COVID Update: continue to follow guidelines on the home page of the website.
Save the date:
FYC Ladies Lunch – 12pm Friday 22nd January at Montalto
We are delighted to address the request of many FYC ladies and organise a Ladies Lunch in a COVID safe environment.
The very hospitable team at Montalto have once again welcomed the opportunity to host us in their unique open air Piazza for this very popular event.
We only can accommodate 40 ladies for this lunch. So book IMMEDIATELY.
Click on the Try Booking link to make your booking :-
FYC sincerely appreciates the ongoing support and generous sponsorship from Montalto's owners, John and Wendy Mitchell, who are long-time members of the club.
From the Editor’s Desk
In a long lockdown deprived of our patch of paradise in Flinders, it has been extraordinary seeing our club thriving over January. As a volunteer at a few different organisations, it has been hard balancing engagement and COVID regulations, expectations and administration, now seeing us all back together again it has reminded me why we do what we do: to enjoy our sport, to care for our club house and grounds and enjoy each other’s company.
A bumper edition this month, with words from Alan Farrar, Rick Barker, Prabhas Singh Tomar, Geoff Barnett, Helen Kent and Tedd Warden. Big thank you to Tedd Warden, Peter Alexandrovics and Andrew English for their wonderful photography of club activities.
From the Helm
Dear FYC Members,
It is a pleasure to welcome you to our January issue of West Headings.
It was also a recent pleasure to welcome many members and guests to our annual Commodore’s Cocktail Party last weekend. You put your faith in our delivery team to provide a great evening in a COVID safe way. To that, I say ‘thank you’. We had magic weather, magic venue, great friends and excellent food. A big ‘thank you’ must also go to the organising team, headed by Helen and Ingrid. They delivered by the bucketful.
A full weekend was certainly on the fixture card. On the water our OTB team of eighteen intrepid sailors sailed to Balnarring for the annual teams racing event against Somers, Merricks and Westernport Yacht Clubs. Accompanying them appeared to be half of Flinders. A magnificent effort by sailors and supporters on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday also saw the keel boats off Flinders enjoying a light breeze and tough competition. However, at the risk of stealing their thunder if I say more, I will leave it with Rick and John to further describe the KB and OTB happenings.
Next weekend sees a full program on the water. However, our social activities are limited to ‘Picnic on the Deck’ on a Bring Everything & Take Everything basis with a maximum of 70 on the deck. The BBQs and Kitchen are not available. Please don’t attempt to use them. We want to avoid closure of the clubhouse as a consequence.
I look forward to seeing you on the water or on the deck at FYC.
FYC’s Commodore’s Cocktail Party – Saturday 9th January 2021
by Helen Kent
At last we were able to celebrate some form of normality and gather on FYC’s deck with our spectacular views, in the fresh air and enjoy the good company, delicious food, some good wines and great conversation. Hallelujah!
Now, this event, amid mounting COVID fears, did not happen without a lot of soul searching, checking and rechecking so can you all clap your hands in thanks to Commodore Alan and Stephen Kroker who put in the hard yards making sure we had all the ducks in a row to be COVID safe and compliant; and also to Victorians who played by the rules and saw us with four 00s in as many days preceding this event.
In deciding to hold an event, we had to ensure we met all safety checks re the food. I sought Trish Hurley’s ideas and she came up with the suggestion of food vans. I grasped that thought with both hands and found four vans that could meet the sophisticated palates of our members: Nem N’ Nem (Vietnamese), Roast N’ Roll (gourmet mini sliders), The Flying Calamari Bros, (local and members of FYC) and Luv Lee Ice Cream (homemade deliciousness). Add some Tuck’s wines (very big thankyous to John & Wendy Mitchell from Montalto), a variety of beers, some French bubbles, soft drinks and sparkling water to the list and we were almost ready to rock n’ roll. The final ingredient that made the night so special was the balmy weather and spectacular sunset. I would also like to thank Ingrid Alexandrovics, FYC’s Social Secretary for managing all the hard stuff, husband Peter for the music, Imogen Kroker and Alex Mitchell for being the fabulous Bar Team, Susan Matthews, Ingrid & Jane Morrell Kelly were our very busy ‘DB’s’, better known as Meet & Greeters, plus Joy Manners, my boyfriend Teddo, the Krokers, the Kellys, the Farrars (including their son Angus and his girlfriend Matilda) for helping set up. Peter and Ingrid were the tireless duo who packed up.
And finally, thank you all very much to those members, new and longstanding, who supported our first event in nearly 10 months and joined us on the deck.
Photos courtesy of Tedd Warden and Peter Alexandrovics
What a great Summer of sailing! We sailed all 6 Summer Series Races and All 6 Junior Championship Races, now we are into the Championship Races and looking forward to the Brian Coleman Cup on Australia Day weekend, hopefully Brian can come and defend his title from last year.
Final Results of Junior Championship:
1st: Lilly & Rose Fogarty (Club Pacer 3)
2nd: Anton & Meike Freuchtl (Club Pacer 2)
3rd: Liam & Gavin Vallely (470)
Great sailing Lilly & Rose!!
Final Results of Summer Series:
1st: Karsten & Emma (Club Pacer 4)
2nd: Warren Joel (Weta - Wetarse)
3rd: Warwick Mitchell in (Weta - Beta Weta)
2nd: Angus Cramond (Laser - Mild thing)
3rd: Warwick Mitchell (Weta - Beta Weta)
Great sailing Karsten & Emma!!
We had a very successful sailing school this year with 67 participants, including a large complement of 11 adults and 5 fantastic instructors from the Boatshed! We welcome many new members as a result of their participation during the sailing school, so big thank you to FYC members for being so welcoming and encouraging new members to join our community.
Our loyal sponsors Bendigo Bank once again sponsored the Annual Sailing School and we were delighted that the Manager of the Balnarring Branch, Mr Greg Hood, was able to attend the final presentation ceremony on 31 December.
Top left: our well-attended adults course preparing to go out on the water
Bottom left: Tackers participants and club representatives at the final presentation ceremony
Windward/Leeward – describes the position of a boat in relation to the wind, a boat downwind of another boat is the leeward boat and a boat to upwind of another boat is the windward boat. It is important to remember that where two boats are on the same tack that the leeward boat will have right of way where it overlaps the stern of the windward boat, the leeward boat may luff up the windward boat (by calling “UP!”) but may not pass head to wind in doing so. This is the most important right of way rule for boats on the same tack and worth remembering!
See you on the water!
Rick BarkerClub Captain
Westernport Teams Racing Regatta, 11th of January
by Rick Barker
After a very pleasant adventure sail to Balnarring on Saturday, that I think all the kids really enjoyed, 20 Kenn FYC sailors talked the adrenalin rush that is teams racing; 6 identical boats, 3 against 3 in 5 minute races. The Weather was fantastic with the right amount of puffs, shifts and lulls to make it all interesting.
Unfortunately no trophies for us this year, but well done all the sailors in our Beginners and Intermediate teams – Leigh, Lilly, Karsten, Meike, Angus, Emma, Dom, Fin, Liam, Rupert, Mischa, Luka, Alegra, Prabas.
In the Experienced Team, Charlie, Ed, Rick, Rose, Anton and Harrison performed really well winning all of our matches other than against the young guys from Westernport, we lost 11-10 in the two matches in the grading rounds and faced them again in the sudden death final. A good start by Ed saw him get well ahead to take 1st place but we needed to battle our way around against the very aggressive Westernport team to make sure we could take advantage as they will try anything to get a penalty. Charlie and Anton tried a few tricks and despite having to do a 720deg penalty were well up with every one coming up to the last turn, the Westernport team set up a mark trap which Rick and Rose managed to avoid (I think Charlie was distracting the umpire at the right moment) and we looked like we would manage a 1-2 finish assuring us of a win, unfortunately in the 10th race of the day the Club Captain must have been a bit weary and stuffed up the last tack to lose the match. I was really proud of the way we sailed, our strategy was sail fast and keep out of the way but we managed some really good come backs by good team work.
Thanks to every one involved, Linda as Beach Marshal, Lucy driving a course boat, Jim and Luca driving a taxi boat, Andrew for the photos and of course all our supporters. Thanks also to Dom, Peter, Fin, Jim, Karsten and Leigh for getting all the boats back to FYC safely on Sunday night. Thanks also to Adam Smith and Westernport YC for putting on the day, they ran 51 races on 3 courses, a fantastic thing for all the sailors!
Top left and bottom right: drone shots of the action at Balnarring
Top right: Capt Dom White
Bottom left: Luca Cave loving taxi duty
Photos courtesy of Andrew English
The Action-Packed Experience that is Teams Racing by Prabhas Tomar
On the day of the races, there were many sailors present with various sailing experiences (beginners to advanced). Some who I had met before, and some were fresh faces.
I had the pleasure of sailing with many competent sailors (Lee, Liam, Finch, Dom and a few others). I would like to also commend and thank the people that were taking part in the races, but not sailing themselves – umpiring, organising, and operating the safety boats. I cannot name enough names to thank them all for the support and encouragement they gave to me and my fellow sailors. Some of these amazing people I would like to mention are Rick, Linda, Lucy, Luca, Victoria, Peter and Ingrid.
It was such a vibrant, friendly and a fun environment. It was very interesting to watch sailors of all ages compete with each other in a most respectful and friendly manner. Even though some races did get competitive, it was not intimidating and everyone taking part in the races made feel like I fit right in.
I had the opportunity to crew 7 races, all with different skippers in my team. Experiencing these races really evolved my sailing as we had to be vigilant and efficient.
The races were organised and composed very well throughout the day. After taking part in these races, I realised how much work and effort goes into organising an event like this for such a wide variety of people and experiences.
I would like to thank each and every person that was involved – sailors, organisers and even the people that helped us by driving us from one club to another. It is because of these people and the environment that was created, I am looking forward to coming back next season.
Top left: teams battling it out on the C division course
Top right: kids in the Salty Seals team discussing tactics
Bottom left: The Salty Seals leaping majestically from the taxi boat
Bottom right: parents and friends enjoying the racing from the bar
Spring rain was great for our grounds, the embankment grass jungle was nearly two feet long and had to be hand slashed before final trim by the ride on mower. While getting the place ship shape for the Tackers was important, it was also vital for the Commodores’ Cocktail Party. There was a trial run adhoc gathering on New Years Eve (although few made it past 9pm). New member Duncan was put to good work moving the picnic tables and spreading the mulch behind the Control Tower with his Kubota Tractor and Bucket.
The OTB crew including Liam, Gavin, David, Warwick, Leigh, Rick, Anton, Karsten, Linda, Mark, Angus, Martin, Hugo Elliot, Dominic, Warren and Mike were a great help shuffling the boats in the compound for a proper mow and tidy up. This is a fairly big job that the KBers usually do, fair that the difficulty in moving boats with flat tyres is shared with those that cause the problem ;)
Mark, Clay and Andrew were awesome with their whipper snippers doing all the tricky bits. Although Andrew had done more than enough, he came back the next day to finish trimming Lacey View for a sharp entrance all the way to the CCP.
Ingrid and Peter also helped with window and web cleaning. Peter’s start line and security camera have already been useful recording dodgy-people incidents.
Don concluded the commissioning of his new winch, with calibration to a load cell connected to the Club Ute bullbar being dragged up the beach. Also involved was Jim from Yaskawa (pictured programming his controller), world’s biggest electronic control company, who with Don gave me quite an education in Process Control.
KBers have bound together to form the Flinders Lift Company (unincorporated) to maintain their boats to excellent effect. This provided a distraction over lockdown that will be most useful.
Point of all this is, many people make light work, thanks for your cheerful involvement.
And thanks to all for closing the boom gate after entry, and locking after last exit.
Top: Don working on the high-tech winch
Bottom: trimmed saltbush overlooking the Tackers optis
Welcome to New Members of FYC!
by Mark and Jacqui Kelly, joint Membership Secretaries
We would like to welcome the new members who joined the Club during 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Welcome to new Family Members:
The Chambers Family
The Crisp Family
The Fitzpatrick Family
The Higgins Family
The Pearce Family
The Redward Family
The Whiteside Family
The Lawrence Family
Welcome to new Social and Senior Members:
P. S. Tomar
FYC Golf Extravaganza & Masters Golf Day 2021
by Geoff Barnett
FYC golf day was yet again another ‘roaring’ success, held in extra windy conditions, with some slow play issues (which in hindsight, were my fault) and outside players barging into the field and playing through groups and also being so bold as to take beers from the drinks cart, on the way through!
We welcomed players from ‘Pathway to Golf’ and I inadvertently positioned some of them incorrectly in the early part of field. Sorry to all affected including the Slater/Hawkes group. Hope the encouragement awards helped ease any pain.
There were 50 in the field with many stories of fine shots and narrow misses! No player actually hit the 12th green for the nearest the pin, whereas some did on the harder par 3, 3rd hole.
Congratulations to the Annie & Pete Dawson, Jenni & John Sweeney group on a magnificent win, especially with a birdie on the last hole! Unfortunately, a group was disqualified for an incorrect score card, despite specific instructions about these issues - just like starting a yacht race with a yacht over the start line as the gun went off! Under the circumstances, the Kate Farrar, Max Findlay, Eamonn Cook & GB group took out second place.
The Beige Jacket and Silver Cup will be presented at the FYC Presentation Night.
Men’s longest drive was won by Eamonn Cook, whereas the Women’s longest drive had two claimants.
The drinks cart, sponsored by our kindly Commodore, was a welcome relief to many tired, and some irritated golfers. A big thanks to Jill McDonald and granddaughter Millie for providing such good service.
After golf drinks at Zigi’s bar were much appreciated and worked in well with the day. Hope you had a fun day.
C U all next year!
Above: Our golfers enjoying a well deserved drink at Ziggy's Bar
Photos courtesy of Geoff Barnett
How Windy is it at Flinders?by Tedd Warden
The Navy told us to stick our head out the window, Marine Traffic stopped wind advice from channel bouy 8 and Cape Schank Light, Balnarring Bight is too far away, Willy Weather at Cerberus is useless, too protected. Rhyll is ok for north and east, not so south and west.
So, check out Victorian Channel Authority tide gauge with wind, at East Pole, right in the middle of our race track! In real time!!
Thanks to Master Mariner Grant from Somers.
Above: KB and OTB sailing over January.
Club Captain reported to be in the brig after leaving wife behind at Westernport Yacht Club after Teams Racing Regatta.
Top left: Rick surveying Prabhas' new boat with Prabhas and Maria
Top right: the Watarse Warren Joel on the water
Bottom left: Flinders is the best spot for Windsurfing! Or whatever surfing that is!
COVID Update: The clubhouse is open for use, kitchen remains closed. Members and guests should bring all equipment for use of the clubhouse. Registration of your visits to the club and grounds as per the sign is still required. The most up to date information remains on the Home Page.
Save the date:
Photo courtesy of Peter Alexandrovics
Being on safety duty for the first time in months brought back many fond memories of my childhood; hitting the back of my heel on beach dollies, stubbing toes on bow platforms for boats in the yard and the copious bruises one seems to attain, especially when Luca drives the rescue boat. Thankfully I skipped the constant sunburn of my youth.
In this issue we hear from Alan Farrar, Rick Barker, John Sweeney, Tedd Warden and Helen Kent.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank many of you for your support of West Headings, and wish you and your families a relaxing festive season, we have certainly earned it!
It is a pleasure to welcome you to our December issue of West Headings.
The recent restrictions to interstate travel have certainly thrown many plans into disarray. So far, once in Victoria, our revised restrictions have not changed. Let us hope that the efforts our Victorian communities have applied over recent months are not lost.
It is pleasing to note that the club’s activities will be happening over summer. Though as expected, unsurprising restrictions do remain.
The clubhouse is now open, though with a closed kitchen. All members and guests need to BYO everything, including cutlery, crockery, rubbish bags and surface wipes. Registration of your visits to the club and grounds is a must.
Kate and I look forward to seeing you at the Commodore’s Cocktail Party. Don’t forget to wear the club’s colours.
I wish you and your families well for Christmas and look forward to the coming season with you.
Velocity Made Good
What a difficult month! After 3 false starts of too much wind and 1 half good day, we finally cracked it for a glorious Flinders day on 13 Dec and sailed two races to decide the Spring series.
Great to see young sailors up the front of the fleet and sailing really well!
Spring Series Results - 3 Races Sailed:
Harrison Wright & Ed Wright (Pacer – Firefly)
Rick Barker (Laser – Ocean Oddity)
Leigh Glover (Laser – Rocket)
Warren Joel (Weta – Wetarse)
As we move into another summer of sailing there are plenty of opportunities to sail at FYC and elsewhere (check the website for more details):
Dec 26 – Pacer Challenge
Dec 27 – 31 – Sailing School – some places still available – book online through the FYC website.
Dec 27 – KB Aggregate 1
Dec 30 – OTB Summer Cup 1 & 2
Jan 1 – OTB Summer Cup 3 & 4, Junior Champs 1 & 2, KB Jan Twilight 1
Jan 3 – OTB Summer Cup 5 & 6, Junior Champs 3 & 4, KB Aggregate 2
Jan 6 – OTB Championship/Aggregate 2 & 3, Junior Champs 5 & 6
Jan 8 – OTB FYC Teams Racing, KB Jan Twilight 2
Jan 9 – Adventure Sail to Balnarring
Jan 10 – Teams Racing at Balnarring, KB Aggregate 3
Jan 13 – Adventure Sail Balnarring back to Flinders
Away from FYC:
Jan 16-19 - Pacer National Titles at Brighton YC (part of Sail Melbourne)
March 6-8 – 2021 Pacer State Titles at Somers YC
Jan 3 – 8 - 2021 McCrae Isolational Laser Regatta
February 27-28 – 2021 Laser Victorian Open and Masters Championships at Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat
Reminder that all sailors need to lodge a safety declaration and race entry with myself (OTB) or John Sweeney (KB), if you have not already done so please download from the website and send through ASAP.
“Velocity made good” – this is where a boat does not sail directly at the next buoy but sails the line that maximises speed, it can apply upwind or down wind. Upwind, the tendency is to sail as high as possible, this is usually slower than an angle that maximises speed and most likely a better VMG, so ease the tiller a bit and feel the speed, balance the boat and go fast! Downwind, the slowest angle is likely straight downwind as there will be no wind movement over the sails, so find the angle that allows the tell tales to move and the VMG will be likely better.
FYC Club Captain
0412 310 012
Ingrida, Pacer 5, Ozone, Pacer 3, Firefly, Rocket, Ocean Oddity and Wetarse racing on 13/12/20, photos courtesy of Luca Cave.
Keel sailing resumes with AGG No1 Sunday 27/12 1300.
The full programme is loaded on the FYC website.
Covid Regs: Organised club racing is permitted subject to 1.5m social distancing for 90% of the time while sailing, allowing for gear management and tacking; Hiking/sitting shoulder to shoulder on the rail/ in the cockpit is NOT acceptable; Outside of key maneuvers all crew must be able to social distance; There is no limit to the number of boats racing; Tenders may be accessed from the yard – minimising access time
Importantly – Before ALL races, ALL crew names and contact numbers must be advised and recorded for contact tracing. It is the skippers responsibility to ensure all crew details have been provided.
This information should be logged by SMS to the club dedicated phone: 0490-085-756 (all private and confidential).
This year a number of keel races will be coordinated by designated Keel Race Coordinators who have agreed to assist (refer programme for names and dates).
Race Sign on – will be by the conventional method of Radio to Tower (for AGG races) and SMS to the Keel Race Coordinator or KK pre-race. (Boat name, souls on board)
Course selection – will be from the FYC keel course chart (see website) and course number advised by the Keel Race Coordinator (or KK). Course number will be posted at the Tower (for AGG races). Twilight courses will be advised by SMS.
Race Starts – will be by the conventional Tower signals with 5 minute count down procedures (for AGG races). Twilight stern chase boat start times will be advised to Skippers by SMS prior to the race.
AGG Race Times – will be recorded by the Tower team; this year we will be also assisted by tower camera with timing capability as a back-up.
Race results – these will be processed by KK and posted to the website.
So first race is AGG No1 Sunday 27/12 at 1300. Race coordinator is to be advised (KK will be away until 30/12).
Volunteer to set course for Race 1 would be appreciated – just let me know if interested.
Any questions let me know.
Have a nice Christmas.
The grass is cut, the edges snipped, keelboats are out of the yard, the Club Pacers are checked and ready, the bonfire is gone, we have a break in Corona, the weather is warming, the gas bottles for the barby are full- hey let’s go sailing ⛵️, or canoeing or whatever we like to do at the yotty.
Well except go into the clubhouse, though the toilets are ok to use, the outside shower near the control tower is always hot, (the inside ones need to be turned on half an hour before needed).
The foreshore will be busier than ever, so all the more important to keep the place secure. If you are the only person there and intend only going for an hour, still lock up the compound (it’s full of neat handy stuff that may attract an opportunist passing by). If you are the only one and going sailing for a while, again lock up, leaving the keys in an unlocked padlock to an open gate is almost an invitation.
This place is run by volunteers to keep the place as affordable and inclusive as possible. The happy support from the few folk maintaining according to Corona to attempt at keeping the place shipshape Is really appreciated. We need to cooperate to keep this mood, this place, this vibe happening, agreed?
Cheers to fair winds on smooth seas.
Merry Christmas and a healthy happy new year from the Yard Boss.
by Helen Kent
The Penny Nilsen Award was established in 1990 to honour a highly regarded member – Penny Nilsen. Penny and her husband John were amongst the founding members of FYC. John became Commodore in 1979 and he and Penny were a formidable partnership, their drive and enthusiasm helped create the facilities, ambience and culture that we all enjoy and FYC exudes today. Penny was renowned for her energy and friendly demeanour.
Russell Barrett’s family has had a long association with FYC and he reminisces; ‘Penny was fabulous - great sense of humour which was slightly wicked, great enthusiast for the 'young' FYC, good sailor and tennis player and a thoroughly good person. Motor neurone disease is such a cruel thing and that vibrant fun person died far too young. Her funeral was well attended at a church in Kew which was full to overflowing - everyone who met her loved her.’ Russell also said that the Nilsen family were very interesting as there were three generations involved with the Club and they had a long association with Flinders.
Keith Hando was Treasurer of FYC at the time and the man responsible for the clever organising of the finance that enabled the building of the clubhouse. He remembers Penny as ‘a vivacious and energetic lady who was very much involved in so many aspects of the club: social events, sailing calendar and fundraising.’
Kathy McLean, a former member and long-time editor of West Headings, recalls; ‘Penny was an avid windsurfer when not crewing with John on their keelboat (a Cole 26 called Quasar). This is one of the things that marked her out – she was so active! She was always helping with FYC fundraising dinners and events, but she was also one of the very few women, in those days, who loved sailing and was regularly on the water. This was in the early days of windsurfing and she was a rarity among women, if not the only woman, who was able to handle those monsters!’
Our own Commodore, Alan Farrar, also has fond memories of Penny; ‘For me, Penny was the face of the club. Jan Burne brought a few us to FYC for an afternoon on the beach in front of the new clubhouse around Christmas 1982. Penny was very welcoming and quietly enthusiastic about the club. Jan and Penny started my long stay at Flinders. I left Flinders that weekend with view to having something down here if I ever moved to Melbourne. Well, six months later I did.’
Sadly, Penny died way too young, just in her 40’s, in 1989. Her spirit lives on in all the recipients of the Penny Nilsen Award who, over the years, have gone above and beyond with their volunteering activities for the club. These incredible members can be saluted for their efforts as their names are etched on the Penny Nilsen Honour Board, within the clubhouse, for all to admire.
A big thank you to Russell Barrett who found these pics that show what such a shining star Penny was.
– L-R: David Kennedy, Trudy Kennedy, Charles Burne & Penny Nilsen.
Bottom – L-R: John Nilsen, Penny Nilsen, John Newton, Diedre Grage, Ant Grage & Graham Findlay (front right).
Above: Dominic White, Grant Matthews, High Dolan, Peter Alexandrovics, Alan Farrar, Rick and Linda Barker and new member Prabas after racing.
Storm activity in Flinders on 5/12/2020 taken on our new camera set up in the tower. Thank you to Peter Alexandrovics for his work on this!
Seeing many of you back down at the club last week reminded me of this lovely quote:
Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing, messing – about – in – boats.
Water Rat, The Wind in the Willows
Enjoy this months edition, with contributions from Alan Farrar, Rick Barker, Tedd Warden, Helen Kent, John Sweeney and Joy Manners.
From the Helm
It is a pleasure to welcome you to our November issue of West Headings. I am thoroughly enjoying the contributions of many members with tales of FYC both past and present.
Following last weekend’s easing of Covid restrictions, it is great to see more activity at the club. Notwithstanding race cancelations due to southern Victoria’s topsy turvy spring weather, its pleasing to report that there has been no dampening of enthusiasm.
Many of you may have noted the return of keel boats to the boat yard for spring maintenance in recent weeks. Instrumental in making this happen were a team of members lead by Don Fry, Tedd Warden and Clay Manners. I well remember in the ‘80s and ‘90s that more than half the keel boat fleet would winter in the boat yard. By the late ‘90s the trend to sail to Pt Phillip Bay and northern Western Port Bay coincided with the slow demise of the ageing winch and trolleys. Now with state of the art equipment, I look forward to much of our yacht fleet remaining at home for winter.
While the clubhouse remains closed, we do expect, within a few weeks to provide greater clarity regarding use of the clubhouse and upcoming social activities. To stay abreast of how you may use the club’s facilities, I direct you to the home page of our website which provides more specific details.
I wish you and your families well and look forward to the coming season with you.
If you open the boom gate and will be coming back out, PLEASE replace the pin and lock it, then close and rest the gate on its support.
It seems some see an unlocked padlock, take it, and toss it. At $70 for a club keyed lock it is not just an inconvenience.
Last one out locks it properly.
We are still waiting on a start to the season – our first session was blown out with 25kts from the north, less than enticing for those that came down! Editor's note: please see an update on OTB sailing below.
The programme and other documents are available HERE.
Important notes for the coming season:
While we will try to conduct a normal season of races the most important thing we can do is get out on the water, if our races are a little more informal and we do things a bit differently then that is what it is, maximum flexibility = maximum participation.
We have a new results system to trial and hopefully will enable online sign on very soon
Big thanks to Peter Alexandrovics who has installed a new start/finish line camera and recording system in the tower that will be a back up for taking times and checking starting infringements.
We need to recognise that we are sailing in a public area and we need to comply with the rules set out by the State Government, DHHS and Australian Sailing. Adherence to these rules is a condition of participation. The FYC Covid safe sailing plan is available HERE. All our races will be conducted under this plan which will be modified as the government directives change.
Current advice from Sailing Australia is that while competition for Adults and under 18s can commence after 2 November, at this stage multi handed dinghies may only be sailed by members of the same household or persons under 19. Larger boats (eg Status’) may be sailed provided the crew can maintain a social distance 90% of the time eg 1.5mt apart other than while launching, retrieving, tacking etc.
Reminder to get your safety declarations and race entry forms in ASAP, this is really important so please make my job easier by emailing to me ASAP.
For anyone interested in an introduction to sailing regattas, the Pacer National Championships will (hopefully) be held as part of Sail Melbourne January 15-20. The Pacer Nationals are a family friendly way to experience sailing at a regatta, fleets are not huge, lots of kids and parents sailing and sailors are happy to share tips and techniques.
Editor's note: Please see below an extra report updating us on the first three sailing days of the season from Peter Alexandrovics.
We sailed the first OTB race on Sunday 22nd November, with Sunday 15th and Sunday 29th cancelled due to high winds. All went well in about an 8 knot breeze. We all got into the swing of things and set sail.
There were 13 boats involved including 3 optis just for fun including: Tedd Warden, Peter Hercules and Andrew Kings ( 3 x person Opti race with VHF).
We ran the course and completed. Then we were all becalmed for the 2nd race. We were all bobbing around / having fun on the start line - crashing into each other at zero knots, having jokes and all happy and jumping into crystal clear water. When I jumped in I was surrounded by local Sea Horses in the water. Grant Matthews and the Rescue towed all bobbing ducks in to shore.
It was a great sailing start for the season 2020-2021!
Vale Donna Gannon1946-2020
About 20 years ago Wayne and Donna joined FYC as a way to meet people. Within a short time, Wayne purchased Flying Cloud and sailed on her until his death, with crew members Mike Morgan, Peter Huntsman and Fiona Reed. Donna was not an active sailor but described herself as Flying Cloud’s ATM. Donna insisted the crew were always appropriately dressed - no ragged sailing gear was allowed on Flying Cloud! Each crew member had their own Flying Cloud rugby top embroidered with their name and designated role.
Donna supported Wayne during his time as Commodore. It was a double act, with Donna in charge of social events and smoothing ripples when there were differing views. She forcefully lobbied for the new Club kitchen. Under Wayne and Donna’s leadership having fun was an essential part of sailing at Flinders. This legacy survives to the present day and is integral to the much-loved culture of the Flinders Yacht Club.
Donna and Wayne were generous hosts. Keelboat sailors often retell the story of an infamous evening at their home in Rest Drive after an aborted twilight sail. Donna and Wayne had just returned from overseas, but invited the dispirited group of sailors back to Rest Drive for a dinner of omelettes - eggs being the only thing in their fridge at the time. The food was washed down with plenty of good quality wine. A memorable night was had by all.
Donna, Mike, Wayne and Peter cruising on the Adriatic Sea in their Flying Cloud sailing gear
Donna was a stylish lady, noted for bright colours and bold patterns in her clothes and jewellery. And great hair – reflecting a long career in hairdressing. She enjoyed fine food and wine, declaring you must enjoy and savour the best. Her cheese boards were legendary. Donna was a one-eyed Collingwood member supporting her side through the ups and downs of VFL/AFL football.
In recent years, Donna returned to Melbourne to live due to health issues but she continued to enjoy short breaks at Flinders. She loved the FYC camaraderie and the many adventures, shared with FYC friends including sailing on the Adriatic and Aegean seas.
Our thoughts are with her family - Fiona, John and Sarah and her much loved grandchildren Dominique, Eloise, Hunter and Tyson.
Keelboat sailors will continue to brave the vagaries of weather during the January twilight season for the honour of the Wayne Gannon Cup donated by Donna.
Clay & Joy Manners and Mike & Jane Morgan
Keels & Coudas
Keel boat sailing is planning to adopt a similar full program as last year with the first scheduled race set for Aggregate No. 1 Sunday 27th December 2020. We are carefully following government official advice in terms of what we may and may not do in terms of keel sailing and safe and compliant management measures. A more detailed notice to keel sailors will follow in the coming weeks once further clarifications are made available.
At this stage what we do know is that organised club racing can resume if 1.5m social distancing can be adhered to while sailing for 90% of the time; hiking/sitting shoulder to shoulder on the rail/ in the cockpit is NOT acceptable; outside of key manoeuvres all crew must be able to social distance; there is no limit to the number of boats racing; masks must be worn at all times unless sailing with a member of the same household; tenders may be accessed from the yard – minimising access time; radio race sign on and crew details to the Tower; recreational keel boat sailing is permitted subject to Covid safe rules. Please refer to FYC official advice on the home page.
So, things are looking bright for a pleasant but somewhat different sailing season in 2020/21, although I am sure the usual banter on the water will be as active as ever. Members wanting to know more about keel sailing or seeking to participate should contact me to assist.
Finally, your KK will be spending some January time in Melbourne and is looking for assistance from keel skippers (or others) to take responsibility for one week of racing in January (typically one Twilight and one Aggregate). Shared across two or three volunteers should see January racing well covered. Pretty simple job to check weather, set an appropriate course, communicate with the Tower and ensure time records completed. I will collect time records, post results and update handicaps as per normal.
John SweeneyKeel Kaptain
To continue to part 2 of the November edition, please click here.
Winches & Weeds
Winter 2020 has been unusual as you may have noticed! Due to the Corona Lockdown our contractors were not allowed to mow the grass, but some members gave up their exercise time to put in an hour or two to attempt to hold back the encroaching jungle. With the wet it has also been warm which has been great for the prickly weed Bindii. Although the grounds have been treated, going barefooted may be painful. Due to Corona limits there is no working bee this season but many thanks to the core 'Yard Gang' including Smokey, Clay, Davo, Wazza, Duncan, David, Mark, Mabs, Ian, and Andrew who came thru to shuffle boats in the compound, mowing, weeding, de-vining, whipper snipping, slashing and flail mowing. Moving boats with flat tyres is hard yakka for us old farts so fix yours up. And well done to Max and Jeanette for defining the roadways, and John and Susie who keep the Saltbush vigorous.
The compound is for sailboats only, empty trailers go outside behind the big shed. Bass park trust lease excludes launching of non-yacht related power boats. Boats are to be kept bow to the fence that bow props don't create a trip hazard.
The bonfire has got rid of our off cuts and that's it as we approach bushfire season proclamation. Ian did a mighty job registering burn offs (CFA 1800 668 511), providing water hoses, and monitoring the burns for completeness.
The willing sharing of labour and machine for the club's benefit is humbling and appreciated.
We try to give members some tangible value for their money, like the south rack for free water toy storage if labelled. An opportunity was grabbed to create slipping dolleys for keelboats and their winter maintenance which promises to be very useful for active boats.
The club winch was pronounced dead by our consulting engineer Don. He then designed, built and installed a new one which is significantly wonderful. A small Corona Compliant gathering of the Yard Gang toasted its inauguration, and their efforts, and enjoyed some of Clay and Joys' Paella on the deck bringing our own chairs, tables and sanitiser.
To reduce slip in the club ute on seaweed, second-hand but still chunky 'Mud Tyres' were put on.
By Helen Kent
FYC is very proud to (belatedly) announce Victoria Fogarty is the extremely well deserved winner of the FYC 2019/2020 Penny Nilsen Trophy. Victoria, wife of Jim and mother of Lilly (12) and Rose (10), epitomises the very essence of the award. Her welcoming smile, vivacious demeanour, energy and involvement in every aspect of the club reflects the character of the award’s namesake, “Penny Nilsen”, who was part of the yacht club for many years. Victoria is an ever-present member who wraps her joy in the club around each member she greets, offering cups of tea, introductions and all manner of assistance to make the recipient of her attention feel so special. She is always to first to assist with any social event and has been instrumental in managing the refreshments and social side of the annual Tackers program for the last couple of years.
Former commodore Rob Cave with Victoria and Jim at the 2017 Commodore's Cocktail Party.
We asked Victoria to give us her view of FYC membership.
What year & why did you join FYC?
We joined Oct 2016 but Jim had been a member in the 1980’s and 90’s and has many good memories growing up at FYC. When we built our own place at Flinders in 2015 we were keen for our daughters (Lilly & Rose) to have the opportunity to sail and make some new friends. Also my father who passed away in 2016 was a very keen sailor so there is an emotional connection to sailing for me.
Above left: Victoria lending a hand.
Above right: Will Morgan and Lilly discussing race strategy.
How has FYC contributed to your quality of life?
In many ways it has become like a second home to us, and the members are almost like an extended family. What has really impressed me is how much generosity other members have given to our daughters, encouraging and mentoring them as sailors. It is hard to single out any names as really the entire membership have been so welcoming and so amazing to Lilly and Rose. Tedd Warden & David Campbell have taken the girls out numerous times on their keel boats, and they have both been actively mentored by Rick Barker and Ed Wright. My husband Jim took them out in a Pacer one of their first seasons and they both avowed they would never sail with him again! So we are very grateful with all the active sailors who are so good with encouraging FYC junior members.
What are your favourite FYC events?
I enjoy the Tackers week because there are so many new families and families we haven’t seen all year. The children have so much fun learning about sailing, and there is really good camaraderie with the parent helpers. I also really enjoy seeing parents sail with their children. We all get swept up in busy lives during the year, and there is so much value in family time during the summer sailing at the club. The new Quiz night last season was also very enjoyable and I have never really enjoyed Quiz nights before.
How would you like to see the younger FYC members get involved?
Both our children have gained a lot from the Tackers program, not only from a sailing point of view, but the social aspect for junior sailing is excellent. So I would definitely recommend the Tackers program to any new family members. I also think if junior members are keen to learn about sailing to just ask around the club and to turn up on race days to see if anyone needs crew. The keener you are the more opportunities are available to young sailors. Social Sailing Saturdays is also an excellent way for families with children to participate in sailing without the stress of racing. For younger parents, I would definitely recommend getting involved in assisting with the junior social events as a fantastic way to meet other new parents and establish new friendships. We really value the friendships we have made at FYC.
Above left: Lilly & Rose receive accolades at 2018 FYC Presentation Night with Anna Cave and guest speaker Gen
Above right: Lilly (2nd from left) & Rose (far right) on the deck with friends.
A reminder from our Membership Secretaries Mark & Jacqui Kelly to please submit payment for your membership subscription as soon as possible. Your subs go towards the maintenance and improvement of our wonderful clubhouse, yard and club boats.
Our famous summer sailing school is going ahead! Bookings are essential, please click here for more information.
Beautiful one day, windswept the next, image of the FYC foreshore from Peter Alexandrovics
Dear FYC community,
Emerging from lockdown from 5km to 25km, those of us in Melbourne are anticipating when we can once again enjoy our little paradise at Flinders. The process of opening up is happening rapidly and your committee are working hard to continue this process. Please visit the homepage to view the most up to date information on how we can enjoy a COVID safe summer.
Enjoy this October’s edition with content from Alan Farrar, Helen Kent, Tedd Warden, Lily Fogarty and Ingrid Alexandrovics.
Lucy aged 12 in January 2009 on the Flinders mud flats with a Melbourne friend, courtesy of Linda Barker
It is a pleasure to welcome you to our October issue of West Headings. Packed with contributions, I know that as you read, you will learn a little more about our great club and its community.
Certainly, it is excellent news that we appear to be emerging from severe restrictions.
While the clubhouse remains closed, our sailing operations appear to be ready to go, pending an update in the next few weeks. To this end, I direct you to the home page of our website which provides more specific details.
You will note that we now have a specific phone number (0490 085 756) to which all members and visitors need to notify their attendance at the club.
RendezvousMeet the Lindners with Helen Kent
Flinders Yacht Club was established as an active sailing club, however over the years we have embraced and been enhanced with a vibrant community of social members. Whilst these members are ostensibly non-sailors, they enthusiastically embrace the unique ambience that FYC offers. Some get out on the water in SUPs, kayaks, wind surfers, kite boards or occasionally crew on members’ yachts. Many go above and beyond with their active volunteer contribution to the running of the club and Dave and Mares Lindner exemplify this attribute.
Dave was part of the Flinders sailing scene in the 1980’s, even before there was a club house. In fact, Dave’s mooring for his Shockwave 37 catamaran – Mako (which he built), was right where the club moors the safety boats. He also built a Trimaran and outfitted another.
The years rolled on and Dave fell in love with the beautiful Mares, whom he met at MYC, establishing homes in Mornington & Mt Martha. For a short time in 2012 they had a Jeaneau 32 moored at Flinders.
Being an old mate of Tedd Warden he and Mares were lured across the hill to enjoy many a sail on Act of Faith and the ensuing drinks on the deck. They were also very welcome guests at some of the FYC social functions. So often were they part of the scene here, they not only became members of FYC in 2016 but also moved to make Flinders their permanent home in 2018. ‘We love Flinders and the welcoming and friendly feeling from everyone we meet’, states Davo.
Mares and Dave have become very familiar faces around the club as they put their hand up to assist with many of the tasks that keep our club running: tirelessly setting up, then packing away, cleaning up for social functions, part of the wedding/functions ‘meet & greet’ team and enumerable hours of weeding and hard yakka about the grounds. They are also very active members of Lions and frequently can be seen assisting with parking in rain, hail or beating sun on Red Hill Market days.
Dave still occasionally crews for Teddo with his well-seasoned seamanship, much humour and not adhering to Helen’s #1 rule of ‘no gloating on the boat’. He is also an avid and accomplished kite boarder, now with foil, and has been seen flying across Kennon Cove during this COVID lockdown.
Top left to right: Enjoying the January 2017 “White Niight” Commodores Cocktail Party (L-R: Stan, Mares, Luisa & Davo), and at the Status 19 Working bee. Davo holding up the mast and his trusty dog Molly supervising.
Bottom left to right: Mako moored in Kennon Cove pre FYC Clubhouse and Mares, Davo & Helen Kent aboard Act of Faith.
The Sea MonsterArtistry from one of our younger members, Arabella Wright
One day there was a little girl who saw a pur octopus
Then she sail over to the island
She gets rope from her ship then she throws a rope to get the key
And then the little girl saw a chest and opened it
Inside the chest there was lots of gold. She sailed home to her family with the gold. They lived happily ever after.
Why junior sailing at the Flinders Yacht Club is definitely worth doingBy Lily Fogarty
There have been many benefits from Junior sailing for me on many levels. There is the sailing side, the social side and the serious side. A few years ago, I had no sailing knowledge at all. I didn’t even know what a tiller was! The summer Tackers program provided an opportunity for me to start at the lowest level and literally learn the ropes. At FYC you can start off with absolutely no knowledge and end up sailing practically every day of the week during summer. The Tackers program is really good because you can start off in Tackers 1 in Optis, progress through Tackers 2 and onto Tackers 3 with the aim of sailing solo in an Opti which is a huge achievement. After Tackers 3 you begin sailing in Pacers in Start Sailing which adults can take part in as well. You progress through Better Sailing, then Start Racing, then the last level, Better Racing. All of these improve your skills and provide you with the knowledge to race competitively at club level.
The social side of the Junior sailing is super fun. I have made so many new friends over the past few years through the sailing programs at FYC. Programs like Tackers and all the junior events like the Junior Beach Party, Movie Night and Progressive dinner have created so many new friendships amongst the junior sailors. Some of the active junior sailors who have had so much fun include Harry and Boo, Emma and Anton, Mischa and Luka, Fin, Sonny and Lewis, Max and Sam, Grace, Phoebe and Fraser, Grace, Rupert and Teddy, Adelaide and Beatrice, and Rose and I, just to name a few. Of course, none of the junior social events would be possible without all the parent helpers who organise and make all the events fun and enjoyable.
Then there is the serious side to the Junior sailing. We are lucky at FYC that there are so many adult sailors who are so generous with their time in mentoring us juniors. Even the keel boaters have been amazing such as Ted and Helen, David Campbell and the Morgans who have had me out on their keel boats. Ted has even been brave enough to let me take the tiller! In OTB, adult sailors are incredibly supportive like Ed Wright, Warren Joel, Warwick, even Big Hugh, Will, Charlie O’Hara, The Caves and Lucy Barker. And then of course there is Rick who has taught me so much and given so many great opportunities to me like racing at the Pacer States and Nationals. There is a responsible side to junior sailing and that is the opportunity to learn about safety and the role and duty of rescue boats.
I can definitely recommend sailing at Flinders Yacht Club to any other potential junior sailors. Hope to see you soon on the water!
A Note from Montalto
A reminder to members that John and Wendy Mitchell have kindly given us the opportunity to enjoy their excellent wine and support FYC.
Please shop at your convenience at www.montalto.com.au and use the discount code FYC2020 in the shopping cart as a coupon. This is will activate your 10% discount on wine, and your order will be packed for free local delivery on Fridays. If in doubt, please call the Montalto team at the Cellar Door, 7 days from 10 am – 3 pm on 0437 255 812 and they will be happy to help and process a payment over the phone while you browse online.
Adventures on the high seas of Virtual Regatta
By Tedd Warden
The COVID lockdown has given us some time to learn more on the theory of sailing, and it has been helpful to see how other pursue their sailing in practice. We are grateful for their sharing of often hard earnt experience through their video productions on YouTube.
As well, the virtual yacht racing app, Virtual Regatta, has reinforced my mantra that successful yacht racing is just: 1 Starting on time, 2 Keeping clean air, and 3 Sailing the shortest course. While that theory is simply put, in practice it is quite tricky, and Virtual Regatta throws all variables at you: skewed start lines, wind shifts, lulls and gusts. Each 5-minute race has 14 boats, with classes such as laser, J70, Star, 49er, Inshore Racer, from thousands of other racers around the world. There is no quarter given and rule breaches immediately earn a three second penalty, which quickly puts you back. In a hundred races I have made it to the first mark in front twice, and the best race result a third, and I thought I could sail!
Challenging, but great for honing tactics and strategy. My tip: if you finish a race you get credits to ‘buy’ race helpers, which I use to get VMG which steersyour boat best, while leaving me to find the favoured end, jockey for a brilliant start, get clean air, avoid other boats, make sure I am starboard at the first mark, look for the gusts, not hit marks…
Here are some like I’ve found particularly helpful, hope you do too.
Webb Chiles 6 times circumnavigator
Tom Cunliffe experienced cruiser
Virtual Regatta tutorial
Lin & Larry Pardey world travellers
Sailing Magic Carpet young couple sail France
Skip Novac extreme location sailing and survival
Patrick Childress Bluewater Cruising with practical tips
Carol Hasse master mariner walks thru her Nordic Folkboat
Sailing Uma sensible couple sail the world sharing their lessons
Skaistā Ingrīda – The Beautiful IngridaBy Ingrid Alexandrovics
When Pete took me to view a boat he was interested in buying - I was horrified! I thought, ‘what is he thinking?!’ It was beaten up, ugly and looked so un-seaworthy. The trailer was so rusty I was sure it would fall apart if we loaded the boat onto it.
For the whole of the following year, Pete and I sanded and sanded and sanded back the many layers of paint off the boat until we got it back to the original timber. Pete made a few improvements and alterations with the seating, helm and the bespoke metal stem for rope rigging. It was a labour of love.
Finally, after a year of weekends working on the boat, we were ready to test it out. The first time we sailed, we realised the centre board wouldn't stay down, making the boat unsteady in the water. There were gusts of 20+ knots that day, so we spent that first sail running (more like throwing ourselves) from Port to Starboard to stop the boat from tipping over. There were a few other teething problems, but Pete studied and rectified any issues that revealed themselves.
On the skiff weekend in November, we took Ingrida out to test the new electric motor Pete had fitted. The day was becalmed so the Elite team were all coming in off the water while we were fitting up our boat (sails up) ready to go 'sailing'. They looked at us as if we were seriously dumb! We got in the water, turned on our electric motor and 'sailed' back and forth in view of the club for a full half hour - noiselessly. Back on land, FYC members let us know that the Elite sailors were flabbergasted, 'How can THEY be sailing in these becalmed conditions?!’
We had the boat blessed by the ‘Flinders King Neptune’ and he named the boat Ingrida (the Latvian spelling of my name), possibly to entice me to sail - it didn't work!
Note that information about our sailing school has been released, please see our Learn to Sail page for more information.
FYC Sailing school Dec 2008, courtesy of Linda Barker
From the Editor's Desk
I would like to sincerely thank many of you for your kind words and support of the new format of West Headings.
The return of beautiful spring weather has certainly lifted spirits as we near the end of stage 4 restrictions. My third basil plant has remained alive for two weeks now due to the warmth and sunshine, trumping its unfortunate predecessors by two weeks.
I hope you are feeling more connected to the club in our new West Headings. As apathy creeps in after months of waiting to resume some kind of normal life, it is as important as ever to remain supportive and connected to our valuable community organisations.
I always welcome member submissions to West Headings. If you have a story up your sleeve or some pictures to share, get in touch with me to be involved in next month’s issue at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay safe and sane,
It is a pleasure to welcome you to our September issue of West Headings. Packed with photos, interviews and a kind message from John & Wendy Mitchell, our FYC vignerons.
It appears that COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to ease. Hence, with cautious optimism and an improving curve in Victoria, we expect to be back on the water by early November. While not a normal season’s start, it will be a welcome relief from our existing position. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a continuation of the current trajectory.
Your committee continues to plan for the coming season with Opening Day limited to sailing without our traditional festivities, though remaining as the Sunday of the Melbourne Cup Weekend.
I suspect that social distancing conditions may prevail for some time, so this could be the season of family teams in keel boats, cats, skiffs and dinghies.
Thank you to those who have contributed to West Headings. If you haven’t done so yet, please contact Lucy with your ideas and photos, plus past & present news.
On the topic of the past, though only two years ago, below is a picture of glee in which the partners of two former FYC Commodores and a present one, happily take a shore-based break in Amalfi. Were there any Captain Bligh issues? None that the blokes can recollect. It was a good holiday spent with FYC friends. Your photos and stories of your boating can be sent to Lucy.
Above left to right: Kate Farrar, Genevieve Barnett and Jane Morgan.
I wish you and your families well, and look forward to the coming season with renewed optimism.
What’s up, doc?
by Lucy Barker
The Cramond family have been members of FYC since 2008. Keen sailors and volunteers, Mark and Janine have both received the Penny Nilsen Volunteer of the Year Award. Cameron and Angus have been students and instructors of The Boatshed summer sailing school at FYC, and have remained active at the club, competing in club races, adventure sails, and part of successful teams at the Westernport Teams Racing regatta.
I interviewed Angus Cramond, medical student and keen club member. Angus has previously sailed a pacer pursuit and competed at the State and National Pacer Championships, and is currently sailing his laser Mild Thing in club races.
What are you studying and where?
I’m studying my 3rd year of a Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine degree at Monash University, and currently placed at Bendigo Health. It’s certainly challenging, but I find it very rewarding and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve been pretty lucky in Bendigo, as we haven’t been pulled from the hospital and had heaps of clinical exposure.
How was your move to Bendigo earlier this year?
I definitely picked a good year to get out of Melbourne!
Bendigo’s a great city, and while I haven’t been able to see as much of the region as I would have liked to, I’ve been having a great time living with all the other medical students and everyone in the community has been super welcoming.
Do you have any idea of your specialisation yet?
I enjoy procedural medicine, so I’m pretty interested in critical care (anaesthetics, ICU, emergency medicine) or maybe surgery but I’m keeping an open mind. Other specialties I’m considering include ones with a strong anatomical focus like radiology, pathology and surgery, nothing’s ruled out yet.
What is your favourite memory of sailing at FYC?
It would probably have to be all the summers I’ve spent doing the Tackers sailing school with the other juniors.
As a student of medicine, what challenges does misinformation pose to public health during the COVID-19 pandemic?
That’s a tricky question! There doesn’t seem to be a good answer to this, and public health specialists are struggling with this at the moment. How well the population follows public health messaging is crucial to the efficacy of the coronavirus response, and misinformation is clearly detrimental to this. I think there are always going to be certain groups who will produce misinformation, but social media allows these groups to increase their reach and mislead wider sections of the population. I think the way governments regard social media will have to change in order to force them to take more responsibility for content hosted on their platforms.
Editor’s note: click here to view the Australian Communications and Media Authority's report on misinformation is Australia, including a case study on misinformation during COVID-19 on p.39
What reflections do you have on what COVID-19 means for the medical community and for wider public health?
COVID-19 will definitely have a lasting impact on the medical community. Telehealth is one of the most significant changes, and it was challenging having to run clinics almost entirely online but thankfully Bendigo Health has been using telehealth for a while as we treat patients from such a wide region. Telehealth has been very interesting to work with, forcing clinicians to adapt to assessing patients remotely and seeing how it changes the human aspect of medicine.
Some of the small changes have stuck out most to me, with consultants opting to wear scrubs instead of suits, or not shaking hands when greeting patients. Another thing that will be interesting to see will be whether governments adopt a similar public health response (e.g. encouraged or mandatory masks, enforced social distancing etc.) for other viral outbreaks such as seasonal influenza.
Have you had time to have a lockdown hobby?
My housemates and I have been coming up with ways to pass the time while we’ve been locked down. I’ve taken up baking (thankfully haven’t set off the fire alarms yet) and we’ve been doing cocktails on Fridays.
What’s been your favourite cocktail?
I've been enjoying local gin from Heathcote, and we've made a couple of Negronis using that with vermouth, Campari and oranges. I'm also quite partial to an espresso martini!
Above left to right: Cameron Cramond, Charlie Coady, Charlie O'Hara, James Hollowood, Angus Cramond and Luca Lawson. Above right: Espresso martini, Cramond style!
The Sherlock Holmes of Lockdown
by Lucy Barker
You may get a creeping suspicion of nepotism as I interview my mum, Linda, for this month’s issue. As the 2019 recipient of the Penny Nilsen Volunteer of the Year Award and a member of a very active FYC family (two thirds of which are on the FYC committee!) I did feel it could be objectively appropriate, if not also subjectively interesting!
Having joined FYC in 2008, I grew up watching mum and dad volunteering and becoming actively involved in the FYC community. Mum runs her tower duties with near-military efficiency, but tower duty with her has to be the best afternoon of gasbagging you can get!
What other organisations do you volunteer for?
Local Netball Club and Association, across a number of capacities, and part of a group working on the big challenge of plans for upgrading our netball facilities, and music leader for a local church, which involves planning the music and leading a singing group from the piano.
How important do you see volunteering to you and your community?
Volunteering helps to bring groups of like-minded people together. It can be hard work, but you learn a lot of different skills, engage with lots of people, and heave a big sigh of relief when everything goes well! After all, if you can jump in with two feet and have a go, why not?
Above: Linda and her helper Cammy filling first aid kits for Donvale Netball Club. Yes, this photo is blurry, I was laughing so much I couldn't hold the camera still!
You received the 2019 Penny Nilsen Volunteer of the Year Award for your role in the tower during club races. How do you see the role of the tower in maintaining safety at FYC and do you see it as a part of the sailing culture in itself?
The role of the tower is definitely a critical part of the sailing culture, not only to assist with race management, but to understand the wide range of sailor abilities and boats, monitor and assess conditions in the interests of all participants, and co-ordinate with the safety vessels and onshore personnel to ensure everyone arrives back on shore safely. Stints at different sailing clubs has helped me understand the importance of making an assessment and a call when necessary. Sometimes there are easy days, and other days when you need a strong focus.
What is your favourite sailing memory? (on and off the water?)
Every single tower moment of looking out onto the beautiful Flinders beach on a perfect sailing day! I never tire of it, the tides, water levels, birds, people, dogs, cloud formations and beach activities differ every time.
What has been your lockdown hobby?
Lockdown hobby is researching and writing short stories of family members involved in World War I, which I then upload to the Virtual War Memorial Australia website VWMA.org.au. The research needs to be accurate, as the uploads go into the public space. I might have a snippet of information, such as ‘Dad came to Australia to look for his brothers, and another brother in the UK had a boat, a club foot and lived in Liverpool’, and from there I use public records to gather the facts and write their stories.
An interesting story I have been working on was my grandmother's cousin Selina Maud Powell, serving with the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service (Reserve). My grandmother did not discuss the past (‘What do you want to know that old stuff for?’ was her unforgettable response), and she never mentioned Selina Maud, so, to flesh out a story, I have read nurses' diaries online, trawled through official records, built a profile on the facilities served in, such as 10th General Hospital on Mudros, and found an online photo of Selina Maud herself!
I have also been transcribing my father's WW2 letters to his mother. They wrote very regularly to each other, and Dad records all the things that were important to a young man of 18 years - always hungry, needing more money, mending, washing and ironing uniforms, cleaning kit, girls at the dances, and making runs and kicking goals for the army unit team!
What do you feel is so important about your historical work during lockdown?
What is so important about my historical work during lockdown? Sharing my latest finds with my family and watching their eyes glaze over in three sentences or less! Seriously, though, lockdown has provided the flexible time to research, methodically record and write without being rushed, to contact older relatives about their stories, and find and engage with new researchers sharing a common genealogical line. Is it more fun than listening to the sailors discussing their latest exploits? No comment.
Above: Sister Selina Maud Powell circa 1916, and the view from Flinders Tower
Hello to all members,
June 1997 seems like yesterday when, on retirement, we embarked on a hobby project incorporating a few acres of vines. Today, there are 130 acres of vines, 3 acres of kitchen gardens, 1,000 olive trees and 33 permanent sculpture in our care. In Red Hill, we have formal and casual dining, picnics and now our sister-estate, Tucks, altogether offering a wide range of visitor dining options.
While we are proud of the accolades we and our team have received, our greatest joy is sharing the wonderful assets we are privileged to tender, providing an experience out of the ordinary and developing and rewarding our 130 staff engaging with our special community.
This COVID-19 stretch tests our resilience. With 60 staff on Job Keeper, we have retrained and diversified our skills in readiness for a reshaped world. We are strong and ready.
It is a privilege to sponsor FYC and sailing is very special to us. As we work our way out of these restricted months, we have developed a member offer that can expand (or refill!) your cellar and support FYC with $30-60 per case of 6 or 12 bottles, continuing our support of the Club. We are in it with you for the long haul.
Please shop at your convenience at www.montalto.com.au and use the discount code FYC2020 in the shopping cart as a coupon. This is will activate your 10% discount on wine, and we will pack your order for free local delivery on Fridays. If in doubt, please call our team in the Cellar Door, 7 days from 10 am – 3 pm on 0437 255 812 and they will be happy to help and process a payment over the phone while you browse online.
We are all hoping to get back out on the water in the months ahead, and hopefully see you all at Montalto in Red Hill soon.
John & Wendy
RendezvousMembership Secretary Mark Kelly interviews Peter and Annie Dawson, former Commodore of Flinders Yacht Club and Life Members
I sat down for a socially distant cup of tea with Peter ‘Smokey’ Dawson to discuss his special memories from his family’s long association with the Flinders Yacht Club.
Pete and Annie first came to Flinders in 1988, with their friends Rod and Sue Slater who lived just across the street. The Slaters generously introduced Pete, Annie and their family to the yacht club and they fell in love with Flinders and the community.
Pete and Annie had a trailer-sailor that they used at the time, and they had many wonderful experiences sailing around Victoria. The boat was heavy and slow but was great fun!
The elder statesmen Peter Tozer, Darcy Smith and Ant Grage aboard Supergoof were leading the keel boat fleet during those early sailing seasons.
The Manners, Johnson, Slater and Dawson kids formed an enthusiastic cohort. Flinders and the Yacht Club became the backdrop for many family gatherings and social events, with was a great bond between the kids and parents. Aside from sailing, there were parties, film nights and progressive dinners, which have become FYC traditions.
Pete and Annie recall how good it has been in recent years to see the season extended to include twilight events and barbeques. Pete reminisces how in the past people would turn up on the Pier to and join a boat for the twilight sail. He hopes this ritual makes a return once we can actively sail again.
On one Friday night, Rob and Anna Cave joined Pete on board for their first twilight sail at Flinders. As we do our interview, Rob and Anna’s catamaran is being now being constructed at Tea Gardens in New South Wales.
“As current members, we only borrow the club temporarily from the next generation.”
Pete was Commodore for two years, supported by Annie, and they both placed a big emphasis on welcoming new members. Annie was still working full time but provided great support to Pete in leading social events at the club.
One of Pete’s proudest achievements was connecting Flinders with the Royal Melbourne Yacht Club fleet. The fleet of boats from the St Kilda-based club sail down the bay, out of the heads, and arrive at Flinders Yacht Club to berth overnight every year for the March Labour Day Weekend. It’s a big adventure by any standards and is a great weekend with many old ‘sea dogs’ in attendance from RMYC. We agree it would be good to go the other way in future years for an event at RMYC.
Both Annie and Pete see the community gatherings at the club as being as important as the sailing. During Pete’s time as Commodore he was very keen to include members of the local community in Club events. Pete has always encouraged the locals to feel welcome as guests or Social Members, even if they do not have an interest in sailing.
In the old days, the Commodore would host the Commodore’s Cocktail Party at their own house. Drinks were donated, each person would bring a plate, and it was the highlight of the social calendar. Younger members underwent a ‘rite of passage’ serving as wait staff, a tradition still practiced today. In Pete’s case, the Dawson household was ‘small, but perfectly formed’, so the Dockers were generous enough host Pete’s party.
In recent years, it has been fantastic to see the increase in keel boat and off the beach activities. Brian Coleman and David Hayne continue to amaze us with their passion for sailing with a combined age of over 150 years between them. This, together with many youngsters and parents makes for a diverse and strong community.
It has been great to see relationships develop from the club activities such as Lucy Barker and Luca Cave, as well as Kylie and Ed Wright and their family.
Pete is also an avid swimmer and can be seen daily floating somewhere between the yacht club and the Pier. The swimming group he helped to establish is now up to 9 regular swimmers who are partial to a ‘Flinders iceberg’. Pete advises that the only club rule for the Swimming Group is ‘no splashing’.
Pete sees himself as an elder statesman now, akin to Darcy, Ant and Pete Tozer back in the day. he is now extremely excited to see younger members coming through to support the committee and sailing events. They now share Valkyrie with Clay and Joy Manners and have recently moved to their house in Flinders. They look forward to good times here with their extended family and grandchildren.
Above left, named left to right: James Thorne, Steven Thorne, Timothy Dawson, Ben Slater (seated), Miss Porter, Kylie Wright nee Slater, Jasmine Thorne, Kate Dawson, James Manners, Michael Newton and Baxter. Above right: Pete (purposefully occluded!) and Clay Manners on Valkyrie.
Finally, I ask Pete 12 questions to really understand who he is and what puts wind in his sails.
Which person would you most like to share dinner with? Leonardo DaVinci
What is the quality you most admire in your best friend? Unconditional friendship
What are the three things you would take to a desert island? Annie Dawson, a well charged satellite phone, three months’ supply of food and wine
What type of music most inspires you to be creative? Bruce Springsteen
What is your favourite meal? Curried Sausages
What is the best Aussie Character trait? Genuine-ness
What or who is the greatest love of your life? My wife, Annie, my kids, grandkids and the extended family
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing what would it be? That is easy – a well-petted dog.
Who have been your real-life heroes? My Mum and Dad and Weary Dunlop, although he did have a few little issues!
What is your most valuable skill? I do not have any special skills, just me.
What is your favourite film of all time and why? Moon River. Apart from Annie, I was in love with Doris Day who starred in the film.
What is your motto? If I was any better, I’d be dangerous.
Sailing Program 2020/21
We are on notice from Club Captain Rick Barker that a sailing program and duty roster are being developed, information will be released on our start dates and the nature of how we will conduct our program in a COVID safe way will be released as soon as possible. The Tackers sailing program on the 27th - 31st of December is scheduled to go ahead.
We would love to hear yours! In the Barker-Cave household, homemade Bluetooth headphones are the go! For just $18, you too can look like a hard-of-hearing Geordi La Forge from Star Trek.
Welcome to the new look West Headings. With the help of Tedd Warden, Helen Kent and Hugh Kroker, I have come up with a more interactive West Headings. It will format to whatever device you use for easy reading and includes new interactive features such as videos and photo slideshows. If you log in to your Wild Apricot account, you can also comment on the issue, ask questions and respond to other comments.
I am incredibly excited to be a part of the communications team at FYC. Having been a member for 12 years, I remember reading each West Headings eagerly. We are looking for an extra team member to help in managing our Facebook page. If this is you, get in touch with me!
New in this issue is Rendezvous, a section about you, our members; Our Seachange documenting Rob and Anna Cave’s remarkable experience building their custom catamaran; and On Watch, a section where we share what’s been happening with the community, around the club (not so much right now!) and in our homes.
If you have content suggestions, news or ideas to share, we would love to see them in West Headings. You can get in touch with me at email@example.com
I hope you enjoy hearing from our Commodore, committee members and valued guest contributors over a cup of tea and a Tim Tam (or four!)
I welcome you and your families to our 45th season.
It is a pleasure to welcome you to our new look West Headings. Following a smooth baton change from Hugh Kroker, committee member Lucy Barker has lifted it to further heights by creating a ray of sunshine in the present Covid restrictions. This issue of West Headings certainly shows that we can still enjoy our sailing environment while in lock down. I trust that you will find it enjoyable reading.
Only two months ago we held our AGM with the cautious optimism that Covid-19 restrictions were gradually easing. Sadly, this was not to be and now the club facilities, like much of the community, is locked down. While there has been much activity behind the scenes with dexterous use of Zoom, I look forward once again to experience the camaraderie of FYC in a first hand sense while racing on the water or over a quiet chat on the deck.
No doubt you will be aware that we are offering an optional 25% discount to your subscriptions this season. While the reduction in hire income and the discount may create a marginal loss this season, your committee considers that with tight budget control and without debt, we can maintain our club in very robust form and arrive at the other side in a good state, whenever that may be.
I must commend members of both past and present committees for cautiously guiding our club over many years to ensure that we are in a sound financial position to weather this storm.
Given that it is generally easier to turn the tap off, rather than turn it on at short notice, we continue preparations for 2020/21, though with an expectation of adjustments in accordance with the restrictions that may be applicable at the time.
I expect that eventual easing will mean that we can be back on the water and sitting on the deck in small numbers. Both followed by the racing and social functions which we know so well.
I wish you and your families well during this difficult and somewhat tumultuous time.
Tacks & Gybes
Well done to the hardy winter sailing group – Ed, Harrison, Karsten, Anton, Will, Michael, Dom, Fin, Travis, Lilly and Rose. It was great while we could, but hopefully we can transform into the Flinders spring sailing group soon.
Work on a 2020-21 programme is well underway and the first draft is available HERE. Note that at this stage we expect to start the season as early as possible after the relaxation of Stage 3 restrictions. We will allow for a weekend of practice/preparation prior to commencing any competition.
Updated sailing instructions and safety documents are also available on the Sailing page of the website.
The programme structure is similar to previous years and will include a few slots for Adventure Sails in January, in addition to the annual sail to Balnarring for the teams racing, currently scheduled for 10 January 2021
Keel boat racing structure also similar and some improvements and changes have been made to the course guide to make the courses more interesting.
The next challenge is compiling the duty roster. I ask that all active members please access the programme and nominate one duty day or range of days that they are available to undertake safety boat or tower duty. Nominations are required by September 14 please by email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. After 14 September the roster will be finalised.
The policy for the allocation of duty days is as follows:
Hope to hear from you soon and see you on the water as soon as we are allowed again.
0412 310 012
Brian Coleman and David Haynes in Sea Vixen II, taken by Rick Barker, March 2020
Pruning & Plumbing
Note: photos is this article were taken before current restrictions
While we have been a bit 'on and off' due to Corona, the grass keeps growing and weeds keep invading.
It has been really helpful to get assistance from locals to shuffle boats so we can give the compound a proper mow. Thanks Andrew, Clay, Alan, Smokey, Leigh, David, Richard, Duncan, Warran Joel and others who step in to make it lighter work. Ian did a mighty job over two days to burn off the bonfire.
As we try to add value for our members, the keelboat Valkyrie people have developed a rolling steerable cradle enabling winter maintenance in our compound. Super Goof was able to get done prior to the second lockdown, and prove the concept. Clay and Smokey drove the project sourcing truck axles from Jacko in Tottenham, and good slipway cradles from RYCV at Williamstown. Duncan with his 4WD tractor provided motive power to get the contraption in and out safely.
Our winch has had a few repairs done, at no charge thanks to Don, but it proved in the end unrepairable. Don is kindly sourcing another that we keep our options open for yard movements.
To clarify FYC storage conditions: the yard is for active boats only, empty trailers are stored outside behind the big shed. There is no storage for motor boats (except club rescue), nor trailer sailors in season (use moorings). Keelboat and TS for winter storage only. Water toys (kayaks paddle boards and SUPs) are stored free in the southern rack and should be easily identifiable. We try to accommodate member needs and appreciate the removal of 'dead boats'. Any queries on storage please refer to the Yard Boss Tedd on 0438 923 392.
Noticing invasive ivy encroachment Davo, Smokey, Clay and David removed the ivy saving two significant Banksia and a Sheok. We then gathered with Mark from friends of Flinders foreshore who arranged with LandCare and Local Habitat to walk through Lacey Drive to identify invasive weeds including Cape Ivy, Cape Wattle, Polygala, Caprosma, Blackberry, pittosporum, box thorn, gorse, dollicus, etc! When we can get back out there is a big job ahead and if you can spare some time help would be greatly appreciated.
House & Grounds
0438 923 392
Each issue our membership team Mark and Jacqui Kelly will rendezvous with a member of the club. We know lots about our boats, who's is faster, who is harder to beat in a race, but this is the opportunity to celebrate our 'other' lives.
Membership Secretary Mark Kelly virtually 'sits down' with Mary Iles. As a former editor of West Headings, we are delighted that Mary agreed to take part in this first issue in the new format.
What did you enjoy in the early days at the Flinders Yacht Club?John and I came to Flinders to sail. We joined the club and got to know all the rogues in a very small club with a few members. After two years, John was Commodore and I was phoning strangers to ask them to make scones for an afternoon tea visit of the Alma Dopel to the Yacht Club. On the day of the scheduled arrival we made squillions of scones, but the weather ensured the vessel was unable to disembark passengers and the whole thing was a failure!
At one of the early AGMs, there was a motion put to change the club to a keel boat only club! Luckily this was defeated and we encouraged social and junior activities.
Alma Dopel under sail off Sorrento, late 1980s
What has been your greatest sailing achievement?Learning to sail on our Careel ‘Skittish’ and as one of the smallest boats in the fleet, winning the Australia Day Cerberus race in the 1990s, falling in at the Naval jetty and being hauled out by a young rating in white, then going back to the club to help with dinner in a marquee for about 200!
John and Mary Iles on Skittish
What are the three things you most love about the Flinders Yacht Club?LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!
Which living person would you most like to share dinner with?Kamala Harris
What is the best quality you most admire in your best friend?Chatter
What are the 3 things you would take to a desert island?A friend, matches and onions
What type of music most inspires to be creative?Richard Strauss
What is your favourite meal of all?All food
What is the best Aussie character trait?A trait is not a best…
What or who is the greatest love of your life?Animals of the human kind
What has been your greatest achievement?Staying alive
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing what would it be?A worm, I’d have lots to eat!
Who are your real-life heroes?Anyone who stays alive
What is your most valuable skill?Staying alive
What is your favourite film of all time?Anything with Christopher Reeve
What is the most important thing in life?Staying alive! Look, I’ve said this five times now…
What is your motto?And again, staying alive!
Skittish, moored at Flinders
Hi from Tea Gardens NSW!
Firstly, we trust everyone at FYC is safe and well. Our hearts and thoughts are with all in Victoria.
We have embarked on our journey to build a custom 52’ Schionning catamaran. It has now been just over 12 months since we started.
Having sold our home, closed our business and said goodbye to our two beautiful boys, we came to Tea Gardens knowing this was the beginning of our around the world sailing adventure – but have now come to realise that the building of the boat is a journey in itself.
It sure is a labour of love. She is a piece of art with beautiful lines, smooth corners to minimise injury and, as our marine architect Jeff Schionning assures us, she cannot sink. That’s got to be a positive!
Rob, foreman Nigel and interior designer Kim making plans for the saloon
Since moving to Tea Gardens two months ago, Anna has worked in the shed with the team of workers since.
Boat building is a lot of fibre glassing, sanding, bogging, more sanding, painting, and, you guessed it, more sanding again.
Anna’s new learned skill this week was faring – without doubt the worst job yet – it is the sanding of the bog. Very, very tedious work – commonly known as sanding with the torture board – and it is just that, TORTURE! Anna was ready to fly back to Melbourne.
Anna painting the locker with epoxy paint
Rob is keeping busy designing the plumbing and electrical systems and ensuring all equipment is ordered so as not to hold us up. He is busy with the rigging design, mast, trampolines, davit for the tender… The list is endless!
We are going fully electric, no diesel engines for us. Plenty of solar energy and while we are sailing our electric motors act as turbines and produce electricity.
There is still a long way to go but the berths, kitchen, bathrooms and saloon are taking shape and the rear and forward cockpits are stunning. Each day she gets that little bit closer to completion – little steps!
Left to right: bow, interior seating, kitchen, outdoor seating
Our plan is to have the boat registered to FYC, so as we sail the world you can sail the seas with us.
Hope you enjoy the photos. Take care, stay safe and well and we will keep you updated.
Warmest wishes,Anna & Rob
Follow our journey:Facebook
Content courtesy of Peter Alexandrovics
Do we remember life back in 2019?
Members sitting close together at the 1919... sorry, 2019 opening lunch
Thank you to those members who attended our socially distant AGM, we could not have done it without you!
Footloose!Whose shoes? Guess who are the most stylish women (or men!?) at FYC!
Stay sane, stay connected, let us know what you have been up to! Send Lucy an email with a photo and description of your lockdown hobby to be included in the next issue!
The Barker-Cave HouseholdWe have been 3D printing and baking sourdough!
Julius Caesar having a bad day & the best open crumb achieved so far
Under the Sea This video taken under the Flinders Pier by local divers gives a remarkable glimpse into what goes on beneath the hull!
Stay up to date with the club via our Facebook and Instagram pages!
Thank you to our valued sponsors for their continued support
35 Lacey View, Flinders