Bristol Channel Yacht Club
Founded 1875

©2013-2016 Bristol Channel Yacht Club. Contact Webmaster


The inaugural race of the S.B.S.C. was held in June 1909. Col. J. Edwards Vaughan, Vice Commodore of the BCYC became President of the S.B.S.C. For the next 3 seasons regular fortnightly races were held for major trophies.

Interestingly (re the BCYC) the President of the S.B.S.C said "one does not like saying unkind things of one’s own Club, but I cannot help wishing ‘sometimes’ that we had as many keen yachtsmen there, as we have in this club”. In 1911 members of the S.B.S.C had 19 boats the best being E.L Behenna's yacht Hyacinth, which had 3 staterooms, a main cabin and a crew of 5. E.L Behenna was a Vice President of the Royal Temple Y.C. and a member of the S.B.S.C. In 1914 a well-attended meeting of the newly formed Mumbles Sailing Club was held in the Gladstone Refreshment Rooms. The inaugural race was held in May. Harry Davies was elected Commodore. 

After the successful regatta of 1896 attempts were made to establish the Swansea Regatta, as an annual fixture and a substantial sum of money was subscribed and a cup purchased (for the aborted 1898 regatta), but unfortunately the R.Y.A could not give Swansea a fixture and so the idea remained dormant until 1907, when ex-Alderman Bradford took the lead.

An approach was made by the then mayor Ald. J.H. Lee, to the BCYC. and the Harbour Board with a view to cooperating with the town in holding a regatta in Swansea Bay, during 1909. A favourable response was received both from the town and from Sir Thomas Lipton who indicated that if possible he would support the regatta. A meeting was held in London with Yacht Club representatives and yacht owners, on 4th November 1908, and a date was fixed by the Royal Yachting Association for a regatta, to be held in Swansea Bay, on 29th May 1909.

A series of meetings was subsequently held in Swansea to make arrangements for the 1909 Regatta and a substantial sum of money, £1200, was raised for prizes and expenses. The Regatta Committee also agreed to bear the considerable costs of towing yachts from Dover to Swansea and thence to Queenstown, a distance of 600 miles. Sir Thomas Lipton (one of whose grocery stores opened in Swansea in 1889) agreed to tow as many yachts as possible with his steam Yacht Erin.

The Regatta was held over the Whitsun Bank Holiday (29th and 31st May). In the race for large yachts (23 metres) White Heather II and Shamrock raced. The other British yachts in the class with one exception were laid up and none of the foreign boats were able to take part. Prize money at the 1909 Regatta was in excess of £900 and £250 was given for towage of the yacht.