Sailing Started up again June 6

Year 2020

Good News. Sailing under certain strict guidelines is able to recommence. As there is no racing permitted the Winter Racing season will temporarily be replaced by Shakedown cruises.  Next was to be 9th August but see “latest news” for update to rules.

More details to follow shortly but tentative dates are in the calendar.  


Activities started as planned on Sunday 7 June and thanks Ian for organising the day.  Two boats, with 5 persons in total, participated in the first (ever) winter cruise.  Route was Queenscliff pier, PE, Parks inner, Queenscliff.  Sundance achieved it, Tiercel was beaten by the tide.  A classic case of two boats, speeds 4 and 5 knots, contrary tide of 4 knots, result: faster boat does 1 knot, slower one does zero knots.  A good day on the water, shifting a few cobwebs.  


No-one provided a halo for me when I was Commodore!

Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 10.17.31 PM

The second outing was Sunday 28th June. And this was undertaken in light winds, again with two boats but a few more people.  It was a day for experiments with light weather sails.  Tiercel beat the 11.00 ferry out of the harbour and positioned herself in the ebb tide with main and blooper hoisted.  These found barely a breath of wind –  just enough to get steerage way occasionally and let the tide carry her to the outer Parks mark.  By then a little breeze allowed crabbing across the tide to the inner parks mark where she met Sundance going the other way round, having spent some time doing sail trials of her own.  The northerly breeze held (mostly) and reached about 8 knots, but real progress was only made when the tide turned at about 1.40.  Sundance was home well before Tiercel.  

Postponed cruise 3.

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The third planned cruise was postponed from 19th July to 26th July owing to a foul weather forecast (“near gale”) and then on the 26th the promised 12 knots failed to materialise. Sundance and Tiercel gave it a go but drifted for different lengths of time after a practice start also exercising Swan. The achievements were thus limited to a (rare) competitive start between those two boats and some more light-weather sail experimentation.

And again cruise 4.

For 9 August, the combination of increased restriction (limit of 2 on board) and weather forecast (fresh to strong wind) led to another cancellation by mutual consent.



Cruise on 29th August

Despite a similar forecast for brisk winds but an otherwise pleasant day, Tiercel and Boomaroo braved it and set forth to head in the general direction of Sorrento. In the event, with winds around 20 knots and gusting 24, skippers agreed to  target South Channel Fort (or at least the navigable water south of it). This was reached at 12.55 after about 90 minutes sailing from Queenscliff. The return journey with following tide took about 45 minutes after which Boomaroo explored further and Tiercel returned to her mooring.

Sunday 6 September 2020 tempted quite a few boats out.  Boomaroo and Tiercel for some independent cruising between Queenscliff, Port Phillip Heads and Coles Light, Sundance was on a mission to Geelong and several non-QLYC vessels including Ventura went for a sail.

Saturday 19 September – A fine day with winds around 15 knots saw Boomaroo, Tiercel and Valentine independently exploring. Significant flood tide caused speeds to range from 7 knots (with tide) to 2 knots (against tide). Race Qs replay.

The Sailing Committee is planning for commencement of racing on October 10th with a shakedown cruise on October 3rd (briefing 11.30 for a 13.00 start), provided the Covid situation does not worsen again. Racing in keelboats is now allowed, provided that for 90% of the time the 1.5 m distancing rule can be achieved. Thus there will be some restrictions and some modification to normal practice to allow for the situation, including how crews based in Melbourne may be catered for and no spinnakers while the 1.5 m rule is in place. See our “latest news” page for links to the advice concerning restrictions.

Ray Maki race 1 (10th Oct) was blessed with good weather, but only Sundance and Tiercel took advantage of it and had a great day on the water. More to follow on this, but a RaceQs replay for Tiercel is on the “Results and Reports” page. Two photos:- click to view.

Ray Maki Race 2 on 17th October was blessed with benign weather despite a daunting forecast. See “Sailing / Keelboat sailing / Race results and reports” page. For the first time ever, all boats on the water were logged into Race Qs allowing a replay.

Ray Maki race 3, scheduled for 24th October was postponed owing to a foul weather forecast. In the event, while the worst of the rain just missed us, at least at race time, the wind exceeded even the forecast – reaching (at S. Channel Fort) 30 knots a “near gale” and gusting to 35.

Ray Maki race 4 did occur, with forecast winds (just) below 20 knots, but in reality reaching over 25 knots. Participants on course 7 were Sundance, Tiercel, Valentine and a welcome return for Indulgence. Indulgence was a bit keen and set off a minute early, Valentine and Tiercel were on time and on port tack (after multiple practice attempts to cross the line on starboard). Sundance had a free run over the line 10 minutes later. Indulgence (unreefed!) was going really well while using the shallows to escape the flood tide. The fleet converged near Pope’s eye beacon, after which the divisions separated in the expected manner. Indulgence lost it by going offshore too soon and copping the tide (which was probably faster than forecast owing to the brisk southerly). The downwind legs saw a lot of goose-winging, with varying levels of success. Over the line and on handicap the order was Sundance, Tiercel, Valentine, with Indulgence a dnf. Salt was rubbed into Indulgence’s wound with an engine failure, resulting in a sail into the swing moorings and involvement of Swan for a tow home.

Ray Maki race 5 was combined with the Cole Cup and run on 7th November 2020. A very good day on the water for Sundance, Tiercel, Valentine and Indulgence. See “Race results and reports” page.

Ray Maki race 6 happened on 14th November in difficult light conditions, with Indulgence and Sundance making it round the up-tide mark before fading winds stalled Valentine and Tiercel (handicap win for Indulgence followed by Sundance). On 21st November, the Festival Race was run as a “She Sails” event, in the form of a sternchaser aimed at ladies or at least ‘crew’ being on the helm for the sake of experience without the pressure of aggregate points. Another win for Indulgence.

This coming Saturday (November 28th) be there for Ray Maki Race 7.  And returning to “Good News” the (late Nov) update from Australian Sailing re Covid restrictions outlines relaxations:-


  • Organised club racing and training for all members (adults and youth) can resume. This includes double handed dinghies and all forms of fully crewed keel boats, trailables and sports boats.
  • Masks and social distancing are no longer required while sailing
  • There is no limit on the number of boats on the water for racing or training.
  • Group sizes limited to 50 people (subject to a density quotient of 1 per  4sqm) in rigging area, keeping 1.5m social distancing unless wearing masks. Multiple groups of 50 to be separated by a clear and reasonable gap.

Ray Maki race 7 was run on 28th November with three vessels, Tiercel, Valentine and Indulgence.  To compensate for last week’s forecast brisk winds but actually calms, this race brought winds around 20 knots after forecast calms.  Results, both ‘over the line’ and on handicap were Indulgence, Valentine and Tiercel.  See “Race Results and Reports” page.  Report to follow.  

The Ray Maki Supplementary scheduled for 5 December, in which we hoped to pick up the missed RM3 race was cancelled owing to a fearsome weather forecast. After consulting the BoM, Willy Weather, Predict Wind, Windy, etc. it set a new record for both variability and unreliable forecasts. A good show at briefing, with skippers or crew from Sundance, Valentine, Tiercel, Indulgence and Drizabone attending, but all agreed to play safe and ‘give if a miss’. This was encouraged by the sound of wind whistling in rigging and the “paperwork” blowing away and into the boatyard fence. As it happened, by the time we would have been motoring out the wind was down to 4 knots at South Channel Fort and locally – but soon to be in the upper 20’s again. So no complaints about the cancellation, particularly when it started to rain as well, later in the afternoon. Hope for better luck with the second ‘supplementary’ for the Ray Maki series.








The Champagne Sternchaser on 12 December 2020 again had weather very different from forecast and the finishing order, hence result, was Sundance, Tiercel, Indulgence and Valentine.

Ray Maki race 3 was picked up (after two previous postponements) on 19th December 2020 so the full 7-race series is complete.  

On 26 December 2020 the Boxing Day tradition of having the start of the Sydney-Hobart race on TV was thwarted by the first ever cancellation of the race.  But we still had our Opening Day celebrations, presentation of Honorary Life Membership to Bev Lee, presentation of the 2019-20 trophies and the live music from the ukulele band. 

Year 2021  

The New Year brought in a rush of trophy races and (with less rigorous “Covid” restrictions) spinnakers back in use.  January 2nd gave us the Irwin Trophy and January 9th the Commodore’s Cup.  Muriel Elizabeth (used to be Christabelle) won the latter, with Drizabone 2nd – so a day for the Couta boats.  Results and report are posted on the “Race Results and Reports” page. 

Unfortunately the Lady Skippers Race was abandoned on 16 January owing to strong winds (Sundance and Tiercel being the only vessels turning up and winds not dropping below 20 knots from 13.00 onwards). It is hoped it can be rescheduled.

The Cec Anderson series kicked off on January 23rd, and race 2 was held on January 30th.  Sundance won both these races.  Cec Anderson race 3 on 6 February was won by Indulgence, then new covid restrictions (February 13th) forced the postponement of the Lady Nelson Trophy race.  Had the race been held it would have been a bit brisk, with winds mostly in the low 20’s and several gusts over 25 knots (at least as recorded at S Channel Fort).  Also see “Latest News” for a link to the Club’s February Newsletter.

Cec Anderson races 4 and 5 were run on February 20th (very brisk) and 27th (delayed through calm) respectively, Drizabone won both.  And she won Cec 6 on 6th March 2021 against Indulgence and Tiercel.   The Lady Nelson Trophy was completed on March 27th (Indulgence the winner) and on April 3rd the Cec Anderson series was completed (at the third attempt for Cec 7: Tiercel finally getting a win).  

The season came to an end on 24th April with a series of 3 sprint races.  Results for this series were Tintagel, Valentine, Tiercel and Sundance.     

Year 2021-22

2nd October 2021 saw recreational sailing allowed, but not racing.  Consequently 4 vessels went out for a shakedown cruise and by mutual agreement headed in the direction of Sorrento, though with independent timing.  A good day on the water with gentle wind and no rain.















9th October 2021

Informal cruise to Point Nepean

Valentine, Sundance and Tiercel had a pleasant cruise to Point Nepean and anchored for a peaceful lunch.  After Sundance won the battle with a snagged anchor all returned safely to base.

Point Nepean with Valentine anchored.



Tiercel crew – masks off for quick photo
Valentine and Sundance









30th October 2021

Ray Maki race 4

After crews wondering if the day would ever come, the easing of lockdown allowed a race.  Four vessels signed on (Sundance, Tiercel, Indulgence and Sonsy).  Indulgence, wisely or luckily stayed in harbour, Tiercel, after missing the start, retired mid-race rather than carrying on after the others finished.  Sundance and Sonsy battled it out, with a win (by 3 minutes) by the newly antifouled Sundance. The weather followed or exceeded the recent forecast, rather than the benign conditions previously forecast for the day.  Estimated winds 15 to 25 knots and perhaps some stronger gusts with rain. 

Tiercel’s woes peaked on dropping sails, as the jib halyard got into the foil, jammed hard and prevented the sail from coming down.  Eventually after many attempts, plan Z involved Richard Bos balanced on the pulpit, unscrewing a recalcitrant and long bolt to dismantle the base of the foil so the sail could be pulled out of the slot rather than down it.  The wind soon took over the job, with the remnants of sail flying free, nearly taking Richard over the side, but with much relief for the crew at being able to return to harbour.  Many thanks to Jason and crew of Sonsy for standing by during this saga (as well as to Richard for heroic work).

So in short,  a big welcome to Jason and crew for their first race at QLYC and hopes for other vessels to join in.







6th November 2021  and

13th November 2021

In each case, a foul weather forecast led to cancellation of racing (scheduled for Ray Maki races 5 and 6 respectively).  

20th November 2021

At last a better day and four vessels competed – Indulgence, Drizabone, Valentine and Sonsy.  On handicap it was a fairly close finish, apart from Indulgence (cleanest hull ??) being ahead of the pack, Drizabone fresh from maintenance also clear of Valentine who only just edged out Sonsy by seconds rather than minutes.

27th November 2021

Again unfavourable weather forced cancellation of racing on this day (scheduled as the “Festival Race” planned as a sternchaser).  

Cole Cup 5 December 2021

Finally another race achieved in conditions just below the cut-off for safe racing.  In gusty winds a narrow win for Sonsy over Valentine and Sundance.  More details here.  







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