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Manning Point Regatta - Nov 8 & 9

The first regatta of the season is here! Racing starts at 2.00pm this Saturday at Manning Point. Saturday will also be Heat 1 of the Travellers Trophy.  
There are 2 races scheduled for Saturday & up to 3 races on Sunday.

Cost to enter is $20 per boat.

Presentation to follow racing on Sunday.

If anyone needs a crew for this regatta please contact Gavan Pereira via email:


Click here for Results...


Kembla Klassic Results & Report

Great fleet for the 2nd round of the Travellers Trophy, with faces old and new making appearances.


Mary Tulip got some fantastic shots of the racing



Taree Season Report - by Greg Roche


The entire fleet of classes compete for the yearly pointscore so I’ll list the lot here to give a snapshot of the club racing.  Like many country clubs the group gets along very well both on and off the water.

St George 2012/13 Season Report - Gary Reeves

Another season past - relatively normal in the first half but definitely not so in the second half. Mainly light to moderate south-easterlies and nor-easters throughout the season (one requiring a long paddle home), except for one very memorable 30 knot one for the Australia day Regatta. and 4 big southerlies, 2 of them too big for sailing and another becoming so after starting.

Hervey Bay Easter Regatta 29-31 March 2013

Our emerging fleet of Hervey Bay MGs are attending the annual Easter regatta at Maryborough Sailing Club.

If you are up north, here's the chance to taste the beautiful waters of Hervey Bay and escape the start of winter!


New Aluminium masts available NOW

In addition to the carbon mast suppliers, C-Tech and CST, there is now a new supply of low-cost aluminium mast sections.

The new section is very similar to those you are familiar with and will be able to be rigged using the same fittings and methods. All stock has been individually tested and QA'd to 6061 T6 specification.

Glen Bond is the new supplier and can be contacted on 02 4392 4904 or email

$500 (inc GST) per 6m long blank section. (Boom lengths also available.)
Pickup from Gorokan on the Central Coast NSW, or from Barracouta Sails at Caringbah.


MG conversion guide

A photoblog documenting how to convert an NS14 to a dual-registerable MG is available on the FaceBook albums of Rohan Nosworthy.

Asymmetrics one (and a bit) year on – What have we learned?

The personal thoughts of Gary Reeves, November 2000


By this I firstly mean I believe we made the right decision to adopt the asymmetric spinnaker – it has attracted a lot of interest and has made the class more exciting – making a great class even better. Secondly I think we got the size and setup about right – it is in balance with the rest of the rig and the crews which sail the class. It is not too big so as to be unmanageable, but big enough to add lots of GRUNT. That we managed to do this so well is a credit to Graham Williams and a few others who put in a lot of thought and trial work to refine the concept during the trial year before it was adopted. I don’t mind re-stating that I was a skeptic when the idea was first floated, but after a few trial runs I was convinced.

Is it faster around the course?
Yes, most of the time – except in light breezes and on square runs when it’s definitely frustrating and a double luff kite will kill you. But when the breeze is moderate to fresh (trapezing weather) the extra power of the asymmetric comes into it’s own. However, given the variation in courses and conditions in which we sail week to week – and the variability in the skill and experience of the skippers and crews which allows some boats to beat others anyway – the differences are not so great as to prevent the double luff and asymmetric rigged boats from sailing and competing together, especially on a handicap basis.

Is it more exciting?
I think so. Sometimes it’s almost frightening how much power the asymmetric adds and the speed – and sensation of speed – it generates. The bow comasses up, the boat leaps out of the water, and it’s a buzz! Is it easier to handle? Maybe a little, but I think maybe it’s just different. Gybing certainly is much easier (but you have to do it more often), and so is getting them up and down, although it takes some strength on the halyard when hoisting. Once it’s up, the extra size and power can make it a handful for smaller crews. Strain on the rig? It is no harder on masts – I think actually less stressful – unless you let it flog or don’t have the vang tight enough. However, as a few have found out, there is a lot of force on the pole and it needs to be strong and strongly attached (carbon fibre would have been good!).

Do we need or want to change courses?
No, especially not to windward – leeward courses. The best fun is when it’s a little tough to make the wing mark – with the boat sometimes over “on it’s ear” (a strange expression when you think about it) and on the edge of control (who said out of control?). On square legs, I think it’s proven that on most occasions it pays to run as deep as you can consistent with maintaining reasonable speed (it’s a feel thing) – which means either marginal or even not trapezing – zooming at extreme angles may look and feel good but gets you to the bottom mark a little slower. So if we sail windward – leewards a lot of the fun goes – the kite isn’t big enough for that.

So what about the techniques for handling asymmetrics?
Firstly, there’s no substitute for practise, experience and teamwork – no mystery or differences here. I’d like to run through a few hints which you may find useful.

Getting them up?
Getting them up fast is essential – you are really vulnerable with a kite stuck halfway up! So before you begin hoisting, make sure the halyard is free – no tangles and not caught behind the diamonds – and that the sheets are free/uncleated. A second spent here can save you many seconds or minutes later. Don’t be afraid of bearing away when hoisting in fresh breezes (depending on where other boats are of course) – once it’s up you can point at the mark. When hoisting when the chute is to leeward (like when on starboard tack on a boat where the chute is on the port side), leaning the boat over to windward helps prevent the kite from getting dragged into the water – once you go “prawning” it’s a major job to get it out of the water. This is particularly important when using the “one-rope” system, where the first thing that happens when beginning the hoist is that the tack goes to the end of the pole. When the chute is on the windward side, leaning the boat to windward (but not till it is halfway up) and bearing away sharply at the critical time will help the kite go all the way up and blow around the jib. The crew needs to put some real effort into the hoist, and the skipper should watch it go up and let the crew know when it’s fully up. Get your halyard set up so the crew faces forward and pulls directly from the base of the mast and cleats it directly behind the block.

Now it’s up, what next?
The essential thing is that it’s not pulled on tight. When it’s on too tight the boat STOPS. The sheet needs to be continually played to keep the luff on the brink of collapsing, or when you are on a tight/hard reach the luff should be permanently folded to reduce excessive power and to free the leach. If it won’t fold without collapsing then the luff is too tight (try tying the halyard so the kite stops 100mm or so before the exit block on the mast). The crew has to work hard, easing as far as possible but not letting it collapse. If it collapses, you have to pull maybe 2 or 3 metres of sheet to get it drawing, and then immediately let most of this back out.

When on a tight reach where you’re struggling with too much power, as I said before, I don’t mind sailing along “on it’s ear”. Flat is obviously better, but you often don’t really have a choice! At least this seems to work with the Tequila hull with the straight gunwale line all the way to the stern – it just sits there and tracks along quite straight and in control. However, it’s quite alarming for the crew standing up at 45 degrees (I tried it, and I’m very happy at the back end, thank you very much), and the crew really has to have faith in the skipper! Bear away in the big puffs, and try to fight back up when you can. The vang must be on quite hard to keep the mast where it’s supposed to be – i.e. straight, and in one piece! Set the boat up on the beach with the kite up and have a look up the mast with both the vang on and off and you’ll see what I mean. The jib shouldn’t be on too tight or it will bury the bow, but I never let mine flog. When it’s fresh and the kite is straining the main does nothing and I rarely even look at it. Obviously in lighter conditions you need to trim to keep the wools and leach ribbons flowing. On the square legs, you have to find the compromise between the deep angle and keeping the speed up. As I said, it’s a feel thing. No-one can teach you this – you have to find out by practising.

Gybing is easy –
ease off the old sheet and pull on the other. However, don’t let go of the old sheet totally as the kite will wineglass or the retriever line will drop under the pole. Once it is under the pole you are history when you reach the bottom mark as there is no way to pull the kite in – you pull it straight into the water or you capsize (or both). Too much excess halyard/retriever line length is another cause of this problem. You want just enough length to allow you to stuff all of the kite (when it is down) into the back end of the chute and have a bit of slack in the halyard. If you have this there will be sufficient slack when the kite is up. Back to gybing – “magic” ratchet blocks (those that disengage the ratchet when not under load) are a big help in light weather as they allow the old sheet to run freely and the kite to blow around the jib. Self-tacking jibs are obviously good for gybing (though I think they have some disadvantages in other respects), but if you have conventional sheets I find it’s usually easier to set the jib ready for the next leg just before gybing. There’s nothing worse than gybing and having the jib still cleated over to what is now the windward side – it will push the bow in and try to capsize you.

Finally, getting them down.
I have the retriever line led back from the chute to a block behind the fin case, so to pull the kite down the crew pulls upwards through this block. This way the crew can pull it down while still sitting on the gunwale, the line does not rub against the edge of the chute exit, and the halyard does not knot as it feeds back up the mast. Don’t square away too violently and/or let the sheet go totally or the retriever may fall under the pole, and pull in the slack in the retriever line before releasing the halyard cleat. You may find it easier if the crew passes the sheet to the skipper before sorting out the retriever/halyard. Then simply pull like crazy to suck it in as quickly as possible. Pull it down a little early rather than a little late so you can round close to the mark and not 50 metres wide. If you get the chance, stuff all the kite back into the back of the chute. This will stop it filling up with air or water, stop the crew walking on it in each tack, and make it easier to hoist. Most of the resistance when hoisting is getting the kite back into the back of the chute before you can pull it out the front. When it’s all pushed in the chute it will pop out a lot easier. But now go back and read about hoisting – don’t let it get sucked into the water!

In conclusion
have a look at the way you’ve got all the ropes and things setup and make sure everything works without hassles, then go out and practice. Don’t be shy of asking for advise – just not 5 minutes before it’s time to leave the beach for a Championship heat please!

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