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The BCYC, as it is often referred to, was the 1st yacht club to be established in the Bristol Channel. The 1st Commodore was Henry Hussey Vivian of Singleton, later to become Lord Swansea, whose steam yacht was the Eothen. He remained Commodore until his death in 1894.
One of the patrons of the BCYC was Mr C.R.M. Talbot of Margam Castle, a wealthy landowner, M.P for over 50 years, industrialist and a former Vice Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron (1851-1861). He had a number of yachts including Galatea.
Initially members of the BCYC met in 2 rooms at The George Hotel, separate from the licenced part of the premises. By 1876 the club had a membership of 130 and 4 patrons. £103 was spent on prizes in the year. The club’s first regatta was held on 1st June, 1875, when the 1st prize of £10, for yachts over 12 tons was won by Rose Elizabeth.
In addition to the Swansea Bay regattas members also supported The Tenby, Ferryside, Mumbles and Weston regattas.
Members of the Bath family were prominent members of the BCYC Edward Bath was the first Chairman of the club. H.J. Bath sailed his yacht Leander at the Pembroke Dock Royal Regatta of 1857.
The Baths were a Swansea family of Cornish decent. Their business was shipbuilding, and the movement of copper ores from Chile to Swansea. Charles Joseph Lambert, owner of the steam yacht Wanderer married Susan a daughter of Henry Bath. The Wanderer made a 2 year voyage around the world and a book detailing the voyage is a yachting classic.
In 1883 the club was asked to quit the George, and moved its headquarters, a short distance, to take the lease of a house called Treffgarne, which belonged to Mr Strick (who owned 10,000 ton ships of the STAN shipping line). He was very generous to the club.
A piece of land adjacent to the Treffgarne was leased for the purpose of building a billiard room. In 1890 the club purchased 2 boats Alert and Alarm for the purpose of training members to sail. The club employed a boatman Captain W.M Bevan.
In 1890, The Condor, sailed by a member of the shipping trade in Swansea, J Clarke Richardson (who in 1894, became Commodore of the club) sailed to Illfracombe and back, a distance of 48 miles, taking 2 hours 34 minutes out and 2 hours 50 minutes back and was for many years a record for the distance.