5th January 2017

The Coming Month

  • HAPPY NEW YEAR – Off to a great start with good WAGS participation.
  • Sailing Committee: Tuesday 10th at 5:30 pm at the Club rooms. All welcome.
  • WAGS:  Every Wednesday. In spite of the calendar proclaiming no WAGS until the 11th, there has been a great turnout over the Christmas break. Clearly, some skippers thought Santa didn’t deliver enough rum this year.   Great turnout yesterday, 8 boats and a steady northerly giving great sailing on course “C”. However, heavy rain swept in from the airport and everyone scurried for shelter & a hot sausage before finishing. The idea of floating around Trinity Inlet under a lightning rod dissolved normal courageousness in most crews. It appears injury from lightning strikes is rare on boats, just remember that lightning seeks the path of least resistance to earth (the sea) so dangling an anchor chain in the water secured to the rigging might help.

           Please see link below for Courses and Sailing Instructions.  Refer to club noticeboard on the day to see what time the handicapper has allocated to your boat.

  • Sailablity: At 3 pm on Thursday 12 January 2017,  Sailability will kick off again. The Endeavour Foundation group will start Tuesday 17th, followed by our regular sailors. Thereafter Sailability is every Tuesday & Thursday with Endeavour Foundation every 2nd Tuesday. We need volunteers to help out especially for the Endeavour Foundation group so make sure you put that date in your diary, great if you could be there at 2 pm to help rig the boats.
    For more information on what is happening please check out the facebook groups
  • Sail Training Saturday 21 January 8am-2pm. Pacers only, week one of four. Great opportunity to have fun and hone sailing skills. Highly recommended for everyone, especially new crew on bigger boats.

    Australia Day Social – Thursday 26th January.  Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron – AUSTRALIA DAY BIG BREAKFAST
    A fun day on the water followed by a BBQ and live music.

    BIG BREAKFAST ($5.00 per person) STARTS APPROX 8:30 am   BOATS TO DEPART APPROX 10:30 for a leisurely sail.
    AFTERNOON BBQ ($10.00 per person) AND LIVE MUSIC FROM 3:00 pm
    Show your patriotism and dress up yourself and your boat  – PRIZES FOR BEST DRESSED

  • Sail Training Saturday 28 January 8am-2pm. As above, week two of four and you will have mastered tacking, gybing and capsizing (not necessarily in that order).

General Notices

  • A great New Year’s celebration was had by all at the club boat shed. The view of the fireworks from there was the best in town. A reminder that we really have a great little venue and it’s nice to see so many members enjoying it.CYC New Year's eve 2016 - 26
  • NEXT MONTH – CALENDAR CHANGESDiscover Sailing day will now be on Saturday, April 1st.
  •  Feb 18 – Lil Cortis breast cancer fun sail, race around double island, departing Yorkies knob YC
    Great day, great cause. Get your pink clobber out, dress the boat and crew ending with dinner and presentation
    Circle the date and make a plan

Photos and Images – Don’t forget to keep clicking away in the new year, capture those exciting & fun moments. Put the best on the FB page or please send to Margie.

Serious Notices

“Power does not give way to sail” – especially when they are bigger and trying to make a living out of their seafaring. It is both polite and good sense to keep out of their way. As much as possible keep to the right when navigating the channel or show your intentions early with a deliberate change of course.

When we are racing we are holding an “aquatic event” and as such it is only at the Harbour Master’s discretion that we use the inlet amongst the commercial traffic. It can be withdrawn at any time if we can’t respect the authority.


Tips & Tricks

Using the radio. Getting a license is easy especially if you only want to use the VHF, a self-study programme is available, just do this…

When you are confident you can answer all the questions you can take the exam. There are 50 multiple choice questions and you have to get 75% correct.

There are several invigilators that can supervise your examination including:-

Stephen Boyle
07 4065 2222
Peter Bachelor
P B Training Solutions Pty Ltd

or Cairns Boat Safety Training at Northern Beaches.

Sound signals -what the f… do they mean?

ONE short blast – ‘I’m altering my course to starboard’

TWO short blasts – ‘I’m altering my course to port’

THREE short blasts – ‘I’m operating engines astern’

FIVE (or more) short blasts – ‘I’m unsure of your intentions’ or in Trinity Inlet ‘I’m big & difficult to manoeuvre so get out of the way’


Tall Story – A WAGS Saga (Wednesday Afternoon Gone Sailing)

The challenge of WAGS is not so much the raging seas and fierce winds but the crew lottery. Innocent travellers are lured to the Club with the promise of a gentle afternoon navigating Trinity Inlet for $15. In reality, they are asked to perform roles ranging from Olympic athlete to moveable ballast.

With my usual crew unable to sail, I was allocated S & M. Well, S had had some experience so she had the job of trimmer which she took to with gusto. M however, said he’d been on a boat but it turns out it wasn’t a yacht.

The winds were light at the start which indicated setting the big genoa, good for winds below 10 knots. When it came to tacking, M had to do the mast-shuffle which means jumping over the genoa or jib sheets like a Highland dancer, which he wasn’t, so he had difficulty preventing his legs getting tangled in the jib sheets. This impaired our tacking ability somewhat. M, sensibly, decided to adopt the “slide under the boom” technique rather than jump over the sheets. Even this, for someone not used to the athletic requirements of a small boat, can present a small challenge. All went well as we tacked up to the first mark except for an ominous dark cloud with a curtain of rain creeping toward us from the south. At about 300 meters from the mark and dark grey overhead, the sails went limp and the wind direction shifted sinisterly.

The calm before the storm?

Then it hit. Pounding the water around us rain, accompanied by a vicious squall knocked the boat down before the main sheet traveller and the main sheet could be eased to spill the blast from the sail. The genoa sheets became drum tight and, with the centre of pressure in the sail moving aft, the boat heeled ridiculously, rounded up into the wind and the rudder became ineffective. The yacht continued it’s turn through the eye of the wind till it caught the genoa on the opposite side and spun us downwind into a gybe all the sheets remaining drum tight. In the mayhem, I hadn’t called for a tack and my dumbfounded crew were clueless as to what was going on or what they should do. Completing a 360° turn, everything still sheeted in hard, this acrobatic manoeuvre left M not knowing where he should be so he left the safety of the rail thinking we were just tacking and he should be on the other side. As we had done a 360° turn he was actually heading for the wrong side, the leeward side. In his confused scramble, he lost his footing and went careering across the cabin top toward the lee rail which was now buried in foaming water again under the pressure of the overburdened sails. His feet missed the little timber lee rail and he continued his seaward plunge as if evacuation from this crazy ship had been commanded by the captain. S, seeing M hurtling by like a launched depth charge, abandoned her post at the winches to grab the back of M’s shorts as they slid past with the hapless occupant. Now this left the skipper (me) perched on the windward rail struggling with the tiller to prevent another 360° and my entire crew struggling on the leeward life-lines successfully contributing to the excessive heel of the boat. Now the physics of sailing kicked in. M, by having his legs & bum dragging through the water effectively acted as a sea anchor preventing the boat rounding up into the wind again. This left us in a stalled configuration ploughing onward toward the moored boats that line the estuary. A look of calm resignation came over M as if he were destined for a sea burial or worse, an offering to the ever present crocodiles. S clung with one hand to M’s shorts and the other to the boom as this was not the scenario she envisioned for her travelling companion. Finally, I managed to release the genoa sheet which sent it into a crazed flogging frenzy as if it were possessed by the devil intent on tearing itself apart. Slowly we started to round up into the wind but we were still careering towards the moored boats under pressure from the mainsail alone. Thankfully I managed to get to the main sheet and, snatching out of its’ cleat, let the pressure off. The boat started to right itself and, with it, a sodden M was returned to the deck like a freshly caught fish. Resignation had turned to relief made more palpable when I ordered him below deck to simply stay on the upper most bunk. Now it was just S and me to race the boat and she applied herself to managing the sheet crossover technique on the winches like a pro.

During this merry dance upon the waves, our competitors sailed past with their well-oiled crews and small headsails handling the conditions like Sydney-Hobart veterans. They rounded the mark well ahead with our short handed crew limping around quite while later. The squall had passed and the wind subdued into a fresh breeze. Now downwind a relative calm returned to the vessel and our oversized genoa became an asset. Once again S showed her sailing mettle by going for’ard clipping the spinnaker boom to the clew pushing out the genoa on the opposite side to the main sail. In this way, the fresh breeze filled both with glorious effect and we surged forward with the rudder trembling as we reached maximum boat speed. Now this was fun!

By the time we had reached “outer red”, the pile around which the course was set, in 30 minutes we had significantly closed the gap on our competitors. Now it was a tacking duel all the way back up the inlet with other yachts trying to block our wind and us smartly tacking to avoid foul air from their sails. On some tacks, we closed the gap only to loose it on the next. At times we were within meters of their stern and they would tack to blanket us in turbulent air or tactically force us to give way when they were on the starboard tack making us pass astern and slow down. 50 minutes of this duelling found us back at the first windward mark (T10) and they rounded still head but not by much.

Now downwind again and with three boats ahead to the finish line we launched the genoa out on the pole again. We now had the advantage of making the other boats sail in our disturbed air. Slowly we crept up and passed their stern, everything in slow motion. They had the tactical advantage of being the downwind boat so they kept forcing us off the line to the finish. At times our bow was slightly ahead then we would slide back only to steal the wind from their sails and slide ahead again. This jockeying continued as we approached the finish buoy and I knew that once within two boat lengths of the buoy we could call “buoy room” which gave us the right of way and they would have to bear away. This I did, and they did, our bow passing over the finish line only 3 meters ahead and in third place.

I had learned in dinghies that if you yell your right-of-way rule loud enough your opponents think you know the rules better than they and often capitulate. Later I doubted my boldness. Perhaps you can’t call for buoy room at the finish line? Nevertheless, everyone said we had done a great job as we sailed with only two crew generously handing over another bottle of wine for third place. They didn’t see M who was acting as moveable ballast below. At least he got to share our winnings that night with dinner.



From the Editor

Share your stories – Had a great sail? A trip somewhere or an amazing restoration? We’d love to share it in the newsletter, your chance to exercise your creative writing skills, fact or fiction welcome. A chance to rise above the FB blurt.


2 thoughts on “5th January 2017

  1. Thanks for another great Newsletter and more thanks for the mention of our CCYS Australia 🇦🇺 Day Bash ! Hope to see lots of CYC Club members there again ! We all had a ball last year.. Regards Robyn and the Crew CCYS

    Sent from my iPhone


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