History and Photos

Sailing began in Walpole in 1956 when local, Terry Swarbrick purchased a small yacht from a visitor who was staying at Rest Point. The yacht was a Sydney made VJ 12 ft and sparked the interest of a few locals. Over the next few years more boats were purchased and regular sailing days at Swan Bay began, with a small storage shed being built near the now Swarbrick Jetty.  The club was formed in 1957. Terry Swarbrick was elected Commodore; Claude Cooper- Vice Commodore; Harley Swarbrick, Rear Commodore and Don Hatfield, Secretay/ Treasurer. The first regatta was held in 1958.

The Club moved to Coalmine Beach in 1959. The club house was built out of timber from the olf Kent River mill and parts of the Swarbrick's original mill at Rest Point.The Ladies Auxillary was formed to do catering for regattas and sailing days. Sailing Sharpies was also becoming popular.

In 1963 the club started the Southern Zone Moth Championship that was held over the Annual Regatta weekend in March for visiting moths. The first year it was one by Brian Pearce, an Australian champion for many years, sailing Redwings. During the forty regattas the championship was held, yachtsmen from all over Australia have had their name engraved on the trophy.

By the 1970's the Club only sailed Moths. Members visited annual regattas in Albany and Busselton.

After a few years of fluctuating membership it was decided in 1981 that the club needed to change to a different class- to one to suit families. Fourteen foot Windrushes were sought and the Club began to thrive once more. The Windrushes allowed the whole family to participate in sailing.

In the late 1990's club membership dropped once again. By 1998 the numbers had dropped so much that the Annual Regatta was not held.

 

Thank you to Frank Cooper for his recollections.

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Walpole Hotel
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Walpole Weather

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