DECEMBER 12, 2015 – VOLUME 2015, NUMBER 15
This newsletter is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to reality is a mere coincidence.


Breeze: South East – 10-15 knots St Lucia Reach
Tide: Flood tide
Course: Division 1 – 4 laps Triangle Course
Division 2 – fake oakleys 3 laps Triangle Course
Fleet: Division 1: 6 Lasers, 0 NS14s, 1 Tasars
Division 2: 4 heron, 2 Pacers

Race Report

What a day!! What a race!!

The defending Division 2 club champion (James) up against the 2015-2016 Club champion (Mary Ann), plus Nev (Division 1 2015-16 Club champion) sailing the appropriately named “Murray’. Unlike the reports from the bay, we had a great breeze.

The race started with Mary Ann just edging out Nev to cross the starting line first.
It was tack for tack, with Mary Ann and Nev edging away slowly from James.

It was a highly tactical race, with whenever one of them got an advantage, they would then tack and cover. Regardless of this the lead kept changing. Nev edged out Mary Ann at the windward mark to claim bragging rights briefly. Mary Ann showed her downwind skills to pass cheap oakley sunglasses Nev and open up a small lead, while James made in-roads to round just behind.

Lap 1 down, 2 to go.

The second lap was a repeat of the previous one, with Nev picking a couple of good shifts to get back into contention.

Then it happened.

I woke up; the race was abandoned for lack of breeze, although we had more breeze than the bay. At one point during cheap nfl jerseys the afternoon, Nev checked the weather conditions. Willy Weather or Google or Siri or whoever, stated zero knots. That was enough reason to abandon the sailing discussions downstairs, and migrate upstairs to start the Wine & Nibble degustation. Unfortunately, one couple arrived for the post-race party, to find us all leaving.

I did give some thought to Adam & Bethany sailing on the bay – it is a long way to paddle home.

Included some of the good pictures from the first half of the season.


What is happening around the Club?

• First, let me thank you all for that kind gift of wine. I will attempt to do it justice over the sailing break.
• Over the last number of weeks, Scuttlebutt has been featuring articles from John Stannard. Even though we are losing him to Townsville, he has said that he will continue to provide these articles.
• Our sailing secretary Robert Preston has also volunteered to also start submitting articles for Scuttlebutt.
• We are still looking for a paid trainer to assist in the Friday afternoon advanced school course.
• The new header photo is from Robert Graham – great photo of the start a couple of weeks ago.
• We had five double passes to the “In the heart of the Sea” movie to present to members who have acted above and beyond the call of duty. Recipients were: Mary Ann, Sue Bailey, Trevor & Yvonne, Allan & Carol, & Robert Preston.
• A BBQ was held at lunch time (thank you to Byron and Sue for the superb cooking) and presentation of certificates to our sailing school members who will finish their course this Saturday 19 Dec. We look forward to welcoming them back on the 30 January to practice their sailing skills.
• The wine and nibbles was really enjoyable with lots of lovely plates of food, thank you to everyone who brought a plate of food to share.
• The Management Committee met during the week. As the hall was booked out, we would normally hold the meeting downstairs amongst the boats. As it was such a lovely night, we sat under a light & the stars. A very pleasant meeting. The following items were discussed and decided:
o Bill Rochaix’s offer to take on the role of Secretary was accepted with unanimous support.
o The NS14 known as Jones will be stripped of parts, and the hull disposed of.
o After much deliberation, the decision was made to keep the current window format, and simply replaced the required parts, glass etc. We will attempt to get a suitable grant, failing that, we will bring forward the expense from the sinking fund.
• Reasons to sail at South’s
o Not as far to paddle when the breeze dies completely
o Unlike Darwin Sailing Club, we do not have crocodiles swimming just off-shore, waiting for the laser sailors (as reported by Adam H)
o Celebrated 95th birthday with the Club’s oldest life-member (my mother) at a golf club. They warn there are red belly black snakes on their course.
o We have pelicans returning to the Milton Reach
o If pelicans are returning, then the dolphins cannot be far behind.

Important Times

• Friday 6pm – Pre-Race registration closes 6pm Friday
• Saturday 1pm – Boat hirers should be at Club
• Saturday 1:30pm – Race Registration closes (after this you cannot compete in a race)

Need a crew or skipper?

Go to the Club’s Facebook page & put an “advert” there.

Volunteers – Last week 12 Dec:
Taffy : Trevor and Yvonne Nobbs
Abedare : Dave Sherwood
Finishing : Sue and Byron James Adams

Volunteers – Next Race 30 Jan:
Taffy : Trevor and Yvonne Nobbs
Abedare : Is this your name?
Finishing : Club Is this your name?


Race Secretary’s Ramble – Robert Preston

SBSC Transition to Racing

After graduates of our 2015 sailing school received their certificates on Saturday, and minutes before the BBQ, I explained the new SBSC Transition to Racing Program – on trial for the first time in 2016.



The Transition to Racing program is intended for people with basic sailing skills to build their competency and confidence in Club Racing by sailing with experienced skippers. The program will give a flexible structure to one of the great traditions of the club – helping others to build their sailing skills.

Each person signing up to the program will get:
• To sail in 3 club races in a hire boat between 30 January and 30 April with an experienced skipper.
• A sailing mentor. One of clubs experienced club skippers will help to answer your questions about how to improve your crewing or skippering skills.
• Three (3) short theory sessions about racing tactics, rules and strategy.

One of the gradates said that they had really enjoyed the sailing school, but were a bit uncertain the next step. The program is also open to other club members who would don’t feel fully confident about skippering a boat in club races.

At an introductory cost of $100 it’s very good value.

Several of our experiences sailor have also put their hands up to volunteer as a sailing mentor and or to skipper a boat with in races.

As the program starts on 30 January 2016 could anyone interested please contact me or Nev Murray ( by 20 December. We will also take a second call for ‘expressions of interest’ in the New Year.

Race Scoring System

Thanks to all sailors and finishers for their patience with the new ScoreIT race scoring system this year that we have used to record and publish race times and results, along with the new manual sign-on and sign-off sheet that uses TryBooking race registrations.

It’s been a real pleasure to work closely with Steve Fletcher, Margot Henry, James Brandt, Adam Humphries and Sharyn Johnston to get the new procedures up and going, and to iron out the bugs.

There has been healthy debate on the virtues of Low Score and High Score systems, and other Yardstick issues that we hope to resolve in the new future, as we continue to find the ‘perfect’ scoring system for the club. A new Victorian system called ClubOps looks promising, as does a manned trip to Mars

All the best to my new and old sailing friends for the festive season.

Keep sailing alive!

Coming Events

19-Dec: Sailing School finishes
30-Jan: Season resumes


Please be reminded that when packing the club boats away after sailing, ensure that all sails and equipment that belongs to that boat are put inside it so it keeps everything all together. Also don’t leave until your boat has been put away. Make sure you put the sails etc into the correct bags when packing away.


Press Ctrl/Click (Apple Cmd/Click) to go to the photos for the following links

Boat Photos Boat Photos and Movies

Boat Hire:

Pre-Race Registration:

Race Results:

TECHNIQUE NO. 8 Links – John Stannard

Water and what works:
We sailors focus most on the wind as our power source, but what is the best way to manage the natural action of waves and tide both of which can either add to or diminish boat-speed?

We all know all about the tide on the River. It comes in and goes out, sometimes slowly sometimes quickly. Some rare days there is so much current that even with a nice breeze, we are not going anywhere.

Fun fact; Gibraltar has a maximum tide range of 1.1 metres. Brisbane River can see 2.3 metres range or more. Broome a 9.8 metre tidal range (that is, the difference when cheap oakley sunglasses you subtract low tide from the high tide.) The bigger the number the faster the speed of the water so as to move the volume.

The rule of twelfths:
In our region tides are about every six hours. Dividing each tide into a unit for each hour, 1/12th of the water flow will occur in the first and last hour, 2/12ths in each of the second and fifth hours, leaving half of the total volume of water to flow in the middle two hours. As the river never gets any wider, the bigger the difference between high and low, the faster the water must travel, especially in those middle hours.

Local tide work:–hill-end.html has a tide, and wind, predictor adjusted for our Hill End. If you look before you leave home you can prepare for the day by seeing which direction and how strong the tide will be at race time. A 1.8m difference between high and low is about average. Last Saturday, [rounded for easy memorising], we had an 11:30 AM High of 2.4 m and a 6:30 PM Low of 0.5 m. giving a difference in height of 1.9 m. This means the race was held just after the middle two hours of flow of a run-out tide.

To make the most of this information, combine it with the wind prediction to see which reach of the river the race will likely be on and work out if the tide will be assisting you either upwind or downwind, preparing mentally for which leg to sail the middle of the river where the current runs faster and when to hug the slacker water nearer the bank. Sometimes there is a tide line marking the slacker water. In doing this be wary of the odd bigger rock submerged along the bank, they can have little eddy patterns too.

Where to steer in tide:
There are two tide decisions. Firstly, when to point high and when to foot while we are sailing upwind, and secondly, whether to aim straight at the mark.
In general, if the tide is flowing against the wind, carrying us toward it, it will be much faster to foot low with more speed while sailing upwind than it will be to point high. However, when the tide and wind are coming from the same direction, then it usually pay to point higher and reduce the area of boat presented to the tide. The reasons are more complicated than the application, so if you are unclear, the best way to prove it works will be to sail one whole leg upwind in pointing mode and the next in footing mode. Compare your results against other boats at the windward mark. The difference can be stark.
Secondly, when the mark is up-tide or down-tide of us, all else equal, we can sail most effectively by pointing more or less towards our next mark as determined by wind and other boat considerations. However, when there is a cross-river leg with a wing mark, steering so that the boat points always at the mark will cause you to sail a curved course as the tide carries you across the course. A pile of boats sailing against the tide just near the bottom mark is often an indicator that people have made this error. For some reason it is more common when boats are grouped. In this situation, if we decide the straight line is fastest, the boat should be pointed toward the tide so its resultant course is crabwise directly to the mark and ignoring those around you.
Remember also when steering to allow for the fact that you are sat to one side of the boat, which means the boat is never pointed at where you are aiming but somewhat to one side. To see where the boat is actually headed, move to the centreline and sight the shore directly ahead of the jib-luff.

Wave motion:
Generally waves are a minor consideration when sailing on a River. For completeness and those times you may be tempted elsewhere, here is a bit about waves.

The water in waves only moves in a little circle with each wave, like a parcel on a piece of string about as much as a tea-towel when you flap it up and down. In a constant depth, waves moves along the water’s surface and through the water, until they reach a shallow where they pile up and drive the last bits of water over the top and into shore. To see these two types of behaviour, take a look at the City-cat ferry waves approaching and then breaking on the Club launching ramp.

And here is a link to a schematic of how constant depth water parcels interact with the wave energy that moves through them;

Sailing to windward in waves
Point up as you sail up the wave and bear away from the wind as you slide down the back. The bigger the wave the bigger the correction, on the river it’s tiny. On the face of a large wave, the skipper needs to start bearing away a little before the crest, otherwise you will launch the boat into the air through the top of the wave, potentially damaging the hull or rig on landing.

As an extreme example, see ‘Brindabella’ in heavy seas in the Sydney to Hobart, at 28 seconds in, pointing high as they sail up the waves and bearing away down the back. Watch the headsail shiver as the boat falls off a Cheap Jerseys wave, imagine the forces involved; check the last wave in the head-on vision at the end of the video to see exactly the pointing up and bearing away demonstrated:


Sailing waves downwind
Is about catching what you can with the allowed one pump per wave on your sheets.
See attached picture of a Finn dinghy surfing, note the heel to windward – compare mast angle with the horizon – and how the skipper has a hold of the mainsheet. Here it looks to be eased forward, all ready to pump on the next wave. Even tiny river waves can assist us downwind.

For those going from a river to an open water regatta you will need time to adjust. The below article says it well and clearly, so we won’t weary the reader trying to re-invent a nice round wheel.
PS: Correction: Last week I mentioned the option of stopping racing if you find it’s become a chore for whatever reason, bad start, tacks not going well, you’re in capsize city, whatever.
What I should have made clear is you can transition from racing mode to training mode, (and back), anytime during a race without leaving the race course. All it requires is a mental change of gears allowing you to concentrate on whatever you would like to improve. Aside from continuing to observe the racing rules, other boats can be ignored. To the casual onlooker on the bank your sailing looks the same, but to the crew it’s a new game that can rejuvenate your afternoon.

… and finally,

Merry Christmas
A Happy New Year