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Sailing Since 1931

The Nassau Yacht Club was founded on September 9th, 1931 to promote yacht building, yacht racing and to provide a clubhouse and marina facilities for the enjoyment of members. Founding members were Roland Symonette, Charles Albury, Charles Arteaga, Roy Arteaga, John Knowles, Harry Knowles, J.E. Lewless, Herbert Mckinney, Dudley Sands, Everette Sands, Stafford Sands, William Saunders and Joseph Thompson.

The Bahamas has a distinguished sailing history, having produced several olympic medallists and world champions over the years.

Most of these great Bahamian sailors have been associated with The Nassau Yacht Club. The NYC became the country's first National Yachting Authority in 1952.

Fourteen Charter Members (led by Roland Symonette, who also became the country's first Premier) acquired the old Tom Thumb miniature golf facility on East Bay Street. Morton designed the clubhouse, which was built in 1932 and upgraded over the years.

In that same year, The NYC introduced Star Class racing to the Bahamas. The NYC hosted its first Star Class Championship in 1934. The NYC members Roland Symonette and Basil Kelly went on to win the 1937 Star Class world Championship.

The NYC co-founded the Miami-Nassau Ocean Race in 1934 and in 1965, helped establish the Southern Ocean Racing Conference, which took over the management  of this prestigious event.

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Significant Events

1931 - The official birth of The Nassau Yacht Club.

1954 - Inception of the Nassau Snipe Fleet.

1956 - Sir Durward Knowles and Sloane Farrington compete in Star Class Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, winning a Bronze Medal, the first Olympic Medal in Bahamian history.

1959 - Durward Knowles and Sloane Farrington, Star Class, and Kenneth Albury, Finn Class, win Gold Medals at the Pan American Games in Chicago.

Late 50s - Early 60s - Ladies’ Committee formed under the Chairmanship of Lady Symonette to lead funding for construction of the swimming pool and development a children’s swim training programme.


1960 - First full Bahamian Sailing Team competes in the Olympics held in Naples, Italy.


1962 - Central American and Caribbean Games in Jamaica, the Bahamas brings home the Gold in the Dragon, Star & Snipe Classes, and a Silver Medal in the Flying Dutchman. Bobby Symonette places 2nd in the World Championships held in Poole Bay, England.


1964 - Durward Knowles and Cecil Cooke win the Gold in the Star Class at the Tokyo Olympics.


1965 - Formation of the Southern Ocean Racing conference with the NYC as a founding member.


1967 - The NYC hosts the International 5.5 metre World Championship, the Scandinavian Gold Cup and the Duke of

Edinburgh Gold Cup.


1974 - Bobby Symonette, Peter Sundelin and Jorgen Sundelin win the Scandinavian Gold Cup at Broken Bay, Australia.


1976 - The NYC hosts the International Star Class World Championship. Mike Russell, sailing in the Finn Class is the sole Bahamian yachting entry at the Olympics in Kingston, Canada. For the first time, The Bahamas competes in Olympic swimming events, represented by Andy and Bruce Knowles of the NYC.


1978 - Sunfish World Championships hosted at NYC.


1983,1985 & 1988 Donny Martinborough wins the sunfish World Championship. His third title was won here at NYC.


1985 - Star World Championships hosted at NYC. Basil Kelly and Steven Kelly finished in 6th place.

1988, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2010, and 2013 - NYC hosts Star Spring Western Hemisphere Championship.


2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2014, 2016, 2019 Gavin McKinney wins bronze at the 5.5 meter World Championships.


2001 - Jimmie Lowe wins the Star World Masters with Andrew Higgs in Miami.


2005 - NYC teams up with the newly formed Bahamas National Sailing School to offer a Summer Sailing Camp. There were 60 students in attendance over an eight-week period, 40 of these from Government Junior High Schools. This summer camp continues every year onwards and has introduced hundreds of kids to sailing who might otherwise never have had the opportunity.


2008 - NYC hosts the 5.5 meter World Championship, where Gavin McKinney wins bronze along with crew Hauff and Johannessen.


2009 - Sunfish World Championships hosted at NYC.


2014 - 2019 The Star Sailors League Finals are held at NYC bringing in the top Olympians and World Champions.


2015 - Silver for Gavin McKinney at the 5.5 meter World Championship.


2016/2017 - Andrew Pike and crew win the famous SORC Islands In The Stream Series, sailing the Achilles Keel.


2017 - Gavin McKinney wins 5.5 meter World Championship in Benodet, France. McKinney skippered the John B, crew members Mathias Dahlman and Lars Horn Johannessen to a six-point lead over the New Moon, skippered by fellow Bahamian Nassau Yacht Club rival Mark Holowesko and crew Christoph Burger and Bahamian Peter Vlasov.


2019 - NYC hosts the largest regatta ever held in the Bahamas, the Optimist North American Championship, with 164 sailors from 20 countries. Co-Chairs Robert Dunkley and Chandra Parker along with countless volunteers made this Championship so successful that IODA asked to come back in 2022.


2019 - Junior member Joshua Weech is the first Bahamian to make it into Gold Fleet at the Optimist North American Championship, at NYC.

2020 - Joshua Weech wins his 4th Optimist National Championship, tying the record set by Spencer Cartwright.

2020 - Mark Holowesko skippers the New Moon to win the 5.5 meter World Championship along with his crew members, Christoph Burger and Peter Vlasov.

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