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Middle Harbour Yacht Club Keelboat Sailing Season Preview

by David Staley 29 Aug 2018 22:41 PDT
MHYC attracts a large fleet of Adams 10 for its inshore racing program © Crosbie Lorimer

Middle Harbour Yacht Club is gearing up for another busy season of keelboat sailing and there are a number of innovations in the 2018-2019 racing program.

Lots to do during the week!

Three series for the Melges 20 class have been added to midweek program, each with eight race days scheduled from November to March. Starting at 6pm during daylight saving hours, Tuesdays will feature the Open Short Course Sprint Series and Wednesday evenings will feature the Women's Short Course Sprint Series. Three races are planned for each evening of racing. Wednesday afternoons, coinciding with the regular pursuit race, will be a clubhouse start fleet race series. There are four Melges 20s at MHYC which are available for use by members. These quick and responsive sportsboats with their asymmetric gennakers are great fun to sail.

The Yacht Sales Australia Wednesday Non Spinnaker Pursuit Series has fifty one races scheduled this year. Wednesdays feature a clubhouse start for a variety of harbour courses and finish with the presentation of a bottle of rum for first place in each division.

The highly popular Thursday Twilight Series includes twenty five races this year, six of which make up the Women's Twilight Pointscore. Four divisions of yachts, from family cruisers to purebred racing machines, share the joy of racing on our spectacular harbour. Perhaps the best part of the day is returning to the lively social atmosphere of MHYC as the sun goes down to enjoy a meal, wine and good friends.

Busy Saturdays at MHYC

There have been some changes to the Saturday Keelboat Series for 2018-2019.

Saturday Social Sailors is a new series commencing in mid-September. Seventeen short pursuit races are scheduled though until April 6 with a clubhouse start with the aim of providing a relaxed and social style of weekend race. The 2pm start and early finish are designed to coincide with the Spit Bridge opening times.

MHYC's Inshore Series includes seventeen races over thirteen race days this year. Four days of windward-leeward sprint style races combine with a varied offering of harbour courses around laid and fixed marks to provide a true test of sailing skills. For those unable to compete on as many days, the MHYC Short Series provides a compact program of six harbour races over 6 days. The Adams 10 class will combine both these series for their annual pointscore.

The club's Open & Offshore Series will comprise twenty one races sailed over seventeen days and includes offshore passage races, inshore harbour races and windward-leeward sprints.

The ever popular MHYC Feature Event Series of fun pursuit races has been extended this year with two new events being conducted during the cooler months to make a total of nine feature events. Welcome to Winter will be held on the first of June and Christmas in July is scheduled for July 20. The Commodore's Front Up! Cup kicks off the season on September 1.

Saturday racing in winter includes the Winter Sprint Series of eight races over four days, followed by four pursuit races in the Leading Edge Series to finish off the year.

Keelboat Regatta Program

The club has another busy program of Championship and multi-class Regattas this season.

The Farr 40 class has booked in for a series of two day regattas being held in September, October and January, culminating in the NSW Championships in February. The Adams 10 Waitangi Cup will also be held over two days in October.

The first of MHYC's major regattas for the season is the Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championships, being held on November 24 & 25 in conjunction with the Super 12 Spring Regatta and Seven Islands Feature Race being held inshore. A strong field of TP52s and IRC boats are expected to make this year's offshore program very exciting.

The Sydney Harbour Regatta is scheduled for the first weekend in March and the Sydney 38 class will again use the event as its Australian Championships. While the Sydney 38s, TP52s and IRC boats complete their series of race offshore, another six or seven race areas in the Harbour will provide a full program for a wide range of classes. The Sydney Harbour Regatta attracts over 1000 competitors each year.

The final keelboat regatta of the year is the MHYC Women's Regatta, being held on Saturday April 27. This year's event was a great success, with entries from 6 clubs and a combination of sprint and harbour passage races on offer.

Charity & Corporate Regatta Program

Five Fridays during the warmer months have been set aside for Charity & Corporate Fundraising Regattas, with many returning year after year with over $1 million raised most years to support a number of worthy causes. The Giant Steps Autism Regatta is in October, ASX Thomson Reuters Regatta in November, SAP Redkite and the RFI Spurious Challenge in February and the massive Property Industry Foundation Regatta in March.

Safety the Priority

MHYC has safety as its first priority in the conduct of its sailing program. All boats are required to have completed Safety Audits and races are conducted by accredited and experienced Race Officers operating under the club's Marine Operations Policies. A range of training programs and information sessions, including first aid, radio, powerboat handling and man overboard, have been offered by the club during the cooler months, enabling members and volunteers to prepare for the season ahead.

The annual MHYC Skippers Briefing will be held at the club on September 20 to remind skippers of their obligations to keep a safe distance from commercial shipping and ferries in Sydney Harbour, to outline the sailing program for the year and note changes in the race documents.

New Crew and Volunteers Welcomed

A Crew Meet & Greet will be held on the evening of September 27 and this is an ideal opportunity for new sailors to meet owners and skippers looking for new crew. There are a range of opportunities, from small boats with a casual approach to serious racing yachts looking to build their numbers.

MHYC relies on a large team of volunteers with a variety of skills to help deliver its busy keelboat and centreboard racing programs each year. The club welcomes anyone interested in joining our great team of volunteers working afloat and ashore. Contact Catherine Rofe at the club if you are interested in crewing or volunteering.

A Social Place

MHYC offers a relaxed social atmosphere for sailors and non-sailors of all ages. There are regular sausage sizzles after Wednesday racing and the SandBar Café and Harbour View balcony are great places to take in the life of the club on the beach while enjoying a great meal, a snack, a coffee, beer or a wine.

The Best Location

Middle Harbour Yacht Club enjoys a wonderful location at The Spit, Mosman, has a sandy beach nestled within its marina and is close to the protected waters of Lower Middle Harbour without the busy commercial boating traffic of the main harbour.

For more information visit www.mhyc.com.au

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