The Club began in 1963 when a few sailors from Winnipeg would gather weekends at Faloma to go sailing. It did not take long for them to begin racing their boats against each other, using the public government dock of the time as their start/finish point.
In 1964, John Higham, the Club’s very first Commodore, obtained a charter to form the Falcon Yacht Club and approached the Dept. of Mines & Natural Resources for some land “to maintain and operate a HQ for a sailing club”. By the following year, the Provincial Government granted a lease for the land “bound South, East and North by the lake, creek and service road, respectively, and to a depth 700’ to the West”. So we began.
During these early days, and well into the 80’s, the Club had permanent racing marks over the 12 km long lake and sailors were sent on those itineraries which presented the best challenge of the day for the given wind direction and strength.
Many a summer cottager would look forward to pulling a chair onto their dock after lunch to watch the sailboats go by. The most common sailboat classes at the time were of classic hull shape, without spinnakers or trapeze, like the Lazy E, Albacore, Windmill and the Enterprise. Quickly, the competition became fierce and many sailors selected faster boats. Thus the forty or so older designs saw the addition of a fleet of some 25 very fast ‘scow’ type boats, mainly Fireballs and Y-Flyers. These two had identical handicaps (85) and it made for some very exciting racing.
It was not always all play and no work. In 1970, Commodore Paul Kettner donated a steel building which the members assembled on a concrete pad by the shore. It became our “lower” clubhouse and, ten years later, under Commodore Laurie Prokopanko, all members again pulled resources and elbow grease to build our spacious Clubhouse with a magnificent panoramic view of the lake. Every year, the membership works hard to maintain its assets and expand its facilities.
We also entertained a lot and became known in the Province for our great hospitality. It started in 1970 with our first yearly Spring Regatta, the largest and earliest in the year province-wide gathering of avid sailors on the cool waters of the second weekend in June. In the late 80’s, we added a similar Fall Regatta well into September. Many of the members would also travel to reciprocal regattas to hone their skills and a few of them even went on to tackle the national racing circuit.
The late 70’s saw the invasion of the catamarans, faster yet than the scows and by the mid 80’s, these same ‘cats’ were themselves eclipsed by the youth-oriented and swift windsurfers. All this craving for speed however, could only be fed with strong winds. ‘Light air’ days were reserved for other weekend activities or for the confines of the much more comfortable keelboat on which one could either party, or nap immediately after crossing the finish line.
While preserving its independence, the Falcon Yacht Club contributed substantially to the sport of sailing over the years, in support of the Manitoba Sailing and Canadian Yachting Associations’ goals, holding some regional and national championships as well as contributing manpower, know-how and officials to many a championship.
One thing has never changed at our Club and that is our dedication for training young sailors; young in years and young at heart. Our Learn-to-Sail Program, started in 1972, is still active today.
Today (2018), the Club fleet is led by two very active classes, the Lasers and the Tasars.
The Laser is a one-person, one sail International Class extremely popular throughout the world. All new Lasers are absolutely identical and variations are permitted only in the manners of rigging controls.
The Tasar is a two person dinghy featuring a fully battened main sail and a rotating mast. It is quite sensitive, pleasant to sail and exciting to race.
From our modest beginning, we have made steady progress following our founders’ original goal which was to provide low cost organized sailing to all those interested in friendly but competitive racing. Our goals have not changed; we strive to provide a venue where sailing as a sport is promoted and encouraged to persons of all ages in a safe and friendly atmosphere.