November 2020 Sailing Newsletter

November 2020 Sailing Newsletter

COVID Safe Sailing

Firstly, I hope this newsletter finds you and your family well.

Since we started the 20-21 season, we have received great support from the skippers and crews on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Thank you for completing the Skippers Declaration and the regular Crew Declarations.

Most competitors have used a crew declaration facility on Top Yacht, and we would encourage all skippers to use this. Ross Ahrens is available to help any skippers or crew in complying with the Safety Plan, the use of Top Yacht or anything related to COVID Safe Sailing.

2019/20 presentation

As you would be aware, we were not able to have the presentation for last season. We were hoping that COVID-19 restrictions would have been lifted to allow us to have a presentation of trophies from last season before the opening day Sail Past on Saturday 5 September. However, at this stage, the COVID restrictions on the Club mean that a presentation is not possible. We still want to honour the trophy winners from last year, and we will do this as soon as it is practically possible.

The Racing Rules of Sailing

It has been reported to me that there has been an increasing number of on water incidents and near misses where skippers and crews either don’t know the rules or ignore them.  As all sailors know we conduct our races under the Racing Rules of Sailing. The rules ensure that racing is not only fair but also safe.

Usually, Damien Boldyrew kindly provides us with a rules briefing, but this has not been possible this year due to COVID. Damien has given me some links to the RYA TouTube channel that has some great videos of the rules. I have included links below to the two main areas that continue to cause some concern – the start and mark rounding.

The Start –

Marks part 1 –

Marks part 2 –

There is also an important obligation in the Racing Rules of Sailing with respect to misconduct (Rule 69) and I need to bring this to the attention of all skippers and crews. Rules 69 states –

69.1 Obligation not to Commit Misconduct; Resolution

(a) A competitor, boat owner or support person shall not commit an act of misconduct.

(b) Misconduct is:

(1) conduct that is a breach of good manners, a breach of good sportsmanship, or unethical behaviour; or

(2) conduct that may bring the sport into disrepute.

(c) An allegation of a breach of rule 69.1(a) shall be resolved in accordance with the provisions of rule 69. It shall not be grounds for a protest, and rule 63.1 does not apply.

The clause also provides for how the Protest Committee will deal with the matter.

While we don’t want to invoke Clause 69, there have been some incidents that have been reported to me that border on misconduct. We ask that you treat your fellow competitors with respect at all times.  Please do not do anything that you might take offence to if that action was done to you. Thanks for your cooperation.

Congrats to Chris Villa and Mark Holmes

Recently, Chris Villa and Mark Holmes competed in the ACT Flying 15 Championships on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra and they were crowned champions. Well done guys. They will head to Queensland later in the year for the Queensland state titles.

She Sails Program

The She Sails program is up and running again at NCYC with the Open Regatta on 28/29 November and a Development Regatta in February/March 2021.  See the link below for all of the details.

Junior Sailing Program

Following an approach from some members we are going to start a junior sailing program for the foiling WAZP and Moth classes. Ross and the racing team, along with some parent volunteers will be undertaking some trial races on Sundays from late November to the end of the year and then again in February 2021. This is a great opportunity for us to promote racing on Lake Macquarie in these exciting foiling boats. If you are out on the water on a Sunday then have look at these speed machines.

 Congratulations Jack Buchan

Conratulations to Jack Buchan (So Farr) for winning Sailing Professional Award at the 2020 Australian Sailing Awards for his work as the Sailing Manager at NCYC.  This is a great honour for Jack and recognition for his hard work in managing and promoting sailing not only at NCYC but right across the region.


Wednesday – Summer Series 1

After seven races, in Division 1 Hoi Polloi (Philip Blanch) is leading on 30 points from The Three Stooges (Steve Liddell) on 32 points and Dreadnaught (Ed Hillier) on 44 points. In Division 2 its is very tight with Lucille (Stephen Manhood) is leading on 58 points from Oiselet (Karl Manhood) also on 58 points and Scaramouche (John Skilicorn) also on 58 points.

Saturday Racing

After eleven scheduled races and one abandoned due to weather, racing is very competitive in all divisions. In Division 1 Excessive (David Nichols) is leading on 51 points from Ross Street (Noel Jenkins) on 52  points and (Ian Bower) on 53 points. In Division 2, Santana (Michael Graham) is leading on 55  points from Tenacity (David Young) on 58 points and Excess (Bruce Dobinson) on 64  points.  In Division 3, Topaz (Greg Nolan) is leading on 39 points from Wedgwood (Roger Geary) on 42 points and Pentangle (Brian Varnum) on 51 points.

All the best and please stay safe,
Steven Ford
Rear Commodore LMYC