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Club in Focus: Keppel Bay Sailing Club

Published Tue 10 Jan 2023

Located on the beautiful Anzac Parade in Yeppoon, Keppel Bay Sailing Club (KBSC) is a lively organisation that has grown to preserve and support the community and sporting clubs of the Capricorn Coast. With four separate venues, KBSC is not only the second-largest employer in the region, but the central hub for sailing activities in central Queensland.

Established in 1957, KBSC credits their volunteers as the heart and soul of the club. As one of Australia’s premier off the beach dinghy sailing venues, the volunteers and staff of KBSC continue to provide excellent sailing experiences for members, juniors and visitors alike.

The club is particularly well known for the strength of their junior programs, with 50% of their membership base below the age of 18. They also host the annual Queensland YouthSail event, successfully managing a multi-day coaching clinic and state regatta for approximately 200 young sailors each September.

Commodore: Francois Gallais


KBSC is a community-minded club with a strong sailing history, currently providing sailing opportunities for its 280 active sailing members and eight life members.

The club has seen a 20% increase on membership in 2022, a feat that can be largely contributed to the success of its Tackers program, with junior membership up by 40% from 2021. One major focus for KBSC has been youth retention, which has been achieved through consistent focus on progression and building a passion for sailing in the local juniors.

KBSC also has an associate membership of more than 12,000 people.

In its 65 years of operation, KBSC has also been home to some significant names in the sailing world. This list includes Joey Newton, a Queensland Sailor who has competed in multiple America’s Cup competitions. Newton originally sailed Sabots at KBSC, winning the Club Championships 3 years in a row.

Classes Supported and Types of Sailing

As an off-beach sailing club, KBSC supports the following classes:

  • Impulses
  • Tasars
  • Sharpies
  • Corsairs
  • RS Fevas
  • Lasers and Laser 4.7’s
  • MG’s
  • Arrows
  • Hobie 16’s
  • Moth (foiling)
  • Optimists
  • Sabots

Key Club Events

KBSC hosts several key club events each year, these include:

  • Queensland YouthSail in partnership with Australian Sailing
    • Held during the School Holidays in September, the week-long QLD YouthSail event combines three days of coaching with three days of regatta experience. More than 200 boats and 230 competitors come together to compete on two separate waterway locations.
    • The event also features 20 of Australia’s best Coaches and requires more than 80 volunteers to ensure the successful delivery of Queensland’s biggest youth regatta.
  • May Day All Boats Regatta
    • Held over the long weekend in May, competitors can compete in five separate divisions on two courses (including Green Fleet).
    • The event culminates in the famous “Dash for Cash” event - one long ocean race based on Australian Sailing Yardstick, with the winner walking away with $2000 in prize money.
  • Opening Of Season Regatta
  • Club Championships

Programs on Offer

KBSC offers many programs, each of which is designed to retain members and promote sailing within the local community.

The junior fleet at KBSC is very strong, with Tackers, Tackers Graduates, Green Fleet, Green Fleet 2, Silver Fleet, Sabot Squad, Opti Squad and Youth squad all running regularly. The Tackers program has experienced a 30% increase in participation in 2022, with Green fleet numbers having also increased on previous years - an encouraging sign that the young local sailors are passionate about racing.

The club also holds multiple Discover Sailing Days each year, with more than 400 people from the local community attending one or more in 2022.

Other programs on offer at KBSC include:

  • Out There Sailing
  • Senior Learn to Sail
  • Start Sailing 1 & 2
  • Better Sailing
  • Start Racing
  • Start Windsurfing
  • RS Fevas

A fantastic, community-minded club, KBSC is currently rebuilding their Clubhouse though will continue to run regular club events over the next 12-18 months. The new $20 million dollar venue is set to open in 2025, and will ensure the success of KBSC can continue into the future.