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Club in Focus: Meningie Sailing Club

Published Mon 03 Apr 2023

Established in 1964, the Meningie Sailing Club (MSC) offers freshwater sailing at its best, providing visitors and members with unique access to Lake Albert and the Goolwa channel in South Australia. 

Known for their incredibly friendly atmosphere, the MSC clubhouse is situated in the remote Coorong town of Meningie, more than 150km away from the nearest sailing club by road. The natural beauty of the Murray is clearly evident from MSC, which provides many competitive and social opportunities for its members.

Getting ready

Located close to the Southern Ocean, the waters near the club provide locals with good breeze, flat water and no tides to contend with, making the club ideal for both new and experienced sailors.

With slightly more junior members than senior members, MSC is very successful at catering for their adult membership base whilst also engaging their youth, suggesting the future is bright for this small club.

Classes Supported and Types of Sailing

All classes of sailboat are welcome at MSC. Regular competitors in Championship and Fleet races hosted by MSC include but are not limited to:

  • Pacer
  • 125
  • Sabre
  • NS14
  • Mirror
  • A Class
  • Taipan 4.9
  • Taipan 5.7
  • Nacra 5.8
  • Arrow
  • Vega 18
  • Sunmaid 20
  • Hartley TS16
  • RL24
  • RL28

In addition, the club owns six, recently refurbished Pacer dinghies with uniquely designed trailers that allow the Pacers to remain fully rigged.

Key Club Events

MSC goes above and beyond in providing social and competitive opportunities for its members and sailors in the regional surrounds.

A key race run by the MSC each year is the Goolwa to Meningie Sailing Classic. Aptly named, this 70km race is known to locals as the ‘sailors’ challenge’ and sees competitors travel through the Goolwa channel, across Lake Alexandrina before finishing in Lake Albert.

The club also hosts the 55km Narrung Race, the 20km Campbell Park Race and the 30-40km Lake Albert Classic which all see sailors take separate routes on local lakes before returning to Meningie.

In addition, the MSC hosts Club Fleet Races on Saturdays and Championship races on Sundays, regular Team Sailing events and Twilight Sailing.


Goolwa to Meningie

Programs on Offer

MSC is engaged with local youth and school children, and is very successful at introducing the local community to the joys of sailing. 

Twilight Sailing is held on Wednesday evenings and is largely aimed at school-aged children. 

MSC also hosts regular Come and Try Sailing sessions. These are programed when there is fleet racing in the afternoons, with the club encouraging the new sailors to stay and sail with experienced sailors in the afternoon.

The club also holds and promotes a Discover Sailing Day each year, with interested individuals and families travelling from all around the local (and not so local) region to attend and experience some of the Meningie sailing magic firsthand.

Pacers at the club earlier this year

Recent Challenges/Successes

MSC perhaps understands the impact and power of the elements more than most. Varying lake levels in recent times lead the club to almost rebuild their membership base completely in 2010 after four years of intense drought that resulted in little-to-no local sailing. Recent floods have also challenged the club, however, with strong community ties and a committed group of volunteers, the MSC continues to emerge successfully from any hardships it experiences.

In recent years, the MSC has hosted state and national events and has also been involved in the consultation process for an upgrade of the local community jetty. In addition, the club is rightfully proud of their continuing partnership with the local Meningie school, which sees the club provide a sailing program in terms 1 and 4 for students.

The Worst day of the drought in 2010

A unique and active club, MSC does not let its remote status slow it down, hosting regular community events and races. An incredibly friendly and welcoming club, the MSC is sure to continue on its positive trajectory, producing regular success stories.

Commodore: Jeff Wright