September 9 - 15, 2012: Issue 75   

 Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club 2012-13 Sailing Season Opening Day

Left to right: Peter Haig (Cmdr. RMYC), Colin Bansgrove, Richard Hudson (Cmdr. RPAYC 1994-96), John Paul (Past Cmdr. RPAYC), Ian Audsley (Vice Cmdr. RPAYC), John Allanson (Cmdr. RPAYC 1990-92), Volker Aebischer (Cmdr. WPYC), Howard Piggott (Cmdr. CYCA), Fred Bidwell (Director RPAYC), Peter Bennett (Rear Cmdr. Centreboard, RPAYC), Rob Curtis (current Cmdr. RPAYC ) Jim Cormack (Rear Cmdr. Cruising, RPAYC), Malcolm Levy (Cmdr. RSYC), Peter McAdie(Rear Cmdr. Membership RPAYC), Ken Hudson (Cmdr. RPAYC 1977-79), Jack Gale (Life Member RPAYC), Ken Moxham (Life Member RPAYC),  1981-84), John Berry (Past Cmdr. RPAYC), Simon Grosser (Director RPAYC), Kevin Smith (Cmdr. RPAYC. 

 Nina Curtis and Hon. Bronwyn Bishop firing the cannon.


 Commodore Rob Curtis.

Suzanne Davies (General Manager RPAYC), Nina Curtis, Hon. Bronwyn Bishop, Karen Baldwin (General Manager RMYC) and Hon. Rob Stokes.
Roger, Barbara and Bob ; Cantina 

 Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club 2012-13 Sailing Season Opening Day - 8th of September, 2012.

Saturday morning on Pittwater was a perfect day; blue sky, fresh clean breezes from the north, sparkling water in the estuary and a sense of peace and quiet… everyone must be elsewhere…voting.

Meanwhile, at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, an annual tradition which brings smiles to faces and a sense of excitement to many was being fulfilled once again. Since 1867 the Opening of the Sailing Season signals the beginning of social sailing and competitive racing on and around the waterways adjoining the estuary of Pittwater. This prestigious club, well known for ‘Excellence in Sailing’ and fostering the next generation of Australian elite sailors, is busy outside the season too.

In recent weeks Nina Curtis, daughter of current Commodore of RPAYC, Rob Curtis, won a silver medal in the Women's match racing at the 2012 Olympics. This week RPAYC members Daniel Fitzgibbons and Liesl Tesch won gold at the Paralympics. Josh McKnight's a 21 year old RPAYC centreboard sailor, has been crowned the 2012 Moth World Champion at Lake Garda, Italy.  Within Australian waters Ivor Burgess and the RPAYC crew of David Warren, John Harvey, Ian Winter, Ross Raine and Hamilton Farmer, won the Boss Hog Trophy at the Airlie Beach Race Week.

The welcome was hosted by the Commodore Rob Curtis who invited the Hon. Rob Stokes to Raise the Flag this year. Mackellar’s Hon. Bronwyn Bishop and Nina Curtis shared the duty of firing the cannon to mark the season open. A Sail Past, with vessels colourfully dressed in signal flags and nautical bunting, all flying the RPAYC burgee while skippers and crew saluted the Commodore and official party with “Three cheers for the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club!” began with the larger yachts and closed with those being coached by Tom Spithill, whose brother James was 2010 America’s Cup winning skipper. 

James began his sailing at the RPAYC in the club’s Youth Development Program. The emphasis on being a family orientated club, which has trained some of the world’s finest yachtsmen and women, places this Pittwater Yacht Club among Australia’s best and most hospitable. The RPAYC offers year round inshore and offshore racing, cruising, centreboard dinghy racing, sail training and courses. The marina facilities and clubhouse improve every year, often initiating innovations in floating marina berths, or marine services that then become the norm elsewhere.  

The Opening Day Yacht Race, ‘The Pittwater Dash Spinnaker race’ from Scotland Island back to Bayview began the season’s unfurling of sails in great style. This is what Pittwater is about, people out on beautiful vessels, exhilarating in sailcloth while reading each shift in wind, immersed in practicing or learning new skills, stretching themselves or simply enjoying the beauty of the season and being on the water.

Three cheers indeed, for the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club!

SAILING, the movement by which a vessel is wasted along the surface of the water, by the action of the wind upon her sails. The effect of sailing is produced by a judicious arrangement of the sails to the direction of the wind. Accordingly the various modes of sailing are derived from the different degrees and situations of the wind with regard to the course of the vessel. From William Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine;

Michael Mannington's RPAYC Sailing Season Opening Day Public Gallery.

The Sail Past features in special Pictorial.

Images by Michael Mannington of Volunteer Photography, and A J Guesdon, 2012. All Rights Reserved.