J24 NSW Regattas

Now is the time to start thinking about getting your boat ready for the regatta season  – the NSW J24 Association has 2 regattas this year and we’d like you to enter both of them so we can have good competitive fleets racing.    It’s still 5 months away but it’s just a reminder to think about booking accommodation in Gosford for the Long Weekend in October, and also think about crew.  If you give me plenty of notice I can generally help you find the crew you need if you are short!

  • 3rd & 4th October 2015 – Gosford Classic J24 Regatta at Gosford Sailing Club
  • 31st October & 1 November 2015 –  NSW J24 State Championships at Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club.

Those who are keen will hopefully also use these regattas as training before venturing to the J24 National Championships in January 2016 in Melbourne.

Please contact me on 0404 539176 or dockpaula@gmail.com for any help or questions.


Macquart Marine Cronulla J24 Short Course Regatta

QBW Cronulla Regatta 2015 Poster FB

The Macquart Marine Cronulla J24 Short Course Regatta is on for the 6-8 June 2015 (Queens Birthday Long weekend).

This was a brilliantly run and enjoyable regatta last year and we are planning to get 20 boats this year so come and enjoy the hospitality and ocean sailing at Cronulla

Entries are online on the CSC site, go here for more information https://regonline.activeglobal.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1707246

And to see pics from last year, go here  https://plus.google.com/photos/109897369434061694665/albums/6022085478355166705

More History Pictures


I have put more of Chris Furey’s and Nick Capper’s pics on the Australian History page.  Thanks Guys, very much appreciated. Also now a link to Chris Furey’s FB J Pic page where there is an amazing collection of pics. If anyone has old pics they are happy to share, either send them to me or put them on our J24 facebook page and make sure you give captions for each of them. Cheers Simon

Want to sell your J24?

If anyone is looking to sell their boat and hasn’t got it advertised, could you please let me know.  I have a couple of potential buyers contact me recently so would be good to know if you are thinking of selling.

Thanks, Paula

dockpaula@gmail.com or 0404 539176

Clipper Cup at Port Douglas – Could be your winter holiday in a J



The Mickey Ink Port Douglas Race Week and Clipper Cup is a low-budget but high-octane event reknowned for its hospitality and tropical fun attitude. The following update was emailed to us this week:

We have 24 entries so far and almost as many telling us they will be entering. With just five weeks to go it looks certain that we’ll break our recent record of 29 set last year and we’re hopeful of bettering the 44 set in 1995. Not a bad effort for such a remote outpost of the sport!

We have five J24’s entered in division 4 so we have introduced a sub-division for the J24 class within div 4. There are eleven J’s in the Port Douglas and Cairns region that we know about so we’re hoping we can get a few more interested and build an annual class division for the J’s. Several J24’s have entered in recent years but we’re yet to see any claim a name on the famous trophy. The closest has been Bruce Clarke (Kaizan II) from Cairns who managed second place in division 4 in 2014. Bruce has entered for the fifth consecutive year and is a close favourite to take out the inaugural class division and possibly the double, going one better in division 4 this year.

We already have three boats sailing up from Townsville, Dusty Muzzle, Guilty Pleasures VI and Champagne. These guys are doing their best to encourage some more. Ron Knott and the crew of Dusty Muzzle have been competing for the trophy since 2011 and will be back to defend their 2014 division 1 win. Leon Thomas and the Guilty Pleasures team have raced here before in 2013 and will be trying to go one better than the second place they achieved in division 4 that year.

Dusty Muzzle will have a serious challenge on their hands defending their division 1 title with the likes of veteran local racing legends Belinda Cooper (Agnes) and Doug Ryan (Shazam) both previous winners on other boats.

In the multihull division Mal Richardson has entered his NACRA 36 Malice which has been winning just about everywhere it goes. We’ll have some serious handicapping to do with this fast OMR cat competing against cruisers like the Seawind 1000. Malice won the 2011 Clipper Cup when all the boats raced in one division. We didn’t have enough competitors for multiple divisions back then. It was a nightmare trying to handicap such a diverse fleet.

We’re a lot more organised these day with five divisions this year including the J24 sub-division. Malice might get a bit of competition if we can muster some of the local racing cats to get their entries in.

The social scene is set to be huge with competitors planned to be berthed next to the club at Closehaven Marina. With a big brekkie on the go every morning and entertainment every night there’ll be plenty to keep the social scene humming. It is also Port Douglas Carnivale that week so there will be a multitude of events and activities happening all around town. Perfect for any non sailing partners of visiting yachties to get involved with. Visit www.carnivale.com.au for details.

We’ll also be running a fun team competition in line with the teams event that was the original Pan Am Clipper Cup many years ago. As with everything at this great club we do it all for fun as our motto proclaims “This Club was built for fun”.

Further details of the regatta can be found at http://portdouglasraceweek.com.au/ and entries close Monday 11th May with
racing commencing on the 25th to 29th.

2015 VIC States Photos by Chris Furey

Chris Furey has again taken some great pics of the J24 States in Melbourne on the weekend. So here they are as thumbnails – approx 235 pics ! I have been through them and there are sensational shots of most boats.

Chris has been very kind and generous with his photography and as agreed to help us support the Luke Mathews fund. We have agreed to a small fee of $25 for up to 10 shots – if you want more then another $25, this will go to Luke’s Fund. So anyone can buy shots for this small donation to help Luke.

Here is what you need to do to get your selection.

  1. Choose your selection and make a list of these picture numbers
  2. Go to the ‘Pay Victorian Assoc Online’ page also on this site (under VIC on the top navigation bar) and fill in your name, your email and your list of numbers into the ‘Description’ field. Fill in the amount in the ‘Amount’ field.
  3. Click the ‘Checkout’ button and use your credit card to pay the amount due.
  4. I will then email you your high res files once Kirby has passed your selection on to me
    This donation is purely planned to help Luke as much as possible, so I do suggest that your crew buy some shots as well rather than sharing files you buy, so be honest and help Luke and Karen get through this terrible time.

If I get inundated with requests this may take me some time to email all but the result for Luke’s Support Fund could be wonderful. Some pics are a little fuzzy where the reflected sunlight has played with the focus and this may not be apparent in the thumbnail.

Regards Simon

The what ifs, if only’s and couldabeens of the Victorian State Titles

J24 States 2015 Day 1 Start

J24 States 2015 Day 1 Start

Without taking anything away from the excellent Nationals in Adelaide earlier in the year, the Vic States have been warming up to be the real contest of the year. And so it was.

The Black Prince of Sandringham took it from the “Young” Sydney Fox with the Canny Scott third.

What that means is Dave Suda (VIC) 1st, Steve Girdis (NSW) 2nd and Doug Watson (SA) 3rd.

Performance handicap was won by Dave MacKay from Cronulla, our own Stephanie Strong took out second in the Sidetracked youth boat and Steve Girdis was third. Hugo Ottaway, the real Mr J24 and deep thinking scribe takes on the finer details.

“This year’s 2015 Victorian J24 Championship may be remembered by the “could have been champions” as a regatta of lost opportunity. Despite only achieving 4 races due to a 40+ knot squally Sunday, the championship reached a milestone in Australian J24 sailing. Of note is the following: starting at the top, 27 entries including every J24 at Sandringham Yacht Club, 6 entries from NSW and 4 from S.A. Oldest skipper 70+ youngest 23. Two youth boats, four female skippers, two all female crews. A Jury and Race management of National and International standing and possibly up to 50% female participation.”

There many hard luck stories in any fleet, probably about 26 of them in this regatta! But look who we are up against. Hugo continues …

“To ease the pain of the masses, the calibre of the leading bunch reads like a who’s who of sailing. Our winner, David Suda sailing Pacemaker from Victoria has won two J/24 and one International cadet National titles. Second, Steve Girdis (NSW), three J/24 National titles and 5th in the Osaka worlds. Third, Doug Watson (SA) 2nd in the J24 Nationals and 4th in the Sigma 33 Europeans. Fourth Hugo Ottaway (VIC) one J24 and one International Cadet National title, then fifth God himself, David McKay (NSW) one 16 foot skiff and two Moth WORLD TITLES, one J24 , Etchell 22 and 18 foot Skiff National title and 1969 Yachtsman of the year award. Sixth, Simon Grain (VIC) four New Zealand Tornado Catamaran National titles.”

“I am sure as I go down the list there are many others amongst us who also boast similar achievements, however we very rarely acknowledge the pedigree of fellow sailors, to win either a state or national J24 title is tough, hard to come by and first rate.”

So what are the hard luck stories, well the first would be the whole regatta with the sailing on Sunday closed down. That meant we had a series, but no drop and there were many who needed it – badly. Myself for one, going left nicely all day and then going right in the last race – wrong! John Neville, our hard working Vice Pres who has been sailing like a demon all summer, last seen burying his head in a beer in despair after scoring the unlikely bottom double. Next time John! Half the fleet overlaying the top mark in the first race! Holes in the wind in the second race that left the top boats wallowing in nothing within spitting distance of the finish line while boats behind them sailed by – spitting chips maybe! And from Hugo, “finally the best gag of all, watching the class president start at full speed one minute early on a black flag, with no one else around….. great stuff.”

I could go on, but one of our newest owners does, Mike Bond shares his experiences:

“The J24 Vic States had been on the agenda for 6 weeks and we were all very keen to participate after having bought Code Violation. We had only been out once or twice as a team so things were going to be interesting come the first race. In true beginner style we missed the first race completely due to poor clock work. I took the blame for that one as I was the only one wearing watch. The second race was our best of the series and I do believe we were coming 7th around the top mark however we ended up 14th with some poor kite work and some bad tacks. The third race wasn’t great either, we had a good start but just couldn’t maintain boat speed. The last race we came dead last which in the end was quite amusing. We took the wrong side of the course (behind Simon) and got blitzed. All in all, it was great fun and we were a bit disappointed we couldn’t sail on the Sunday due to poor weather conditions but after the 2nd beer we were fine. Special thanks to Simon Grain and the crew on Jet for all their help as well as Hugo Ottaway and David Suda.” That’s the kind of fun the newest guys are having.

The conditions were great sailing for the first two races with a westerly around 12 knots, boats powered up on genoas and the race track full of boats. After the second race the wind died, the sun came out and lunch was served with sails down while we drifted in the tide waiting for wind. The last two races were held in a sputtering and dying westerly as we watched a black roll cloud gather it’s skirts on the southern horizon. The fleet finished and just made it back to the marina as a 40+knot front blew through minutes later!

Back in the bar, we were very lucky to be able to watch our if only’s on the Yachtbot site – no consolation to some, but very interesting for most. YachtBot and CYCSA had been stupendously generous to us both in terms of their time and resources (CYCSA loaning us the trackers for nix and YachtBot set us up as a Pro level registration for free also) If you want to see more or the racing replay, go to www.yacht-bot.com and choose a race, or link directly to the races at www.yacht-bot.com/races/6958 to 6961. Our thanks go out to all our sponsors, Monjon Security in particular for your continued support again this year, Sailor Sunscreen and Iguana Design. To all our volunteers both on the class committee and SYC, a big thank you for your efforts.

Also a huge thank you to all the interstate competitors who made the effort to come to the regatta, your contribution to our fleet makes the difference to the flavour of the competition.

Hugo wraps up a few more stats to finish “Other points to note, three different brands of sails in the top five, both youth boats supplied with new and almost new sails courtesy of their owners, about 25 new sails measured in for the regatta. 135 competitors from 4 states. What I think makes this a great class is the generosity of the members, $1300.00 raised during the regatta to help Luke Mathews (Trimmer off Pacemaker) and his family who is recovering from a very bad road accident.”

The class BBQ and free beers, as always pulls everyone together after the racing and enjoyably the stage show that is the prize giving, with a forthright intro speech by the irrepressible Doug MacGregor (VicPres) and the brilliant John Neville doing the raffle draw had everyone in stitches and rounded off a great, if short regatta for both the locals and the visitors – you should have been there if you weren’t !

We don’t say goodbye to our interstate friends for too long, the next regatta is the Macquart Marine Short Course Regatta at Cronulla in NSW on Queens Birthday long weekend, 6-8 June this year. This was brilliant last year (see pics on the CSC site). The NSW States normally held in early November (dates TBA) and then the 2015-16 season biggie, the Nationals at Sandringham on the 4-8 January 2016, where we planning a regatta to attract a fleet of over 30 boats – this one you do not want to miss !


Vic States Result – The Black Prince is King again !

The Black Price and his winning crew. Damien, Dave, Sam, Rachael, Herschel.

The Black Prince and his winning crew. Damien, Dave, Sam, Rachael, Herschel.

More stories and pics to come, but the short answer is the Black Prince of Sandringham has taken it from the “Young” Sydney Fox with the Canny Scott third.

What that means in plain language is Dave Suda 1st, Steve Girdis (NSW) 2nd and Doug Watson (SA) 3rd.

Performance handicap was won by Dave MacKay from Cronulla, our own Stephanie Strong took out second in the Sidetracked youth boat and Steve Girdis was third.

Dave McKay's Stockcar crew

Dave McKay’s Stockcar crew

All the racing was held on Saturday only with 4 races sailed in medium to very light winds.

The highlights on Sunday were Luke Mathews making it to the lunch table at the club for his first major outing after his terrible accident, sadly he didn’t see any racing as the weather closed down the regatta with high winds – so no racing and third, the stage show that is the prizegiving with intro speech by the irrepressable Doug MacGregor (VicPres) and the brilliant John Neville doing the raffle draw – well you had to be there !

And 27 boats and around 135 people were there !

All gone sailing  - 27 boats !

All gone sailing – 27 boats !

Here is one of the best pics of the regatta – not a J left on the hardstand anywhere

One Design Results are here

Handicap results are here

The female friendly class

Our girls are doing it with style and fun, the J24 is a very female friendly class and the boat can be sailed enjoyably and raced competitively by young and older women, something not many other keelboat classes can offer. Hugo Ottaway, ‘Mr J24′ and long time class sailor takes up the story.

Women have been sailing J24s since they arrived in Victoria in 1982.  Our first international representative was Barney Hartnett who competing in both 1986 Newport Rhode Island and 1988 Sydney J24 World Championships. Since then women have represented the Victorian association across the board, Gai Clough, Commodore of Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron and J owner won two Australian Championships, she and Nikki Clarringbold represented Australia in the 1996 worlds in Argentina, Nikki also sailed in the 2006 worlds in Sweden along with the all female crew of Kirsty Harris. Kerry Dickerson and Diane Grimshaw crewed in the 1995 worlds in Sardinia and there will be others who I can’t recall.

Built on this rich heritage of successful female participation, is a new wave of women who have embraced the J24 as the weapon of choice. Today we see a group of females who not only equal the men in numbers, but also in talent. Without doubt, owner Robyn Coombs, skipper Kirsty Harris and crew are best all female crew today, having won races in the Australian and Victorian Championships. In 2012 and 2014 two J24 teams from Victoria represented Australia at the Dennis Conner International Yacht Club Challenge in New York, in 2014 Alicia Ray and skipper…… were on one and Cherry Birch, who sailed in both regattas the other.
The 2015 J24 Australian Champion “Pacemaker” crew includes Rachel Suda, also included in the teams that came 3rd and 4th were Lisa Simonov and Candice Lee.
Recently Paullina Mattila won the 2015 RMYS Linda Goldsmith memorial trophy with Kirsty Harris 2nd.

Our girls have progressively been making an impact, locally, nationally and internationally and it’s only going to get bigger. The J24 is an ideal boat for Victorian conditions, here we have strong winds and an open bay that provides challenging conditions, the equal to any around the world. Due to their unique design the boat works perfectly with either all or part female crews. The class weight restriction of 400 kilos means the boats can sail with either 5 or 6 crew, this makes women crews competitive. Very few classes offer true International one design sailing, with strong competitive fleets in as many as 60 countries, that women can compete equally with the men.

In Adelaide, class stalwart Robin Townsend has long campaigned and skippered ‘Good Company’ with a mostly female crew and now with her newer J ‘Witches Thimble’ she continues to compete. In Cronulla, Sheryl Brighton and ‘the girls’ competes – and wins – club sailing in their 19 boat J fleet in ‘Cooee Two’. On the harbour in Sydney and around the country Jeanette Syme is a fierce competitor with her mixed crew. In Melbourne we have had several young all female crews on our youth boats to great success. The names of many other female crews and skippers escape me but are too numerous to mention.

The name Kirsty Harris continually pops up throughout recent J folklore and this article and she and owner Robyn Coombs deserve special mention. In Robyn’s own words;
“The Melbourne based ‘Hyperactive’ all girl crew joined forces in 2006 when Sarah Thompson and I borrowed a J24 and competed in and won our first regatta, The Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta. I decided this boat had to be ours! So that’s where it all began! We have been predominantly an all female crew. Competing in many AWKR regattas at RMYS, WISC series at SYC, J24 Worlds in Sweden, many J24 Nationals and State Titles along with our one design racing on a regular basis out of SYC and recently competed in The Marley Point overnight race.

Kirsty Harris and myself are two of the original crew members. We had a stint of approx 2 years where we had one of the male variety sailing with us, luckily for us he was more than happy to don our crew colours of hot pink (which represents Breast cancer awareness) along with a colour coordinated mini skirt for special occasions!  As you can see it’s all about fun otherwise we wouldn’t be there. Saying that, we are very committed and competitive to say the least. We are also very lucky to have a lot of support around the traps from members and especially our past sponsors ” Red Bluff Homes and Clearly Frameless” and present sponsor “Crystal”.

Sarah left our crew recently due to baby commitments and Mary has stepped in as the new partner. Our next big adventure will be in Mexico in 2016!
So bring it on! Robyn Coombs Team Hyperactive – Kirsty Harris, Mary McCauley, Joelle Roderick, Amanda Alyward and Robyn Coombs.”

In Victoria, Sandringham Yacht Club is the home of J24. The club has embraced the class and over the past 3 weeks we have had two new owners join us swelling the ranks to 21. New owner, Eddie Ragauskas has been joined by his wife and daughters making up the team.

This growth, is not without effort. Bruce Alexander, who owns a local J24 has created a user friendly internet site “Melbourne Sailing Meet up” which boasts over 1000 members, 2/3rds of which are women. Says Bruce “this site allows potential crews to access sailing at the click of a button, without the intimidation of the yacht club walls. The Victorian J24 class has grown and benefited enormously from this group”. Hugo notes, “on my boat I now have two women and one male, who all came from Bruce Alexander’s Meet Up site, thanks Bruce for that !!”

Bruce has provided several charts that have shown a rapid increase in interest in sailing J24 yachts and women have made up the majority of that interest. I urge all J owners to look closely at the benefit and enjoyment of having either part or all female teams. Here is an indication of the popularity of Melbourne Sailing Meet Up and the interest in sailing J24s. Remember 2/3rds of these are women !

Group Joins

Interest should be directed to, J24 Victoria, attention President Doug McGregor or Melbourne Sailing Meet Up attention Bruce Alexander.

Edited by Simon Grain with contributions from Hugo Ottaway, Robyn Coombs and Bruce Alexander.

Monjon Australia Victorian 2015 States

2015 States poster


This is now the biggest regatta since the Legends Regatta in Gosford a few years ago. The class is alive and well with 10 INTERSTATE ENTRIES. 4 from SA, 3 from the Harbour and 3 from Cronulla.

The Monjon Victorian States are shaping up to be a 25 boat regatta this year. Dates are Saturday 18 –  Sunday 19th April this year.

The fleet at Sandy is hot, 20 boats all wanting a piece of the action this year, new sails and new owners, old owners dusting off the tillers, everyones getting fired up.

Dave Suda is running just ahead of the pack, but not always, the ‘Black Prince of Sandringham’ isn’t getting it all his own way with the next 3 or 4 boats chomping on his rudder. Last year’s National Champ Steve Girdis from Sydney and Doug Watson from SA are coming to Melbourne and are planning to pull the plug out of the ‘Pacemaker’.  Dave Mackay and Steve O’Rourke from Cronulla, Robin and Jim Townsend, Andrew Townsend from SA and Jeanette Syme from the harbour are also coming. Word is the Thommo Cup is going to move homes or get a new set of rules !

Sadly all the spare Victorian boats are already chartered at this stage (keep asking incase one becomes available), so if you want to be part of the regatta you best bring your own boat.

Traditionally the regatta is a hot competition regatta in Melbourne’s soft Autumn wind conditions (no guarantee of course). Complimented by the usual great party evening on the Saturday, this is a regatta not to be missed.

This will be the biggest J regatta in 2015. So if you want to be part of it and can’t get your boat here then why not fly in and sail with a local, you’ll have a great time – guaranteed !

Call Vic Pres Doug MacGregor for more information  on 0400 584 067

Here’s a copy of the poster 2015 States poster

Go here for the NOR

Go here for more up to date info on the SYC site Update

If you are coming to Sandringham for the first time you can check the regatta information on the Vic page of this site – there is one low bridge you don’t want to get too !