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Club in Focus: Port Cygnet Sailing Club

Published Wed 01 Mar 2023

Formed in May of 1863 on the shores of Robley’s Point in Tasmania, the Port Cygnet Sailing Club (PCSC) is a club with a long and successful history and is one which continues to sustainably flourish socially and competitively. While the first functions of the club were held in a small tent and purely supported dinghies and off-the-beach sailing, PCSC now has a beautiful Clubhouse with unsurpassed views over the bay and well over 100 registered moorings.

A completely volunteer-run club, PCSC has around 500 members who are regularly involved in club activities and programs. Of these members, 40% are female, and more than 100 are active in the PCSC St Ayles Skiff Rowing group in addition to club sailing programs.

The club is also home to Australia’s oldest continuous sailing event, the Cygnet Regatta, which is held in March every year as per the 150 year long tradition. The event is held over a long weekend and comprises of feeder races from Hobart and Kettering before culminating in the Port Cygnet Regatta race on Sunday.

Classes Supported and Types of Sailing

The Club’s sailing activities include a Twilight Series of races during Spring and Summer, regular series races and specific trophy races throughout the sailing season. Racing is primarily Keelboat racing and Club members have a number of Etchells.

Programs on Offer

PCSC is an accredited Discover Sailing Centre and has an active and well attended junior sailing program, using Pacers and Optimists.

The club has a well-established rowing program and model boat enthusiast program, and in 2023 re-energised an active ‘cruising’ program for those who prefer a relaxed sail rather than a race.

In 2022 the PCSC also held a SheSails celebration weekend titled ‘She Sails She Rows’. Inspired by the SheSails program, the event achieved its goal of encouraging more female participation in the sport of sailing.

The club is also an active social hub for members and non-members alike, with the Clubhouse regularly rented out by local community groups as a social venue. It is also registered as a bushfire and emergency refuge site, further contributing to its importance to the local community.

Recent Success Story

Leading the way in environmentally conscious operation, PCSC has many success stories with a sustainability theme. Since 2019, the Club has offset 20 tonnes of CO2 and environmentally disposed of 2,450 litres of waste from their slipway. They offset any carbon emissions that they cannot abate themselves with Australian reforestation projects, with a view of having a ‘Net Zero’ carbon operation. While this is a small footprint, PCSC believes that all organisations have a role to play in environmental protection.

To ensure their slipway was environmentally compliant and did not contribute to the contamination of local waterways, PCSC also recently completed a comprehensive upgrade of their boat ramp. Completed in 2021, the project took several years of vigorous planning. The hard work was worth it, with the local water quality and marine life already improved since the project’s completion.

A volunteer club making a big impact, PCSC is an integral part of the local community and the history of sailing in Australia. Placing a large importance on sustainability and membership growth, PCSC is a club that will no doubt continue to achieve success in the future.

Commodore: Kelvin O’Connor