Member Profile: Dalton Harvie and their Cherub.

Get to know a bit more about our members, what they sail and what they are interested in.

What made you choose this particular class of boat?

This particular boat – combination of mid-life crisis (I’m going to buy a flashy red boat before I’m too much older) and wanting to show the kids that sailing can be heaps of fun. But Cherubs in general have been on the top of my boat wish list since a teenager. First designed in 1951 by John Spencer they were revolutionary in being light, cheap and high performance, based on kit ply construction. They’re a development class which means the designs constantly evolve within a rule structure that stops the boats from becoming too hard to handle or too expensive to make. Some of our most well-known sailors have sailed and designed Cherubs, including the Bethwaites (Taser, 29er, 49er), Iain Murray (18ft skiffs, Australia II), Farr (yacht design) etc. (I have a 1980s Murray designed hull siting in the yard right now that I really should take to the tip…) Unfortunately there aren’t many Cherubs still sailing in Victoria, but NSW and WA have strong fleets, and SA and Qld some too. Its refreshing that current fleets have a 50:50 gender split. There is a real resurgence going on in NZ too, driven by parent and kid combos and a new kit available for home builds.

Have you owned any other boats and what were they?

Growing up we had quite a few boats and sailing boats in particular. I’m originally from Canberra but we had a block of land on Lake Macquarie (NSW) on the waterfront where we’d go for holidays. It was pretty basic (pit toilet, kerosene heater/cooking) but had an asbestos shed on it which gradually filled up with boats. Dad had built a Mirror before I was born but didn’t like the performance and sold it to my cousin (who soon sold that and built his own Cherub, before moving to a Javelin, 505 and 49er). Instead Dad bought a swinger, which was a 11ft boat designed by Bob Miller (later changed name to Ben Lexcen – Australia II designer). It was a great boat with jib, and main, with optional spinnaker and trapeze (hence ‘swinger’ – very 1970s). We spent lots of time sailing that as a family. Later I used to sail it solo – it was a bit heavy by then but in a breeze would really move on a reach with the trapeze. We also had a Seasprite (?), Scow Moth, Laser, Tasmanian Tiger (a larger laser rip-off), NS14 and a few Windsurfers. I also did up a very old Gwen 12 for a school project.

What got you interested in sailing?

Aside from sailing with family I started crewing on some competitive NS14s from early high school. At that time NS14s had really large fleets across NSW and the racing was very exciting. I convinced Dad to buy an old NS14 and started skippering this with various school mates. Went from the front of the fleet to the back, but also took it to various class and school titles across NSW, banking lots of memories both on and off the water. I’ve never owned a really competitive boat myself, but my experience is that it doesn’t seem to hurt the fun factor. Ended up skippering a new Cherub owned by a school mate for a couple of years and we did OK at the Nationals in 1989, but always felt there was unfinished business. Didn’t own a boat again for 30yrs.

What do you love about Sailing at Lysterfield?

Sailing a Cherub anywhere can be quite challenging (so many ropes, so little time to untangle them…) and our Cherub is old so things can break etc. So my first priority was to find somewhere reasonably safe with a shore within swimming distance. But now that we’re keeping it upright (well, more so than Jarrod anyway…) and the boat is a bit more reliable I’m really enjoying the sense of community in the club, and that everyone is willing to have a laugh about what they’re doing. Also I like (on good days) the challenge of lake sailing, although trapezing and kite work can be challenging with the wild wind swings.

How long have you had your Cherub?

3-4 years, can’t actually remember. But I do know that there’s a lot of team work in sailing, particularly a Cherub, and that my son Max and I are getting better at it. Hopefully, before I’m too much older, I we can swap roles and I can have a go at crewing – I want that reach on trapeze with the kite up and Max smiling, preferably overtaking Herman….

When you’re not sailing, what do you like to do with your time?

Anything outdoors with my kids and wife, like cycling or walking. Also tinkering in the garage. But otherwise its mainly work…..

If you’d like to join the Harvie family sailing at Lysterfield, we’d love to have you and can cater for any Dinghy up to 16ft and Cat up to 14.5ft. Get in touch if you’d like to be part of it!

New Member Profile: Jarrod Zander & their Tasar.

Get to know a bit more about our newer members, what they sail or what boats they are interested in.

Have you sailed before? if so when?

I had been out few times in a friend’s trailer sailor on Port Phillip in 2017-2018, but had no idea what I was doing. Prepare to tack you say?

What got you interested in sailing?

I think the sailing on Port Phillip lit a flame deep down that never really went out. COVID-19 fanned those flames, as I yearned to do something outdoors, something that was environmentally friendly and something my wife and I could learn and do together.

What do you love about it?

There is something calming about being on the water. I love the teamwork of sailing double-handed – having someone else to blame is useful!! I love that sailing forces me to tune into the weather and the world around me (yep, checking wind forecasts daily is a thing). I love that it wasn’t hard to learn to sail confidently with my wife, but that there is a lifetime worth of skills to learn and fine tune.

How long have you had your boat?

Only a month or so. Tasar 2079 came home to us from Bendigo. I wanted my own boat about two weeks into sailing school, but for once i thought I would do the responsible thing and actually sit on the decision while I was gaining experience.

What made you buy a Tasar?

One of our instructors, John, let us take a quick spin in his Tasar, and my wife and I both felt comfortable in it. It was much faster (and more unstable) than the sailing school Pacers. I felt it was something that would be fun and take a long time for us to properly master. I wanted our ability to be the limiting factor, rather than the boat.

When you’re not sailing, what do you like to do with your time?

Think about sailing. I like to do a little bit of wood working and general tinkering. I try and get my camera out every now and then. Camping, hiking and being outdoors as often as I can, which is unfortunately not often.

If you’d like to join Jarrod sailing at Lysterfield, we’d love to have you and can cater for any Dinghy up to 16ft and Cat up to 14.5ft. Get in touch if you’d like to be part of it!

Member Profile: Jarrod Beaumont and their Impulse & Sabre.

Jarrod is the proud owner of both an Impulse & Sabre class dinghy

What made you choose this particular class of boat?

I was new to sailing & the Sabre had a reputation of being a stable and forgiving boat in most conditions.

Have you owned any other boats and what were they?

I purchased an Impulse about 2 years ago which is better suited to me but heavier than the Sabre.

What got you interested in sailing?

I was chatting with one of the other Dad’s at my sons soccer game and he mentioned that he sailed. I was intrigued and wanted to learn more so I challenged myself to give it a go. My only regret is that I didn’t take it up sooner.

What do you love about Sailing at Lysterfield?

Close to home. Those great northerlies and an incredible place to spend time. Good sense of comradery, light hearted approach and the ability to have a good laugh.

How long have you had your boats?

I’ve had the Sabre for six years and the Impulse about two years.

When you’re not sailing, what do you like to do with your time?

Church, volunteer work, reading, being active and trying to keep fit. Spending time with my amazing wife (I’m batting way above my average but after nearly 30 years together she still hasn’t worked that out yet).

If you’d like to join Jarrod Beaumont sailing at Lysterfield, we’d love to have you and can cater for any Dinghy up to 16ft and Cat up to 14.5ft. Get in touch if you’d like to be part of it!

Vale Elmars Chachs 31.3.2022

It is with sadness that we have learned of the passing of Mara’s father Elmars Chachs on the 31st March 2022. Elmars, although less active within the club in recent years, has had a long association with the Lysterfield Sailing Club. 

Elmars and his family of two sons and daughter Mara together with his wife Val Joined the club not long after it started and would travel from Tullamarine each Saturday to Lysterfield Lake to compete.

Elmars was always willing to help out at the Club, giving advice, and encouraging the younger members by building six “Darta” class dinghy’s for the juniors to sail. He later built a small trimaran that he sailed himself.

When he wasn’t able to continue sailing, his passion for the sport didn’t end.  He turned to building remote controlled sailing boats.  

In the past few years as his health deteriorated, he would still come to the lake on a Saturday to watch Mara Sail.

Elmars presence will be missed at the Club and our thought are extended to Val, Mara and all the family at this difficult time.

New Member Profile: Leslie Rasmussen and their boat: “Anything I can lay my hands on”

[editor translation – for now that’s a club boat…]

Leslie and Daughter Rebecca looking like old hands in the pacer

Get to know a bit more about our newer members, what they sail or what boats they are interested in.

Have you sailed before? if so when?

No. It is something that I have always wanted to try and after the intro to sailing I feel that it is something that I will keep doing for as long as I am able.

What got you interested in sailing?

Always have been interested in sailing boats . I read a book by someone sailing across the UK in a mirror dinghy. I can’t remember the title but this peaked my interest still further.

What do you love about it?

Being outdoors (not always in ideal conditions) and having to try and attune yourself to the conditions.

How long have you had your boat?

Currently I’m sailing Club Boats.

When you’re not sailing, what do you like to do with your time?

Gardening and bird watching.

If you’d like to join Leslie Rasmussen sailing at Lysterfield, we’d love to have you and can cater for any Dinghy up to 16ft and Cat up to 14.5ft. Get in touch if you’d like to be part of it!

Member Profile: Ant Howard & their Laser.

Meet Ant Howard, Laser.

Have you sailed before? if so when?

Yep, I have sailed my whole life, with the typical breaks in racing of early adulthood to drink beer and chase girls. Once I got a mortgage under control, it was time to get back into racing dinghy’s.

What got you interested in sailing?

My Family has been around the water a lot, and my Grandfather was a keen keel-boat crewman and active club member at the Geelong Yacht Squadron but in a strange twist it was my brother and Sister, who did sailing school (in the 80’s). Ironically I was too young to participate, and was jealously stuck on the bank. My Mum says I had “big tanties”, as I was desperate to sail. It must have been FOMO. I’m the only one who kept on with it as it turns out.

What do you love about it?

The feeling of the wind pressure driving the boat through the water. There’s nothing like it. I also like the physical nature of the small sporty hiking dinghies like Laser/Aero (my 2nd boat).

How long have you had your boat?

My laser? Six years this month! (March 2022)

What made you buy a Laser?

A shoulder injury… I thought a laser radial would be easy to rig and not as physically demanding on an injured shoulder as my previous boat, which was a Paper Tiger. Turns out Lasers are a really nice boat to sail and I love it.

When you’re not sailing, what do you like to do with your time?

Currently I ‘m building a caravan 🙂

If you’d like to join Ant Howard sailing at Lysterfield, we’d love to have you and can cater for any Dinghy up to 16ft and Cat up to 14.5ft. Get in touch if you’d like to be part of it!

New Member Profile: Lachlan Byrne & his 420.

This post is the first of a (hopefully) series to get to know a bit more about our newer members and what they sail and encourage people to share what boats they are interested in or have recently acquired.

LAchlan with his 420 dinghy
Lachlan is the prod owner of a 420 class dinghy

Meet Lachlan Byrne, Sailing School Graduate 2021.

Have you sailed before? if so when?

No never before joining LSC, I did the sailing school last year and have been hanging around ever since.

What got you interested in sailing?

I’ve always been into water sports, mostly surfing and diving so it was always on my list. It’s mildly technical and physical which are the criteria for my enjoyment. 

What do you love about it?

Hiking when it’s really blowing of course. You really can’t beat that. Stacking it is also great fun, so long as no one gets hurt. 

How long have you had your boat?

Roughly 3 or 4 months. She still needs a bit of work but that’s what boats are, floating problems.

What made you buy a 420?

I wanted a boat with a trapeze to hang off, that was basically it. The goal is to sail it single handled. 

When you’re not sailing, what do you like to do with your time?

Hang out with the fam and eat curries. Do a bit of diving, go surfing when the waves are decent, go on overnight hikes when I have the time. Mostly I like learning new things and getting uncomfortable, that’s golden. 

If you’d like to join Lachlan sailing at Lysterfield, we’d love to have you and can cater for any Dinghy up to 16ft and Cat up to 14.5ft. Get in touch if you’d like to be part of it!

Vale Brian Girling 14.01.2022

It is with great sadness that Lysterfield sailing club passes on our condolences to Brian Girling’s family upon news of his death.

Brian was a much loved life member of Lysterfield sailing club. As one of Lysterfield’s earliest members Brian had been actively involved with the club since it’s beginning, only recently slowing down. Brian’s contribution to Lysterfield Sailing Club throughout his life was enormous and the news of Brian’s death has saddened us all.

Brian came to Lysterfield sailing a Heron, before taking a keen interest in club administration and sailing programs for others that saw his focus sharpen to off the water activities designed to help others enjoy sailing as much as he did.

During Brian’s time with Lysterfield, he had served as Commodore, secretary as well as many other committee roles before moving in later life into the position of Sailability Coordinator. This may perhaps be where Brian was most passionate and he excelled in bringing accessible sailing to all people regardless of any constaints. Brian was honored for this work with a nomination in 2021 for the Australian Sailing Volunteer of the year award, where he reached the final three candidates.

The club extends their deepest sympathies to Brian’s family and sends its best wishes during this time.

Brian will be missed at Lysterfield Sailing Club.

Aggregate Series is now Rated by Personal Handicap

Our Aggregate Series is now rated on a personal handicap. To those members who are just starting out, this means that improvement is rewarded in results. Your “rating” is calculated for each race relative to your last few races. If you have any questions, get in touch with Antony via the usual channels.

here’s a quick and dirty explanation that will hopefully put it in to context.

The VYC yardstick

A Normal VYC yardstick compares two boats to determine how long each one should take to do a race. It then corrects the time that we measure with a clock to say: All factors being equal, boat A ought to have taken 50% of the imaginary “normal” minutes to do that race and boat b should have taken 150% of that time. Or, boat A and B both took 10 minutes to do the race. Boat A should have only taken 5 minutes, boat B should have taken 15 minutes. therefore, boat B went super fast. Boat A: not so much. Now think about boat A taking 9 minutes, and Boat B taking 10 minutes. Who won? Still boat B. They may have had a good tussle on he course, but boat A should have been miles away as it is a much faster boat.

The personal handicap (a back calculated yardstick)

Next is personal handicaps. they compare your performance to what we would expect from the boat and adjust the handicap to reflect where you ARE finishing, not where you ought to be finishing.
Now consider your next race. If you are effectively in a slower boat (your PHS) you are closer to boat B than boat A above, so when you go faster, your results are better overall.

There is a catch though. We recalculate the handicap after each aggregate race. So if you go better, your “new” yardstick for next time goes down a little bit.

Long and the short of it, if you are improving heaps every race of the aggregate series ,you’ll do a lot of winning!


Your handicap can be found in the NHC1 and BCR columns of the results

If you scroll through the races, you can see your handicap changing race to race, this is the system in action.

A bit of coaching for newer members/new racers – Sat 8th Jan 2022

If anyone is interested in a bit of coaching before the short course event, read on. To make this work, we need at least 5 boats (not five people, a 2-hander needs two people, but is one boat).

-Rigged and Ready at 9:00am, meet on the lawn.

I’m proposing a session to run through the main phases of a race, then move on to the water for some really useful drills in boat handling that will help you successfully start and sail a race.

Lesson plan:

9:00->10:00 (in the rooms depending on the sailing school)
-The port starboard rule (rule 10), and a little bit of rule 11.
-the start sequence, and what you need to know about being “on the line” in order to get a race in (the sequence, what the flags mean, where you need to be and what you should do)

10:00->12:00
-On water drills.
–A figure of eight across a start line (square to the wind, that is tight i.e. you will be close to other boats. This will be about reinforcing the port starboard rules in close quarters, and getting you used to changing tacks quickly and comfortably.

–Racking up (sailing up to a line and holding your boat still)

–Practice starts

–Pointing high

–(time permitting) a bit of downwind practice to get speeds up downwind.

You can then practice this stuff during the short-course races. As it is a few races close together, it is a great chance to get a big step in learning in a short time for getting better if that’s something people are looking to do.

guys, Let me know, we need at least five boats to make the drills worthwhile, and no more than 10.

There will be some pre-reading to do (not much) and you need to be ready to give the sessions a red hot go, by coming in with a keen desire to have a go and try again if you don’t pick it up straight away.

RSVP to the club email by Wednesday please. I’ll keep you posted via whatsapp as to RSVP progress.

If we don’t get five boats, we can postpone until another time.