Boom times ahead forsail training and regattas at Port Stephens
Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club’s new Bay Sailing Centre opened on Sunday, December 20, bringing professional sail training and regatta hosting to Port Stephens NSW.
The move signals a fresh change of management and a new chapter for the former Port Stephens Sailing and Aquatic Club, which has a 40-year history of running local dinghy sailing as well as world, national and state championships.
Situated at Soldiers Point on the shores of Salamander Bay, the Centre faces east towards the Port Stephens headlands and a waterway that’s renowned for offering one of the best sailboat racing tracks in Australia.
A long stretch of white sandy beach and two grassy reserves either side of the clubhouse provide ample rigging and launching opportunities. In addition, there is a public wharf and concrete boat ramp 100 metres to the north of the site. Trailer sailers and sports boats can also launch at nearby Soldiers Point boat ramp.
Destination-wise, Port Stephens is just 2½ hours north of Sydney and a short flight from the east coast capitals. A rich variety of accommodation, tourism and eating options creates a relaxed and affordable family holiday atmosphere.
Having attained the licence to run the community club, Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club is broadening the footprint and focus of its award-winning Sailing Academy, using O’Pen Skiffs and Pacer dinghies for Discover Sailing Experiences and Learn-to-Sail classes. These are open to novice sailors of all ages.
Its on-water race management team is also reaching out to all off-the-beach and trailable class associations looking to run regattas in this holiday-friendly destination. Already, the A-Class nationals are locked in for 30 January 2021, while Sail Port Stephens is planning an off-the-beach event in April.
NCYC CEO Paul O’Rourke said “Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club has a long and strong association with the Port Stephens region through initiatives like the annual Sail Port Stephens regatta, which has previously included a popular dinghy-racing series held at the Bay Sailing Centre site.
“Our sail training programs will be a perfect fit for the community, and we’re also highly regarded for staging major sailing regattas and adept at managing waterfront assets – including our own marina complex on Newcastle Harbour.”
Classes currently racing at the Centre include Lasers on Thursdays and Saturdays, along with O’Pen Skiffs.
The upper floor of the facility is the perfect place to watch the sailing activities or enjoy a post-race get-together, either inside or on the veranda. Its Seaview Cafe serves barista-made coffee and light snacks, while also being available for catered functions.