Queenscliff Lonsdale Yacht Club

Skipper's Essentials


Vessel Registration

To assist with insurance and safety compliance, all boat owners or skippers, must register race vessels prior to racing. To complete the registration you will need to complete a Category Safety Declaration form and provide a scan or photograph of your current insurance cover for your vessel. Please follow the relevant link below

Register your vessel for sailing 2023– 2024


Current QLYC Standard Courses (NEW for 2023)

The Standard Courses are sometimes supplemented with special courses which are long standing highlights of the club racing calendar.

Saturday racing usually takes the form of passage races around fixed marks in the southern end of Port Phillip. These courses have many navigational hazards and are heavily influenced by tidal flow.

All skippers and crew should study local water charts and be mindful of local tide and weather.


Charts and Navigation

Free Marine Charts of Port Phillip with key channel marks 


Click here for our survey around the Annulus and Wedge done on 12 February 2018.  NB it has become shallower since then as evidenced by a grounding between these structures.

Click here for detail of the Marina (RGYC) in Geelong.

Navigating Port Phillip Heads can be challenging and local knowledge should be obtained. 

In particular, large ships make a sudden turn off Lonsdale Bight to follow the main shipping channel.  The approach from offshore favoured by yachts is the “four fingers west” channel. 

Here is just one of the diagrams available and a photo is included in the original document by ORCV



Beware of strong tidal streams in the vicinity of fixed navigation marks such as Swan Spit.  Also note that the area of Lonsdale Bight / Port Phillip Heads is designated aPort Phillip Heads hazardous area hazardous area with mandatory wearing of PFDs.  A map of this area is here.  Our courses involving “Parks buoys” therefore require the wearing of PFDs.

Where is Corsair Rock?

One of the more notorious hazards of Port Phillip Heads, its location is not blindingly obvious in every navigation aid.  Make your own determination but this text below is extracted from a web search.  Also some detail from the Navionics “web app” on this site under “Charts” is given here.  The general area of this and other hazards is available in this map from the web.


  • Type: rock
  • Location: VictoriaAustraliaOceania
  • Latitude: 38° 18′ 4″ (38.3011°) south
  • Longitude: 144° 38′ 29″ (144.6414°) east

Also note that rapid shoaling is occurring in some places, including between the Annulus and Wedge Light and west of the Caisson (=Chinaman’s Hat).

Rules and Navigation lights – Quiz

Your knowledge of the racing rules can be challenged by this quiz and here is an exercise on navigation lights.


Rules of Racing

Please be aware that the Racing Rules have been amended, with a new document the The Racing Rules of Sailing (Blue Book 2021-24) .   


The standard protest form. Protesting skippers please fill out the first page only and submit to RO on the day of racing. In 2021, Hon Life Member of QLYC, Brian Golland has been appointed as Chair of the Race Protest Committee, whom will convene a committee as required.

Race Timing

If you don’t have a digital clock app on your phone (and switched to automatic update), here’s a website displaying time of day, including seconds.  (Choose a Victorian location, then click “fullscreen” or on the clock face.)


Keelboats on moorings should expect letters from Parks Victoria to renew moorings in January, with inspections required within 12 months of the last inspection. The list of authorized mooring tackle inspectors, downloaded from Parks Vic site on 13 Jan 2021 is here.


An explanation of our performance handicapping system is here.  It is very similar but not identical to that which was recommended by Yachting Victoria, and the basis of the “Top Yacht” software.  For people interested in further discussion of performance handicapping systems, a good one is published by the Southport Yacht Club.  Using their terminology, QLYC now uses an EXPONENTIAL AVERAGE WITH A “GAIN” OF 5.  However, we additionally remove from the equation for updating handicaps any time that is unrepresentative of the vessel’s performance while sailing, such as late to start line, delays recovering lost gear etc.  Additionally, since the explanation linked above was written, we have allowed for the setting of a temporary “floor” below which the handicap for a vessel will not drop.  The removal of this constraint is a matter for the Sailing Committee.  The setting of a floor is currently flagged when the handicap would drop substantially (2%) below the median of the last 6 races.  An important thing to note is that performance-based handicapping systems do NOT reward consistently good sailors but reward improvement.

Other myths are explored in the linked Southport Yacht Club page, for example the belief that PHs can be transferred between fleets as quoted below.

Myth – my PHS HC at my club is 0.820 and it will be the same at other clubs/events! An IRC or AMS HC is constant irrespective of where you sail. This is NOT true of a PHS HC. A performance HC is developed within a particular fleet of boats AND is based on an arbitrary starting value decided by your club. If you then go to another club or event, the mix of boats and/or arbitrary starting point may be significantly different.

For sternchasers, a spreadsheet (in Excel) for working out the starting times is here. This link should download a copy of the file and show a link at the bottom left of your screen which (on a computer with Microsoft Excel) can be opened and worked on. Make sure you are in the calculation sheet, not the sign on sheet. Enter the vessels with correct handicaps, the duration of the race and the start time. Also enter the handicap of the slowest boat. The starting times should appear in the second sheet (sign-on). Then, normally, to print off the useable sign-on sheet, convert it to a pdf file and “print” the pdf.



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