Friday, July 30, 2021
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New Open Water Series for IOMs!

WMStartEntries are open now to the new IOM Offshore Challenge 2020.  The Wynnum Manly Club have staged two trial events at this new venue and are now ready to share the fun with the rest of the IOM community.




This is a series starting on 29th March.

  • Round 1 - 29th March
  • Round 2 - 12th April
  • Round 3 - 26th April
  • Round 4 - 10th May

The Notice of Race and entry form are now up on this site.

With a $5 entry fee, either bring your own brown bag lunch or buy it at the local cafes it will be the best fun you have had with loose change for years.

The jetty is 200m long so be prepared for that.  If you have a small trolley that would help.  I used a Fridge trolley with everything strapped on and it worked a treat.  I'm sure that some of the club members are willing to help you if needed.

Where: Wynnum Jetty.  Click here for map.

name:     Russell Gray

email:     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

phone:     0401641443

See you there!


Sail in Moreton Bay, you are invited

WMPierFollowing the successful trial conducted by the Wynnum Manly club recently, the planets and tides have aligned and they are ready to go again!  Your IOM is invited and you can come too.

When: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m Sunday 8th March 2020

Where: Wynnum Jetty.  Click here for map.

Contact: Andrew Wilson, 0412208708, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The jetty is 200m long so be prepared for that.  If you have a small trolley that would help.  I used a Fridge trolley with everything strapped on and it worked a treat.  I'm sure that some of the club members are willing to help you if needed.

See you there!



Why didn't the Observers call it?

observers2How many times have you heard this, or even done it?

As everyone is preparing for the next heat, a competitor uses words like "two boats hit that top mark, why weren't they called?"  or "The mark was spinning like a top and he didn't do a turn!"  or even "What are the observers doing?  Why didn't they call that incident at the gate?"

In making any of those statements, a competitor is admitting that he has not complied with a Fundamental Rule of Sailing. Does that sound harsh or unfounded?  Let's investigate.

From the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS)


Competitors in the sport of sailing are governed by a body of rules that they are expected to follow and enforce. ..."

Notice the 'enforce' part?

To emphasise this, the ARYA Race Management Manual

17.1  Since the primary responsibility for protesting breaches of the rules rests with competitors, the Race Committee will not normally protest a boat.

Then in the RRS

60.1  A boat may

(a)  protest another boat, but not for an alleged breach of a rule of Part 2 or rule 31 unless she was involved in or saw the incident; or

Let's summarise all that.  As a competitor, if you saw (60.1) another boat hit a mark (Rule 31) and not take a penalty, you have the primary responsibility to enforce the rules by protest (Fundamental Rule RRS, ARYA Race Management Manual).  Notice none of these rules have so far mentioned Observers or the Race Officer? 

If you call someone for a breach, the Observer would get out their notepad and quietly record your call.  If it was not resolved when the race ends, she would report that to the Race Officer.  That is how it is designed to work.

Now that we have confirmed that you the competitor are responsible for calling a rule breach, what are the Observers there for? 

It's common to be handed the hi-viz vest and be asked to take your turn as an Observer. Were you briefed and equipped adequately?  Have you read and understood the requirements of being an observer?  From personal experience I'm guessing the answer to at least one of those questions could be no.

The ARYA Race Management Manual has a full description.  I have pasted it in below so that you can be briefed before the next time you have to do this job.  Importantly, it shows that observer directions are not in conflict with the primary responsibility of competitors to enforce the rules.  If you as a competitor do not call a breach, you have not complied with a Fundamental Rule. If an Observer fails to call, she just did not see it happen or was not 100% sure, no rules broken.

In a race with say 15 boats, there are 15 pairs of eyes in the fleet, but sometimes only two pairs for Observers.  I wonder why they do not see some incidents that you do?

If you are a competitor, by the time you get your boat off the water after the heat, it's too late to complain about breaches not being called.  If you are an observer and you are asked why you didn't call a breach, you could consider getting out your notepad and recording a breach of a Fundamental Rule?

Your role could change from one heat to the next, one minute competitor, the next an observer.  It is important that you understand the responsibilites of both.




The Race Committee may appoint race Observers, who may be competitors. They shall remain in the control area while boats are racing and they shall hail and repeat the identity of boats that contact a mark or another boat. Such hails shall be made from the control area. Observers shall report all unresolved incidents to the Race Committee at the end of the heat.


  • 1  Remain within the control area during the race. It is important your position does not hinder the view of the competitors.
  • 2  Do not use binoculars ... you should have the same view of the course and environs as the competitors.
  • 3  Call any contact between boats or between a boat and a marker buoy and note the details.
  • 4  Call all incidents loudly and clearly twice ,
    o “CONTACT Two Three & Three Five, CONTACT Two Three & Three Five” and wait for an acknowledgement.
    o “CONTACT Four Four and MARK, CONTACT Four Four and MARK” and wait for an acknowledgement.
  • 5  Call only if an incident has occurred. If in doubt , do not call.
  • 6  Call promptly, as it is the responsibility of the offending boat to accept a penalty
    immediately and complete the penalty at the earliest reasonable opportunity.
  • 7  Calls must be made so that they are reasonably likely to be heard by competitors (see RRS E2.1a). It is not your responsibility to continuously call, or to chase the offending skipper to let them know.
  • 8  Record the completion of penalty turns. A penalty turn consists of one tack and one gybe in the same direction. The offending boat should attempt to sail clear as soon as possible following the incident and commence their turn. Record the completion of a turn, even if you believe the wrong boat has taken the penalty. If you believe that a boat has gained an advantage despite taking a penalty make a note of the advantage gained and report to the Race Officer.
  • 9  If a boat delays sailing clear to take their turn, make a note of where and when the incident occurred and where and when the turn was started and report to the Race Officer.
  • 10  In the event of a boat sailing on the incorrect side of a buoy without contacting it, you do not alert the skipper – just note down which buoy, which lap of the course and which boat was involved and report to the Race Officer.
  • 11  In the event of a skipper calling “out of control”, note the sail number or the skipper who made the call. That boat is immediately considered to have retired from the race.
  • 12  Use a notebook to record details of any unresolved incidents, incorrect penalty turns or protest calls you observe or hear. Record the sail numbers of the yachts involved and the circumstances of the incident. Add a small drawing if possible, outlining relevant boat positions, mark location, wind direction and time. You will be able to refer to your notes if called to offer evidence in a protest situation.
  • 13  Report any unresolved issues promptly to the Race Committee (immediately at the conclusion of the race/heat).
  • 14  The Observer’s duty is to note the incident, it is NOT your duty to determine guilt, identify any specific rule infringed or suggest any action or remedy but you should be clear in your own mind about these issues as you may be required to give evidence at a subsequent protest hearing.
  • 15  Avoid entering into any argument or conversation with skippers regarding any incident you have observed.
  • 15  Record the use of any foul language or unsportsmanlike behaviour of those competing in the race and report any incidents to the Race Officer.
  • 16  Observe the course for any debris, drifting marks, changing weather patterns or external factors like power boats, sailing yachts, canoeists or other people using the waterway that may affect the fair running of a prescribed race and report those findings to the Race Officer.


Happy Sailing & Observing



How to win a National Championship

Sean2020I watched the results of the 2020 Australian Marblehead Championships appear on the ARYA Live Results page just after they happened. I saw how Sean Wallis won it. Then I started to hear bits and pieces of the background to it and thought it a great story.  So I contacted Sean and spoke to some people who were there and put this story together. I know that there are other sailors out there interested. This is about Sean’s win yes, but it’s also a great story about Radio Sailing.

At the start of this new year Sean Wallis had no plans of participating in the Marblehead National Championships 2020. After focusing on the IOM class for the 2019 IOM worlds his annual leave was in negative balance so he offered his Indie to Denton Roberts for the February Yarrawonga event.

That plan started to change around 12th January when from across the Tasman Sean heard a rumour that a hard to come-by Grunge could be coming on the market in the near future. He contacted the owner and the sale was through by 23rd January. Being only a month before the Nationals and the work annual leave balance had not magically

Lincoln McDowall (2nd), Sean Wallis (1st), Scott Fleming (3rd)

changed; competing at Yarrawonga was still out of the question. Plans were made to get the boat shipped to Perth.

A rough agreement was struck with fellow west-coaster Glenn Dawson, that if the boat arrived in time that he could cart it to the big lake on the Murray. Second thoughts appeared when a quote on the wrong side of $1000 arrived, to transport the boat over both the ditch and the Nullarbor. Alternative calculations were hurriedly made on the cost of him flying from Perth to Auckland, picking up the boat and both returning to Yarrawonga via Melbourne in time to compete.   After dusting off his negotiating skills and committing to higher annual targets with the powers-that-be at work, he booked travel and entered the National Championships.

The approach to Yarrawonga went something like this. Perth to Auckland six and a half hours, ten hours on the ground in NZ and then a four and a half hour flight to Melbourne followed by a just under three hours drive to Yarrawonga.

Nigel Clements was the owner of the Grunge that was about to head to Australia. He had a 2-hour each way trip to join Sean with the Grunge at the Auckland airport. Nigel had done a superb packing job and it was all ready for an immediate check-in and flight to Melbourne. So far so good, easy, but on arrival in Melbourne, the boat was missing!

Yes, the sailbox was there and intact but no one knew where the boat was. It took forty angsty minutes of searching and waiting for the Grunge to finally materialise. I’m guessing that the thought of a casual cruise across the Nullarbor with plenty of time to kill was looking pretty attractive by the time he drove into Yarrawonga with a few days to spare.

The 10 Raters were still competing and there was a Lay Day before the M's started, to get to know his new equipment. He had not sailed a Marblehead since the last Nationals at the Gold Coast. When the Lay Day arrived though, the wind was separating the local dogs from their chains so he decided to not risk damaging the new weapon.

Because the decision to compete had been made so late, he had no ‘regatta budget’. That and how expensive it is to compete at a IOM World Championship in Brazil. It’s also not cheap to go to a Nationals on the other side of the country via New Zealand after buying a new boat so cost had to be minimized. Queenslanders Greg Torpy and Trevor Fisher had a rental with a ‘free’ spare room, that was the good news. The bad news was that it was the ‘shed’!  It was stinking hot, then shortly after freezing cold, with midges, mosquitoes and worse, he had to become an honorary Queenslander. But he was allowed inside occasionally, the most appreciated times were the cooked breakfast that Trevor provided each day.

Day One arrived and the new boat was finally launched. The challenges just kept on coming in the form of another competitor smashing into the unsuspecting Grunge, cracking the back-end even before the warning signal. Tape can fix anything and it stayed on for the entire regatta.m fleet 1

Straight out of the box the boat loved the B-rig conditions that started the regatta and Sean quickly found himself the excited winner of the first two races. Expectations understandably lifted. It went so well that he thought the troubles were over and he had a great chance to place in the pointy-end of the event. Maybe an overall win was a bit much to ask but somewhere in the top five seemed very do-able with two bullets already tucked into the belt.

Then came Race 3. In the top five at the top mark the first time, second the next time around but while bearing away, the nose of the boat went down a bit and did not come back up. It was taking water so Sean pointed it at the bank as it continued to sink lower. Fellow competitor Steve Sedgemen was watching and didn’t think the boat was going to make it back so he jumped in and grabbed it as the winch was about to submerge. A quick inspection showed that the forward deck patch had lifted, so the fix required a new one of those, a new receiver and it was ready to go again.

The boat was fast but he still had to nail the starts, stay out of trouble and learn how to manage the swing rig. Weed was also a factor and it affected competitors throughout the event. On the second to last race of day two Sean had his share of weed for the first leg and a half before he could remove it. He managed to salvage second place anyway and then a win for the last race of the day.

So with one day to go the calculation went like this. Ten points from the lead, good boat speed and an unfamiliar swing rig to master, B-rig was sorted and quick though. He reasoned six races had to be sailed and he had to win four of them, just a bit of a challenge. And all that still depended on how his nearest competitiors went.  The sinking now looked very costly and he might have to settle for a top five after all.Mclass2020 1

Only four races were sailed on the last day, Sean’s scores were 1.0, 1.0, 4.0, 1.0, enough to win the Championship. An amazing feat all things considered.

Sean credits his win the to support of those around him. His Western Australian team mates for bringing the rest of his gear across the county and back, including the bed he slept on in the 'shed', the Queenslanders who hosted him and the general support and comradeship he received from the rest of the fleet.

I asked him what were the most memorable parts of his experiences, besides winning that is. He said he was particularly impressed with the Grunge design and how it performed for him ‘out-of-the-box’ with the preparation of Nigel Clements. But the main memory sticking in his mind was that of Steve Sedgemen jumping in the lake to save his boat. Sean said he was unable to thank Steve enough.

So the next time you feel hard done by at a regatta, wondering what albatross you must have mistakenly killed, whose dog you must have accidently kicked to deserve the bad luck and challenges placed in your way, remember this one. Sean definitely earned and deserves the Marblehead Australian Championship for 2020.

Article by: Ron Fawcett




Australian Marblehead Title Goes Down to the Wire

Mclass2020 1Feb 24, 2020

Four boats fought it out in the final race for outright victory to claim the Australian Marblehead Class championship at Yarrawonga, VIC.

At the end of three days of sailing it all came down the last race of the championship to determine the 2020 Australian Marblehead Class champion.

After starting the day the way he ended day two, Sean Wallis came out of the blocks fast and picked up wins in races 13 & 14 and moved from fourth overnight to the top of the leaderboard passing Kirwan Robb, Scott Fleming and Lincoln McDowall. 

The start of race 15 saw Wallis get another good start and he looked to be unstoppable until finding weed mid way up the first work and while making a quick dash to the shore the charge for the championship title seemed to be over as he rounded the windward mark last while the trio of Robb, Fleming and McDowall had all started strongly and led the fleet around the course. 

It was a left hand shift up the second windward leg that saw Wallis move through the fleet to re-join the leaders at the top mark the second time and as positions changed up the final leg to the finish it was Fleming that made the best of it finishing first ahead of Robb with McDowall third and Wallis fourth setting up a fantastic final race for the championship.

As the breeze slowly died it starting looking doubtful as to whether the sixteenth race would actually get started and after some waiting a slight breeze filled providing just enough for racing to resume. 

Racing was extremely close with Wallis reaching the first mark just ahead of the three but needed to ensure that Fleming was placed at least two places between him. The second work saw Scott Condie sneak through to lead ahead of Wallis with McDowall and Fleming fighting it out for third. It was at that point tragedy struck for Fleming who picked up some weed and slipped well back in the fleet and ended his title aspirations and with Robb also slipping back through the fleet the title challenge was left between Wallis and McDowall. In the mean time Wallis had claimed the lead back from Condie to lead the final windward mark rounding.

Mclass2020 2

Pictured: Ray Joyce (Master), David 'Yoda' Thomas (Grand Master), Lincoln McDowall (2nd), Sean Wallis (1st), Scott Fleming (3rd)

The final run and windward leg were challenging with little to no breeze and the fleet wallowing but eventually enough pressure came for the fleet to finish with Sean Wallis sailing his Grunge finishing his day with 1, 1, 4, 1 and the championship title on 41pts with Lincoln McDowall second overall (46pts) and Scott Fleming third (48pts).

From ARYA website

Results HERE


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