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MHYC Sailors at Hansa Nationals

Middle Harbour Yacht Club was well represented at the Combined Hansa Class Australian & NSW Championships held at Kogarah Bay Sailing Club over the Easter long weekend.  Competitors travelled from 7 States & Territories along with Japan and New Zealand.

MHYC sailors came away as NSW Champions in two classes and took two podium places in the Nationals.

Lachlan Clear returned to competition in the Liberty to finish 3rd in the 11 boat Australian Championships fleet and claiming the NSW Championship.

Two sailors from Sailability Middle Harbour, Natasha Garrity and Chester Bendall, took on the nationals as their first-time regatta after only a couple of practice runs in Sunday afternoon club racing.

Chester sailed in the Hansa 303 one-person competition, finishing a creditable 20th.  Natasha combined with past two-person champion David Staley to win the Hansa 303 two-person NSW Championship and finish 2nd in the Australian Champs. David also sailed in the Hansa 303 one-person competition, finishing 4th in the Nationals and 2nd in the NSW Championships.


Read more: MHYC Sailors at Hansa Nationals

Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship: Does it get any better?

Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s (MHYC) 40th Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) got away to a wonderful start on a warm sunny day that produced a light 8-10 knot breeze on the various courses.

Competitors sailed a Passage Race today. Paul Clitheroe’s TP52 Balance took honours in Division 1 from Stephen Proud’s always well-sailed Kernan 44, Swish.

In Division 2, MHYC yachtsmen Jack Stening and Col Gunn (Stormaway) got the jump on fellow member and perennial winner, JustADash (Phil Damp’s Beneteau First 40), light weather helping Stening and Gunn get there in the end with their Sydney 36.

“A great day’s sail in light air, which favours us, us our boat is light,” Stening said this evening. Light weather has its challenges; it requires a lot of concentration among other things. Sailing up the coast was like sailing in Paradise. We all on Stormaway talked about was a beautiful day it was and not to take it for granted.”

On beating JustADash, Stening said: “We were delighted, but we’re all friends. They nearly got us though. Early on we took advantage of the light air, but as the breeze picked up they sailed away from us. We had just enough in the end,” he said, not overstating their mere 21 second win over their friendly rival.

Stening, a regular in the Club’s major events, finished: “The organisers did a wonderful job - it’s a very well-run event.” Others concurred.

Martin Hill’s Hill PDA Racing won the Farr 40 component of the SSORC, the one-design class making its debut at the Championship. Hill has recently returned from competing at the Etchells Worlds in the US (he finished sixth) and admitted, “That helped us. You had to be aggressive, just as we did in the Etchells.”

Today he sailed this event against his Etchells tactician, David ‘Chappo’ Chapman and another regular, Julian Plante, both of whom sailed on Alan and Tom Quick’s third placed Outlaw. “I hope they’re still talking to me,” he said laughing.

A past MHYC Commodore, Hill said mainsheet hand, Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones, had told the crew to aim to finish as well as they started: “So we won the first and last races – did what the big boss told us,” he said after beating Gordon Ketelbey’s Zen to the punch by two points.

“We sailed off the Manly Circle – beautiful conditions - one of those ‘great to be alive’ days. Light 8-10 knots, with a bit of sheer – but quite consistent shifts – the current was quite strong. It was a classic start at pin end, go left, round top mark, stay left and gybe for the finish – not tactical racing. We seemed to have a speed advantage upwind.”  

The North Sails Super 12 Spring Regatta Seven Island’s Race was won by Stephen Barlow’s Lightspeed from Adrian Walter’s Little Nico, while the ever-popular Seven Islands pursuit style race fielded an entry of 28 yachts across three divisions.

Peter Woodhead’s XS3SS took out Division 1 from Larki Missiris’ Wild One, while Division 2 went to L’Attitude (Jon Short/Rob Hunt/Miles Bastick) with Roman Tarnawsky’s Can Can finishing second. Mike Gallagher, a regular on the podium, won Division 3 with his Jeanneau 409, Galan. Eric Gonzalez’s Sanity took up second spot.  

Gallagher detailed the course and competition: “Superb sailing on Sydney Harbour - as always - for a classic MHYC feature event. We enjoyed some steady but flicky breeze all the way to Cockatoo Island, especially as we went through the usual washing machine under Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Of the competition he said, “It’s always hard to keep track of the competition with such an array of start times, so it was all hands to the pump for maximum boat speed to win.

“We had gusts up to 20 knots as we came around Cockatoo and mastered the headsail peel – then had to depower quickly. The rest of the way to the finish was a hard slog. Then we saw the Fine Cotton cowboy (Mike Logan’s Fine Cotton) with his asymmetrical kite coming up behind us. We sailed home at 7 knots and beat them,” he said laughing.

Racing concludes with a single ocean tomorrow. For the first time the Club is introducing a hybrid course of laid and virtual marks to provide competitive racing for all types of boats.

Middle Harbour Yacht Club thanks Helly Hansen and Sydney City Marine for their support of the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship.

For results and all information on the SSORC, please go to: www.ssorc.mhyc.com.au

For Day One Videos by Bow Caddy Media - click here


By Di Pearson, MHYC Media


Photos by Crosbie Lorimer

Day One Presentation Photos by MHYC

Read more: Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship: Does it get any better?

Women's Keelboat Program

Hone your helming and crewing skills in a supportive environment with Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s new Women’s Keelboat Program. The Women’s Melges 20 Program consists of six coach-led training and racing sessions from November through March. The Melges 20’s are light and fast keelboats that provide a great way to learn all aspects of sailing as part of a small team. This progam will help you develop new skills and then put them to use in a race series set in beautiful Middle Harbour. The program will be held on Sunday’s and is open to all women 18 years and older. Space is limited so register now to secure your place.

Woman’s Melges 20 Program
 $595 for MHYC members
$695 for non-members*
12 November 12:30 - 4:30pm
19 November 12:30 - 4:30pm
11 February 12:30 - 4:30pm
25 February 12:30 - 4:30pm
11 March 12:30 - 4:30pm
25 March 12:30 - 4:30pm
Register online: http://www.mhyc.com.au/events/latest-news/1153-new-women-skeelboat-

*Includes MHYC membership value $326

Read more: Women's Keelboat Program

Day One SSORC Images by Crosbie Lorimer

Crosbie Lorimer was on the water for Day One of the Sydney Short Offshore Racing Championships that are being conducted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club in conjunction with the Super 12 Spring Regatta and Seven Islands Pursuit Race.

Read more: Day One SSORC Images by Crosbie Lorimer

Race Officials Training at MHYC

A Club Race Officer Course was held at MHYC on 24 & 25 October.  Aimed at educating people who wish to become involved with officiating in sailinmg, the course was led by Club PRO Phil Yeomans with assistance from Sailing Manager David Staley.  Race Officers play an important role within sailing, conducting racing at clubs, and enabling organised participation and competition.  Eleven club members participated along with three volunteers from other clubs.

MHYC is also hosting a half-day Australian Sailing Club Judge Seminar on Sunday 12 November from 9:00am to 1:30pm. The seminar will be led by Erika Kirby.   Judges play an important role within sailing ensuring on water adherence with particular rules and also in their capacity as members of protest committees to settle disputes off the water. Seminar enrolment is $65 and includes an Australian Sailing badged Zhik dry long sleeved polo shirt for participants once accredited.

To register for the Club Judge Seminar – click here

For more information about volunteering and officiating, contact Catherine Rofe in the Sailing Office - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more: Race Officials Training at MHYC

Sailing Instructions published ahead of a busy weekend

MHYC will be a hive of activity this weekend with offshore and inshore racing.

The Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championships (SSORC) comprise two ocean races - a passage race on Saturday and a hybrid course race on Sunday using laid and virtual marks.  

Saturday is the Seven Islands pursuit race incorporating all the harbour islands.  This is race 2 of the Jeanneau Cup Series.  With a separate fleet start, it will also provide the first race of the Super 12 Spring Regatta.  The Super 12s will be back on Sunday for three windward-leeward races to complete their series.  

The Notices of Race and Sailing Instructions for all the weekend's sailing can be downloaded from the Race Documents section of the SSORC Website - www.ssorc.mhyc.com.au


Read more: Sailing Instructions published ahead of a busy weekend

MHYC Summer School Holiday Camps

All the details have been released for the upcoming summer holidays.

Summer Program 2017/18

Tackers Camps: (Ages 7-12)

Tackers 1 – Having Fun!

Tackers 2 – Tricks & Techniques

Tackers 3 – Sailing Fast

4 day Camps – current MHYC Youth Members $395
Non Members $495 (includes MHYC Youth membership  through to August 2018)

Youth Discover Sailing Camps (Ages 12-18)

International Cadet, 420, Melges 20’s

4 day Camps – current MHYC Youth Members $395
Non Members $495 (includes MHYC Youth membership  through to August 2018)

All information at www.juniorsailing.com.au

Course Dates

Tackers Holiday Fun 9am - 3pm

Youth Discover Sailing Camps 9am – 3pm

Mon- Thurs   18th - 21st December

Mon – Thurs   8th - 11th January

Mon – Thurs 15th - 18th January

Mon – Thurs 22nd – 25th January

Fun sailing orientated holiday camps for 7 – 18 years of age

A great way to make new friends, adventuring around the Harbour and learning all the aspects of sailing

Safe, supervised holiday fun on the water!

Read more: MHYC Summer School Holiday Camps

Virtual marks innovation for Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship

Ian Box's Toy Box 2 on the run - MHYC pic

The 40th edition of Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s (MHYC) Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC) will be conducted on the weekend of 25-26 November and the Club is introducing innovations for the final day of racing.

Instead of the usual shorter windward/leeward races, the Club is replacing them with a single ocean race, using a hybrid course of laid and virtual marks to provide competitive racing for all types of boats

“It’s our intention that the Sunday course will commence with a windward-leeward around laid marks and then to one or more virtual marks," Race Officer Denis Thompson said.

“Using virtual marks enables us to set the course angles and length that will provide good racing on all points of sail without the logistical challenges of laying and retrieving marks in deep water

“While the idea of virtual marks may be new to many of our local sailors, they’ve been utilised for the Volvo Ocean Race and the Royal Ocean Racing Club in the UK. They have also been used for years to define restricted areas, traffic separation lanes for shipping and as course rounding marks,” Thompson ended.

The Sailing Instructions will be published one week before the SSORC so that navigators can plot the course well ahead of race day.  On-board navigation systems, or apps for portable devices such as Navionics can be used, provided there is a record of the plotted location of the virtual marks and the GPS track the boat sailed. 

The Notice of Race incorporates the World Sailing Appendix WP – Rules for racing around waypoints.

For the first time, the Sydney 38 East Coast Championship and Farr 40 One Design Series will be combined into the SSORC, sailing windward-leeward offshore courses on Saturday and the hybrid offshore course on Sunday.

Ian Box, MHYC Chairman of Special Events noted: “This event is embedded in the history of Middle Harbour Yacht Club and Offshore racing in Sydney and once again we are expecting a strong fleet across both Premier and One Design fleets for the 40th running of the regatta.”

Box, a past commodore of the Club, owns the successful XP 44 Toy Box 2, which he has entered in the Premier Class for IRC and ORCi: “My crew always look forward to participating in the regattas that offer close racing against yachts from a variety of clubs around NSW,” he commented.

“Two days of competitive racing at the SSORC are certainly a highlight of our sailing calendar, as is the Sydney Harbour Regatta in March. Both give us a great chance to test ourselves on the water and to catch up with fellow competitors at the post-racing debriefs on the beach back at the Club.”

Racing commences on Saturday, when competitors will sail a Passage Race, which includes MHYC and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Ocean Pointscore. It is expected, many yachts will race over both days for points towards the final SSORC trophy.

Running in tandem with Saturday’s racing is the challenging Seven Islands Race, for those who prefer to sail an inshore fun race that starts and finishes off MHYC.  Following a pursuit style start, the race takes in some of the Harbour’s iconic islands.

The Super 12’s will return in a separate division for the Seven Islands Race and windward-leeward races on the Sunday.

Box concluded, “I encourage yacht owners to join us for a competitive weekend of racing. Make sure you get your entries in before the deadline of Friday 10th November via www.ssorc.mhyc.com.au.”

Middle Harbour Yacht Club would like to thank Helly Hansen and Sydney City Marine for their support of the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship.

Di Pearson, MHYC Media

Read more: Virtual marks innovation for Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship

Outlaw's runaway Farr 40 win  

By Lisa Ratcliff/Australian Farr 40 media   

Five firsts and a second added up to an incontestable series win for Tom and Alan Quick’s Outlaw in the Farr 40 class’ Middle Harbour Yacht Club One Design Trophy contested on Sydney Harbour October 21-22.

Jeff Carter’s Edake with Jordan Reece calling tactics won the final race six and finished runner-up and Double Black, Rob Pitts’ Melbourne entry with Steve McConaghy on tactics, finished third overall.

Joe de Kock’s Newcastle Farr 40 Good Form was back out with the fleet, the skipper wearing a moon boot to support his ankle which was injured when he accidentally stepped into the mainsheet which then loaded up in a gybe in strong winds on Saturday. Doctors at Lake Macquarie Private Hospital don’t believe de Kock sustained any broken bones but can’t diagnose him properly until the swelling and bruising settle down.

This afternoon de Kock and his son fly out to South Africa for a three-day mountain bike race starting Friday. “I think I’m going be OK, I’m staying positive and I haven’t found out too many details from the doctor…just in case I can’t do the bike race,” he laughed. “By chance I’m going to Cape Town first, to my family of doctors – I have my X-rays in my luggage.”

On Good Form’s season so far he said: “Well we can’t do any worse, yesterday we didn’t finish a race and today we finished last in all three. We have lots of excuses but we’ve got to do these things better. Before I became a boat owner I didn’t realise how hard it was to get eight good sailors together for regattas, let alone practice. Having said all that we had a great weekend.”

Edake skipper Jeff Carter was delighted to collect the final bullet and happy with second overall. “As usual in the Farr 40s it was very close racing,” he said. “Hats off to the Outlaw crew; they’ve got a team of guys who know how to sail a Farr 40 and they have a world champion boat underneath them. Also special thanks to my crewman Noel Holder who came back on board on the main after a year off.”

Winds NE to ENE built to 12 knots by mid-afternoon before the sky darkened and crews copped a drenching when a sou’east change passed through. By that stage the trophies were already decided, handy margins separating the first, second and third placegetters.

Bringing nine crew up from Melbourne for a two-day regatta in Sydney is no easy feat, so for Nutcracker co-owner Rob Davis the hospitality extended by MHYC and the other Farr 40 owners means a lot. This season he and second owner Andy Baker have brought in Sydney based Michael Coxon from North Sails as tactician, and it’s added a new dimension to their program.  “We’ve learnt as much from him this weekend as the whole of last season,” Davis praised. “He’s a great teacher and a great imparter of knowledge.”

The next Farr 40 event is the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship November 24-25 (non-pointscore) followed by the Newcastle OD Trophy December 9-10, 2017.

For the latest results and regatta information - click here

Photography by Jennie Hughes.........


Read more: Outlaw's runaway Farr 40 win  

Prizes awarded for Harbour Trek

Harbour Trek Division 1 Winner - Rob Clarke on Kick 'n Chase

The 2017 Harbour Trek was sailed in a moderate to fresh Nor' Easter and a sunny afternoon.

Division 1 was dominated by the Adams 10s today with Rob Clarke's Kick 'n Chase taking the win from Another Dilemma and No Friends, while Jim Curtis' Innamincka was the sole survivor of Div 2.

The Harbour Trek was also the first race in the Jeanneau Cup Series.  William Wades Eau Well now has a head start in the series score after winning today's race in a close tussle with David Day's ArawaiSolution was third. 

Prizes were presented by MHYC Vice Commodore Racing Kerry Burke and Performance Boating's Lee Condell.

To view the results - click here



Read more: Prizes awarded for Harbour Trek

Centreboard Club Championship continues

Racing in the MHYC Centreboard Club Championship was cut short today with the arrival of some thundery showers during the afternoon. 

One race was completed for Division 1 (29ers) and Division 2 (International Cadets & 420s), with Madeleine Sloane taking the gun for the 29ers and Natasha Nisbet first in Div 2 in the Cadet.  The Optimists in Division 3 completed 2 races, with Mischa Barrat winning both races today.

To view the latest results – click here 

Read more: Centreboard Club Championship continues