5 June 2017


Last Month

Action-packed month.

  • Port Douglas Race Week
  • Sailing on South Passage
  • Young sailing instructors adventures
  • Sailability update
  • Commodores Commands

2017 Quicksilver Port Douglas Race Week

A big turnout by the Cairns Yacht Club at the Port Douglas Race week with four yachts in Division one, none in division two, (great to see everyone was flying their spinnakers as division two is for those that are not quite game enough) and four in division four. (Yeah, I’ve included X2 from the CCYC ‘cos they are excellent sailors). Frank & Wendy took out 2nd place in division one on Impulse, a great effort against the bigger boats.

Our Commodore sailed “Yes” into 4th place followed by “Vanguard” and “Volare 1” in 5th & 6th place respectively out of 11 boats. An excellent performance by our club members, well done.

In Division 4, “X2” from the CCYC claimed the first prize. Well done boys taking out line honours in most races but being punished by their handicap. “Kaizen 2” and “Fast Forward” tied in third place on 17 points each with “Out of the Blue” coming in 5th on 18 points out of 9 boats.

Race Week started early with Mickey Ink’s “race” from Fitzroy Island to Port Douglas on Sunday. Actually, it was not really a race, more a rally as there was no start and no finish. Crews from Townsville joined the serious competitions which included man overboard drills, nature photos, the best meal on board, biggest fish caught and a whole host of other important boating procedures. Well done “Champaign”, I guess they had some practice on their way from Townsville. You can see the results here.

The first day’s racing on Tuesday saw 26 yachts lined up in three divisions in perfect sunny conditions and 12-15kts of breeze. All boats sailed the same windward leeward course which, being somewhat short, meant that a keen lookout had to be kept especially on the port tack. By the second day, winds picked up to 22kts with some gusts to 25kts where “Volare 1” showed her mettle by claiming first place and “Yes” second. Thursday was a lay day, and by Friday, the fourth day, a strong wind warning was issued, so racing was cancelled. By Saturday the strong winds went elsewhere and, after starting at around 15kts the breeze dropped to about 12kts, and big spinnakers were in full bloom. To make up for the lost day two races were held on Saturday which, because of time constraints, followed the same windward – leeward course. All the sports boats were hanging out for a long triangle course where they really shine but alas it was not to be. Maybe next year?

The evening presentation was followed by a great dinner put on by the PDYC and a great band that kept patrons moving in spite of sore muscles from the week’s sailing. Well done all and a big thank you to the PDYC for hosting yet another epic event. We’ll see you again next year.

South Passage – delivery voyage

Although not a CYC sailing event, some members were recruited to man the “South Passage” from Roslyn Bay (near Yeppoon or Rocky if you are geographically challenged) to Townsville. Gary (from “Anastasia”) had the job of skippering this fine gaff rigged schooner and naturally recruited crew from the Far North no doubt to be with familiar friends. A promising early recruitment drive evaporated when the rookies realised beer would be confiscated and there were no winches on the vessel. Nevertheless, Gary managed to recruit one FNQ sailor for each of the three watches of four people. Your editor joined the ship’s company in Airlie Beach and after a night acclimatising to a cacophony of snorts & grunts from the main cabin departed Airlie on a starboard tack for the outer reef. Six hours later it was time to gybe. Not so simple, the process took 20 minutes, day, a  good thing we had plenty of sea-room. The amazing thing about a reef destination is that there appears to be no destination. No markers, no flags, not even the classic coral island with one palm tree and a shipwrecked sailor, just a calm sea as we dropped anchor at dusk. Gould Reef 50nm NE of Shute Harbour sheltered us for the night.

Another night of snoring, though somewhat subdued as some of the offenders must have been on watch. Up anchor at 5 am and another broad reach in the direction of Townsville hoping anchor behind Cape Cleveland before dusk about 95nm westwards. The biggest excitement for the day was two gybes in quick succession so we could negotiate the channel between Old & Stanley Reefs. (Yes, we had got the gybe down to 10 minutes!) A steady wind pushed “South Passage” along at between 6 and 8kts easing off as we neared the anchorage at around 7 pm. So far pretty cruisey, the hardest part being hoisting and lowering the sails which required all hands on deck. In between, several watches where each person in the watch had a turn on the helm and watching out for other traffic or hazards like sea snakes of which there were some. The highlights of the day, of course, were the immensely satiating meals served up strictly on time by the cook, Hugh.

Only 10 or so nautical miles to Townsville, looks like it’s going to be an easy day. Not so fast. This was to be a “training” day so all hands on deck, and we went through the laborious process of tacking and gybing. Although the mainsail and foresail look after themselves in a tack, the running backstays on both masts have to be tensioned on the windward side of the boat as the sheets are hauled in. The jib and staysail require quite a bit of effort to get across and trimmed usually taking four or five people. Gybes were becoming relatively easy with the main and foresail sheeted in so the backstays could be pulled on and the jib and foresail going around their respective stays without too much fuss. After many gyrations, we had worked up a hearty appetite, and more food is welcomed. The first watch heads down the companionway to indulge in more of Hugh’s treats. Plates in hand a call rings out “prepare to gybe”. No sweat, enjoy your lunch,  it’s time to practice ‘one watch’ gybes and tacks so the diners can stay below deck. Although short-handed the big difference is that each manoeuvre just takes a bit longer. The day having been well filled with this circle work we head for the marina in Townsville. After the requisite packing up and cleaning the ship’s company head for the Longboard Bar for a welcome de-brief over longed for alcoholic beverages.

South Passage is a sail training ship that specialises in taking school groups on sailing voyages from two to seven days as it makes it’s way up and down the Queensland coast. They are always looking for a volunteer crew to help out and lead the watches. If this appeals to you membership is open to anyone with an interest in sailing, adventure or with a desire to make a difference in the lives of young people. There are opportunities to sail on South Passage as a Watch leader or paid crew or to assist in the many other roles required to keep South Passage sailing. Go to the South Passage web page or download a Membership Application Form

Try out on a day sail in Cairns – book here

Adventures in Townsville – Regional Sailing Instructors Conference – by Scott Davis (tour leader)

Australia Sailing hosted the first Regional Sailing Instructors conference in Townsville on the 3rd and 4th of June. The event was attended by over 35 instructors from the Whitsundays thru to Cairns and Tinaroo.
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Jai Miller, Jai Tooley and Daniel Brace join me for the road trip to Townsville. On the Friday night before the conference started, and during the road trip I received an education on the musical tastes of the next generation – and I was surprised that I knew many of the tunes that they blasted in the car on the trip down – it was reminiscent of my days hooning around in my EH Holden blasting “red hot chilli peppers” from the Radio . The conversation was equally enlightening as the topic ranged from the America’s Cup, computer games and philosophy and there were a number of subjects which I promised the lads I would never repeat lol.

We arrived at the Townsville sailing club after almost  5-hour trip. We arrived  to be welcomed by Jim, Paco, Daz and Leandra, who had stayed waiting for us to ensure that we were fed on arrival. The hospitality or TSC was amazing and while the floor was hard ( I only had my yoga map to sleep on – my only fault) waking up each morning on the strand to the amazing view of Maggie Island was exceptional.

The course itself was excellent, and the first of a national series of regional conferences which demonstrated to me that Australia Sailing was starting to understand that regional volunteer clubs are the backbone of the sport. The quality of training was excellent, and I think the lads were surprised that I could actually still sail – lol. A big thanks must go to Ben Callard and his team from Australia Sailing and Townsville Yacht Club and Townsville Sailing Club for co-hosting the event. The attendees recommitted to coming back next year, and some issues were put on the table for further discussion in 2018.
It was great that Bill, Tina and Justin from the CYC,  CCYS and YKBC in attendance too.

Sunday morning we had to leave early as the boys had a number of school assignment to finish. After we had picked up a Taser for one of the new club members, we hit the road, and once again and had great discussions about a diverse range of subjects until just south of Ingham. While waiting in the traffic a chap came up and knocked on the passenger’s window and said ” Hey Mate, did you know you have a flat tyre on the trailer “. Oh bugger I thought ( I suspect that my language was a bit more colourful – but they boys promised never to quote me). We jumped out of the truck and discovered that not only did we have a flat tyre on the trailer but the tyre had been shredded and we worked out quickly that it was beyond repair.
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The boys quickly removed the wheel while I rang RACQ who informed me that the trailer was not covered by my policy, and yes they could help but it would cost me $1200 Plus – thanks but no thanks I said. So started ring around the tyres shops in Ingham only to remember that in country Australia tyres shop are not open on Sundays an there is no after hours service. AGGHHHH

While we sat there thinking and planning the next steps ( Daniel decided to lie down and relax) Jon Emmerson and his lovely wife pulled up behind us to see if we were ok. We realised that we might not have luck getting a tyre, so my Dad, who is in Tully offered to bring a spare tyre from the old farm trailer to us. Dad is always looking for an excuse to do stuff, but it would take about an 1 and 1/2  hours to get there, so the 2 Jai and Jon went into town to grab some cold drinks and snacks. On the way into town, they notice Andys Roadhouse – for those of you in the know Andy’s road house is just south of Ingham and hosts band in the back of the petrol station for many of truckies travelling through the area. They also make bloody good toasties  – According to my Mum. So they stopped in at Andy’s and guess what! In the piles of stuff stored at the roadhouse was a slightly larger trailer tyres which would fit our slightly damaged rim. YAHOO – problem solved. So for $60, a discussion that went for 1 hour – 6 locals and with the help of Jon, the boys put on a new tyre and we were off.

Because of the slight “wobble” resulting from a 20 MM difference in diameter of the 2 wheels we took it slow – finally getting home at about 7 pm at Machans.

I know that all the boys were going to be working on assignments that night – but I suspect that we were all so buggered it might have not been the most productive of study evening – Boys let me know if you need me to ring the teachers.

It was a great weekend, and I feel confident that our club will continue to grow with kids like Daniel, Jai and Jai ( and the many many others who are part of the crew) taking on leadership roles in the future.

Sailability Skirmish

by Andy Murray

There’s been a fair bit going on with our Sailability program recently and some pretty exciting developments overseas. In South Africa, the first of the prototype SV14 accessible performance sailing boat sails for the first time, but more of that later.

Our group has been enjoying some great sailing. Those of you who see the posts on the Sailabilty Cairns, or the Cairns Yacht Club Facebook pages, will know and we’ve been increasing our participant base with the ARC Dissability Services group now sailing with us every 2nd Tuesday as well as the Endeavour Foundation group on alternate Tuesday afternoons. This means that we now start setting up at 12.00 every Tuesday and run the group session until 2.30 when the sailors arrive for our regular session and sail until 5.30ish. To keep things consistent, we began setting up at 2.00 to start our Thursday session at 2.30 as well. We’ve been doing this for a few weeks now and it’s been a great success with a less hectic setup and launch stage and also more time on the water and plenty of time for a couple of beers and a few laughs afterwards. Meanwhile, we’ve nearly ticked all the boxes, dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s in the process incorporating our group as “Sailability Cairns Inc”. Under the umbrella of Sailability Australia and a step closer to applying for charitable status to aid in attracting the funds and sponsorship.
This will be necessary to operate and develop the fleet and to begin to build a couple of the beautiful SV14s when they complete the prototyping process. Plans will be released as an international one design class. Tap SV14 into the Facebook search and check out the footage of the first sail and scroll down to see the build and design history of this exciting new Sailability design. There’s a lot to look forward to and a lot of fun to be had as we move on so I’ll keep you posted from right here in the Club’s fine newsletter.
Meanwhile, if you’d like to join the fun and you’re able to volunteer on Tuesdays from midday onwards or on Thursdays from 2pm , We’d love to see you at the boat shed. Maybe you can make it down to help pack up at about 5.30 and then enjoy a few beautiful cold beers as the sun goes down as we enjoy the ambience and contribute to the CYC to help operate and develop our Yacht Club. Sounds good all round I reckon, but if you can’t make it down on time, drop in for a couple of coldies and say G’day on your way home.
Cheers, Andy.


Commodores Command 

The Carpark

We have consistent offenders double parking, and the ECM have agreed that this practice must stop.

It seems to be wrongly assumed that, especially WAGS, that all cars there are members out sailing, some have been outriggers, some members aren’t able to sail, and those cars are blocked in until the end of WAGS
Full is full, and cars now will be ticketed by Ports North and repeats will be towed
Ports North have indicated that members displaying current CYC member stickers on their cars parked in their patrol area and with a ticket for $2.00 displayed they will not book that vehicle.  This has yet to be put to the test.
Stickers are to be fixed to the inside of the glass, those that aren’t are being passed around between different cars and the ECM are very aware of this. Please do the right thing, what we have in parking spaces is all that will ever be, I have tried very hard to negotiate with P/N to, but it’s a negative.

(The solution: ed.)

VTS (Vessel Traffic System)

More members are encouraged to visit VTS to understand the importance of vessel movements and radio usage, this can be arranged through Niel, and is welcomed by MSQ, and Ports North

Seamanship & Professionalism

I fielded a complaint recently regarding the Outriggers paddling into the path of a departing cruise ship totally unaware of traffic movements and the lack of the coxswain carrying a VHF, or contacting VTS requesting traffic.
From now on I won’t be putting out fires for members breaching port protocol, I will pass on the offenders details to the Harbourmaster so they can deal direct.
It’s time to become professional in our operation within port limits and for the skipper to display seamanship first, over ignorance

Have a nice day, CAPT John, out



Coming UP – This Month

  • Fitzroy Island Race – Sat 10th June
  • South Passage day sail – Sunday 11th June – BOOK HERE
  • CYC Anniversary Regatta Postponed
  • NQ Regional Sail Training Camp at Ellis Beach 17-18th June
  • Tackers (7-12-year-old kids) Learn to Sail Course at YKBC coming soon…
  • Expressions of Interest – Totally Work Wear Sail Cairns Regatta – September 2017
  • Sailability program every Tuesday 12 – 5:30 pm & every Thursday 3-5:30 pm



General Notices

  • The usual stuff…
  • Salthouse discounts –If members show a current membership card they can receive a discount.
  • Members Must show their membership cards (this not only proves they are members but makes sure that the sponsor sees he is getting a return from his support.
  • CYC Club T-Shirts AND Hats – There are new CYC Club t-shirts now available by contacting Margie. Get a hat to match your T-shirt, any colour, so long as it’s white. Get in quick, the tourists like these. They have “Great Barrier Reef” on the back so they can remember where they have been when they get home. Actually, you wouldn’t have a clue where most hats come from let alone yacht club hats, so that’s a great addition.
  • Australian Sailing Newsletter is published monthly  – Click here for all the latest news.
  • CYC current office hours

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