Founded December 1926
Racing at VA12SC commenced in December 1926, but it wasn’t until 1930 that the original clubhouse was built, opening on November 29th. The clubhouse has had several additions since its initial construction but still retains all of its original charm.
During World War 2 a long naval wharf with access from Wharf Road was built on the western side of the clubhouse as a berthing facility for the British Pacific fleet.
Several classes of boats have been sailed at VA12SC over the years – 12′ Skiffs, being the original racing boat with ‘Why Not’ (Phillip Estens) the first Club Champion in 1926-27. They were raced at the club until the 1984-85 season.
The Vaucluse Junior (VJ) was the brainchild of founding member Sil Rohu and was built at the clubhouse in 1931. Other boats sailed at the club over the years include Sabots – sailed since 1958, Flying Elevens, 14′ Skiffs, Vee Esses, Manly Juniors and Cherubs.
Many famous names of sailing have passed through the club including the Winning family and there is a great tradition for generations of families to learn and race at the club over the years.
The Club has always had a strong social committee, organising catering, raising money and running the canteen facility which has given the club money to purchase club equipment, starting in 1955 with $230 and annually thereafter. Early functions organised by the Social Committee include card evenings, theatre parties, hikes, picnics and launch trips. Social events such as Kutti Cocktails are still well attended by club members past and present.
For more information about the club, read Tom Martin’s book: 75 Years Afloat: Three Quarters of a Century Vaucluse Amateur 12ft Sailing Club 1926-2001.
A brief history
Racing commenced in 12 foot skiffs in 1926
Early races were started from a dinghy anchored in Watsons Bay
The first club house was a single storey building on the current site at the end of wharf road
The clubhouse was opened by the mayor of Vaucluse on Sunday 296th November 1930.
A second storey was added to the clubhouse in 1934
12 foot skiffs were the only boats raced at the club until 1958.
The Vaucluse club members were instrumental in establishing the Interdominion 12ft skiff championships between Australia and New Zealand, the first carnival was held in 1957.
In 1958 the first 5 sabots in Australia were built in the clubhouse and the first sabot race in Australia was held at Vaucluse on the 5th November 1958.
In 1960 the clubhouse was extended on the eastern side to accomodate sabots downstairs and a kitchen and ladies change room upstairs.
The original club launch “ escort “ was built in timber at La Perouse in 1962.she was 8m in length.
Flying 11’s started racing at the club on 17th September 1967 and have raced ever since.
In 1968 “ Lionel’s locker” was added to the club apron.
1985 was the last time 12 foot skiffs raced at the club
Between 1987 and 1995 Vee Esses were the senior class at the club
1992 and single handed sabots were introduced to race with two handed sabots.
2000 the club hosted the national flying 11 championships
In December 2007 and early January 2008 the club hosted the national sabot championships.
2010 a major fund raising drive saw the club extensively rebuilt close to original style.
In 2012/2013 the club runs learn to sail programs, intermediate training classes and racing in 1-up and 2-up sabots and flying 11’s