Flinders Yacht Club

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  • 1 Nov 2020 10:39 AM | Lucy Barker (Administrator)

    From the Editor’s Desk

    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 

    From the Helm

    Dear FYC Members,

    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.

    I wish you and your families well and look forward to the coming season with you.


    Alan Farrar

    Meet 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 Monster
    Artistry 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 doing
    By 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 Ingrida
    By 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!

    Regardless, I'm proud of what Pete and I achieved and love the life at the FYC.

    On Watch 

    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

  • 20 Sep 2020 4:44 PM | Lucy Barker (Administrator)

    From the Editor's Desk

    Dear FYC community,

    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 lucyb0297@gmail.com 

    Stay safe and sane,                                                             


    From the Helm

    Dear FYC Members,

    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.


    Alan Farrar

    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

    A Note from Montalto

    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.

    Kind regards,

    John & Wendy

    Membership 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.

    On Watch 

    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. 

    Lockdown Hobbies

    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.

  • 23 Aug 2020 7:30 PM | Lucy Barker (Administrator)

    From the Editor’s Desk

    Dear FYC community,

    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 lucyb0297@gmail.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!)


    Lucy and Luca doing safety duty taking pacers back from Westernport Yacht Club, January 2020

    From the Helm 

    Dear FYC Members,

    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.


    Alan Farrar

    Scaramouche on route to Hastings Marina, taken by Hugh Sweeney, 2019

    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 richard@millerhm.com.au. After 14 September the roster will be finalised.

    The policy for the allocation of duty days is as follows:

    • Providing safety and race management personnel is an essential part of the process of conducting and club sailing let alone club racing and all members by agreeing to join the Club need to be aware of the obligation that come with membership;
    • All full adult members are required to complete duty days during a season;
    • Social and veteran members are encouraged to volunteer for duty;
    • Non sailing members are encouraged to get involved in the race management tower;
    • Members over 10 and under 15 years of age may complete duty in company of an adult;
    • Regular keel boat sailors will be allocated ONE duty day in the period outside the keel boat season where possible;
    • Regular OTB sailors will be allocated one or more duty days during the season.

    Hope to hear from you soon and see you on the water as soon as we are allowed again.


    Rick Barker
    Club Captain
    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. 

    Tedd Warden 
    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?

    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?

    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

    Our Seachange

    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:

    On Watch

    Content courtesy of Peter Alexandrovics 

    Do we remember life back in 2019? 

    Members sitting close together at the 1919... sorry, 2019 opening lunch

    June AGM
    Thank you to those members who attended our socially distant AGM, we could not have done it without you! 

    Whose shoes? Guess who are the most stylish women (or men!?) at FYC! 

    Lockdown Hobbies 
    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 Household
    We 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

Vic 3929

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