16 Mitala Street, Newport NSW 2106   Tel: 61 2 9998 3700


16 Mitala Street, Newport NSW 2106
Tel: 61 2 9998 3700

Coach vs Student in the final of the David Lukins Memorial Regatta

The David Lukins regatta was run over the weekend of the 16th and 17th of September 2017. This was the eigth running of the event since its inception in 2009 to commemorate the memory of David Lukins, a much valued member, Volunteer and mate. David was awarded one of the clubs most prestigious awards, Volunteer of the Year award for 1998-1999. 

This event has attracted some of RPAYC’s best sailors, battling to get their name on the beautiful David Lukins Memorial Trophy (the largest Trophy in the club) designed by prestigious artist John Woulf.
Just looking at the names on the trophy of previous winning skippers and crew, you get an appreciation of the caliber of the event as you identify Olympic and World Champions. At a quick glance there are:

  • 4 x Silver Medalists
  • 2 x Womens Match Racing World Champions
  • 2 x Youth Match Racing World Champions
  • 1 x Moth World Champion

There are many further accolades and achievements for past winning skippers and crew, so much so, it would require several more pages to try and detail!

This regatta has a strong connection with the clubs Youth Development (YD) program, as David Volunteered countless hours helping shape the lives of some of those champions mentioned above.
This year saw 10 teams compete for the coveted title. 3 skippers out of the 10 teams were past graduates of the Youth Development Squad, some ranging back to the early 90’s, includng dual America's Cup winning skipper, James Spithill. Teams competing included the current Youth Development Squad and one team skippered by Tyler Ratcliff representing the clubs Intermediate Youth Development Program (IYD). What was evident in the list of entries were the number of families represented in this years Regatta, from Skippers, crews and race management team members showing the strong familty connection that the Alfreds has. Commdore Lockely said it was a "great demonstration of how sailing is a sport for every generation".

Racing got underway on Saturday in a wild 20-25 knot south westerly, that had all crews working continiously to control their boats and read the challenging wind shifts that Pittwater is notorious for. 
This provided some exciting racing, particularly on the downwinds with the asymmetrical spinnakers propelling the Elliott 7’s down the course at white knuckle speeds.

Showing a near dominant performance on the first day of racing was RPAYCs Club Coach Tom Spitill who was the defending title holder from 2016. 

For the second and final day of racing on Sunday, the conditions were vastly different, with a shifting easterly putting the mark boat team and umpires to work all day.

The last two races of the round robin were completed, and the top four were on equal points forcing a complicated tie-break. Club Coach Tom Spithill was declared the round robin winner with his brother James, Clare Costanzo and Malcolm Paker the next ranked skippers. Unclear if a tactical decision or one demonstrative of competitive sibling habits, Tom decided to re-match his brother James. In their previous matches racing had been close, throwing back to the pair's days of Youth Development training (see Facebook link for exciting footage: https://www.facebook.com/davidlukinsmemorialregatta/videos/1802532883109269/) .
This left Malcolm and Care to compete against each other, with the winners of each match set to battle for the trophy.

It didnt take long for the Umpires to raise the penalty flags when Spithill V Spithill entered the start. Close racing saw Spithill take victory and progress into the finals. Similarly, Costanzo and her team were able to take the win and would face Coach Tom in the finals. 

For the finals it was a case of Coach v Student, with both Spithill and Costanzo of the Youth Development program recently returing from representing RPAYC at the Gov Cup and World Sailing Youth World Match Racing Champioship. In the first race Spithill took first blood after plenty of lead changes right up till the finishline.
In the second race, Spithill got the early advantage off the start line with the desired right hand side of the track. By the top mark, Clare had caught up, however, Spithill was able to take the win again. 

In the fight for third and forth place saw Amercia's Cup Skipper James Spithill Verse recently graduated Youth Development Skipper Malcolm Parker take on each other and from the first flag you could tell these to guys meant business with the intensity on water trippling!

The teams all assembled back at the Alfred’s for prize giving, where David’s Parents Warwick and Marg, as well sons, daughters and grand kids all attending.

A clearly elated Spithill was quick to praise his crew in his winning speech and get one last jab at his brother James for beating him. “This has been some of the most enjoyable sailing I have done. This win, personally means a great deal to both Angela and myself. Dave was a huge influence on our lives both on and off the water, and to now wehave our names on David's Triophy again, is one of the greatest honors”
This regatta has a way of bringing mates back together, and I am not just talking competitors, all the volunteers, such as the race committee, markboat and umpires, all roles that David loved doing…you guys are responsible for this win as well!!” said a moved Spithill.

View photographs from the weekend C/o RPAYC Media. 

The 2017 David Lukins Memorial Match Racing Regatta, Spithill retains his title for a second year!

It seems back to back wins runs in the Spithill family, first we saw James Spithill become the first dual America's Cup winner and now his younger brother and club coach at the Alfred's achieve back to back David Lukins Memorial Match Racing title for 2017. 

This years event was deemed the regatta of families with 7 of the 10 teams competing over the weekend having crew from the same family show casing the strong and growing family connection at the club. The youngest competitor was aged 13yrs and the oldest, well let's just say middle aged, took to Pittwater and its challenging weather. Past Commodore Ian Audsley joined the team of Costanzo and was 'amazed' at how well the youth sailed the Elliott 7s and their ability to spring from one side of the boat to the other effortlessly. The fleet of 10 teams was represented by current IYD, YD, past YD graduates and club members who took the opportunity to put their match racing skills to the test.

The continuously changing conditions made it a tough day on Saturday with winds in the mid 20kts, physically draining some crews that they had to sub out on Sunday to recover. 
At the end of the round robin T.Spithill was the leader with his brother James, Clare Constanzo and Malcolm Parker all on equal points going into the finals on Sunday afternoon. T.Spithill electing to take on J.Spithill and Costanzo taking on Parker to determine the two teams going into the finals. 

Knocking out his older brother, Spithill took on Constanzo for the finals in a Coach v Student showdown. T Spithill's experience shone through as he beat Costanzo 2-0 and took the win to champion the regatta for the second year running. 

Image: Chuck Anderson and Team looking race ready. 

A huge thanks to the stellar volunteer and umpire team that assisted through the weekend and put on a fantastic event. 

Final Results 2017

1st Tom Spithill, Mark Dorling, Ollie Gordon & Murray Gordon
2nd Clare Costanzo & Team
3rd James Spithill & Team
4th Malcolm Parker & Team
5th Chuck (Alex)  Anderson & Team
6th Sarah Parker & Team
7th Chris Way & Team
8th Harley Walters & Team
9th James Farquharson & Team
10th Tyler Ratcliff & Team





Tom Spithill


Clare Costanzo


James Spithill


Malcolm Parker


Chuck Anderson


Sarah Parker


Chris Way


Harley Walters


James Farquharson

10th Tyler Ratcliff


Three State Awards for the Alfred's in one weekend

On Saturday 16 September  the NSW ACT Sailing Award winners were announced at a glittering twilight function at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.  With over 50 nominations received across 10 categories, it made the job of the selection panel very difficult to select winners in each of the categories. 

Richard Hudson President of Yachting NSW commented; “The range of nominations received was immense.  It was marvellous to review the nominations and reflect on the success and contribution in which athletes, participants, volunteers from across NSW and ACT have made in sailing locally and worldwide."

"Nominations included winners of National Championships (both in Australia and abroad), World championships, Olympic & Paralympic medal success, and participation in the Americas Cup.  The high calibre of nominations received highlighted the strength of sailing in NSW and the ACT.”

Declan Brennan Regional Manager NSW & ACT was also impressed by the activities of the nominated clubs, Discover Sailing Centres and volunteers;

“It was great to see The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club take out the prize for Club of the year in their sesquicentennial year.  With their diverse range of sailing activities in dinghies, yachts, in both performance and participation and their work with the Wounded Warrior project and the Invictus Games, the Alfreds set a very high benchmark as an extremely active and diverse club. 

Charlwood & Dawson – 2017 So far…

After teaming up in late 2016 and competing in a few events here in Australia (plus a lot of training!) we headed to Europe, interested to see how we matched up against the rest of the world.

The first stop was Kiel, Germany for the famous Kieler Woche regatta. We used Kiel Week as a practice event for the Open Worlds which would start only a few weeks later. With 27 boats on the start line it was the perfect way to simulate what we were expecting at worlds and to get some practice in a moderate sized fleet. After a few days of training in light breeze the regatta kicked off. Of course, we sailed most of the event in a completely different weather system, competing in strong breezes which put our skills to the test. Even though we were on the lighter side we managed to pull off a promising 8th overall which we were very happy with. 

With Kiel all wrapped up we set off for the road trip of a life time, driving from Kiel in northern Germany, all the way down to Ancona, Italy before getting on a ferry to Greece where the World Championships would be held. We managed to make a few pit stops on the way for a bit of sightseeing before arriving in Thessaloniki, Greece.

The weather in Thessaloniki was certainly a shock to the system, going from the cold waters of Kiel to the 35°C and sunshine of Greece. After a few days of training and climatizing to the sweltering heat we began racing in yet another practice event. This was to give us more time to experience the conditions and to better prepare us for the main event. With a few promising races showing us we had potential we were ready to give it our all.

After a few days off to recharge the batteries the Worlds got underway. We were ecstatic to find ourselves qualifying for gold fleet at the end of the qualifying series. This was our initial goal going into the event, so anything we got from there was just a nice bonus! Going into the first day of gold fleet racing we were expecting strong competition and were not disappointed. It was that day we managed to get two top 10 finishes from two races. This brought us incredibly close to the top 10 overall and we couldn’t believe it. Unfortunately, this was short lived after a black flag scored the very next day but taught us a valuable lesson about consistency and the importance of avoiding letters in the scorecard! We managed a few more decent results which saw us hanging onto the top 20, finishing the event in 20th overall!

Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise, Rikki's new Aussie adventure

Media Release                                                                   18 September 2017

Event: Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta January 2 – 9, 2018 hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (NSW) & Southport Yacht Club (QLD)

Rikki’s new Aussie adventure

New Zealand yacht Rikki is confirmed for the Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Regatta and the bright red Reichel-Pugh 42 is due to arrive in Pittwater mid-December, well in time for the single line start on January 2, 2018. 

Owner Ray Haslar has lost count of the number of Tasman Sea crossings he’s made for various Australian East Coast bluewater events including 15 Rolex Sydney Hobarts and three of the Cruising Yacht Club’s midwinter Sydney Gold Coast races.

He’s decided this is the year to bring his one-off RP design built in 2011 from its Bay of Islands home to Aussie shores for a new adventure.

“Personally I like coming to Oz, it makes for a real adventure and the competition is always good,” Haslar said from abroad. “For the crew from Kerikeri Cruising Club it will be their first Pittwater to Paradise Regatta and we’re looking forward to it. Having a series after the coastal race makes the long trip worthwhile for us.”

Other than removing 300kg off the bulb given the boat was originally built a little too stiff, long-time yachtsman Ray and wife Lesley have campaigned Rikki without major alteration and taken out local titles including overall winner of New Zealand’s prestigious 2015 Coastal Classic Yacht Race.

Weather permitting Haslar estimates a seven day crossing from Kerikeri in the North Island to clear customs at Newcastle, north of Sydney, around December 14. The timing allows a couple of weeks to recover and make the switch from delivery to racing mode before the Kiwi crew fly in and the New Year race starts from a laid line to the north of Palm Beach headland at 1300hrs on January 2.

Hit the Road Jack – Sailing Royalty Farewells its King

The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, farewelled one of Pittwater & Sydney’s all-time great sailors and much loved Club Life Member, Jack Gale, on Thursday 14th September 2017.

With close to 400 people in attendance, including America’s Cup Skipper, James Spithill, Paralympian Colin Beashel and Multiple Americas Cup & World Champions, stories of Jack’s colourful life were in abundance reflected by all who spoke. From his energy for the continuous modernisation of the Club and its facilities, to Tom Spithill’s recollection of their time together on the start boat and Jack’s astonishing sense of humour who never held back on speaking his mind. Tommy said Jack was a great one for statistics even in his last few weeks was always able to recall sail numbers, skippers’ names, as well as an extensive knowledge of the history of boats, and even skippers and crew, who had sailed them. Jack’s sons Robbie and Geoff spoke of their dad’s love of sailing and especially his love of the Club, and of course, his favourite drink – the Alfred’s Commodore’s Punch, which was available after the service for all to enjoy.

Having held many differing jobs at the Club, Jack became well known for his yacht race management and administrative skills, and pioneering the Barrenjoey Circle race course where he was well known for not only starting and finishing races but laying the days marks and getting back to the club to start pouring the taps for competitors thirst.

An avid sailor himself, he finished runner up in the 1964 Olympic trials aboard the 5.5 “Altair”, sailed onboard “Gretel II” in the 1977 Americas Cup challenger trials, and later radio commentating at the 1983 America’s Cup. He sailed many Montague Island races on a variety of boats, however, inshore one design racing was his first choice.

Jack was employed by the RPAYC from 1956 – 1989 and was made a Life Member of RPAYC in 1994 and in 2014 the Club’s training facility was named The Jack Gale Centre, in honour of Jack’s significant contributions to the Club and the sport of sailing on Pittwater.

In a fitting tribute to Jacks personality and character, the final song played at the closing of the service was Ray Charles’s - ‘Hit the Road Jack’.

Farewell Jack - fair winds & calm waters – you will be greatly missed and remembered for sharing your generosity of spirit, knowledge and wicked sense of humour.


RPA Youth Team WIN, CYCA Youth Sailing Academy’s 2017 Marinassess Women’s Match Racing Regatta

The young team of Clare Costanzo, Emma May, Hannah Lanz, Amy Lee and Annie Scholten from Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club have won the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy’s 2017 Marinassess Women’s Match Racing Regatta over the weekend of 9 and 10 September. 

Costanzo and her team defeated fellow RPA club mate Sarah Parker 3-1 in a variable 10 knot easterly breeze to clinch first place in the final. This followed wins in the round robin and in the semi-finals against CYCA’s Lauren Gallaway.

The finals racing was a step up from earlier competition, with more lead changes than course changes on Sunday.

Clare commented, “It was some good racing out there. Sarah and her team were really dominant in pre-starts early on. I think the reason we were able to get back to her in those races was because we just didn’t give up.”

“This is my first win as skipper at the Marinassess so it’s pretty exciting. I won two years ago as a crew, sailing with Sarah.

“Tommy Spithill has been running an intense training schedule at YD, and it’s great to see RPA go one and two in the regatta. Our squad numbers are almost 50% female, which is great for the sport.”


The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club - RPAYC is a yacht racing and sailing club based on Pittwater.

The yacht club offers year round inshore and offshore racing, cruising, centreboard dinghy racing, sail training and courses plus has a large marina accommodating up to 352 vessels.

There is also a modern boatyard with comprehensive marine services to help maintain your vessel.

Membership, including family membership is now available.

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