JibSheet May 2024

Published Mon 06 May 2024

With the summer sailing season now over, please be aware of the following dates.

Bookoccino Lunch with Annabelle Hickson - 

Mother’s Day Sun 12th May 8am - 5pm

RESTRICTED ACCESS from noon to 3pm

Bookoccino will be holding a fully catered lunch for 80 guests on Mother’s Day. In fine weather they will use the deck, if the weather is poor they will set up in the hall. Members are asked not to access the deck or hall occupied by Bookocinno during the lunch from 12 noon to 3pm. If you need access to your boats & equipment during this time please use the side ramps and rear access to the club.

Members are also asked not to use the deck or hall during their setup and pack away time from 8am through to 5pm.

 40% off for ASC Members .

Bookoccino have offered tickets to ASC members and friends at $70 normal price $120), click here for tickets.

Floor Replacement Project - 13th May onwards

The downstairs floor replacement project will start on Monday the 13th May. This major works project will be undertaken by member volunteers under the supervision of Ian Craig during May & June. The plan is to do one bay at a time starting from the North and working South. In order to commence the work, each bay will need to be cleared of boats and equipment to the deck prior to the work commencing. 

Monday 13th May 8am. Take timber to deck level and take dinghies out of the North Bay store on deck. Monday 13th to Wednesday 15th 8am each day. Pull up the old floor; treat timber and then cut and screw the new floor into place. Replace dinghies etc when completed. 

We don't know what we find when we lift the boards, so it remains to be seen how much work is required. That said, once we've completed the first bay, we will have a better understanding of how long it will take to do the rest. We will send a notice to all members (like this one) prior to commencing work on each bay.

We plan to complete the work during the winter, ready for next season. If you intend to take your boat home during the works on your bay, please consider taking it earlier.

Sky dinghies can be left in place, however access to them whilst work is being done on that bay could well be restricted.

Many hands make light work, and much of the work doesn't require specific skills. Too often we rely on the efforts of too few - so this is a call out to all members to lend a hand.

Not many tools are required, there will be a saw, but if you have an electric drill or screwdriver they will be handy.

If you are able to help please contact Ian Craig on 0419 625 298.

If you are not able to help, but can donate funds toward the project, please make your tax deductible donations here: 

Meredith’s Art Classes - Thursdays

Meredith will be running her regular art classes on Thursdays with Adults from 10am - 1pm, and children from 3:30pm - 6pm.

Please be mindful of the classes and be sure not to disrupt them in the hall.

Winter Sailing - 3rd Sunday May - August

There will be centreboard races in the mornings and yacht races in the afternoons on the 3rd Sunday of the month: 19th May, 16th June, 21st July & 18th August.

ASC Success at Sail Port Stephens

Ralf Moller’s Kookaburra & Bruce Pott’s Countessa sailed up to Port Stephens to compete in the Commodore’s Cup, along with many other yachts from Sydney and Pittwater for a record fleet of 115 boats. It was Kookaburra’s 3rd and Countessa’s 2nd campaign for the Sail Port Stephens Passage Series which consists of 5 races over 6 days (one lay day) of inshore and offshore courses. Boats are grouped into divisions of around 25 according to their handicap with both Avalon boats placed in Division 3. The course is selected on each day depending on the conditions and forecast. Given the amount of poor weather leading up to, and after the event, we were extremely lucky to be blessed with sunshine on all but the last day. The winds were mostly light with conditions never exceeding 15 knots.

Team ASC started sensationally with Contessa 1st and Kookaburra 2nd for the first race, which was conducted in very light airs that resulted in a shortened course. Day 2 saw Countessa finish 8th and Kookaburra 16th, with the handicaps adjusted each day. The start on day 3 was delayed whilst the organisers waited for the forecast 10Kt NEer to arrive, before setting the boats off around the Islands. Kookaburra scored a win however Countessa only managed 19th.

Kookaburra was extremely fortunate to have filmmaker Bruce Walters as part of the crew. Bruce found time on the longer legs to fly his drone and curate a superb short film of every day. You can view them all on the ASC Facebook and Bruce’s Youtube pages. 

Click here for the OTT edition from day 3.

Results on day 4 were middling, with Countessa 8th and Kookaburra 10th leaving her 3rd overall with one race to go. The boat to beat was “Absolut” an Archambault A35 racer, with two wins, and 14 points ahead. Given Absolut was so far ahead, we thought our only chance for a win was if they ran aground - so we went into the last day aiming for a podium finish.

The official media post setup the last day beautifully:

A light SEer was forecast and inshore course 10 was selected to set up a windward leeward hotdog as the main feature of the course. Our luck with the weather finally ran out, and it was absolutely pouring as we headed out to the marina. 

Into the start sequence Kookaburra was approaching the line too quickly and decided to sail a 360 to burn off a minute, half way through the manoeuvre the wind completely died, replaced by a barely discernible puff with a 90 degree shift. Kookaburra was left stranded in no man's land, limping over the start line with division 4 five minutes late. 

Thinking we’d totally blown our chances of a podium finish, but not ready to concede, the crew focused. We read the shifts and moved around the boat to roll through tacks and jibes to whisper our way back into the fleet. We weren’t alone in having lost a heap of time on the start, and when the breeze did arrive (from the SW) we were in the right place to make the most of it, and slowly but surely clawed our way back up the fleet.

With the 90 degree shift from the forecast wind direction, the windward leeward hotdog became a back & forth reach. There were next to no division 3 boats around us, and we couldn’t be sure if we were ahead or if we’d been lapped ! Watching the boats peel off the top mark to hoist their kites for the last leg, it started to dawn on us that we must be towards the front of our division. We were absolutely thrilled to finish 3rd - but were was Absolut ??

Watch the day 5 drama here:

Absolut finished 16 in that final race, giving Kookaburra a narrow 2 point lead to win Division 3. Countessa’s consistency had them finish a very respectable 5th in the 24 boat division. A great result for Avalon Sailing Club.

Click here for the results.

Kookaburra’s crew (all residing north of the bends) from left: Scott Robertson, Gary Timm, Ralf Moller, Ian Turner, David Creegan & Bruce Walters.

I can really recommend this regatta for all Avalon Yachts. It’s a nice 12 hour coastal cruise to Pt Stephens which can be broken up with a stop in Newcastle. They select a different course every day with a mix of inshore and offshore tracks in spectacular scenery. Apart from the headlands at the entrance, the area around Pt Stephens is quite flat and so the wind blows fairly clean and true. The courses themselves are a similar length to ours at around 3 hours, but the legs are longer with many opportunities to fly kites for extended periods. It’s competitive with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, a bit like Pittwater. A proper town with bars and restaurants keeps everyone well entertained in the evenings. This year they held a street party on the night before the lay day, closing the main thoroughfare to foot traffic only with live music and street bars. Team Avalon booked a very large outdoor table at one of the good Italian restaurants and had a great time.

We will be back next year to defend our title, and it would be great to see more Avalon boats there.

Would you like to get more involved ?

We are very fortunate to have so many enthusiastic and dedicated members involved at the club. For many, myself included, having the opportunity to be directly involved when my kids were sailing was an absolute highlight of their childhood. Those Sundays are some of my most treasured memories. Taking that further and getting involved in the organisation and running of the club has also been very rewarding. 

Many family volunteer clubs like ours are struggling to retain members and keep afloat. We are doing well on membership numbers, participation and engagement thanks to a proven sailing program and operational rhythm that has evolved over time into a steady and reliable way of running the club. Part of that success is ensuring that the leadership is refreshed, and that members can volunteer knowing that they can stand down from roles, once they have “paid their dues” with a couple or few years of “service”.

We currently have very experienced people on the committee, some are very much due to stand down, and this provides opportunity for others to step in. If you are passionate about the club, and would like to get involved in a small or big way, influence the decisions and the future directions of the club, then please let me know. You can call me (Ralf Moller) on 0431 734147 to discuss.

Tony & Matt, with the help of Kingsley and others, have done a stellar job of rebuilding the centreboard division. Next year will be the first in some time that we will have a sizeable gold fleet representing Avalon in state and national regattas whilst our learn to sail program will no doubt continue to build. This increased participation will require a larger team to manage the centreboard division, so please contact Tony on 0423 832594 or Matt on 0421 274826 if you’re interested or have some ideas.

Vale David Henry Lyall PSM  ESMM  FAIB

3/3/33 - 24/4/24

David Lyall was already a member of ASC when I (Warrick) joined in 1975. Both of us had connections with RPAYC and found common interest in our sons intent to sail: Glenn (Barnes) with Ian (Lyall), Scott (Lyall) and Tim (Lyall) together in Flying Elevens, Cherubs and Manly Juniors. Meanwhile, their fathers (without a boat license between them) melded with representatives of the John and Bob Johnson families to set marks and respond to the dinghies needing our support out on Pittwater.

When David bought Red Herring it was only natural that I agree to crew for him. He was a physically strong man, possibly linked to his working career in the building industry and together, a shy flying spinnaker often carried us across the finish line in front of ASC. We were usually more subdued with Phyl on board and she probably kept the can count down too.

Red Herring with David on board won the Blue Water Shield series six times between 1980-81 and 2001-02. Always progressive, as an increasing number of yachts were secured to ASC owned and rented moorings, David modified the title of Club president to Commodore, positions he held in 1978-79 and then four straight years from 1981 to 1985.

David’s commitment to ASC was acknowledged with the Ryves Shield for ideals of sailing and in 1987 he was honoured with Life Membership. Perhaps it is not unreasonable to suggest the pinnacle of David’s contribution to ASC was his contribution to the 50th Anniversary Regatta. As Rear Commodore for ASC, David wrote of Warringah’s Bicentennial Heritage Festival in April 1988: ‘With an association of the area for nearly 50 years, and an active interest with Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and Avalon Sailing Club since 1960, I felt it was only logical that…...there was a need for an aquatic birthday celebration coinciding with the Bicentenary.’

Warwick Barnes for ASC

David contributed greatly to Avalon Sailing Club and the local community, including as a founding member of Bilgola SLSC. Click here for a detailed review of his life & achievements:

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