Have you ever been on a sailing boat where they carried out an evacuation drill?

Last year we asked this same question to everyone who came to our Sea Safety and Survival program. Very occasionally people had been on a boat where a discussion had taken place aroundthis matter. When you’re on a boat it is extremely important that you know at all times how to get out of the boat in an emergency.


If there is a fire in an engine bay, it may not be possible to climb over the fire to exit via the companionway. We suggest everyone going on every boat take the time to understand which hatches would be viable as an exit and how they are opened.

Many people who are new to boats do not instinctively understand how to unlocked or open a hatch. The skipper should ensure that all hatches are dogged and not locked when people are on board. This is an easy thing to forget. The crew can and should also check this when coming on board.

When discussing abandonment, or evacuation it is common to be drawn into the evacuation elements and assume people will know what to do in the event of a fire.

As the skipper, you need to identify which hatches can be used by which people in emergencies as exits and show them how to open them. As an example, remember that the lowering of a spinnaker pole to the deck, deck stowage of a dinghy and the physical size of people could mean that not all exits are available to all people all of the time.

Preparation tips with Neil Driscoll

Preparing for a Cat 2 race from Pittwater all the way to Southport takes a lot of time. Neil Driscoll from Above and Beyond Boating points out a few tips on crew organisations which can make the preparation a little easier for the skipper and the team.

Neil, through his many years as an experienced sailing mentor points out that some teams overlook the simple tasks of preperation which sometimes can take the longest.

High Anxiety in the 2015 Pittwater to Coffs High Anxiety in the 2015 Pittwater to Coffs

“Developing your team into their roles earlier rather than later betters their performance on water, however, developing their roles off water can greatly improve the boat’s logistics for the race.” Said Neil.

Just like on the boat, team members have their set roles and task list. Similar format should follow on from that off-water.

“A skipper/owner doesn’t sail the boat on their own so they shouldn't do everything off water on their own” Said Neil.

“Examples of task allocation include passing on the Safety Audit co-ordination, team uniforms and even the social aspect of the event. Having someone organise all the social stuff like where to go afterwards to celebrate makes the experience for the team all that much better” Neil added.

Just by thinking a little outside the box and getting the team to help out where possible will make the race that much more enjoyment for all.

For more handy safety and preperation tips visit www.aabboating.com


Auric’s Quest for Pittwater to Southport honours

Fred Bestall’s return to Australia and the yacht racing scene marks a big step up from his time living in California in the 1980s racing a heavy one-tonner, the last competitive boat he owned.

Three months ago Bestall bought Bob Steel’s 2002 Sydney Hobart winner called Quest and in early January 2017 he’ll contest the very first Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race sailing the rebadged Auric’s Quest for his home state of Queensland and the finish partner, Southport Yacht Club.

“My old boat was a one-tonner I bought from Denis Connor in the ‘80s that was either very fast or very slow, no in between, whereas my new boat is a 46-foot dinghy and a much higher level of racing,” said Bestall talking about his entry in the 370 nautical mile sprint due to start off Barrenjoey Headland at 1pm on Monday January 2, 2017.Aurics Quest credit: Tina DialAurics Quest credit: Tina Dial

Three days before the 10th Brisbane to Keppel Race back in August, Bestall took ownership of Steel’s champion Nelson/Marek design and renamed it Auric’s Quest, after his company and the Latin term for gold. He set off with a pre-assembled crew for what turned out to be a baptism of fire – a breezy and ultimately record-breaking run north for the eventual line honours winner, Wild Oats XI.

Le Billet hands the boat keys to a RPAYC Youth Team

Club Marine Bluewater Pointscore Series 

The Bird Island race was held on Saturday and saw 14 boats compete, a great fleet to see!
The fleet enjoyed the southerly winds to get them to Bird Island before battling to work their way home in a dropping breeze. 

For Le Billet owners Mark Tinworth and Mark Waterhouse this BWPS Season they have handed the 'keys to the boat' to a team of youth members seeking to develop their offshore skills. The team will be competing in all the BWPS offshore races with the Club and competed in the CYCA Sydney to Gold Coast race in July.  Mark Tinworth says "Its been great to be able to offer the run of the boat to the youth team, they have heaps of energy and are keen to learn big boat sailing"....
Mark Waterhouse says “ We looked back on the days when Perpetual Motion took YD to Coffs and we thought to ourselves, why is this not happening any more, so we got a few of the YD crew together for 2015 and 2016 race and we all had a great time . So then we decided to get the YD crew to commit to the full BWPS and we will commit to providing some training for them, and we ended up with half the crew YD and half the crew Le Billet regulars. A big thanks to Rachel for rounding up the YD and doing the sell on them.
It has worked out fantastic, the key is to give the YD crew key positions on helm, main , pit and trim and not just send them up front .In fact we have oldies doing bow and mast. The YD kids are super keen to learn stuff like tactics, navigation etc and of course Safety at Sea (particularly on overnight races). As one of the YD said, “we need a few oldies on board for when it all goes pear shape".

A summer sailing bonanza …

A summer sailing bonanza …

·       Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Race +

·       Bartercard Sail Paradise Series

Australia’s east coast offshore sailing scene will take on an exciting new dimension in early January with the staging of the inaugural Club Marine Pittwater to Southport ocean race, followed by a new-look Bartercard Sail Paradise series out of Southport Yacht Club, on the Gold Coast.

The race to Southport, which will start on January 2 with the coastal passage extended to 370 nautical miles from the traditional new year race to Coffs Harbour, to a finish line set off Southport Surf Club, the organisers of Sail Paradise seized on the opportunity to have that event become an added incentive for sailors to race north from Pittwater.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Offer

Bring the family to Southport! After the race why not join the family and visit the Wildlife Currumbin Sanctrary, Special Offer for competitors, recieve 50% discount on admission:

http://www.cws.org.au/cws-ticket/general-admission/ Select your tickets and add the coupon code “SYC2016”

Frantically finding a new boat for the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport race

The yacht Frantic’s demise on the rocks at Grassy Island during the last race of Airlie Beach Race Week in August could easily have meant the withdrawal of the first Queensland entry for the Club Marine Pittwater to Southport Yacht Race starting in less than four months’ time.

Instead, skipper Graham Furtado is scouting for a new 40-footer and though the timeframe is tight, he’s planning to secure a replacement by the end of October and still be part of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s first offshore race to Queensland setting off on January 2, 2017 from the mouth of the Hawkesbury River.

Frantic was competing at the Airlie Beach regatta when its spinnaker became wrapped around the forestay. Winds gusting up to 30 knots kept knocking the Sayer 40 over and dragging it towards the shore, while the tide sucked the stricken vessel in the same direction. Eight crew members were rescued by fellow competitors and the boat was left, only to wash out to sea and sink. Frantic was eventually located by a diver, who saw the mast tip sticking out at low tide off Olden Island, and refloated, then towed ashore where Furtado’s insurance company classed it a write-off.



Pittwater to Southport


The Pittwater to Paradise Regatta will be starting on Sydney's Pittwater,  1 hour drive north from Sydney's CBD on January 2, 2019 and run through to 9 January, 2019.

The ocean race offers competitors a strategic challenge as they race between the surfline and the current, past unsurpassed scenic coastlines, prior to arriving in one of Queensland's most popular coastal cities. Once on the Gold Coast boats will enjoy a four day series regatta hosted by the Southport Yacht Club.

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The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club
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W: www.rpayc.com.au

Southport Yacht Club
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