On Victoria’s Southern Mornington Peninsula you’ll find Blairgowrie. Only a 75 – 90 minute drive from Melbourne, the Southern Peninsula is one of Victoria’s leading holiday areas. Adjacent to famous Sorrento and Portsea, Blairgowrie is on a Peninsula that separates Port Phillip by just 2 kilometres from the surf beaches and Bass Straight.
And perhaps Blairgowrie’s most famous landmark is the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron with our distinctive pier and marina and stunning bayside location. BYS is one of Victoria’s strongest and most vibrant clubs – yet remains relaxed and casual as you’d hope when you’re in a holiday area. The club is one of the three largest sailing clubs in Victoria, and hosts large fleets of both keel boats and off-the-beach dinghies and catamarans. Our sailing is generally in smooth waters which enjoy offshore sea-breezes, and we enjoy a superb backdrop of the coast as it winds its way from the Sisters at Sorrento all the way around to Arthur’s Seat and beyond. For over 50 years, the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron has been a part of Blairgowrie, and for so many of our members, the club and the sailing is the centrepoint of their time on the Peninsula.
Blairgowrie’s facilities….. 2014 and before
We have extensive facilities at BYS. Our clubhouse has spacious indoor and deck areas with superb views over the bay and the surrounding coastline in addition to a licensed bar, canteen and shop. In front of the club is an extensive grassed area and sandy beaches. We have lots of car-parking both within the club grounds and immediately adjacent. Right in front of the club is our marina, the Blairgowrie Safe Boat Harbour, built in 2001, it provides spaces for some 170 yachts and power boats, including the club’s rescue boat fleet. The club grounds also provide storage for over 200 off-the-beach dinghies and catamarans. We have a full time club manager and staff and the office operates right through the year.
BYS has gone through the greatest transformation in its history. The $5m clubhouse refurbishment was finished in 2015 – with better use of space and a host of contemporary facilities for functions, casual dining, members bar, sail training, race management – and so on.
Our harbour had its own transformation with an extension, which sees the club retaining berths that can be used for casual and longer term use by members and visitors. We also have a hard-stand where we can store sports keel boats and open up a whole new segment of yacht racing to BYS. Our existing slipway was replaced by a 20 tonne travel-lift infrastructure.
The sailing program
The club conducts an extensive summer racing program from October to the end of April as well as weekly Keel Boat races across the rest of the year. The full program can be accessed here
Learning to sail
BYS has been crowned 2016 Discover Sailing Centre of the year in Victoria. We pride ourselves on offering an extensive and versatile sail program for people of all ages and ability.
We provide lots of different pathways to help people learn to sail. We have 3 established learn to sail programs, tackers, junior sail training and youth sail training which targets children aged 8-18 years old. In addition to these programs we have recently revamped our Adult courses such as keelboat programs, ladies sailing and discover sailing experiences. The club currently owns 15 Opti dinghies, 4 Pacer’s and 2 Elliot 6.9 keel boats. Whatever your approach – our aim is to develop a life-long passion for sailing and the skills and friendships that flow from it.
A great place for kids
Blairgowrie is an amazing place for kids. They inevitably find others of their own age and there is always something going on to keep them interested across organised daytime and night-time events. It’s a great way to make sure kids stay active during their holidays and weekends!
The social side of the club
BYS is not just about the sailing. We have an extensive social program for members of all ages. Friday night BBQ’s during the peak periods are highly popular, as are the various member functions throughout the year. The bar and bistro facilities are open on all race days (and some non-race days), and a drink on the deck or on the lawn attracts numerous competitors and non-competitors alike.