September 2018

Last Month 

Dick Cater Series Race 2, the third Bay Race this year.

The strong sou-easterly winds of the last few months died away and some exceptional high and low tides greeted the contestants. The start was opposite the cafe at Pier 1 between T4 and “Pollyanna”, which then raced down the leads to set a windward / leeward course at C7.

A downwind drifting start was planned but the high tide had started to ebb strongly with the contestants struggling to sail into the current with a light southerly hardly helping. Two minutes after the start they had managed to get over the line and headed out to C7 with spinnakers hanging limply or only just filling.

Impulse was first round C7 and, as the southerly wind was directly down the leads, the planned windward / leeward course had to be abandoned. A short consultation had the buoy set for a reach towards Yorkeys Knob allowing Impulse to fly their asymmetric spinnaker out to the mark.

Two laps around the mark and C7 then the light winds died away leaving the fleet struggling to get back up the leads against the ebbing tide. The low tide forced competitors to tack furiously to stay inside the dredged channel. 

First home was Impulse, just 5 minutes ahead of Volare on corrected time with Bellamara only six minutes behind them in third place. (With help from the dog I expect)



Bellamara with dog help. (The dinghy was a bit of a handicap I expect)


Dick Cater Series Race 3, third Double Island Race

Unfortunately, your correspondent was summoned to frigid Victoria for the weekend so couldn’t report directly on this event. However, the weather Gods summoned one last day of the strong winds which caused quite a bit of carnage. “Volare’s” spinnaker took a dip in the briny & subsequently wrapped around the propellor so they had to retire. “Impulse”, allegedly, went round C9 instead of C7 which only left “Yes” in the race so naturally, they were the winners. (Glad I wasn’t there because last time it took seven hours to complete the course in G&T). (See the ‘Technical Corner” below for a map of the channel and the “C” markers)

Splish Splash Lady’s day race. Dick Cater Series, Race4

Three boats entered the third contest for beautiful swimwear from Splish Splash. Wendy Brace helming “Impulse”, Shari Essex on “Anastasia” and Bec Tuma on “Out of the Blue”.

Unlike the last Lady’s Day where a strong sou-easter blew the fleet apart, a flat calm hung over the inlet. The fleet reluctantly motored out to C9 where more breeze promised.

An unconventional (but effective) start line was conjured up by lining up C9 & C10 with boats passing to the east of C10 with a countdown over the radio. Bec, showing her advanced dinghy skills, was first over the line closely followed by Wendy. A beat up to C1 in the light and variable air sorted out the fleet setting the order for the day. An 8kt northerly indicated a reach down to the Yorkeys No2 outer marker. Impulse managed to carry their asymmetric spinnaker all the way. “Out of the Blue” carried their asymmetric most of the way and losing a bit of ground doused the spinnaker to reach the last mile to the mark.

Once around, a long reach back to C9. The wind had swung more nor-easterly blowing directly down the leads at 8kts. Out of the Blue set their asymmetric again and by gybing back and forth to the finish line off Sailfish Key managed a credible 6kts in 8kts of breeze. “Impulse” set a normal spinnaker for the run home but the wind continued to fade. Meanwhile, it was imagined that “Anastasia” were conjuring up a sumptuous four-course lunch from their beautifully equipped galley. However, Shari had to remain at the helm so that didn’t happen, just bread & water for the crew I think.

“Out of the Blue” finished 30 minutes ahead of Impulse with Anastasia left to wallow, at times almost becalmed, as the wind died away completely, finishing just before the time limit of 6pm.



The Splish Splash winners, Bec 1st, Wendy 2nd & Shari 3rd. Naomi helped out on Impulse


Some surreptitious swapping of the generous vouchers from Splish Splash meant that all the ladies would now be clad in the latest swimwear. Well done all and, a reminder to everyone that we have one more Lady’s Day race this year on the 27th October.

Cairns Festival Parade

PRIZE WINNING Cairns Yacht Club/Sailability float in the Cairns Festival Parade. We equalled 3rd for a prize of $1000. Special thanks to Amanda McKormack for the amazing mermaids, Tina Seaton for the fantastic crabs and fish from ARC Disability Services and, to Mudgee and his family and Kitty for the hours and hours of work that went into the costumes and decorations. A great parade. Here is a video of the event.



Airlie Beach – Litning Storm

Our only representative with Mark and Michael Leitner sailing Leitning Storm. Riely proved invaluable winning the dance competition at the presentation. Mark says its a great week. The club down here goes nuts for the competitors. We better try harder next year.


Ellis Beach

The monthly gathering saw four cats and a laser on the water, three races of two laps were set but, as usual, this month, the wind died to just 5kt with only two full races completed and one lap of the last one. It took until nearly 3pm to finish, everyone was hungry so headed for shore.

Nevertheless, it was beautiful weather and the beautiful location made for a perfect Sunday. We look forward to the next end of month sailing day with a reminder that we have two Nacra 350’s and three Laser’s for hire at very reasonable rates. The next OTB sailing day will be on the 28th. Book a boat now with Barry.

Jai Tooley in Sweeden

Congratulations Jai for your great achievements in the other hemisphere. Mixed class: 1st: Leff Dahl / Ida Svensson SWE; 2nd: Lucy Nissen / Jai Tooley AUS; 3rd: Jakob Thun / Linda Holtsjö SWE. Also winners of the youth class Lucy Nissen (18) and Jai Tooley (17) (AUS) who were 5th overall. Considering that they are a very light team in heavy conditions, that they normally don’t sail together, that they haven’t had to navigate to dodge rocks before and that they sailed a C2 for the first time this achievement was outstanding! Not to mention the temperature of the water, a little contrast to our latitude.


They pushed themselves to the limit, leg after leg, mile after mile through all the islands, rocks and open sea in quite tough wind conditions.  What an adventure, they made it to the remote islands and skerries where seals and seabirds live to be rewarded in the end with food so tasty, the sauna hot and the beer cold. (Well, Jai is used to living in a sauna but I bet his feet were cold, everyone else had wet-suit boots!)



Guess why there are no trees on that island? It’s too cold for them to grow! Sailing in Sweeden

Dick Cater Series, Race 5 – Bay Race.

Once again greeted by light winds. However,  some creative “free range” course setting by Frank had three boats having a really good sail. It was a down-wind start opposite T2 with Frank calling the 5-minute gun when everyone was ready. A light sou-easterly allowed spinnakers to be set for a short way until the breeze backed to the north-east giving the fleet a reach out to C7.  “Volare” had kindly set a buoy one mile west of C7 so we headed for a couple of laps around that. The wind continued backing further to the north and the course was changed, and a final port rounding lap from C5 then a finish between C3 and C5. That gave the fleet a beat to windward to finish as well as some good spinnaker runs before heading home. A fantastic day on the bay.


IMG_1131 2.jpg

“Out of the Blue” crew, first over the line in the last race of the Dick Cater series.


The winner on handicap was “Anastasia”, “Out of the Blue” then “Impulse”. Thank you Frank for your creative genius when it comes to course setting.

Final results for the five races in the Dick Cater series was first, “Impulse” on 19 points, second “Anastasia” on 31 points and third “Out of the Blue” on 36 points. Thanks to all the other boats in the series, any of which, if they had sailed one more race would have been on the podium.


Keelboat Learn to Sail

We now have a beautiful little J24  available for hire and to conduct sail training on keelboats. The next course is booked out but one on 6th – 7th October is still open.  Click HERE to book

Coming UP – This Month – download nomination form here

Saturday 15th September – Race training for OTB fleet Sail Cairns racers, yes here’s your chance to get up to speed for Sail Cairns

Saturday 22nd September – Tuesday 25th – “Totally Work Wear” Sail Cairns Regatta 2018. Get your crew together, challengers coming from Port Douglas. We have Secured 3 cat berths on G finger and 3 mono on F finger for Cairns sail week Sept 21-26th, nominate NOW! (You can nominate & pay directly on-line which makes it easier for evryone)

Nomination Entry form 2018

Saturday 6th October – Summer Series Race 1, Fitzroy Island Race – Race 4, last chance to nab one of these fabulous prizes, two nights on Fitzroy plus transfers. Remember, all the fast boats would have won one by now so it’s your turn coz they can only win one of these prizes even if they come first this time.

WAGS – Every Wednesday. A fun sailing day with others, stress-free and a chance for non-members to sail for the day, just $20 gets you on a boat. Be at the Boat Shed at 12. No need to call anyone, just turn up. Backpackers welcome, the best value day out on the water you can have in Cairns.

Tackers Fun Friday – 4-5:30 pm
Call out to 7-14 year olds who have completed Tackers or Learn to Sail courses….use this link to register…only $15 per session!!!!



Our little “Opti’s” waiting for their eager young crew. (Every Friday evening)


Connect to the calendar HERE; you can download a .pdf copy to your phone or sync the calendar.

Commodore’s Command

We have secured 3 cat berths on G finger and 3 mono on F finger for Cairns sail week
Sept 21-26th, only one nomination so far so, get your nomination in now.
Nomination Entry form 2018
“YES” will not be a starter due to crew commitments outside of sailing, at this stage planning to be the finishing boat on days one and two.

Talking with the Hutchison project manager, re the Shangri la refurb ,they are well ahead of schedule and plan to be finished by November, thanks all for your patience as far as the carpark is concerned, I know Ports North and myself will be happy not to receive any more flack and look forward to moving back to what will seem a somewhat smaller carpark.

I have been meeting with the new P/N commercial head to discuss a roof extension for the boat shed to make better use of dinghy storage, relocation of the double gates to the west to allow easier trailer access, and shade on the pontoon for SWD. Plans, kindly drawn by Bruce Clark, have been submitted to Ports North so we hope to have a positive outcome

Thanks Capt John ,out .

Technical Corner

Confused by the marker names, C5, C9, etc.?

They are the Cairns channel markers and are in pairs starting at the north-eastern end of the channel with C1 & C2. Odd numbers are on the western side, even on the East. They finish at C20 about half a mile from T2, the start of the “Trinity Inlet” markers. T10 is the last of the T markers at the southern most end of the inlet, familiar to all those who sail course “A” on WAGS, as the red buoy.


Chart of the leads into Cairns Port



2 thoughts on “September 2018

    • Thanks Mark, nice to know I’m not talking to myself! We have 130 subscribers plus whoever follos the FB link so it seems worthwhile.

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