The NSW Government have eased restrictions to allow sailing to resume under a phased approach. This means that MHYC and other NSW clubs have the opportunity to re-commence their racing and training programs from early June.
The return to sailing is being done in a consistent and coordinated manner thanks to the cooperation of the major Sydney clubs. The Commodores of MHYC, CYCA, RSYS, RANSA, RPAYC, RMYCBB, SASC, MYC and RPEYC have met weekly with Australian Sailing since the Covid-19 pandemic first impacted our programs.
While detailed plans are yet to be finalised and approved, we are hopeful that MHYC’s Wednesday Pursuits will be able to start on June 10 and a modified Saturday racing program can also get underway later that week. Members need to be aware there will be changes to these programs, particularly for related shore-side activities, as clubs are obliged to ensure that sailing at this time is CovidSAFE.
Please stand by for further details which will be released next week.
Looking forward to seeing you on the water soon.
Peter Lewis – Commodore MHYC
Will Wilkinson has today been declared the Club eSailing Autumn Champion and will now represent MHYC in the State eSailing Championships. 120 clubs have registered for the competition which will be held from Friday to Sunday next weekend.
On race courses from Sydney Harbour to Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, Will’s J/70 Rocky 2 dominated the racing again this morning. A nervous start and a 6th place in Race 1 was followed up with four straight wins to secure the series and selection. It was ultra-tight for the minor placings with Dane Kearney (DK123456), Adam Mowser (Ads) and Graham Brown (Adams 10 MH26) all finishing on equal points. Tie-breaks handed Dane and Adam the 2nd & 3rd placings.
Thanks to all the eSailors who competed. Congratulations to Autumn Champion Will and good luck at the States!
Today’s results – click here
MHYC eSailing page – click here
To all our valued Members,
On behalf of the Board and Flags, I send you greetings. We hope you are coping with the stress of the Covid-19 pandemic and that you and your families are safe and well.
I’m sure you are abreast of the latest developments, however, I want to update you on our strategy at the club coming into May. Our best information is that the lockdown will continue in its current form with no defined period end, however, we are starting to see discussions and media about these current laws being gradually lifted. In this regard, we remain on our current footing and are planning for a September 5th opening of the sailing season in line with Government regulations at the time.
If constrictions ease before that time we have been discussing with Australian Sailing and the Commodores of other clubs starting up organised events in a coordinated manner and in line with Government regulations. This is unfolding daily and we will continue to monitor the situation.
The rules about using boats has been unclear and we have posted this week yet another advice from Australian Sailing and have sent this out to all members. We the Commodores have asked Australian Sailing to seek further clarification. We ask you to read the advice this week and comply.
On a positive note, we are aiming to open the Sandbar Cafe from next Wednesday 29th April for takeaway service observing social distancing, to support those of you currently using the Marina. We are already holding virtual racing and I’m informed of the great enjoyment of all.
Australian Sailing will be holding a National Virtual Sailing Competition for all clubs so we will look to selecting a representative to that end.
As already stated we are hopeful to hold a great celebration on September 5th to open the season, we will theme it Thankyou Day, subject to social gathering rules we are hoping to invite the frontline services in our community. The Membership team are well underway with the planning. With the help of the MHYC Foundation we are initiating work on a facelift at the front of the club. It is hoped this is the beginning of a long road of rejuvenation. I commend the Foundation to you and ask all those who can, to dig deep and help the Foundation develop facilities and youth sailing. Finally, if the view continues to open up with regard to Covid-19, and with the continued support of our members, we are well placed financially to weather the storm.
We would not be here in such good shape without the diligence of the Board, Flags, our volunteers and particularly our loyal and hardworking staff ably lead by our interim GM Bruce Aitken. To you our valued members, our community is a strong one, please stay the course and be safe. If you are experiencing trouble or difficulties reach out to us and we will endeavour to help. We will continue to update you as changes come to hand.
Yours in Sailing
Peter Lewis (Commodore)
Fifteen races have now been sailed in each of the Helly Hansen Autumn Series with Will Wilkinson’s Rocky 2 leading the Saturday Offshore Keelboat, Wednesday J70 Sportsboat and Thursday Star Non-Spinnaker pointscores.
Will tops the list of sailors who will be invited to contest an eSailing Selection Series in the J70 on Saturday morning at 11am. The winner of the five race series will represent MHYC at the NSW eSailing Championships being held between 22-24 May and potentially go on to represent the State.
To view the Selection Series Races this Saturday from 11am, or any of the scheduled Helly Hansen eSailing Series, simply go to https://www.virtualregatta.com/en/inshore-game/, wait for the main screen to load, click on Custom Race, click on the video tab (camera icon), then select the Helly Hansen eSailing race from the list of races available to start watching. You can follow individual boats, change the camera angle or select the birds-eye overview of the fleet.
For the latest MHYC eSailing results and information – go to https://www.mhyc.com.au/sailing/e-sailing
The following message has been sent to the club from Australian Sailing, please adhere to current Public Health rules for sailing.
Good morning Club Commodores, General Managers and Sailing Manager;
Over the last couple days I have had notification from NSW Maritime and NSW police that there have been ‘groups or gatherings’ of sailors have been observed by officials around the state, some of which have been linked back to sailing clubs and are prohibited under current public health orders. One club has been issued an official warning over the weekend for a group of nine sailors taking part in ‘non-official’ racing. I have been made aware of groups of yachts on a day cruise together, as well as other groups of dinghies in gatherings on the water. With fines able to be issued up to $11,000 for individuals and $55,000 for corporations this is an areas we don’t want our sport or clubs having attention brought to ourselves.
I been asked that you remind your members that from 31 March 2020, NSW Government Public Health Orders have been updated requiring people to stay at home unless they have a ‘reasonable excuse’. View or download the Public Health Order. In addition, the NSW Public Health Order directs that a person must not participate in a gathering in a public place of more than 2 persons, which includes multiple boats for instance unless they are from the same household.
Unless you have an essential need to be out - stay home.
A ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home to use your boat could be to:
- exercise (e.g. kayaking/sailing/paddling/fishing etc);
- get to and from work, where the work cannot reasonably be performed from home;
- get groceries; and
- provide assistance, care or support to an immediate member of the person’s family
Socialising or cruising on the water is not a ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home. And to remember, social distancing and social gathering rules apply at all times – including marinas, boat ramps and on your boat.
Whilst we would all love to be on the water at the moment, the more we can comply with the above, the quicker we will see clubs and activities back in action and hope that a reminder to members will prevent clubs or their members being fined under prohibited activities in the current circumstances.
To all MHYC Members,
On behalf of the Board and Flags, we hope that you and your families are in good health and you have adapted well to the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While it may still be some time before the Club can return to normal operations afloat and ashore, it is nevertheless welcome news that an easing of restrictions in NSW will be gradually phased in.
I have been meeting regularly with Australian Sailing and the Commodores of the other major Sydney clubs to share ideas and receive updates from Australian Sailing. This week’s Return to COVIDSafe Sailing Update will hopefully provide a first look at the guidelines that Australian Sailing have prepared based on the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) COVID-19 Framework for organised sport, aligned with the Federal Government COVIDSafe Australia Plan. The aim is to assist NSW clubs to have a consistent approach in their return to sailing. All Commodores in this group have agreed to a unified and coordinated approach to a return to competitive sailing.
It is unlikely that we will be able to re-commence organised yacht racing until at least Step 3 of the COVIDSafe Australia Plan and it is uncertain when this might be, but possibly in July.
While our marina has remained open throughout this crisis and recreational sailing is permitted - provided this is undertaken in accordance with the current NSW Government Social Distancing Regulations - club sporting events (which includes any form of yacht racing, even for boats with only one or two crew) are not permitted.
As soon as the NSW Government COVID-19 Restrictions are relaxed to a point which enables clubs to resume racing, MHYC intends to re-commence its regular program at the earliest opportunity. This includes Wednesday Non-Spinnaker Pursuit and the Winter Pursuit and Sprint Series – although the program may be modified. However, it must be anticipated that the Social Distancing Regulations in force at that time will apply to racing and may affect crew numbers, social distancing aboard and social interaction before and after sailing.
Amongst the uncertainty, there is still some positive news…
The Sandbar Cafe re-opened at the end of April for takeaway service to support those Members using the marina. Hopefully we will be able to soon announce an allowance for a limited number of seated guests on the deck area, but this is subject to confirming compliance with Government Regulations.
The Helly Hansen eSailing Autumn Series of virtual races for MHYC Members has proved popular. This Saturday at 11am, a selection series will be held to choose MHYC’s representative in the NSW eSailing Championships. Members can view the racing online. There is more information at https://www.mhyc.com.au/sailing/e-sailing
With most owners already deciding to forego the Queensland regattas in August due to the uncertainty around travel and event restrictions, MHYC has been leading plans to organise a series of coastal passage and inshore races in NSW. Details are yet to be finalised, but the likely dates of the “Breakout Series” are 8 –14 August 2020. The event will be organised by MHYC in conjunction with Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and Port Stephens Yacht Club. Stand by for further announcements.
The Club is planning for a great celebration on September 5th to open the 2020-2021 season and it will be themed as a Thankyou Day. Subject to Government Regulations, we are hoping to invite the frontline services in our community who have served us so well during this crisis.
Work on rejuvenating the front of the club is well underway and some unusual flags are being displayed on the now more visible flagpole. Originating at the San Francisco Yacht Club, clubs around the world are displaying a signal to let their members know they will be there for them after the COVID-19 pandemic. The MHYC flagpole is now displaying the Code Flags C over G over Numeral 1 to communicate the message - I WILL STAND BY TO ASSIST YOU.
Please stay the course and keep healthy. If you are experiencing difficulties, please reach out to us and we will endeavour to assist.
We will continue to update you as further updates become available.
Yours in Sailing
Peter Lewis (Commodore)
Sydney’s Ocean Racing Program for the season of 2019-2020 came to an early conclusion on March 21. The final race of the CYCA Short Ocean Pointscore, due to be conducted by MHYC in conjunction with Race 5 of its own Ocean Series, was abandoned when NSW Government Social Distancing Regulations were introduced to counter the COVID-19 Pandemic.
MHYC Ocean Series
With four of the six scheduled races completed when the MHYC Ocean Series was declared, the results were incredibly tight in Division 1 - but there was one stand-out in Division 2.
Jack Stening and Colin Gunn’s Sydney 36 Stormaway finished the series clear on top in Division 2, with a four-point lead on IRC and 3 points on PHS. The minor placings were identical on both handicap pointscores, with Wailea (Neil Padden) second and Rumba (Kerry Burke, Rob Carr & Stephanie Cook) third on IRC & PHS.
It was a different situation in Division 1 however, with tie-breaks deciding the winner in both the IRC & PHS pointscores.
Ian Box’s Xp44 Toy Box 2 and Bob Cox’s DK46 Nine Dragons had both claimed a single race win on IRC during the series but finished on equal points. Two second places handed the IRC win to Toy Box 2 and Rob Aldis’ Azuree 46 Kayimai was third.
In the PHS pointscore, it was another tie-break. Toy Box 2 and Kayimai ended up on equal points and, while Toy Box 2 was more consistent, three race wins secured the top of the series table for Aldis and Kayimai. Nine Dragons finished third on PHS.
For all the MHYC Ocean Series Results – click here
CYCA Short Ocean Pointscore Series
MHYC was again strongly represented in the CYCA’s SOPS. Organised by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, the Short Ocean Pointscore is effectively Sydney’s Interclub Ocean Racing series with Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and Middle Harbour Yacht Club sharing the race management responsibilities equally with CYCA.
In Division 1, Ian Short’s TP52 Bush Paul Group from CYCA had notched up two race wins and a four-point buffer to claim the series, but the next three spots went to Middle Harbour boats. Ian Box and Toy Box 2 were second on 16 points, Bob Cox’s Nine Dragons third on 21 points and Rob Aldis’ Kayimai just off the podium with 22 points. Samarkand (Walter Carpenter) and Dreki Sunnan (Ken Holmes) finished the series seventh and ninth respectively.
Another CYCA yacht took the Division 2 win. Sean Rahilly & Justin Pelly’s Crosshaven claimed a three-point win from last year’s winners, MHYC’s Jack Stening and Colin Gunn in Stormaway. Bryan Moore and Shibumi finished sixth.
For all the CYCA SOPS Results – click here
Sydney Harbour Regatta Offshore Divisions
After six offshore races over two days for the Open Division during the Sydney Harbour Regatta, Bob Cox and Nine Dragons took out a commanding eight-point win in the nine-boat division. Gordon Ketelbey’s TP52 Zen was fourth, Kayimai sixth and Wailea eighth.
In the Sydney 38 Division, David Hudson and Peter Byford’s RPAYC entry Conspiracy claimed the win by a single point from MHYC’s Peter Sorensen and Advanced Philosophy. Mike Logan’s Thirlmere was sixth.
For all the Sydney Harbour Regatta Results – click here
RPAYC Pittwater Regatta
Hosted by Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in February each year, the Premier & Performance Series regularly attracts a number of MHYC boats to the Pittwater Regatta. In the IRC competition, it was RPAYC’s Gerry Hatton and Bushranger who won the series from Bob Cox’s Nine Dragons. Neil Padden and Wailea were fourth. It was a different story on PHS handicap though, with Wailea first and Nine Dragons second.
For all the Pittwater Regatta Offshore Results – click here
75th Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
Middle Harbour Yacht Club again provided one of the start lines on Boxing Day for the commencement of this iconic race while there were a large number of club members competing across a number of boats from MHYC and other clubs.
Carl Crafoord and co-owner Tim Horkings excelled with Sail Exchange this year, placing 2nd in IRC Division 5 and taking the win in ORCI Division 3. Other notable achievements included:
- Dreki Sunnan (Ken Holmes) 9th IRC Division 4 & 9th IRC Corinthian
- Flying Fish Arctos (George Martin) 5th PHS Division 2
- Galaxy III (Chris Canty) 6th PHS Division 2
- Highly Sprung (Mark Spring) 8th IRC Division 4 and 9th ORCi Division 3
- Maverick 49 (Quentin Stewart & Shaun Lane) 3rd IRC Division 2 & 10th ORCi Division 1
- TSA Management (Tony Levett) 11th IRC Division 5, 6th ORCi Division 4 & 4th Sydney 38
- Zen TP52 (Gordon Ketelbey) 6th IRC Division 1
For all the RSHYR results – click here
Sydney Short Ocean Championships
The SSORC in November is the first offshore regatta of the season each year and attracts entries from Sydney Harbour and Pittwater clubs. A long passage race on the Saturday is followed by three windward-leeward offshore races on the Sunday.
In Division 1 IRC, Gerry Hatton’s Bushranger from RPAYC built a three-point lead from MHYC’s Nine Dragons (Bob Cox) to claim the win. Toy Box 2 (Ian Box) was fourth, and Kayimai (Rob Aldis) fifth. Another RPAYC yacht took the Division 2 IRC win this year. Kieran Mulcahy’s Soozal finished on top of the table ahead of Jack Stening and Colin Gunn’s Stormaway. MHYC boats filled positions 4-8.
For all the SSORC Results – click here
While our season of ocean racing has been shortened somewhat due to COVID-19, all the major regattas were completed, MHYC again showed its commitment to this area of the sport and club members demonstrated their competitive abilities.
Fingers are now crossed that the Airlie Beach, Hamilton Island and Magnetic Island Regattas up north can proceed ahead of the 2020-2021 season getting underway in September.
On day two of the Wednesday Helly Hansen Autumn Series another 5 races were completed in five different European waterways, Aarhus, Cagliari, Fecamp and Kiel. The smaller fleet of eight J70 spinnaker racing boats battled it out in winds ranging from 20 to 30 knots. Will Wilkinson’s Rocky 2 continued his stellar performance with three wins and Mullet (Rob Armstrong) claiming the other two races. Graham Brown also had a successful day with three second places on his boat Adams10 MH26, named after his favourite MHYC yacht Another Dilemma.
After the 10 races so far in the series Will Wilkinson is the person to beat on Rocky 2 with a commanding lead on 14 points. Graham Brown is in second place on 20 points followed by Cameron Wall on SqWall with 36 points.
Will Wilkinson stands as the favourite at present to be MHYC’s representative for the upcoming eSailing State Championships but others are fast gaining skills.
Australian Sailing have launched the 2020 Australian eSailing National Challenge, involving Club and State rounds culminating in the inaugural Zhik Australian eSailing National Challenge regatta.
Clubs around Australia have been invited to host their own Virtual Regatta club championships, with one club champion proceeding to the next stage of the challenge. Club champions must be decided by Monday 18 May.
MHYC’s selection process is as follows:
- At the conclusion of Round 3 of the Helly Hansen Autumn eSailing Series, the best placed competitors in the each of the Saturday, Wednesday and Thursday Series will progress to a Selection Series. The target entry numbers for the Selection Series is twelve (12), with a maximum of fifteen (15) entries. Determination of entries is at the absolute discretion of the MHYC Race Committee.
- The MHYC Selection Series will be conducted on Saturday 16 May, 2020, commencing at 11am. Five races will be contested in the J-70 class.
- The winner of the Selection Series will be declared the autumn eSailing Champion and represent MHYC in the State Championships.
- Should the winning competitor be unavailable to contest the State Championships, the second placed competitor will be nominated to represent MHYC in the State Championships. The MHYC Race Committee reserves the right to substitute a competitor due to extenuating circumstances.
Results and information at https://mhyc.com.au/sailing/e-sailing
MHYC's Centreboard Club Champion in the Optimist, Will Wilkinson, has completed a clean sweep of MHYC’s initial three e-Sailing Series after his three point win in the Saturday Spinnaker races today followed wins in the Wednesday Spinnaker and Thursday Non-Spinnaker series.
Today’s racing was in the J70 Day Racer class, with nine competitors lining up for a practice race and four windward-leeward races in varying wind strengths at four venues.
Wilkinson claimed two race wins with Rocky 2 to finish ahead of Dane Kearney DK123456, two points ahead of Michael Malseed and Rum Run. Adam Mowser’s Ads was relegated to fourth place in a tie-break.
For today’s results and more information about e-Sailing at MHYC, go to https://mhyc.com.au/sailing/e-sailing
After successfully completing 2 of the Wednesday Non-Spinnaker Pursuit Series, Series 3 was cut short by the introduction of social distancing by the NSW Government to combat the spread of the Coronavirus after only one race.
Wednesday 18th March was the first day yacht clubs all around Sydney cancelled races in support of the measures to counter the COVID-19 Pandemic.
All 12 races were completed in Series 1 with a solid 23 boats entered in the series. Race 3 was the only exception to the average fleet numbers of over 20 participants in each race with torrential rains reducing the fleet to a mere 3 boats in Division 2 crewed by the most dedicated sailors.
It was a close competition in Division 1 with only 5 points separating the top 4 boats. With 2 billets and 3 second places Austmark proved too strong and come in 1st place for the series skippered by Gunther Schmidt-Lindner on 29 points. With one race to go Toy Box 2 was on 29 and Little Nico and Zen both on 30, it was a tight finish in the minor placings. With a 5th in the last race for Toy Box 2 they dropped off the podium leaving Little Nico (Adrian Walter) to take second place for the race as well as the series 2.5 minutes ahead of Zen (Gordon Ketelbey).
In Division 2 it was the consistent performance of Garth Riley on Sirius that lead to the Series win on a comfortable 56 points. It was close competition between the next 3 boats with only 1 point between the 3 to decide the podium winners. Despite a lacklustre showing on the last race for Wailea her strong performance across the series took them to second place for skipper Neil Padden on 64 points, closely followed by Rumba (Kerry Burke, Rob Carr & Stephanie Cook).
Full Results click here
Toy Box 2 came back with a vengeance with a strong performance across Series 2 for Ian Box, including 3 first places, 2 of which were in the last 2 races to beat Zen in a count back for 1st place in the Series both on 38 points. Peter Sorenson came in third place on Advanced Philosophy.
In Division 2 the Adams 10’s proved too strong for the fleet claiming the top 3 positions. Garth Riley continued his winning streak on Sirius, taking out the series on 59 points ahead of Paul Saunders on 62 points with Let Loose.
Full Results click here
The 1st race of Series 3 started well for John Crawford on Innamincka getting the gun ahead of vising boat Tensixty (Ian Green) in Division 2, closely followed by Gary Carless on Renaissance. In was a tight race in Division 1 with only one minute between the top three boats. Rob Reynolds pulled ahead taking first place on Exile ahead of Little Nico (Adrian Walters) in in second place only one second ahead of Advanced Philosophy (Peter Sorensen) in third.
With no racing now for 7 weeks we are all dreaming of the day we get back on the water to challenge our mates. In the meantime check out the media gallery of races past and relive some great memories.
For Media Gallery click here
Get your Pencils and Crayons ready!
Middle Harbour Yacht Club's Easter Holiday Colouring Competition is in full swing.
WE HAVE 2 CATEGORIES: Tackers - Tackers 1, Tackers 2 and any MHYC children and siblings ages 10 and below. Win a Tackers pack containing: Tackers branded Carry bag, Spandex top, Cap and Drink bottle.
Fleet - Tackers 3, Opti Green, Opti Race, and Opti Open Fleet. Win your very own MHYC’s Race Fleet bib.
TO ENTER: Download colouring sheet here
The winning entries will be posted to MHYC Junior & Youth Discover Sailing Facebook page and announced on at 4 pm on Friday 24th April.