Smooth Operator (SB-509)

"I haven't seen such a scruffy bunch of men as you for ages" one of the sailors laughed. "You'll all need a good scrub up before they'll let you lot out on the town. " (Of Guns, Revenge and Hope. -David Lawrence Young)

Update from the Smoothy

01 May 2016 | Snug Cove, Eden
Ahoy me heartys, for those of you who are computer literate there are a couple of other updates, good luck finding them, somewhere between Facebook and the blog.

Currently we are moored in snug bay, Eden. Had the traditional mussels and garlic bread, magnificent, well three of us did the forth is suffering.

The swabbies were treated to a hot shower before being allowed back on board to scrub the decks. Once the polishing was done and the blind Kapitano returned with his new glasses all was good to cast off the jetty and head for Ben Boyd hotel (see photo below / above / beside somewhere). With great skill and with the anchor man laying a great anchor we sat for ten minutes in 20 knot breeze contemplating our options. Fortunately our beer supply and chips on board were satisfactory such that the inflating the dinghy, loading the motor making several trips in unpleasant waters wasn't necessary. Up anchor and back to snug cove pick up a mooring and a beer then settle in for an afternoon of footy.

At this stage we are endeavouring to head for bermagui in the morning.

PS Kapitano's glasses were located in a nook on the deck, "great got a spare pair for the yacht"

Boxing Day Dash, 'Juzzy' on SYC Club Champion 'Wicked' 2015 ORCV 'Cock of the Bay'

29 December 2015 | Port Phillip Bay
SYC Beneteau First 40 'Wicked' survives a tough day on the bay in this years' 'Cock of the Bay' race from Williamstown to Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron in the first race of the ORCV 'Rudder Cup' Series in very anti social conditions.

Heavy rain dowsed the fleet prior to the Boxing Day start and a stiff 25-30kt wind on the nose challenged the fleet from the Sandringham mark into McCrae without respite.

'Wicked' finished 4th on corrected time following a 1st placing in the previous 2 years.

Juzzy and Jock took the chocolates in previous 'Cock Of The Bay' dash back in 1997 & the stormy 1998 race jointly owned Davidson 34 'Relentless'

Wicked is a sistership to the likes of 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart winner, Two True, which she finished second to that year, after finish under an hour behind the South Australian yacht after the two virtually match raced the whole way.

Wicked finished 19th overall in the 2011 Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, taking out IRC Division 3. More recently, the dynamic duo have been racing locally and lead a team of experienced sailors from Sandringham Yacht Club, who have been campaigning the boat with some success in Victorian club racing.

This post is only up because 'Juzzy' is the star!

Please note: No one is holding a beer can, it is serious. We have special pockets in our crew shorts that accommodate cans and stubbies...

'Some bloke called Dave' competes in 2015 Rolex Sydney to Hobart

29 December 2015 | Hobart, Tasmainia
Esteemed, popular & occasional Smooth Operator bowman David Richards (some bloke called 'Dave') is competing in one of the toughest Sydney to Hobart yacht races in recent memory, aboard the renowned legendary Sydney 38 'Challenge'.

'Challenge' was arguably the most successful Sydney 38 in Australia the one to come closest to winning the Sydney Hobart, with third overall and a Division D win in 2006. It has also been Australian and Victorian champion, and won numerous one-design events.

The 'Smoothies' are watching the handicap outcome as Dave and the crew on Challenge near Hobart.

Good Luck to all the Victorian entries.

Melbourne, here we come!

29 December 2015 | Newcastle

'Smooth Operator' is currently preparing for the final 'legs' south departing Newcastle at 0500hrs Wednesday (30/12/15) en-route to Sydney then onward to the beautiful waters of Port Phillip Bay. The trip back from AHIRW has been an adventure that is yet to write the final chapter.

Latest news from the boat suggests the delivery crew are 'Locked and Loaded' for the early start. However, updates via SMS from the Kapitano are certainly putting the noble plans in doubt though. The festivities appear to be in full swing...

Rock Star delivery crew Juzzy & Fair Weather (minus a few digits) are scheduled to pick up the Smoothy early Saturday the get the beast home.

Kapitano is on notice that the Rock Stars assume the fridge will be in order prior to departure. At the current rate of consumption there are some concerns!

'Cupboards' will be joining the crew for the ride home and we all look forward to recapping the story on how 'Cupboards' got his nickname, its been recycled 100 times but is going to get another run anyway, it's a pisser!

Just a bit of housekeeping before the Ed wraps up this post, the 'Grumpy Hat' has gone missing... If you've seen it please let me know...... It was last seen at Hamilton Island, any new info will be treated in the strictest of confidence. Hopefully the missing item can be returned to the boat sooner rather than later....

Predict Wind modelling is indicating Easterlies into next week, its early but fingers are crossed for the predictions to hold. Updates will be posted as the prognosis develops.

Happy New Year Smoothies!

Smooth Operator sets sail for Southport, almost......

24 November 2015 | Fuel Dock, Mooloolaba
JM . Photo credit Eileen
The Smooth Operator dropped lines this morning enroute for Southport (via the Fuel dock).

The Northerly Breeze began to kick in early pushing upwards of 20 knots in anticipation of a quick ride South down the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, the Navigator (Grumpy) was estimating arrival by sundown.

Provisioning was completed the afternoon prior and all was set to go in the next leg of the delivery South after another magnificent AUDI Hamilton Island Race week.

The Smoothy made its way from the pen at Mooloolaba Marina to replenish fuel supplies before navigating the notorious Southport Bar, and that's where she stayed....

And stayed....

As the Smoothy took on fuel the tide slipped away, leaving the good ship high and dry.

Word is that Navigator 'Grumpy' is on board and a Sailing Committee meeting tonight will discuss the perilous future of his position on the boat. If it is deemed 'Grumpy' was neglect in his duties he may well be demoted to skipper.

Click here for Sunshine Coast Tide Tables

Smoothy returns to Melbourne, Message from the K

02 October 2015 | Hamilton Island, QLD
Attention Smoothies! It's time to plan the Smooth Operators' return to Martha Cove. She is berthed at Airlie Beach marina until end October.

Trip home is the usual three legs of Airlie to Mooloolaba ( 29/10 to 5/11); Mooloolaba to Sydney ( 7/11 to 12/11); Sydney to Martha Cove (4/12 to 8/12).

We need 3 brave souls to put up their hands for the first two legs and 2 for the last leg as Juzzy already signed on for that leg.

Dates are of course a bit flexible due to weather. Get back to me with availability so we can finalise arrangements, cheers Kapitano

AHIRW 2015 Images available from

30 September 2015 | Whitsundays, Australia
Following another magnificent AHIRW 2015, images are now available online at renown yachting photographer afrancolini

The Ed has been a little tied up of late and promises to get the blog updated asap.

Latest news in is Jock is all f&@ked up with a bung knee and heading off to the surgeon for a new one.

Juzzy & Grunta just spent the weekend at the ORCV SSSC bobbing around the pool trying to flip lift rafts and answer silly questions regarding crazy scenarios like surviving at sea in the middle of the night when we know that will never happen to us as long as we are scoffing mussels in Eden at the slightest hint of dusk...

Kapitano is floating around the Whitsundays (BORING) on the Smoothy while the rest of us are having a great time at work. At last check in with the K, Tom was turning himself inside out and helping to restore the food stocks in the Whitsunday Passage (Mr Trusty)

Focus now turns to the trip South, time for the Smoothy to return to the pristine waters of Port Phillip and round the Friday night cans off Safety Beach.

Kapitano will be in touch to lock in crews.

The adventure is only half way gone, Ed looking forward to catching up with the team at some stage (Syd-Mel) on the epic voyage of the Smoothy. Remember to pack your buckets and hang on!

The story continues......

PS: Feel free to comment and contribute to this blog, either via the comments section inbox me and I'll make sure you comments get a run!

Kapitan reveals new stratagy

18 August 2015 | AHIRW
Prior to race day 3 at a pre race strategy meeting involving the brains trust of Victorian Yacht 'Smooth Operator' Skipper Kapitano revealed the new race strategy.

Although this information is usually classified 'confidential' in the interest of the greater yachting community Kapitano has agreed to de-classify.

'We must get to the top mark in the shortest possible time' kapitano has revealed. With the new game plan in place, clearly the word had got out.

The Smoothy, finished 10th on corrected time, and sits 11th overall.

202 Entries for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2015

12 August 2015 | Hamilton Island, QLD
Extract by; Rob Mundle / photo: Andrea Francolini/AUDI
A rush of late entries for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, which starts next Saturday, has seen the fleet number surge beyond the magical figure of 200.

Early today there were 202 entries, making this year’s fleet the second largest Race Week has seen in its 32-year history.

The 200th entry came over the weekend when Victorian yachtsman, David Perkins, entered his Jeanneau 54, Vanilla, in the cruising division for Race Week 2015.

The good news for Perkins and his crew is that by being the 200th entry they are already Race Week winners: regatta organisers will present them with a magnum of Piper-Heidseick champagne to celebrate the milestone.

Perkins is sailing Vanilla on an extended cruise along Australia’s east coast. His schedule is structured around regattas and desirable destinations along the way. His long term plan is to cruise through the Pacific.

Hamilton Island’s CEO, Olympic and world champion sailor Glenn Bourke, said Race Week organisers were justifiably proud of the fact that 202 yachts had entered this year.

“This great fleet confirms that Audi Hamilton Island Race Week continues to stand as Australia’s premier offshore regatta, and undoubtedly one of the best sailing events in the world,” Bourke said.

Keep up to date with the latest new about AHIRW here

Smooth Operator arrives at the Whitsundays, QLD

04 August 2015 | Rosslyn Bay, QLD
JM / AHIRW Media
Smooth Operator is just 2 days away from Hamilton Island and will make the final leg North after a stop over at Rosslyn Bay, Yepoon on Tuesday evening.

Every August, spectators and yachties from around the globe sail to Hamilton Island for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Australia's largest offshore keel-boat regatta.

Race Week was conceived by David Hutchen in 1983, after he had moved to the Whitsundays with his yacht "Banjo Paterson" to start a yacht charter business. David was able to convince the then owner and founder of Hamilton Island, Keith Williams, to agree to hosting the event as a way of generating tourism and favorable media attention to the resort.

After eight years of having Race Week in April, it was moved to August in 1992 to take advantage of more consistent and attractive weather conditions. The change in timing has seen the event grow significantly over the years becoming Australia's largest offshore yachting regatta.

This year Smooth Operator will be keen to better last years 4th placing to compete in Cruising Div 1 up against fellow Victorian 'Avanti' (Jeanneau 49), last years arch rival 'Coopers' (Jeanneau 53) and Sandringham Yacht Clubs 'Kate' (Jeanneau 53).

Owner/Skipper Russ Durham will also be weary of the newly launched Baruch (Bavaria 56) that has provided plenty of hot competition in local Melbourne waters over the warmer Victorian months.

As Durham (aka Accounts Payable) has worked to hone his crew since last years classic, confidence is starting to bubble over for the Victoria skipper. In a brief interview live from the boat today, 'Accounts Payable' noted that he would be attending the AHIRW Gala Presentation Evening on the basis he was going to collect the big prize! I'm not sure whether tickets are available on the day Russ, but good luck!

Lets see what the handicapper has in store for the Smoothy this year...

Fair-Weather Phil injured off Port Macquarie

26 July 2015 | Port Macquarie
Smooth Operator has reportedly berthed at Port Macquarie this morning following an incident in which 'Fair-Weather' Phil was injured.

Jock reporting that 'Fair-Weathers' fingers where crushed in a winch at aprox 0600 today.

He was evacuated off the boat by Marine Rescue and transferred to Port Macquarie hospital where is undergoing surgery this afternoon. Mitch is at the hospital with his Dad and will return home to Melbourne tomorrow.

Our thoughts are with Fair-Weather and we wish him a speedy recovery. At this stage we are unsure if he is pointing the finger at anyone...

AUDI Hamilton Island Race Week 2014 Video

25 July 2015

Smooth Operator Reaching North to Coffs Harbour

25 July 2015 | Coral Sea
JM / Image MM (facebook)
Update: 20:00hrs Saturday

Report from the watch; Jock reporting perfect sailing conditions in the early evening with pressure starting to ease off. Currently 10 NM off Port Stephens steering 34 degrees at 8.1kt.

'The Principal' contemplating squeezing the cork out of a bottle of home grow Red...
Smooth Operator departed Sydney this morning 6 hrs ahead of the CYCA Gold Coast fleet in a moderate Westerly that will prevail into Sunday before conditions become lighter during the morning.

As of 1600 Loyal had caught the boys with the rest of the larger boats bearing down on the Smoothy.

There have been reports from the racing fleet this afternoon of debris in the water, causing some concern. Race control are investigating the possibility the green coloured aluminium like flotsam may have been discarded from Smooth Operator in the later part of the day...

More to come...

Smooth Operator withdraws from this years Gold Coast Classic!

18 July 2015 | Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
In late breaking news, Smooth Operator has spectacularly withdrawn from this years Gold Coast Race.

On arrival to Sydney in preparation for the start next Saturday, owner/skipper Russ Durham was faced with numerous unexpected safety compliance issues that has put the boat out of the race this year.

Stringent safety code enforced by the CYCA following the tragedy of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart in a quest to ensure the safety of both boat and crew has meant the boat will not have time to be upgraded in order to comply with the relevant rulings.

Smooth Operator will head north as planned on Saturday the 25th for Mooloolaba en-route to Hamilton Island for this years AUDI Hamilton Island race Week.

Click here to see Russ' reaction to the news

Grunter getting a little nostalgic at the CYCA...

08 July 2015 | Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
Grunter points our the winner of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 1945, Rani.

The inaugural race,like all those that have followed, began on Sydney Harbour, at noon on Boxing Day (26 December), before heading south for 630 nautical miles (1,170 km) through the Tasman Sea, past Bass Strait, into Storm Bay and up the Derwent River, to cross the finish line in Hobart, Tasmania.

The 1945 fleet comprised 9 starters, of the 9 starters, 8 yachts completed the race. Rani, won the inaugural race in a time of 6 days, 14 hours and 22 minutes.

Jock still claims he was on board....

Sailing up Sydney Harbour at sunset

08 July 2015 | Rushcutters Bay, Sydney

Smooth Operator Arrives in Sydney

08 July 2015 | Sydney Harbour
JM / CYCA Media
Smooth Operator has arrived in Sydney in preparation for this years LandRover Sydney to Southport Yacht Race.

Most of Australia's best-known ocean racing yachts, their skippers and crews have competed at some stage, with names like Apollo, Hammer of Queensland, Sovereign, Brindabella, Condor of Currabubula, Sydney, Wild Thing, Grundig, Wild Oats XI on the honour roll of Line Honours winners.

1999 saw the southern state dominate in this renowned race north when Victorian maxi Wild Thing, skippered by Grant Wharington (and Juzzy on the pumps) took line honours, while IMS Division B went to another Victorian boat, Chutzpah, skippered by Bruce Taylor, then Commodore of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria.

Russ and the boys (Jock, Brains, The Principal and Grant) will berth Smooth Operator at the CYC until the 25th.

Latest CYC Gold Coast Race news is available here.

Smooth Operator Position Update

08 July 2015 | Tasman Sea
Update: 1416hrs Wednesday: Smooth Operator arrives at Sydney Heads under motor in a light SW.
Update: Smooth Operator has arrived in Snug Cove, Eden.

Jock is reporting a smooth trip, Mussells for lunch at the Wharfside Cafe, sleep and heading off at 0600 in the morning.


Smooth Operator continues to make good progress across Eastern Bass Strait and is currently 20nm due south of Tamboon in Gippslands east.

Conditions the area are reported to be 14kts W (270°)

Forecast issued at 4:40 pm EST on Sunday 5 July 2015: Westerly 15 to 25 knots, reaching up to 30 knots in the far east during the afternoon and evening. Winds shifting south to south-easterly from the south during the afternoon and evening.

Seas: 1 to 1.5 metres, increasing to 1.5 to 2.5 metres during the morning.

Weather: Cloudy. 40% chance of showers. The chance of a thunderstorm offshore in the afternoon and evening.

The boat is expected to reach Gabo Island by dawn.

This weather map shows expected wind conditions at Gabo Island area at 1200 06072015

Click here for up to date weather information

Sydney to Southport Yacht Race entries reach 60

04 July 2015
JM / CYCA Media
Smooth Operator will be on the starting line for the annual Sydney to Southport Yacht Race.

The race starts at 1300 hours on July 25 from Nielsen Park on Sydney Harbour and finishes at Main Beach, Southport.

To-date, 60 entries have been received for the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, representing NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. Among them is last year's overall winner, Sam Haynes with his newly purchased TP52, Celestial.

Perpetual Loyal will be the only 100 footer on the start line this year, as the Open race record holder, Wild Oats XI, and Syd Fischer's Ragamuffin 100 are preparing to contest the USA's Transpac Race in July.

Art Equity Mahligai and Stampede return having last contested the race in 2011, the latter with new owners Michael McDonald and Jon Lattimore, and Victoria's Russell Durham is bringing his 2014 launched Smooth Operator for its first tilt at the race.

View Race Entries (CYCA Website)
Read more on CYCA News

Smooth Operator quietly departs Melbourne

04 July 2015 | Bass Strait
JM (Image: Marine Traffic)
Smooth Operator has left Port Phillip Bay on Saturday in typical Melbourne conditions en-route to Sydney for the 30th, 384nm Sydney to Gold Coast Yacht Race, an event that is second only in status to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race among long ocean races conducted by the CYCA.

However, the departure was not without a touch of drama when Jock went down with the man-flu (worse than child birth) and a bung knee 24 hrs prior to scheduled departure. All looked doomed until Jo got wind of the situation and a miraculous recovery ensued, Jock was back on board and the boat left as planned.

0615 05072015 Report from the skipper; Sailing in excellent conditions, 23kt W (291°), Headie up, "just shut down the fucking motor'' doing 8kt.

Vessel Name: Smooth Operator (SB-509)
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 509
Hailing Port: Martha Cove Marina, Port Phillip, Australia
Crew: Kapitano, Jock (away in Siberia for the winter) Juzzy, Cupboards, Grumpy, Grunter, The Principal, Fairweather, The Bitch, Di & Eileen, plus ring-ins
About: "I haven't seen such a scruffy bunch of men as you for ages" one of the sailors laughed. "You'll all need a good scrub up before they'll let you lot out on the town. " (Of Guns, Revenge and Hope. - David Lawrence Young)
Home Page:
Smooth Operator (SB-509)'s Photos - Main
This is an ideal race for those new to ocean racing with its shorter length (52 miles) and proximity to the coast.
1 Photo
Created 13 May 2015
Sailed around a Bay course, this event provides a challenge to those who wish to test themselves in a short-handed sailing format, as well as providing valuable training for those who are contemplating participating in the short-handed division of longer races conducted by the ORCV.
4 Photos
Created 9 May 2015
"I haven't seen such a scruffy bunch of men as you for ages" one of the sailors laughed. "You'll all need a good scrub up before they'll let you lot out on the town. " (Of Guns, Revenge and Hope. -David Lawrence Young)
14 Photos
Created 8 May 2015
Where it all ends I can't fathom, my friends. If I knew, I might toss out my anchor. So I'll cruise along always searchin' for songs, Not a lawyer, a thief or a banker. - Jimmy Buffett
44 Photos
Created 8 May 2015
This hugely popular 34 nautical mile yacht race on Port Phillip is held each year on Boxing Day and, with a course designed to sail past major bayside locations, it is popular with sailors and spectators alike. Some say there is no better way to work off the excesses of Christmas the day before.
17 Photos
Created 8 May 2015
Since 1844, the Festival of Sails has played a key part in the Victorian and Australian yachting calendar. Highly competitive and diverse, the event caters to all levels of sailing from high performance racing machines to family cruisers. Evolving over the years, to culminate in its’ current format, the Festival of Sails is an iconic and fun-filled event. It offers something that no other regatta in Australia does, combining first-class racing with a brilliant Shore-side Festival, which sees 100,000 visitors flock to the stunning Geelong waterfront to soak up the summer atmosphere.
5 Photos
Created 8 May 2015
We are sailing, we are sailing, home again 'cross the sea. We are sailing stormy waters, to be near you, to be free. - Rod Stewart
33 Photos
Created 8 May 2015
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is one of Australia’s favourite yachting events and a firm fixture on the international sailing calendar. Competitors, family and friends come together to enjoy the convivial atmosphere and unique camaraderie of the event’s on-water and off-water carnival. Every August, spectators and yachties from around the globe sail to Hamilton Island for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Australia’s largest offshore keel-boat regatta.
20 Photos
Created 9 January 2014