The History of the Bribie Island Sailing Club 2002 ‑ and beyond..

It all began in 2000 with some members of VMR with sailing boats having Sunday afternoon fun sailing round the fixed

 marks in the Pumicestone Passage. This group of friends and like minded sailors each Easter cruised up the Pumicestone Passage to the Blue Hole at Caloundra at the northern tip of Bribie Island to watch the Brisbane Gladstone fleet sail by.


A general interest in forming a sailing club gradually developed on Bribie and a public meeting was convened in January 2002. This “expression of public interest” meeting was held at the Volunteer Marine Rescue Base at Sylvan Beach on Bribie Island was well attended by locals, young & old, who though they’d like to start a new sailing club. There had been 3 previous sailing clubs on Bribie but all had disappeared for one reason or another.

Commodore Ross Evans, VC Horrie Hunt and Mike Strange represented VMR  and a representative from Yachting Queensland addressed the meeting. A steering committee was formed and those who had shown interest   were recorded and became prospective club members for further meetings. After one such meeting Horrie asked Doug Wilson to organise first club race in April 2002.

Running the first race meant helping to find sponsors for a race series and marker buoys, find a set of code flag signals, have a staff made to fly them from, as well as draw up sailing instructions. Horrie briefed the sailing group and Doug Wilson gave a PowerPoint Presentation  how we were going to do things, signals, rules etc. Kay Hunt shopped for material and sewed a full set of signal flags including BISC club flags for us. Barry Colson donated marker buoys.sailing 002@10d018604c1a413a81b95ed3ac10aacc

Originally the plan was for the Sailing Club to operate as part of VMR Bribie (VMR had begun as a boating & fishing club some 30 years earlier) but this was not to be as the modern VMR’s insurance policy did not cover recreational boating activities. After 2 races all sailing was curtailed due to the public liability issue and we set about trying to work out how to salvage the club.

The Bribie Island Sailing Club affiliated with Yachting Queensland was formed as a division of an incorporated club insured to run its own events. VMR Bribie generously paid our first year’s insurance premium and we were up and away again ‑ racing again in July 2002 as the Sailing Division of the Bribie Island Boating Club Incorporated. At the 2005 AGM the club resolved to change its name to the Bribie Island Yacht Club Incorporated.

During our first sailing season the first AGM was held and Horrie Hunt became Commodore, Dr Doug Wilson Vice Commodore Sailing, Lynette Parsonson Secretary with Treasurer Darryl Philips with Eric Stavely standing in while Darryl served in East Timor.

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The club grew quickly with much enthusiasm and activity. Each sailing day a good mix of Trailer-sailers, some Multihulls and off the beach boats of all sizes and descriptions turned up for the race. We regularly attracted around 20 boats for our race days on the Pumicestone Passage and afterwards met enthusiastically for a BYO BBQ at VMR.  Early in 2003 two Corsair sailing dinghies were purchased and sponsorship money was obtained for sail-training to offset the purchase costs. In May 2003 we embarked on a series of “introduction to sailing” weekends which brought new blood into the club.

Horrie Hunt resigned as Commodore early in 2003 and as Vice Commodore Doug Wilson acted as Commodore until becoming Commodore at the AGM in September 2003. At the end of as second sailing season we applied for two of  Government community grants ‑ for a club safety boat, two handheld VHF radios and a laptop computer. Both grants were generously awarded and ‘Bribie Red” a 4.8m rigid inflatable was launched in July 2004.

Intrepid potential sailers take to the open waterAt Easter 2005 the club ran the  State Championships for the Corsair Class Association of Queensland in Deception Bay . In 2006 we won another generous grant to boost our sail training with two new RS Feva sailing dinghies with the club buying a third boat. The Feva dinghies proved unsuitable for adults and all three were sold along with the two Corsairs which were replaced by two PACER dinghies.

Intrepid potential sailers take to the open water

In 2005 Darryl Philips was elected Commodore. He was followed 2008 by Malcolm Hollywood, in 2011 Roger Bryce, and 2012, Malcolm Hollywood returned as our current Commodore.

Each year’s sailing season begins with a Blessing of the Fleet with racing from January to the end of November. Our club is well represented in other club’s sailing events in particular the Hervey Bay Sailing club’s Bay to Bay and the QCYC’s Bribie Cup, the Clarence River Cruising Yacht cruise from Grafton.

We celebrated our first decade with a nostalgic dinner in July 2012. Another landmark event occurred September 2014 with the opening our new Clubhouse created within  the VMR Base at Bribie Island.

A perspective – Dr Doug Wilson,
Commodore 2002 ‑2005.