At this stage it looks like the Combined Clubs Winter Series will commence on June 14. Races will stay as programmed as will the sailing instructions. Further information regarding point-scores will be communicated later.

Australian Sailing has updated their advice regarding recreational and competitive sailing.

Updated as of 0800 on Thursday 21st May 2020


The NSW Government restrictions announced on Friday 15 May 2020 that restrictions were being updated in the latest Public Health Order.

The NSW Office of Sport has subsequently advised us that it will not be following the National Cabinet endorsed Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment developed by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) on Friday 1 May 2020. It will instead rely solely on the NSW Public Health Orders. 

Today’s update provides for an exemption from the 4m2 rule for recreational boating, provided that it is still maintained where possible. The Office of Sport has clarified that Sailing events are now also permitted, provided that the Public Health Orders are adhered to.

For further details visit –

What do the eased restrictions, which commenced on Friday 15 May 2020, mean for sailing at GFS.

Recreational sailing remains a permitted activity

Access to marinas is permitted

Access to fuel sales is permitted

Organised community sport is currently still prohibited, so no club organised events and training can take place. Organised GFS sailing events may only commence when eased restrictions reach Step 3.

The GFS clubhouse can be accessed to get your tender.  Social distancing of 1.5m and hygiene requirements must be maintained. Only outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people no gathering inside the club. You must follow instructions on signs placed inside and outside the clubhouse. If you are sick, even with mild flu -like symptoms, or in a vulnerable age group or with a previous medical condition you are advised to not enter the clubhouse. The clubhouse will be cleaned once a week.

Sailing Australia guidelines – permitted activities.

  • Yachts – Yes, provided you maintain a maximum of 1 person per 4m2 and social distancing of 1.5m and hygiene requirements are maintained. Maintain only outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people. No club organised events.
  • Dinghies (single handed) – Yes, provided you maintain a maximum of 1 person per 4m2 and social distancing of 1.5m and hygiene requirements are maintained. Maintain only outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people.
  • Dinghies (double Handed) – No. These boats are unable to comply with the 1 person per 4m2 and social distancing of 1.5m requirements
  • Powerboats – Yes, provided you maintain a maximum of 1 person per 4m2 and social distancing of 1.5m and hygiene requirements are maintained. Maintain only outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people.

How many people can I have on board for recreational sailing?

You must observe the not more than 1 person per 4m2 and maximum ten-person rule for outdoor gathers, be satisfied you have observed appropriate social distancing requirements and equipment is not shared.

West Harbour Winter Series Race 2 due to be sailed this Sunday May 17 has been cancelled.

Dear Members

It is now just on a month since regrettably due to the Covid 19 situation, we had to close GFS and bring our sailing season to an abrupt end. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of uncertainty about when we are likely to be able to re -open the Club and resume racing. However, I would like to take the opportunity to assure you that it is still business as usual for the Committee behind the scenes and that we are aiming to re-open the club and recommence Club activities as soon as changes in restrictions allow.

To bring you up to date – at our recent monthly Committee meeting (held virtually) we undertook a review of GFS’s financial position and discussed the best way to manage our club events that are scheduled over the next few months as well as our preparations for the 2020/2021 season.

I am happy to report that despite some loss of revenue from Twilights and social events GFS is in a sound state financially. However, given the uncertainty of pandemic we are trying to reduce expenditure wherever possible and this has meant that the purchase of new start boat (previously approved by the Committee) has been put on hold until we have a clearer picture of when the Club can resume normal activities.

The 2019-2020 season’s race results have now been finalised and we will be publishing these on the website shortly as well as in the next edition of Humbug. The formal Trophy presentation will be held later in the year in conjunction with an anticipated Club re-opening.

We remain hopeful that we will be back racing for the start of the new season but will continue to keep all scheduled Club activities such as the AGM, finalisation of next season’s program, safety audits and Skipper’s briefing under review.

You will be aware that under current NSW Public Health guidelines sailing is recognised as an acceptable form of exercise. A recent update from Transport for NSW also states that it is permissible to have more than 2 people onboard providing there is four square meters of space for each person. While hopefully this will provide an opportunity for members to have a break from isolation please remember the overriding requirement is that “unless you have an essential need to be out – stay home.”

In the meantime, the Committee is looking at ways of maintaining member involvement in the Club. Please let us know if you have any suggestions for news items, sailing articles or competitions that you think would be of interest to members.  We also encourage you to keep in touch and view updates via the GFS website and Facebook.

I hope that you all stay healthy and well.

Pam Joy

Commodore, Greenwich Flying Squadron

Please see the link to the list of entrants as from yesterday afternoon (more have yet to be added), the Sailing Instructions and the Course Maps for the 2020 West Harbour Winter Series.

Race 1 is scheduled for Sunday the 3rd of May, however, given that the racing is in essence meant to be for fully crewed boats, the current social distancing rules are such that we will not be racing this Sunday.

However, in the spirit of optimism we are pushing forward with race preparations so that as soon as it is safe to do so, we can get out and go racing (hopefully in time for race 2).

Race divisions will be published prior to the first race that we sail (allowing for late entries).

ORC Measurement Handicapping

We would like to encourage as many boats as possible to participate in the ORC fixed measurement handicap racing.

  • The BSC introduced ORC Club handicapping to the West Harbour Winter Series in 2016 and 22 competitors took part.
  • If you have a production boat, getting a ratings certificate is relatively simple.
  • ORC measurement handicapping uses a transparent velocity prediction program to determine a boats performance.
  • ORC uniquely gives race organisations the opportunity to handicap boats based on wind strength across three wind ranges.
  • ORC certificates also include short-handed, non-spinnaker, inshore and offshore ratings [the BSC uses non spinnaker ratings for our twilight series].
  • the BSC is the only club in Australia that utilises ORC handicapping using the wind ratings provided on an ORC certificate. 
  • ORC Club certificates are an affordable means of participating in a measurement handicapping system [$90 p.a. through Australian Sailing in 2019].
  • You or your sail-maker need to measure your sails and input the data into your ORC Club application.
  • You can create a free account with ORC and download the certificates of thousands of other boats that hold a certificate and compare your ratings.
  • Apply here.

If you have previously held a certificate, we will use your most recent ratings up until the completion of the third race of this series, after which time each participating boat will need to supply an updated ratings certificate. We will then reprocess results retrospectively. New certificates are issued after June 30, 2020. They are generally processed quickly by ORC. You will need to chase AS who ‘administer’ the ratings certificates.

Please see the link to the Notice of Race for the 2020 West Harbour Winter Series scheduled to commence with race 1 on Sunday the 3rd of May 2020.

It is likely that the social distancing rules associated with the Covid 19 Pandemic will be such that it is unlikely that there will be a race on the 3rd of May.

However, in the spirit of optimism, we are hopeful that the series will proceed soon; possibly in time for race 2 [although it is likely that clubs will remain closed for post-race beers and BBQs].

It would be of great assistance to us if those who intend racing [subject to conforming with social distancing rules], would enter as soon as possible so that when we commence sailing we will be prepared in terms of setting up division and handicapping.

Competitors from GFS, PRSC and DSC who have paid their club’s annual race fees do not need to pay to enter, however we do require you to enter this series [see the link below]. Competitors from the BSC who have paid their 2019-2020 series Block Entry do not need to enter. Please see the current list of entrants.

Competitors from the BSC, or from the other clubs who have not yet entered can do so without paying until we announce the first actual race day.


Thanks in advance and take care.


David Stenhouse

The table below addresses the status of common water-based activities under the current Public Health Orders. Further information –

Social distancing and social gathering rules are to be observed at all times during any of the below activities. The latest information on social distancing and social gathering rules are available on the NSW Government  website.

When on a private boat, because it is not a public place, the restriction on gatherings of more than 2 people does not apply. However, the skipper is to ensure there is 4 square metres of space for each person on board. If there is not 4 square metres of space per person, the skipper will not be complying with the Public Health Order.

If you are satisfied you meet all the criteria, please still only boat locally.

PWC/ jet ski for recreational purposes No Not considered a reasonable excuse
PWC/ jet ski for transportation or fishing Yes Social distancing and social gathering rules apply Considered as exercise or transportation
Fishing Yes Social distancing and social gathering rules apply. Anchoring permitted while fishing only Considered as exercise
Tow sports (water-skiing, wake sports etc.) Yes Social distancing and social gathering rules apply.  Must have a skipper and observer in addition to the person being towed Considered as exercise
Sailing Yes Social distancing and social gathering rules apply. Considered as exercise
General boating for recreational purposes No Not considered a reasonable excuse
Kayaking or paddle sports Yes Social distancing and social gathering rules apply. Considered as exercise
Access my vessel or mooring to maintain or service? Yes Social distancing and social gathering rules apply. NSW Maritime will continue to carry out mooring audits.  Considered undertaking legal obligations, or obtaining goods or services
Stay overnight on a boat or hire a boat/ houseboat? No Not considered a reasonable excuse

Remember, social distancing and social gathering rules apply at all times – including at the boat ramp and on your boat.

Skippers must also remember their other safety responsibilities regarding safety equipment, alcohol consumption, keeping a proper lookout and proceeding at a safe speed.

For the latest information on Coronavirus and current restrictions, members of the community are encouraged to check the NSW Government website for regular updates.

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.

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.

GFS Facebook Group
HTML Tables
 GFS Junior Sailing Website

GFS Junior Sailing Website

Upcoming Events

  • 26/09/2020Saturday Spring Series Race 4
  • 30/09/2020Skippers' Briefing
  • 03/10/2020Long Weekend - no race
  • 04/10/2020Daylight Saving Commences
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