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JBCYC 50th Anniversary

The Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club is celebrating 50 years as a sporting and recreation club in the Shoalhaven.   Based at Callala Bay, the Club was formed in November 1970 to encourage interest in sailing and motor boat cruising in the Jervis Bay area.  The inaugural meeting was held on 25th November, 1970 at Nowra Sailing Club on the Shoalhaven River.

It is apparent from old archives that a sailing club at HMAS Creswell was also in existence at that time and contact between the two Clubs was regular.  This continues 50 years later with good relations between the Clubs and Navy yachts participating in JBCYC events during the sailing season from September to May. 

The Club has flourished over the years with hundreds of men and women learning to sail on Jervis Bay with many going on to ocean racing.  Notable members include Kanga Birtles (who established Jarkan Yachts at Woollamia) and went on to become a world famous sailor and Shoalhaven Sportsman of the year.  Most of the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht races include members of JBCYC including Mark Tobin who won his Division in the race in 2014.

Yachts from Jervis Bay regularly sail the east coast of Australia to compete in regattassuch as Hamilton Island Race Week and various coastal races in NSW and Queensland.

The Club has lobbied strongly for better slipping facilities in Jervis Bay since the Settree Slipway at Huskisson closed in the early 1990s.  At present the nearest public slipway is at Greenwell Point which is 23 nautical milesfrom Callala Bay and requires a seaworthy vessel for the trip.  However,since vessels need to be slipped for repairs and maintenance, many are not really sufficiently seaworthy for such a voyage outside the Bay.

A properly equipped hardstand facility is presently under construction at Woollamia and the Club is pleased to have contributed towards the successful funding application. 

The Club has shared use of the Clubhouse at Callala Bay with the Callala Junior Sailing School; the Jervis Bay Sailing Club and the Nowra Waterdragons Paddling Club; a great example of a shared facility which is a model for other organisations in the Shoalhaven.

The present Commodore is Paul Gooey, who said “We always welcome new members who want to participate in Club activities and learn sailing on the Bay.  Also, owners of yachts who wish to meet similar boat owners and improve theirskills”.  There is a wide range ofsailing vesselsin the Club – yachts, catamarans and trailer sailers.

The Club currently has about 75 members and is looking forward to the relaxation of Covid‐19 restrictions in the near future.

Peter Cowman
JBCYC