed until the RSYS picked it up. The Hardy Cup has been won by the following helmsmen who in later years went onto success at the World Match Racing Tour and other professional roles in the sport: Michael Dunstan RSYS, AUS (2002, 2005, 2006), Adam Minoprio RNZYS, NZL (2007), Evan Walker CYCA, AUS (2008, 2010), David Chapman RSYS, AUS (2013).


By Lisa Ratcliff
On Course Communications