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West Headings August 2020

23 Aug 2020 7:30 PM | Anonymous

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!


  • 23 Aug 2020 9:11 PM | Anonymous
    I apologise to John Sweeney for missing his fabulous keel boat report in this month's issue. Please see his report below:

    Keel Boat Report

    It’s exciting to report a return to the practice of off-season keel yacht maintenance in the grounds of the FYC yard.

    Several years ago this was the annual tradition and gave practical and safe housing for our keel yachts close to home.

    The careening poles in our nearby waters were once essential harbouring tools but now just form part of the seascape views that identify the Flinders we know. But lifting these keel beauties into the yard now involves new but simple methods thanks to the efforts of Clay, Smokey and Tedd developing a new launch and retrieval system. Super Goof and Valkyrie have been the first to revisit the yard and reports suggest all a great success. In normal times gatherings in the FYC yard just talking boats, the jobs to do and the occasional beer and BBQ are but simple pleasures and just another nice way to share friendships and our love of FYC.

    Preparation of the Annual Keel Sailing calendar for the forthcoming season is well under way. Optimistically we plan for a full programme of sailing and so the details will follow in the weeks ahead. A programme will be framed around what we may be permitted to undertake closer to the start of the new season. Those interested in participating as crew in keel sailing – be that racing in Twilights or Series events, should contact Skippers or just let KK know.

    John Sweeney
    Keel Boat Captain
    Link  •  Reply

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