There will be no racing this Saturday and going forward, all club activities have now ceased for the season. See the Commodore’s message below.

Following consultation with GFS Committee members and with consideration of Sailing Australia’s guidance to Sailing Clubs (March 19 2020) and the Federal Government recently released COVID-19 guidelines for community sport  (March 18 2020) I advise that all Greenwich Flying Squadron sailing and club activities are now suspended until further notice.

This includes all yacht and dinghy races, social events and meetings. Members may continue to use the Clubhouse to access their dinghies, tenders and yachts but all social gatherings and use of clubhouse facilities are prohibited. 

GFS will continue to monitor and assess risks in relation to members’ health and safety and review this advice in line with changes in Health guidelines.

Thank you for your understanding and on behalf of the Committee I apologise for any inconvenience and distress that this may cause to members

 Pam Joy

Commodore, GFS

In light of the current situation regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) please be advised that racing will continue in the Twilight Autumn Series. However, for the remainder of the season post race presentations and dinner will no longer be held. Members are advised not to meet unofficially back at the club and to take heed of the NSW Health warnings aimed at minimising the spread and effects of COVID-19.

The Greenwich Flying Squadron Policy on COVID-19 is that we ask all users of the facility to follow Federal Government advice.

For general advice please see:

Everyone must practise good hygiene to protect against infection and prevent the virus spreading.

*Visitors to the club do so at their own risk. If you are in a high-risk group (poor health, age) our advice is to stay away*

We encourage all of our members and visitors to familiarize themselves with these key prevention strategies to minimise the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

  • DO NOT ENTER the Club if you are unwell (particularly cough/sore throat/fevers/flu like symptoms), have potentially had contact with a case of COVID-19 or someone who is unwell in the past 14 days, or have travelled overseas in the last 14 days.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • Maintain a social distance where possible – 1.5 meters
  • Avoid handshakes/hugs
  • Sneeze into your elbow or a tissue not hands
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Signs placed inside the club outline hygiene suggestions and hand washing technique. Please adhere to this information. Signs at the entrance to the Club ask people not to enter if they pose any level of threat.

If you have been diagnosed with the virus and have visited the club in the 14 days prior to diagnosis, please advise the club by email to

Thank you for your assistance and apologies for any inconvenience.

Please make sure when you are the last to leave the clubhouse that the doors are locked and the alarm is set. If it has been used also please check the member’s fridge is locked.

You need both your key and card to enter the club. Details regarding the alarm were sent to all eligible key and card holders.

This covers shortening the course for Saturday series races. Sailing Instructions (Full and Cockpit versions) on the Yachts – Racing Information page have been updated. Changes in bold type.

14.         Shortened Course. 

a. If a course is shortened after the start, Code Flag ‘S’ displayed at a rounding mark indicates that the course has been shortened.  All yachts after rounding the mark shall proceed directly to the finishing line.  If a Division Flag is also displayed with Code Flag ‘S’, the course is shortened for boats in that division only.

b. The course may also be shortened either at a mark of the course or other suitable location. The Start boat will fly a Blue Flag to signal they are on station and Code Flag ‘S’ at the finish. Yachts should pass between the club mark and the start boat from the direction of the previous mark of the course.

20.       Finish Line. 

a. When finishing, boats must pass between the Club mark and the Blue Flag on the Clubhouse mast or on the Blue Flag on the club launch.  The Clearance mark does not apply at the finish.

 b. Where the finish is from the Club launch the line will be set at an appropriate position relative to the last mark passed. The Start boat will fly a Blue Flag to signal they are on station and Code Flag ‘S’ at the finish.

 c. When a finish buoy has been set a yacht must not re-cross the finish line after it has finished (pass around the buoy end of the line). Also see SI 26(b).

d. In Twilight and Saturday Races, a finish line may be set from the club launch without a pin end buoy. Code Flag ‘S’ and the Blue Flag will be flown from the club launch and the line set between the launch and either the green navigation buoy at Greenwich Point OR the green navigation buoy at Balls Head OR the ferry wharf at Longnose Point OR the flag mast at Hunters Hill Sailing Club OR the flag mast at Balmain Sailing Club depending on the last leg of the course being sailed.

e. Note:  RRS. Rule 31 applies at the finish.

The places for the GFS Australia Day races for yachts (Twilight and Saturday Series) are below.

First place winners will be invited to Sydney Town Hall to receive their Medallions in March.

Medallions for second and third places have either been handed out at the club or can be picked up there.

In more sad news: former GFS member, sailor and documentary producer Rob McAuley passed away on Tuesday 14 January 2020. Rob had a long and productive career in journalism and film dating back to the Melbourne Olympic Games and had many years with Film Australia. He was a great friend and mentor to many people in the film industry.

His publications include  the TV movie ‘The Hunt for HMAS Sydney’ which Rob directed.

His friendly and jovial nature were the essence of life at GFS in the nineties and beyond after a distinguished sailing career with the CYCA. The last boat in which he competed at GFS was the Etchells Raptor.

The two links below give an essence of who Rob was.

CYCA Archive Project Part 1 –

CYCA Archive Project Part 2 –

There is a great tribute to Rob on the CYCA website . A true sailing legend.

2020 marks the 6th edition of the combined club’s West Harbour Summer Series.

Race 1 of the 6 race series commences this Sunday the 19th of January at 1300 hours.

Entries via the Balmain Sailing Club website ASAP.

Please be reminded that this is a Pursuit Race. Entrants and their individual start times will be listed here by no later than 0900hrs on the morning of the race.

The Sailing Instructions and Course Maps are available online.


David Stenhouse. BSC

It is with sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Elaine McLaughlin past member of GFS and wife of longstanding member Bill McLaughlin.  Elaine died peacefully at home on January 9th with Bill and her family by her side.

Elaine had a very long association with GFS, sailing for many years with Bill in our Cruising Division then more recently supporting Bill, daughter Leigh, her partner Margie and son Mark racing on Folklore on Wednesday nights.

Family and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Elaine’s Life on 21 January at 2.45 pm at Vaucluse House, Wentworth Road Vaucluse.

On behalf of all GFS members I express our sincere condolences to Bill and his family.

Pam Joy


On behalf of GFS Members a belated ‘well done’ to Christian Beck and crew for their efforts in the recent Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

InfoTrack finished the race for line honours in second place and were 3rd IRC in Division 0 and 18th IRC overall.

As first Yacht out of Sydney Heads, the Jack Rooklyn Memorial Trophy and Cannon were awarded to InfoTrack. InfoTrack also received the CYCA Trophies for second over the line and third in IRC Division 0.

Best wishes to Christian Beck and Crew in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

Christian’s yacht InfoTrack is representing GFS in the race. Their progress can be followed using this link to the race tracker

The Blues Point Yacht Club has a couple of events coming up in early February 2020. They would be very happy for suitable GFS yachts and crews to participate.  The events are a mixture of yacht racing and relaxed social interchange over drinks and dinner.

The Don Deller Offshore Race was first held in 2009 to honour Dr Don Deller, one of the founding members of the BPYC, The Don Deller will be a single-division, PHS race consisting of yachts of various types.

Commencing at 10:00 hours on 8th February 2020 yachts race from a start line between the Race Committee Vessel and the AS mark in Obelisk Bay, Port Jackson, and finish on a transept from the easternmost point of Lion Island.

Each competing yacht must hold a current, audited Category 4 Safety Certificate and suitable insurance cover of not less than $10 million.

The Double Sprint

The Double Sprint will be a single division PHS Race consisting of yachts of various types. BPYC invites boat owners from its own fleet and from other clubs affiliated with Australian Sailing to join the 2020 Pittwater Double Sprint Race 1, then berth overnight at Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay, before completing the 2020 Pittwater Double Sprint Race 2 the following day.

Race 1, post-race, competitors and crew are invited to join at their own cost, pre-dinner dinks on the 1st floor balcony of RMYC and then join the BPYC dinner in the RMYC Brasserie. 

Race Two, scheduled to start at 10:00 hours on Sunday 9th February, on a line between Scotland Island and Taylors Point then finish on a line between the easternmost point of Lion Island and Barrenjoey Light.

Post-race, competitors are invited to cruise in company back to Port Jackson.

Details are in the NORs. Don Deller and Double Sprint

The GFS Committee wishes to remind all club members that Sydney is currently on Level 2 water restrictions.

Consequently, we urge all skippers to refrain from using the hose at the club to wash boats. It is still permissible to fill water tanks as long as the hose is not left unattended.

Please be mindful of the need to conserve Sydney’s precious drinking water wherever possible.

It is with sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Keith McAlpine. Keith was an active sailor at GFS with his wife Diana in their yacht ‘Perquisite’.  He later became the club driver and custodian of Pegasus in a voluntary capacity for Saturday starts. Diana even made the curtains for Pegasus. He was a staunch club member.

Keith passed away on November, 23. A celebration of Keith’s life will be held in the South Chapel of Northern Suburbs Crematorium on Monday December 2 at 2.00pm

GFS Facebook Group

Upcoming Events

  • 05/04/2020Daylight Saving Ends
  • 11/04/2020Easter Saturday
  • 18/04/2020Down Harbour Race 8 Suspended
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