A strong fleet of almost 80 yachts, ranging from one-design Ynglings to Division 1 60-footers, has entered the 152nd summer season of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron with racing starting on the Harbour tomorrow, Saturday, 6 September.
Biggest fleet this summer will be the International Etchells class with 23 entries so far for this highly competitive one-design class while the three mixed divisions between them more than 40 entries.
Vice Commodore Richard Chapman and Cruise Captain Richard Lawson have joined the Etchells fleet, chartering Foolhardy from Sir James and David Hardy. Another addition to the Etchells fleet is AUS1292, skippered by CYCA member Matthew Ramaley.
Prominent Etchells sailors entered for the season include Michael Coxon (North Star), Peter Alexander (Tonic), David Seaton (Dot), Doug McGain (Ciao), Matt Whitnall (Umami) and Richard Hammond and Roger McGain (Alchemist).
With Division 4 entries dwindling in recent season, the division has been combined with Division 3, with the courses adjusted to accommodate the smaller Division 4 boats.
Division 3 has 15 entries with a fleet that now ranges from the Hood 23 Esquisse 2 through to former Sydney Hobart Race winner Zeus II.
Division 2 has attracted 14 entries so far, including three newcomers: Greenwich Sailing Squadron member Terry Daly’s Mungral 25, the well-named Beware of the Dog; CYCA member Andrew Butler’s Dufour 36e Astral; and Valhalla, skippered by RSYS member Andrew Butler, until now a non-spinnaker division Winter competitor.
Heading Division 1 once again is Charles Curran’s 60-footer Sydney with the division looking highly competitive with such yachts as Peter Lowndes Lyons 47 Wine-Dark Sea, Ian MacDiarmid’s Hell Razor, Geoff Davidson’s Jackie Clare, Bill Meiklejohn’s Jutson 50 and John and Michael Stephen’s Ker 1103 in the fleet.
While tomorrow is the opening of the racing season on Sydney Harbour, the 152nd Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron Opening Day will be on Sunday week, September 14.
The Squadron’s Commodore in Chief, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia will fire a field gun to signal the official opening of the season. Along with Her Excellency Lady Lynne Cosgrove, Sir Peter will review the fleet during the sail past of Squadron vessels.
– Peter Campbell