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Entries top 100 as prizes revealed for Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta

Close racing at a previous Sydney 38 Championship - Andrea Francolini pic

Entries to the 2024 Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta have topped 100 and continue growing daily as Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) reveals some of the prizes on offer to entice more entrants before the Tuesday 27 February entry deadline. 

Zhik, official clothing supplier for the Australian Sailing Team, which is based at MHYC, has come on board as a support sponsor for the event to be held over the weekend of 2 and 3 March. The company will provide vouchers for divisional prizes and major prizes. And one lucky crew member will win a Zhik jacket if they go in the draw at the Club after racing on the Saturday.

The Grand Prizes, drawn from the boats placing first, second and third in their class or division will include a V8 Supercars Track Day and Pit Lane Walk courtesy of Steadfast Group Ltd, proud owner of naming rights sponsor Nautilus Marine Insurance, along with a Manly Spirits Distillery Experience for a group of 10 and other prizes.

Back on the water, one of the big ticket classes in 2024 is the Sydney 38 One-Design NSW Championship and a showdown between the largest fleet in years. Windward/leeward inshore races should be tighter than ever. 

“We’re looking forward to our Championship,” concedes defending champion and class president, David Hudson.

“We’re excited as we have nine entries and another that might join us; the biggest fleet we’ve had for years.”

Despite standing on the winner’s podium more times than any other, Hudson, one half of the successful partnership on Conspiracy, admits the Championship is no lay down misère for he and Peter Byford.

“It’s always difficult to successfully defend the title as the boats are so evenly matched. At least half the fleet got a win or a second in the last Championship and there were only seconds between the boats.

“There’s been a battle at our last few events between Conspiracy and Advanced Philosophy (Peter Sorensen), but in recent times the pair has been challenged by Shine On - Team Callendina (Phil Herscovics), Challenge (Greg Croak and family) and Mondo (Stephen Teudt/Lisa Callaghan).”

Hudson is overjoyed to see new players emerge in the class: “There’s a few new skippers and crews. We welcome them to the fleet. We’re quite confident they’ll do well,” he says of Geoff Ford (Avalon), John Hodgkinson/Daniel Belcher (Thirlmere), David Lamond (Adela II) and Cyril Latimer (Love Byte).

“As part of the core organising committee, Lisa (Callaghan) has been great in encouraging people into the class.”

Nautilus Marine Insurance CEO, Lyndon Turner, is among those looking forward to the weekend: "Our team is once again very pleased to be able to support all sailors taking part in the Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta as we enter our second year as naming rights partner of this prominent regatta.

“It’s great to see our sport embraced by so many sailors from across NSW and beyond, racing on a wide range of boats. We look forward to meeting competitors at the Club during the event."

Other news from the water is that the Super 50s (TP52’s) will sail hybrid courses. Starting and finishing in the Harbour, the courses will also include an offshore windward/leeward component.

The regatta also marks the first round of the TP52’s 2024 Pallas Capital Gold Cup Series. First Light (Peter White) and two-time Sydney Hobart winner, Quest (Craig Neil), were in first with their entries. Gordon Ketelebey (Zen) is expected and Marcus Blackmore is keen if he is able to get the new Hooligan back from the Port Lincoln Regatta in time. Others are yet to confirm.

Entries are growing in the Open Divisions that are scored under both IRC and ORC. Divisions 1 and 2 will sail three inshore windward/leeward races each day, sharing the Foxtrot course with the Sydney 38 NSW Championship.

Recent entries in the division include Bushranger (Gerry Hatton) and Khaleesi (Sandy Farquharson). There are Insufficient Farr 40’s entered to justify a NSW Championship, so Bluetack (Brent Lawson) and Exile (Rob Reynolds) will boost numbers in Division 1.

Entries are open until 2359hrs, Tuesday 27 February, meaning one week remains for owners to take advantage of the Early Entry Fee.

For entry and Notice of Race, please visit: https://www.shr.mhyc.com.au

Di Pearson/MHYC media

Photos by Andrea Francolini...

Read more: Entries top 100 as prizes revealed for Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta

Chaos Cup and Bedlam Point Cup

Marg Fraser-Martin photo

The annual Chaos Cup and Bedlam Point Cup was sailed in a freshening easterly and glorious sunshine on Saturday 13 January, providing an enjoyable long race from Middle Harbour to Bedlam Point, Gladesville and return for the 30 boat fleet.

Congratulations to Mitchell Gordon’s The Goat from CYCA - the first boat home in Division 1, ahead of Toy Box 2 (Ian Box) and Khaleesi (Sandy Farquharson). David Ashton’s Absolut from Manly YC was the best in Division 2, finishing ahead of Shibumi (Bryan Moore) and Innamincka (John Crawford).

While The Goat and Toy Box 2 will have their names engraved on the perpetual Chaos Cup, Graham Raspass’ Horizon 3 will appear on the Bedlam Point Cup for the first non-spinnaker boat home.  John de Meur’s Elysium claimed the Two-Handed prize.  The Chaos Cup was also race 1 of the Beneteau Series – Neil Padden’s Wailea was the winner from Horizon 3 and Farr N Away (Chris Lee).

The Cock of the Club Trophy, awarded to the team of three MHYC boats with the lowest combined score, went to Slac-N-Off (Anna Alvsdotter), Shibumi (Bryan Moore) and Contentious (Brian Lees).

To view the Chaos Cup results – click here

To view the Beneteau Series Race results – click here

Thanks to Marg Fraser-Martin perched atop the Gladesville Bridge, and to Catherine Rofe back at the club, for the photos.

Read more: Chaos Cup and Bedlam Point Cup

Fire Incident at Sea - Lessons Learned


by Simone Hill

I wanted to share my experience of a yacht fire and sinking on the weekend in the hope others can learn from it.

This is the report submitted to the relevant authorities.

The RP 52 carbon fibre race yacht ‘Miss Scarlet’ was being delivered from Auckland, New Zealand to Cairns, Queensland by Master Larry Jamieson with crew Simone Hill (me) - two persons on board.

On Saturday 10 February 2024 at approximately 1930 while Simone was on watch an alarm sounded indicating low voltage to the autopilot.

Larry woke and immediately investigated the batteries at the navigation station.

There was white smoke coming from that area and Larry went on deck to put throttle in neutral while Simone activated the fire extinguisher in the galley then stopped, and turned off the engine as the cabin filled with acrid smoke.

From deck Larry could see flames through the small galley hatch.

Larry moved immediately to deploy the life raft into water from the aft deck while Simone grabbed the handheld VHF and gave Mayday and GPS co-ordinates on Channel 16 from the screen on deck.

Larry was burnt on back of both his legs as flames engulfed the whole boat.

We both abandoned ship, swam to the life raft and cut the tether with a knife.

The boat was fully engulfed in flames within minutes and sank once it burnt to the waterline.

In the life raft Simone was able to activate her Personal Locator Beacon to AMSA at approximately 2010.

She continued to make Mayday calls on both Channel 16 and 13 (Gladstone VTS).

The CPA Rescue Helicopter 3 was above us and in communications via VHF Channel 16 at approximately 2230 advising a vessel was on the way with an ETA of one hour.

We were requested to fire a flare - Simone deployed a parachute then red smoke flare.

We were picked up via the ‘Reef Resilience’, a Queensland Marine Parks vessel working at Wistari Reef.

At approximately 2340 they deployed their RIB and picked us from the life raft and returned us to their vessel.

From there they motored for approximately one hour to Heron Island to meet the helicopter & paramedic for assessment.

We were loaded into the helicopter - Simone seated and Larry in a stretcher on the floor - and flown for approximately one hour to the Rockhampton base.

We were driven to Rockhampton Hospital by the paramedic and admitted.

Some relevant images below.

I am happy to answer any questions.

My key learnings are:

Have your grab bag next to your liferaft

Always have your PLB on your person when you are on watch (mine in bumbag)

Ensure your details are up to date on your beacon with AMSA (I upload for every trip as we are on different yachts each time & include image & description)

Make sure your emergency contact knows who they need to call & what steps to take

Make sure you know how to pull the pin and use a fire extinguisher

Make sure you are confident using the VHF radio

Make sure you know how to identify and fire a flare in the dark, wet, without being able to read instructions

Stay fit and strong so you are capable

Don’t ever expect or rely on

someone else to help you!

If you have done the training you won’t panic.




Read more: Fire Incident at Sea - Lessons Learned

Innamincka Wins J/24 Nationals

John Crawford's Innamincka is the J/24 Australian Champion for 2024.

Over the twelve-race series conducted by RANSA, John and Innamincka's crew finished in the top three in all but two races and took four race wins.  They finished five points ahead of Sean Kirkjian's Sailpac from CYCA with Simon Grain's Convict's Revenge (SYC Melbourne) a further nine points back.  The other MHYC boat, David West's Ace, finished 5th.  Congratulations to all. 

To view the results - click here 

Thanks to Marg Fraser-Martin for the photos.

Read more: Innamincka Wins J/24 Nationals

Winning Strategies with Shane and Sean

Hosted by the J24 Association

Sick of Bridesmaiding?  Or just want to improve your race results?


Winning race strategies with Shane Guanaria, CEO of Doyle Sails Sydney, and Sean Kirkjian multiple J24 Australian Champion and               

Sydney Hobart winner is a must attend for skippers and crew in the lead up to the Sydney Harbour Regatta.

MHYC and the NSW J24 Class Association are hosting this timely, skills focused event on 28 February 2024 at 6 pm in the

Harbour View Room at MHYC.

Shane and Sean will take us through all parts of a windward / Leeward race looking at boat and sail setup, tactics and crew work,

and what it takes to improve and win.

There will be plenty of time for questions and answers, a sausage sandwich and a drink at the bar.

To register click here

What’s Included:

  1. Up to 2 hours of great coaching, strategies, tips and war stories from our super experienced and qualified presenters.
  2. A sausage sandwich (vegan and gluten free versions available)
  3. A complimentary drink at the bar - a beer, wine  or soft drink (no spirits)
  4. A chance to ask questions and get feedback to directly help in your next regatta

Who is this event for

  • All participants in the Sydney Harbour Regatta, J24 and other one design sailors
  • Skippers AND crew looking to improve their sailing
  • Teams that want to get the best out of their boat and achieve better results on the racetrack


6:00 pm Sean and Shane on how to improve and be at the pointy end of the fleet

  • Effective race management on all parts of the course – the start, windward legs, downwind
  • Boat set up and what to look for
  • Sail set Up and trim
  • Crew roles and responsibilities

6:45 pm Questions and answers

7:00 pm Sausage sizzle and drinks break - Full bar will be open

7:20 pm Making your boat go even faster in a one design fleet, focusing on J24s

  • Tactics and Sailing for speed
  • Better Sail and rig tuning - What controls to adjust and when
  • Improving team and crew performance
  • Sailing on Sydney Harbour

8:00 pm Questions and Answers

8:20 pm Drinks and strategy refinements at the bar

9:00 pm close


$15 MHYC Members and J24 Class Association Members (you can join the J24 association on the night)

$25 Non members

Read more: Winning Strategies with Shane and Sean

Date Change - Barefoot Ball 2024

The annual Barefoot Ball is back, bringing you a unique fusion of black-tie elegance and beach vibes. Join your fellow members for an unforgettable night of dancing, where the sand meets your toes and sophistication meets the shoreline.

Date: Saturday 16 March 2024 6:30 PM - 11:00 PM

Theme: Black-tie with a little bit of beach

Live Music

Location: Middle Harbour Yacht Club 75 Lower Parriwi Rd, The Spit, Mosman NSW 2088

The ticket price includes a welcome drink on arrival, live entertainment, and a whole lot of fun. Bar and food service are available throughout the night.

Book Online Now

Read more: Date Change - Barefoot Ball 2024

Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta entries building

Boats of all types and sizes participate - Andrea Francolini pic

Early entries have been extended for Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s (MHYC) 2024 Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta, with interest building and entries flowing in for the popular event taking place on the weekend of 2 and 3 March. 

A healthy field for the inaugural FarEast 28R National Championship will provoke second to none competition during the 19th running of NSW’s largest keelboat regatta, with eight signed on.

Last year’s FarEast 28R division at the regatta was won by MING the Merciless (Jono Rogers), which returns, as does regular rival, Firecracker (Scott Lawson).

According to Rogers, who won five from the six races last year, “It’s an open field. We had five boats last year and it was close between all of us, there was nothing in it, despite the results at the end,” he said.

“Firecracker is very good, but anyone can get it on the day. The racing is that close.

Valkyrie (Drew Garnet) from Wangi on the Central Coast could do it too.

Cool Runnings won at Sail Port Stephens in 2022 and will be on the start line with Kevin Bloor in charge, joined by third placed Sweeney-Todd (Julian Todd).

“Sparrow (Peter Higgins) is a new boat from Pittwater. It’ll be interesting to see how it matches up against the rest. Everyone’s buying new sails for the Nationals and sharing ideas, so they’re ramping up.

“I feel it’s a building class, so having a Nationals is exciting. The class is developing in Sydney and to sail a one-design development class is great,” Rogers says.

“It’s a good spread of boats from around Sydney and the Central Coast competing for the Nationals. There’s been talk of New Zealand and Victorian boats coming next time, which is exciting for the class,” Rogers says.   

“We’re doing windward/leewards at the Sydney Harbour Regatta, which means great chances for overtaking downwind. I hope it’s windy because the boats are heaps of fun. They plane well and broach – the excitement factor,” he says laughing. 

“I can’t wait for the regatta to start.”

A second Australian Championship will be decided at the regatta too, with the J/99 class returning after holding its inaugural Championship at the Sydney Harbour Regatta in 2023. It was won by Jules Hall with Disko Trooper_Contender Sailcloth and he returns to defend the title he won by a landslide, posting five wins from six races.

“We’re really looking forward to coming back to defend,” Hall proclaims. “We have a bigger fleet this year. Eight boats and the standard has increased enormously. It means the competition will be better than ever. We’re looking forward to two days of close racing.”

Of the competition, Hall contends, “There’s no one standout boat. The usual suspects are all good,” he says of second and third overall respectively last year, Jupiter (Ian Smith) and Rum Rebellion (Shane Connolly).

“Blue Planet (Chris O’Neill) has lifted in performance and Verite from Newcastle has been sailing well.

“The Sydney Harbour Regatta is a great regatta and we’re delighted to be supporting it,” Hall finished.

More than 150 yachts are expected to take part, spread across 19 divisions and seven course areas on Sydney Harbour and offshore. A large proportion of those sailing on the Harbour will come from the Performance Class (Spinnaker Division).

Georgia Express is one of them. Sebastian Hultin has set his sights on doing well with the Mumm 36. Representing MHYC, Hultin says he is taking part in the event because, “It’s just a lot of fun. The action is all on Sydney Harbour, so it’s an entire weekend of racing in one of the most beautiful spots in the world.

“Standing on the beach having post-race drinks at Middle Harbour Yacht Club with live music afterwards is also very good. It’s the only yacht club where you can do that after racing.

“I’m hoping for a good turnout both on the water and for the socials after racing. You can’t have a bad time,” Hultin says.

Entries are open until 2359hrs, Tuesday 27 February, so enter now to take advantage of the Early Entry Fee.

For entry and Notice of Race, please visit: https://www.shr.mhyc.com.au

By Di Pearson/MHYC media

Photos by Andrea Francolini

Read more: Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta entries building

MHYC yachts stand out in the Combined Clubs


The final Sydney Harbour Combined Clubs Inshore Series race for 2023 was conducted by Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron on Saturday December 9 and MHYC yachts excelled.

In the 15 boat PHS Division 1, Toy Box 2 (Ian Box) took the race win and is second overall after for races.  There are 23 boats in PHS Division 2 and Wailea (Neil Padden) claimed the Saturday race win.  Wailea is second behind Stormaway (Jack Stening & Colin Gunn) in the series score.  In the 14 boat Division 3 PHS fleet, Escape (Dean Dransfield) placed second on Saturday.  Escape sits in fourth overall after for races with Waterborne Agan (OIoff Tromp) in second place. 

MHYC boats are dominant in the rating categories.  In Division 1, Toy Box 2 leads the ORC and IRC pointscores with Kukukerchu (David Ross) in second.  Stormaway tops the ORC and IRC leaderboards for Division 2 with Wailea in second.

There are three more races to conclude the Sydney Harbour Combined Clubs Inshore Series with the next race on January 20 being hosted by RANSA.  Results for MHYC competitors in these races also contribute to the Inshore Annual Pointscore.

To view the latest Combined Clubs Inshore Series results – click here

To view the latest MHYC Annual Inshore Series results – click here

Photos by Marg Fraser-Martin

Read more: MHYC yachts stand out in the Combined Clubs

Entry opens for Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta

Condor (Super 40s) puts the foot down to stay ahead in 2023 - Andrea Francolini

Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) welcomes all sailors to the New Year and entry into its 2024 Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta, due to take place from 2-3 March 2024, with another competitive weekend of autumn racing across multiple classes and divisions.

The Notice of Race is now online where you can also enter for the 19th running of the largest keelboat regatta in NSW which was introduced in 2006.

New in 2024 is the inaugural FarEast 28R National Championship. A quality Australia-wide fleet exists in this fun and fast Simonis Voogd One-Design class. Excitement is the key factor. Downwind in big conditions has caused a few heart stopping moments for crews and spectators alike and there is often less than half a bowsprit between finishers in races.

Following a successful first Australian J/99 Class Championships at the Sydney Harbour Regatta in 2023, Jules Hall will return with Disko Trooper to defend their title.

The competitive Sydney 38 One-Design class will again hold its NSW Championship as part of the SHR. Whether the determined team of Peter Byford and David Hudson (Conspiracy) can be beaten remains to be seen. MHYC’s Peter Sorensen (Advanced Philosophy) came close last year. He led into the final day, but Conspiracy accelerated to lift the title.

Joining the Sydney 38s for offshore windward-leeward races starting and finishing in the Harbour will be the Super 50 group, with a number of TP52s expected. The Open IRC divisions will race inshore this year.

“We are committed to remaining innovative in our approach to the Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta. We review it each year. We continue to grow it and promote the strength of the various one-design classes and other designs in general via NSW and National Championships,” said MHYC Commodore Rob Aldis.

The Commodore will take part also, with Daguet 2, a French built Mylius 50 co-owned with Peter Byford from Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. 

Other one-design classes lining up for MHYC’s signature event include the J/70, J/24, Adams 10, Farr 40 and Etchells. All are ultra-competitive and sailed by some of Australia’s leading lights.

Add to the above the Super 30, Super 40, Performance Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker divisions, Classic Keelboats and Historic 18 foot skiffs – the classes that showcase Sydney Harbour and its famous landmarks in March each year. The Harbour is at its best when it is covered in white sails and colourful spinnakers.

More than 150 yachts are expected to take part in the 19 divisions across seven course areas on the Harbour and offshore.

“We appreciate the large number of competitors who support the event each year and show our Harbour off to its best advantage. We also thank those clubs that support us each year to hold the regatta; a huge undertaking,” Commodore Aldis said.

Those clubs that continue to support the running of the Regatta are: Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, Manly Yacht Club, Royal Australian Navy Sailing Association, Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, the Sydney Flying Squadron and their skilled and committed volunteers. 

Early entries close at one minute to midnight on Wednesday 21 February, so enter now and take advantage of the Early Entry Fee.

For the Notice of Race and to enter the Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta, please visit: www.shr.mhyc.com.au

Di Pearson/MHYC media


2023 Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta photos by Andrea Francolini


Read more: Entry opens for Nautilus Marine Insurance Sydney Harbour Regatta

Nominate a Young Person to Sail on HMB Endeavour

The Australian National Maritime Museum Foundation will support up to five young Australians to participate in a tall ship adventure.  On 15 February 2024, HMB Endeavour will embark on a 15-day voyage to Lord Howe Island, offering an unforgettable experience of blue water sailing in this exact replica of an 18th century barque.  This will be a unique opportunity for the successful applicants to not only to learn to sail a complex eighteenth-century vessel, but also to gain life-long skills including teamwork and communication, practical decision-making, flexibility and resilience.

Successful applicants must be:

  • An Australian citizen
  • Aged between 18 and 24 on 1 February 2024
  • Be available from 15 - 29 February 2024
  • Be able to get themselves to and from Sydney at their own expense

There is no formal application form however ANMM needs to receive a written response by Friday, January 12.

Please see the information sheet for more details - click here

Read more: Nominate a Young Person to Sail on HMB Endeavour