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Club in Focus: Geographe Bay Yacht Club (GBYC)

Published Tue 13 Oct 2020

Sheltered from all but the most sever of artic wind and waves Geographe Bay makes an ideal location for sailing in semi protected waters. Famous for its 1.8km long Jetty, Busselton and the Geographe Bay Yacht Club (GBYC) are steeped in history. Although not quite as old, or as long, as the Busselton Jetty, the Geographe Bay Yacht Club may be one of the smallest clubs in WA but it’s just as recognisable in the sailing world.


The Busselton Jetty began in 1865 at a mere 161 meters with an additional 131 meters added 10 years later. Over the successive 90 years and decades of sand drift, the jetty has reached its staggering current length. GBYC was originally built at the base of the Jetty in 1959.  The club on this site was dismantled and moved to its current site in 1971.

The blue waters and unpopulated long beaches of Geographe Bay beckon all year around. It is not uncommon on race day to look east or west and not see someone for more than 100 meters. GBYC club grounds are shared by the Geographe Outriggers and Naturaliste Game & Sport Fishing Club with plenty of room on its acres of lawn for rigging.

GBYC is an Accredited Australian Sailing Centre offering Discover Sailing, Tackers 1 & 2, start sailing and learn to sail. All our courses are available to anyone of all ages. RST, NPBH and safety boat course available via Australian Sailing.


With a quorum of 80 Senior and 90 Junior members, it hasn’t stopped the club hosting over 30 State Championships and the 2015 World Tasar Championship. In addition to producing 11 Australian Champions.

Regular Saturday sailing has a flock of Pelican’s, 420’s, Sharpies and off the beach catamarans join a large fleet of Tasar’s during the junior training and coaching programs. Cruisers Division 1 & 2 enjoy the wider bay on regular occasions with many passage races to Meelup,  Dunsborough and Cape Naturaliste.


Key Club Events:
The annual GBYC Geographe Bay Race Week continues to attract national and international skippers and crews into South West WA. On again from February 6, 2021 next years format hosts an additional race.

Locals, visitors and tourists alike will be entertained by a live broadcast as the yachts jostle in the inaugural ‘Round the Jetty’ race. With the revamped long passage race being split in twain by a BBQ lunch at the clubhouse, next years event is already attracting entrants. This Regatta is a great visual spectacle in the bay for all people to watch with all the courses raced close to the jetty for the public to enjoy.
The GBYC Australia Day regatta is a fantastic weekend regatta, low key, fantastic venue & waters. The weather is always great this time of year with all classes supported along with great social and good food.
Labour Day in Late March 2021 also will see , Int14 Skiff’s, JayDees, Cherubs, compete again for their State Championships. Last year was a great success with good solid end of season breezes.

The club is inviting and always welcoming to new members and their guests. Head on down to try the culinary delights of the new chef who’s proving very popular for Friday night meals with social membership soaring. Summer is a great time for enjoying the view over Geographe Bay, fantastically awesome sunsets and views of the Jetty from the Sunset Bar.


Story credit: Warren Erasmus / Anton Mann and some photos courtesy of Dennis Grimwood.