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Club in Focus - Botany Bay Yacht Club

Published Tue 16 Jan 2024

Botany Bay Yacht Club (BBYC) was founded in 1964 and is now celebrating its 60th season. We are a not-for-profit sailing club situated on the shores of Kogarah Bay in Sans Souci. Our club is run by member volunteers for the benefit of all members. We all pitch in to create a great family-friendly environment with a relaxed social atmosphere. The clubhouse and bar are normally open on Friday evenings and Saturdays, and on Sundays after scheduled cruising events.

Our members enjoy sailing on the enclosed, pristine and uncrowded waters of Botany Bay, Kogarah Bay and the Georges River. Members regularly cruise the east coast and some have even circumnavigated the globe.

The Club’s boatyard and dock areas are operated by our commercial tenant, Endeavour Boatshed (EBS). Slipping, hardstand and mooring facilities are available by arrangement with EBS. The hardstand crane is available for use by EBS staff and members with yachts on the hardstand who have been trained in its operation by EBS. The slipway can accommodate vessels up to 18T. Owners’ tenders may be stored on the hardstand rack for a fee by arrangement with EBS. BBYC full members save 10% on slipping costs. 

We also have an onsite sailmaker, Herrick Sails, who can build new sails to order or carry out repairs.

The club is well supported by sponsors EBS, Herrick Sails, AusSea Sailing School, Infinity Rigging and Sydney Mooring and Barge, Wisebery Enmore and Aluminium Scaffolds.

Full club details are available here

Typical BBYC racing action can be viewed here.

Club membership and yachts
BBYC has more than 180 members and 75 registered yachts. Numerous current and past members have won regional, state, Australian and World skiff or yacht titles. The club has successfully weathered the COVID pandemic and is now forging on strongly.

Yacht classes
The club welcomes all yachts whether moored keelboats or lift keelers. Across the race fleet we have a wide range of yachts including sports boats. Our deepest draft yacht is ~2.4m - most are well under 1.8m. The clearance height for Captain Cook Bridge above high-water spring tide as of 2012 is stated as 16.6m (Transport for NSW). Our Sailing Instructions state that racing yachts must navigate through the middle three spans.

Club Sailing Programs
The club racing schedule spans 11 months of the year, with the regular season from September to May and the Winter Series in June and July. We go into hibernation in August for slipping and maintenance. Owners can choose to enter all club race Series, or target specific formats, which include Bay (Olympic course), Sprint (windward-leeward) and Transit (passage) Series, all on Saturday afternoons, and Twilight Series on Friday evenings during daylight saving months. The expansive waters of Botany Bay allow that most Saturday races are conducted on precise courses regardless of wind direction, with minimal interference from land features or other boats.  A particular favourite is the Transit Series, which is a handicap-start Pursuit series around fixed marks in Botany Bay, starting and finishing off the clubhouse. This often ends with a bunched pack in Georges River and Kogarah Bay vying for line honours and the handicap win – a great sight from the clubhouse balcony. Each season’s results are recorded online and in the annual Blue Book as per the prior link. 

Club yachts have recently successfully competed in external events including the Sydney Harbour Regatta and WYC Coal Classic as well as the CSC Navigators Cup.

The club also boasts an active cruising fleet, with events scheduled on the last Sunday of each month – ranging from leisurely cruises in company to scenic spots around the bay such as La Perouse or Towra Point, whale watching off Botany Bay heads, to longer distance adventures down to Port Hacking or up to Sydney Harbour or Pittwater. Local cruises usually end on the clubhouse balcony enjoying the sunsets over Kogarah Bay, complemented by a BBQ and a refreshing drink from the bar.

Make the most of your yacht ownership, or simply try crewing. SailPass is offered to support newcomers. Come to BBYC and race on Saturdays or Friday twilights or cruise in great company.

Commodore Karen Ballantyne, Vice Commodore Phil Widders, Rear Commodore Dimitrios Houridis.