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West Headings December 2020

23 Dec 2020 4:55 PM | Anonymous

Ready About

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:

  • The FYC/Boat Shed Sailing School is on again from 27 - 31 Dec go the Learn to Sail to sign up. Send the link to anyone interested as the spots are filling fast! 
  • The annual Flinders Golf Day Extravaganza will be held on Thursday 7th of January 2021, 3:15pm. Book your game on the notice at the club house before 6pm Wednesday 6th of January
  • Commodore Alan Farrar and Kate Farrar invite you to attend the Commodore’s Cocktail Party on Saturday the 9th of January 2021 from 6pm. Bookings Essential:

Photo courtesy of Peter Alexandrovics

From the Editor’s Desk

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!


From the Helm

Dear FYC Members,

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.


Alan Farrar

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)

Leigh Glover (Laser – Rocket)


Rick Barker (Laser – Ocean Oddity)

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.

See you on the water!

Richard Barker
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. 


Hi all,

Keel sailing resumes with AGG No1 Sunday 27/12 1300.

The full programme is loaded on the FYC website.

Some information:

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.


Tell Tales
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).

On Watch

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!

Stay up to date on the club Facebook and the member's Instagram page!

Thank you to our valued sponsors for their continued support 

Flinders Yacht Club Inc. Registration No A2045

Foreshore Reserve, Flinders 3929

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