Commodore's Report

Whilst the weather has been rather ordinary, it’s terrific that BBYC is almost back to normal. Our usual full racing and cruising program is underway, the bar is open, Friday twilight barbeques are back and from the 15 December (or sooner if NSW hits the 95% vaccination milestone), all can sail regardless of vaccination status.

I look forward to welcoming you to our presentation afternoon from 12:00 on Sunday 5 December. COVID has delayed this a few times, so it’s great to finally be celebrating both our 2019-20 and 2020-21 sailing seasons. For Bathurst fans, rest assured the TV will be on!

Robbie Williams, a true gentleman sailor and long-time BBYC member, recently passed away. I greatly miss both his company and ability to trim a mainsheet.  

Merry Christmas to you and your family. Summer in Sydney is great fun on a boat, I hope to see you out on the water enjoying the fireworks and our beautiful coast.


Vice Commodore's Report

Time moves quickly, this is nearly the end of 2021 and the weather has been disappointing and added to the COVID19 restrictions and loss of races it’s been
a very poor season so far.
The Commodore, Rear Commodore and Glenn Huggett the Trophy Officer have been working hard to assist me in arranging the Presentation Day next Sunday 5th December 2021 (starting at midday). I have contacted most people, however, if you plan on attending and have not confirmed, I would appreciate a reply on my mobile 0409 667 926 no later than Wednesday 1st December to enable me to confirm the numbers with the Caterer.
You all would be aware that this Presentation is for 2 seasons. Due to COVID, the previous year was cancelled and this year’s was postponed, hence such a late date for this function.
I look forward to seeing you on the 5th December and for those who do not attend, I hope to see you all before the end of the year.
VC Brian

Rear Commodore's Report

The sailing season has got off to a shaky start, due firstly to the COVID restrictions and now unfavourable weather. So far this season we’ve lost 4 race days (2 Twilights and 2 Transits) to strong winds – this compares to a total of 4 lost for the whole of 2019-20, and 6 lost in 2020-21 – let’s hope the weather patterns settle soon so we can get back to our regular season.
For December, we are back to our regular Saturday schedule of races, as per the Blue Book (those Members who have not yet collected their copy of the Blue Book, please see one of the Directors in the office). The first race of the Summer Series will be held on 4th December; and a reminder that for the second race of the Summer Series, on 11th December, we will also be racing for the Commodore’s Cup (moved from 23rd October due to the COVID restrictions).
The new electronic scoreboard has proven its worth for the handicap start Transit races, and now the Twilighters are benefitting as well. From December, twilight race starts will be controlled solely by the scoreboard in count-down mode, with the race starting at 18:00hrs when the scoreboard clicks over to ‘00’. Race finishes will also be timed remotely, with all participants operating the free GPS-based RaceQs smartphone app ( Please contact me if you are not familiar with this app.
Finally, a reminder that we are now past due for payment of race fees (including evidence of insurance) and completion of equipment audits. Skippers who have not yet paid or provided to me completed Cat4 or Cat7 audit forms for their boats will not be awarded race points until these important requirements are met.

See you on the water.

COVID19 Update

NSW Government has announced a further easing of restrictions at 95% double vaccinated or 15 December – whichever comes first. From then everyone, regardless of vaccination status, will be able to race and come up to the clubhouse for a drink.

In the meantime, please continue to check in – there are QR codes on the main gate and the one to the boatyard. Racing skippers must also continue to sign on before each race, to confirm that all crew members have checked in and are double vaccinated (or are medically exempt).

Cruising Report

COVID restrictions are relaxed and most of us are permitted to head out in our boat. The challenge now seems to be finding a gap in the weather, where you can.
Priscilla, Honeron and Willa the dog on Acruix (formerly Timeron) appeared to be having a lovely time on an extended break up in the harbour. A very tranquil place if you are lucky enough to visit on a weekday at the tail end of a lockdown. They are also planning a cruise up to Cairns.

In our blue water cruising division, Pit Pony is still living the dream in the Caribbean and planning their next adventure. Lots of choices, perhaps heading through the Panama Canal to Mexico and the Galapagos.
The last weekend in October was looking like the perfect weekend to venture down to Jibbon. Plans were made, early mark from work arranged.  The 20-25 kt forecast on the Friday turned into a 35-40 knot gale and Jibbon weekend turned into a pleasant weekend at Towra.  Just goes to show it doesn’t really matter where you end up, if you are out there in good company, all is well with the world.
The Xmas – New Year break will be soon upon us. There will be club cruisers out waving at the Sydney to Hobart fleet as they pass Botany Bay. A few are planning on NYE on the harbour, and weather permitting venturing further north to Port Stephen. If you are out and about and like the idea of company for sundowners, drop a line on the Facebook page, that’s what it is for.

Race Reports

Twilight Races
The Twilight fleet has got off to a slow start this season, possibly reduced by the COVID restrictions. Only 4 boats have fronted up for the 4 completed races so far, run in a range of conditions from benign nor'easter to strong southerly. In the latter (race 4) gear problems split the fleet, with one withdrawal and one late across the line, but otherwise the racing has been very close and enjoyable. The return of post-race food and beverage in the clubhouse, hopefully coupled with more attractive weather, should see more boats out on the water in December.
Bay Races
Excessive winds unfortunately saw the abandonment of Transit races 2 and 3 during November, so the sprint races 1+2 6th Nov and 3+4 20th November saw the only Saturday sailing. Both days were cracking sailing breezes really enjoyed by the fleet.

6th Nov Sprint Series, Races 1 and 2
The Sprint Series started with a sparkling ENE-NE breeze ranging from 15 to 22kts over the two races. 9 boats hit the line for race 1 with Stockade and Halcyon Daze leading the fleet up to the airport windward mark with the former rounding first, Resurgent getting buoy room on Halcyon followed by Vamos, Stingray, the Ebrigade and Wasabi with Rhumbline IV, Tic Tacs and Wasabi specifically looking good at this early stage. The symmetrical kite setting boats enjoyed the square run in breeze to 18kts sailing less distance than the asymm boats, and the fleet bunched. Halcyon unfortunately had a kite hoist problem but recovered well, and Stockade goosewinged the asymm kite to sail closer to the rhumbline. The 2nd lap was virtually a repeat of the first with Stockade extending out well to nail the scratch win from Resurgent and Halcyon. On handicap Rhumbline kept the pressure on all race to edge out Stockade by 9 seconds, with Tic Tacs in 3rd.
The 2nd race was sailed in an 18-22kt NE and we probably got more than that in some gusts. The fleet charged off again and at the top mark it was Stockade, Vamos, Halcyon Daze and Blys the latter sailing out of their heads, followed by Resurgent who missed the start badly with jib sheet issues, with the rest of the Ebrigade and Wasabi right up there again. Down the square run Resurgent slid through to 2nd at the leeward mark and the 2nd lap was a similar effort to the first with the right hand side of the work coming into play more as the tide ebbed, and Blys and Rhumbline looking threatening for the chocolates. Blys held on well all race and got the handicap by 30s from Rhumbline with Stockade and Wasabi tied for 3rd 7 seconds back. That was a most enjoyable day of sprint racing in a very steady breeze, over a perfectly set course by our starters, with Rhumbline and Stockade sailing consistently to place in both races.
20th Nov Sprint Series, Races 3 and 4
Ten boats eagerly set out under the forecast average 12-14kt SSE but got 16-22kts and probably a bit more in the gusts over the two races, again set in a perfect course by our starters.

The race 3 start was willing as expected, won by the two J boats Wukong and Pinot making welcome returns from a break, and the usual suspects marched out up the first work. Wukong was totally flying but got pipped to the windward mark by Vamos muscling over the top from outside the starboard layline, followed closely by Stockade and Resurgent - 15seconds separated these four. Pinot was next hanging on well, followed by the baying peloton with Rhumbline and Juluka looking threatening. Down the square run the symm kite boats again came through and Resurgent rounded from Stockade, Wukong and Pinot. Vamos had an unfortunate kite drop problem which couldn’t be easily resolved and had to retire which was a shame after the first work effort. The 2nd lap was a near repeat but the gusts had to be managed especially through the gybe and kite drop, and Resurgent eased across the finish from Stockade and Wukong. On handicap the well drilled machine Rhumbline got the bouquet again, from Juluka pipping Pinot by 2 seconds.
The race 4 start was even more willing than the 3rd, with all the fleet right on the line on the gun and we were cleanly off again up the work as the breeze piped in a tad, and normal service was resumed as Vamos rounded from Stockade followed by the pack with Blys again looking like a serial pest in the building breeze. Resurgent square running with symm kite slid through to lead at the leeward mark from Vamos and Stockade. Up the 2nd lap next work Vamos came back with serious intent and approaching the windward mark on port just crossed in front of Resurgent on starboard. But the latter were on the lay line so rounded in front and slid down the square run as before. Vamos, Stockade and Wukong were sailing a bit deeper to try and hold on, and the Ebrigade were hanging on menacingly including Blys who kite set 2 up but unfortunately had to drop it half way down the 2nd run when they lost the clew connection. The fleet rounded for a one tack final leg. Unfortunately, Vamos had a kite drop issue again. Blys continued to sail well for the win from Pinot, Tic Tacs and Juluka.


What’s on at BBYC
Friday twilight racing, enjoy a great start to the weekend with a sunset sail. New sailors welcomed.
  • Spring twilight series – final race 17 Dec
  • New Year twilight series – first race 7 Jan
  • All races start at 18:00
  • Bar open, salad + cook your steak after racing
  • Non-members welcome – all need to complete online form prior to sailing
Saturday Bay racing
  • Commodore’s Cup – 11 Dec
  • Summer Bay series – year's final race 18 Dec
  • Claytons Cup (non-point score) – 8 Jan
  • Summer Bay series continues – 15 Jan
  • All races start at 13:30
  • Bacon & egg rolls available in the morning, bar open after the race
Cruising division
  • Boxing Day - check out the start of the Sydney-Hobart fleet or go straight out from the Botany Bay heads to see the super-maxis and a fleet of more than 100 yachts sail past.
  • New Year’s Eve fireworks – both 9pm and midnight fireworks are on in Sydney Harbour, but no Bayside Council fireworks at Lady Robinsons beach this year. There’s usually a map showing the exclusion zone online, whilst that doesn’t seem to be there yet, here’s a link to Sydney Harbour summer events.
  • Christmas cruising – continue cruising north in company up to Port Stephens or maybe just Pittwater, or do your own thing. All depends on the forecast. 
  • Visit our cruising division Facebook page for the latest plans.
  • Australian Sports Boat Association 22-25 Jan
  • Endeavour Nationals Easter 2022
Vale Robin (Robbie) Williams
Robbie (Curly) passed away peacefully after a battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 79. 
Please join the family at a memorial at the Mortdale Masos from 13:00-15:30 on Friday 3 December to celebrate Rob's enthusiasm for life. 
Robbie has been a long-term member of BBYC, many members know him from his days crewing on Torch, or even before when he sailed an NS14 at Connell’s Point Sailing Club. Our Commodore first met Robbie sailing on Witchdoctor at CYCA. He was part of the Sydney-Hobart crew when this famous old campaigner sailed her 26th race to Hobart, a new record for the most races by any yacht.

Robbie's King Billy pine yawl, Palana, did a few Hobarts herself but Robbie enjoyed cruising up and down the coast. His favourite spot was the pond at CYCA, the closest spot to the bar and Robbie was also a member of CYCA and CSC.
After creating a Scandal sailing with his best mate Ian (Bigfoot) Manley, Robbie joined Grant and I on Vamos come rain or shine. As well as being a great sailor, Robbie was always great fun - unless you intruded into his mainsheet space - and he was never far from a comb for those curly locks. Please raise a glass to Curly.


Congratulations to Jarv Woolley on the acquisition of his Swanson 28 (replacing Windtalker).

Members' Corner

Greeting’s From Qingdao China.
contributed by John Hearne
Most of you probably know that in July this year I tacked off on a nice lift and headed back to my business in Qingdao. Seemed like a great idea at the time, but going from winter in Sydney to Autumn then Winter in China wasn’t quite so smart.
The weather in Qingdao, a coastal city in the NE of China, can get cold. We will get to minus temperatures and get light snow about 4 times a year. It has a population of about 10million people and most people haven’t heard of Qingdao!
Sailing up here is very different to Australia. Boat ownership is minimal as the price of yachts versus the average salary of a Chinese worker is too big a spread to be achievable. Marina fees are almost the same as back home. Hence nearly all yachts in the north of China are Government owned. There is no weekly sailing but there are more and more regattas available to sailors.
Qingdao Marina (photo Courtesy of Sean Wang)
When I first came to Qingdao we would see the sun once every few weeks. The sky now is regularly blue as they have cleaned pollution up unbelievably. Not far offshore from the marina is a shipping lane. Qingdao has about the 8th busiest container port in the world – all computer controlled and 5g-enabled. It has set world records for container movements.
When I first moved here the standard of sailing wasn’t high. These days the top local Chinese are as good as most sailors who visit here. They have improved rapidly. There is a large spread of skills across most of the fleets. The other interesting aspect is they don’t have yacht clubs like we do. Generally, an owner will buy a yacht and set up a business called a “yacht club”.  Eg-Halcyon Daze Yacht Club. They will then try and make money from the boat and subsequent tax deductions. Nothing like Botany Bay Yacht Club exists in Qingdao.

Many of the sailors, especially the women, cover themselves from top to toe to avoid the sun. Literally you don’t see their skin. This makes it tough when I sail with them. I already struggle to remember and pronounce their names and then they go and cover themselves completely. Challenging, but all good fun.

Our fleets in Qingdao are mainly Beneteau First 40s (x 10), J80 (x 10)  and some Far East 28 and 26er’s. There is a reasonable Optimist fleet and windsurfers. Needless to say, I don’t do a lot of sailing up here. It was good to race weekly again at BBYC, and slowly get some of my skills back with the other larrikins I sailed with on the Halcyon Daze.

It was great sailing back at BBYC. The regular sailing and fiddling with boats was good. I miss that part a lot. You can’t just go down and work on a government-owned boat. Seeing a lot of faces I have known for years and meeting new sailors was very good. I am following the BBYC race results each week and try to stir up Wayne and Nigel. A bit of long distance motivation!
It was very sad to hear of the passing of Robbie. I knew him over the years including from his time on Witchdoctor.

Fair winds and smooth seas.
John Hearne
Over 100 years of the Endeavour Boatshed
Photo courtesy Wayne Pascoe.

Thanks also to Marc Van Dinther for photos from the Sprint Series.

From the Editor

As this is the last Log before Christmas, best wishes for the festive season, stay safe and hope you can make up for lost time on the water!
Members' Contributions
The Editors welcome input from Members to the BBYC Log - old photos, reports on how you're sailing through social distancing, other items of interest. The best 5 contributions will win a prize. Please send input to:


We appreciate the support of our fabulous sponsors: The club also greatly appreciates the support of Aluminium Scaffolds.
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