Black Rock Yacht Club Inc.

History of the Club

History of the Club

Black Rock Yacht Club began as an annexe of the Brighton Yacht Club (later Royal Brighton) in 1899. A number of Brighton members used to sail to Half Moon Bay for a picnic, which soon became an annual event incorporating a race from Brighton to Half Moon Bay. In 1904, the Black Rock branch of the Brighton Yacht Club was established. The original wooden club building was destroyed by fire in 1937 and replaced by a two-storey wooden clubhouse which was demolished in 1967.

This building was in the yard area to the left of the gate and adjacent to the site of the present club building was a large storage shed. Between the two buildings was a rail line down to the water that enabled boats to be loaded from the shed and launched. Many of the earlier classes of boats were too heavy to carry. Black Rock's early fleet consisted mainly of fishermen's boats which were moored in the harbour. These were followed by the 14ft Dinghy Class and in the 1930's the 12 Square Metre (heavyweight) Sharpie appeared.

The heavyweight and later the modern Lightweight Sharpie were to dominate the club for the next 30 years. In the 1960's, they were joined by the Flying Dutchman, 14's, Herons, Mirrors, Cherubs and Sabots which replaced the International Cadet as our training boat. Classes also sailed presently include Lasers, Fireballs, Sabres, 125's, 420's, 470's, Finns, Europe Dinghy's, Contenders and Trailable Yachts.

Since the opening of the modern clubrooms in 1969, the club has grown in stature having conducted numerous World Championship regattas including the prestigious Finn Gold Cup in 1995. From humble beginnings with a membership of 5 to a leading "off the beach" club with a membership of over 700, among which have been many Victorian, Australian and World champions (many of whom started in the Junior Sailing Program conducted by the club), Black Rock has grown to be respected among its peer group as a club that "does it right".