2025 Fred Neill Match Racing - CYCSA

2025 Fred Neill Match Racing

The CYCSA is extremely proud to conduct the Fred Neill Regatta and Match Racing in South Australia. In honor of legendary South Australian yachtsman, Fred Neill.

There are four disciplines to match racing in Australia; they are Open, Women, Youth and School Championships held annually around the country during the periods of July – September each year.

It’s time to get a team together to represent your club and battle it out on the water in Elliott 7s on Saturday-Sunday, 27 & 28 April 2024.

This ungraded World Sailing regatta is an open event and encourages interclub rivalry amongst South Australian yacht clubs. Previous winners of this prestigious event include names like Boettcher, Higgins, Deussen, Emery and Hinks.

The event is sailed over two days on the waters of Gulf of St Vincent, in Elliott 7 one design yachts, provided by the CYCSA. Teams of 4 or 5, symmetrical kites and close quarters racing | Entry fee $500
For more information and to apply for an invitation contact: [email protected] or 08 248 4222


A match race consists of two identical boats racing against each other. This is a one-on-one duel of strategy and tactics and the objective is simple – to be the first to cross the finish line.  A match racing course is always a windward / leeward course and each race takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

A match race begins four minutes before the starting time when each boat must enter the starting area from opposite ends of the start line. As soon as they enter the starting area they will engage in a pre-start battle as each one tries to gain an advantage over the other. They will both be trying to cause the other boat to infringe a rule and so receive a penalty or to simply get the most advantageous position on the starting line for themselves so they are in control of the race.

Match racing is officiated by umpires on the water who follow the boats and make instant on-course decisions about whether a penalty is given. The umpire boat will use yellow and blue flags to indicate which boat has been given a penalty or a green flag if no penalty is given.

When a boat is penalized it must complete a full circle penalty turn. This can be done at any time during the race before the finish line. If one boat has a penalty and the other also gets one before the first has taken theirs then they are cancelled out. If a boat receives three penalties then it is disqualified.


The most renowned match racing event is the America’s Cup in which one yacht challenges the defender of the Cup but this event does not require the yachts to be identical.

The first match race to be sailed in one design boats was the Bermuda Gold Cup in 1937 and this event was won by Briggs Cunningham (USA) who also went on to win the first America’s Cup sailed in 12-meter boats.

In 1989 the IYRU introduced a ranking system for match racing skippers and in 1988 the ISAF Match Racing World Championship was born; it has taken place every year since then. Since 2006 the winner of the World Match Racing Tour is also named the ISAF World Champion.

A Women’s World Championship has been organized since 1999 and in 2007 women’s match racing was selected for the women’s keelboat event at the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. Women’s match racing was therefore also included on the programme for the ISAF Sailing World Cup from 2008 to 2012.


The format of match racing events varies depending on the number of competitors and the choice of the organisers.

A common format for a match racing event is to sail a round robin where each team sails against everyone else followed by knock out stages which ultimately end in the final to decide first and second and a petit-final to decide third and fourth. There will often be a fifth to eighth place sail off to decide those positions.

With each match lasting approximately 20 minutes there are a lot of matches to make up an event. The race committee will organize the matches into flights. A flight is where one pair of boats start racing and 5 minutes later another pair will start their match on the same course area. There will often be four matches in one flight.

Most match racing events use equipment that is supplied by the event organizers and they will ensure they are as equal as possible. In order to ensure fair play, during a round robin stage the crews will swap boats between their pairings after each odd numbered match.

How do I get categorized?

We suggest you get categorized asap at the following link:




Day Time Event
Saturday 27 April 2024 0830 Coffee and Tea available
  0900 Registration – Welcome Briefing in Horizons
  0930  Duty crew and umpires depart to set course
  1055 First warning
  1100 First flight commences: 
  1600 Racing concludes
  1630 Umpires/duty crew meeting
  1645 Music by Daniel Ninnes commences
    CYCSA’s Bistro open for meals and drinks
Sunday 28 April 2024:  0900 Coffee and Tea available
  0930 Competitor Briefing Horizons
  0945 Umpires Briefing Horizons
    Duty crew and umpires depart to set course
  1030 First warning
  1100 First flight commences: 
  1430 Last Round Robin Start commences
  1500 Finals commence
  1630 Racing concludes
  1700 Presentation commences in Patio
  1730 CYCSA’s Bistro open for meals and drinks
  1730 OA reps, Duty Crew reps and Umpire Reps meet in Meeting Room for 30 minute debrief

All times subject to change.

** Competitors are reminded to bring their own lunch each day



Please support the following event sponsors


Regatta E Notice Board will be updated periodically




How did we do it?

Down Under Sailing were in full swing at the 2023 Fred Neill Match Racing regatta.
Thanks to Harry and the team for providing the following images and videos:
All images (in both high-resolution and web-resolution) from the event are available here:



Click on the links below for more information
There is a range of accommodation available within a short drive of the Club including:

History of Fred and the Regatta

Fred Neill was possibly South Australia’s greatest yachtsman. During his youth in the 1950’s he won the Stonehaven Cup, in a boat given to him by Sir James Hardy.  Jim thought Fred was one of the most talented sailors he had ever seen.  He went on to win national championships in the Payne Mortlock Canoe, Sharpies and 505’s.  Whilst campaigning his dinghies he also captained the Australian La Cross Team for four years.

He sailed in three Admirals Cups including helming Raggamufin in the winning team of 1979, this included the gale swept Fastnet Race in which 19 people lost their lives.  Syd Fisher, owner of Rags, still says Fred was the only one who could drive a boat in those conditions.  His inspirational leadership lead him to the America’s Cup arena, where he helmed South Australia and Steak and Kidney in the 1987 defence in Fremantle.

He was an inspiration to all who had the privilege to sail with him and is recognized as possibly the best helmsman of his era.

The Fred Neill Memorial Regatta, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia (CYCSA), is held on the last weekend of April every year.  This ungraded World Sailing regatta is an open event and encourages interclub rivalry amongst the South Australian yacht clubs. Previous winners of this prestigious event include the names like Boettcher, Higgins, Deussen and Emery. This event is sailed over two days, in Elliott 7s one design yachts, provided by the CYCSA.