John Stanley – OAM

The recent King’s Birthday 2023 Honours List included an award for SFS Historian and Life Member John “Steamer” Stanley, as per the following:


Mr John STANLEY, Manly NSW 2095.

For service to sailing.

Sydney Flying Squadron

  • Club Historian, since early 2000s.
  • Former President.
  • Member, since 2000.

Australian Historical Sailing Skiff Association

  • Member, since 2000

On behalf of the members and patrons of the Sydney Flying Squadron, we would like to congratulate Club Historian and Life Member, John “Steamer” Stanley on his inclusion in the King’s Birthday 2023 Honours List in being awarded the MEDAL OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA (OAM) for his Service to Sailing.

John’s involvement in the sport extends over more than 60 years. He was a highly regarded crewman from his formative years at Middle Harbour 16ft Skiff Club to 4-handed then 3-handed 18-footers at both the League and SFS harbour clubs. He always competed at the pointy end of the fleet during the halcyon days of the 16 and 18-footer sailing and skiff development.

In the years that followed, his skills and experience were further developed and in demand for his involvement in yacht, keelboat and ocean racing. That included a challenge for the America’s Cup.  During the last 20 years, Steamer has devoted considerable time and effort to the promotion of both the Historical and Modern 18-footer sailing. To this end, he has made a huge contribution in the role of SFS Club Historian. His research has documented the unique, colourful, and significant aspects of our country’s sailing heritage.

John Stanley joins Club President John Winning as holders of the Order of Australia.

Robert Chapman.

Robert Chaman wrote the short piece, congratulating John Stanley on his Order of Australia in the General Division for his Service to Sailing. The Sydney Flying Squadron and its members thank him for doing so.

At the Sydney Flying Squadron, Bob has raced with great success as bowman with John ‘’Woody’’ Winning on historic 18-footers. He has been with John from pretty much the inception of these historic replicas around the year 2000. The last few years have been on the Aberdare and The Mistake

Bob’s an accomplished sailor and helmsman in his own right, sailing an OK dinghy with success at the Drummoyne Sailing Club on a Sundays up until quite recently.

More than that, Bob, for many years has calculated the Historic 18-foot skiff race results and written the weekly Race Report, all of which are published on the SFS website each week. Sound easy? It’s not. It requires accuracy and dedication to the task.

From all the sailors and Club members who take a close interest in the sailing activities of the SFS, thank you for performing this task, Bob. It may sometimes not have seemed appreciated, but we can assure you it certainly was.

Bob, after 20 + years of sailing and being deeply involved in this demanding class, has decided to step back from this aspect of the sport and leave it to others to carry on his great work. We hope he will make the occasional “guest” appearance on the skiffs and look forward to seeing him around the club as a resident expert.

Bob, we owe you.

The Sydney Flying Squadron.

Australia’s Oldest Open Boat Sailing Club.

Photo: Di Pearson