History of the Club

  A History of County Antrim Yacht Club



25 October 1902        


  • Formation of Club at John Wylie’s residence
  • Present
  • Robert Todd, William Craig, Robert Auld Snr, Robert Auld Jnr, John Wylie (1st Captain), H.E. Wylie and A Wylie
  • Decision taken to form Whitehead Sailing Club
  • Decided to call a public meeting on Thursday 30th October to draw up rules and appoint Office Bearers – Members to be enrolled.


30 October 1902

  • Meeting held in Victoria Café
  • Object of the Club – To encourage and promote amateur sailing
  • Half model of the Waverley on display (now mounted on the current fireplace)
  • No entrance fee, but fees due from 1/1/1903 – 10 shillings
  • John Wylie – Captain (designed the Waverley)
  • Robert G Todd – Second Officer (presented the Todd Cup)
  • Decision taken to use the amended RNIYC rules


21 November 1902


  • First General Meeting to discuss and sanction rules
  • Burgee to be Red with a White W (copy currently on display in the General Room)


April 1903


  • First Sailing Committee formed
  • Starting House situated to the West of the Cable House (cable ran from Whitehead to Portpatrick – removed in 1951)


16 May 1903


  • First Club House opened
  • Waverleys to sail at 7.00 p.m. on Wednesdays and 3.30 p.m. on Saturdays


June 1903


Concerts to be held in July and August to raise funds for the Club

First Regatta held 22 August 1903

August 1903


Auld Challenge Cup sailed for at Whitehead Annual Regatta by Whitehead One Design Class – Boat winning cup twice to become the owner

July 1904


First Ladies Race for the Duff Challenge Cup presented by James Duff of Blackhead

August 1904


New class – Insect Class were considered

Annual General Meeting held at Victoria Café due to extra room required. Spring and Autumn AGM’s held

June 1906


Hailcock Rock – proposal to drill a hole 12 inches deep x  2 ½ inches in diameter to erect a post – this was left to the Property Committee and the cost was not to exceed 10 shillings

July 1906


Morrow Cup presented for the Insect Class and if won twice to be kept by the boat owner


September 1906


Proposal for first Club Dance to be held in winter 1906. Dances were held over the years at either Royal Hotel, The Royal George Hotel or The Rhinka



October 1906


Proposal for Club House to be extended.

18 May 1907


First Opening Day


5 August 1908


Proposal to investigate scheme for new Club House


28 August 1908


Special Meeting to formally go ahead with new Club House


November 1908


Midland Railway Company agreed to give £50.00 towards groundwork for new Club House

22 December 1908


The Club’s first Trustees were officially appointed


21 January 1909


Architects for new Club House to e Gregory & Hall (original drawing on wall beside General Room door)

Builders were the Dowther Brothers


6 March 1909


Cost of building Club House – £415.00 – Dowther Brothers agreed to give £15.00 for the old Club House (photograph on General Room wall)

Opening Day to be 5 June 1909

Proposal to change name of the Club to County Antrim Yacht Club due to large number of people who were members who also lived in Belfast.

15 March 1909


Proposal to change the burgee to blue pennant with a yellow Irish/Celtic cross


April 1909


Fireplaces to cost £13.00 – Billiard Room (iron) and General Room (wood)


May 1909


Billiard Table purchased for £75.00 (including fittings)

Cost to furnish the Club House – £65.00

June 1909


ByeLaws – Club open from 9.00 a.m. – 11.15 p.m. except Sunday 12.00 p.m. – 9.00 p.m.

A Member shall not introduce the same visitor more than twice in any one year

Ladies only allowed in Club House until 7.00 p.m.

Billiard Table – tickets had to be purchased from the steward – no-one to get on the table

No card playing on a Sunday

3 June 1909


Boatman employed for 18 shillings per week

Steward employed for 15 shillings per week with an extra 2 shillings & sixpence for Sundays

9 June 1909


Paymaster General could not see his way to putting in a letter box as requested by the General Committee

Club fete – different amusements

Mr Bolton                    Waxworks and Shadographs

Mr A Wylie                  Hat-trimming and Box making

Mr John Hay                “Aunt Sally”

Mr Gamble                   Ariel flight

Mr McCausland           Hobby Horses

Antrim Artillery Band hired for 3 days for £15.00

Club tents supplied by Tedfords



R J McKeown MP Vice Commodore presented the Billiards Cup (this is currently played for each Christmas and is the longest running trophy in the Club)

First won by H Magill


McCalmont Trophy presented by Col. R.C.A. McCalmont DSO who succeeded his father as Commodore (1913-1924)



Todd Cup presented for Waverley Class by Robert G Todd who was to be Commodore 1925 – 1938

Yachtmen’s Cup presented by Sailing Members for Mid Week Points Races

Landmen’s Cup presented by Non-Sailing Members for Saturday Points Races

(At this time the Ulster G P for motor bikes could not be held at the same time as the Whitehead Regatta

June 1928


Decided to hold a dance on Regatta Day in the evening and that an orchestra to be engaged for this purpose

February 1930


The sleepers at the top of the slipway were having to be constantly replaced

April 1934


Fees – Senior Members £1-11-6          Lady Members £0-5-0

June 1936


Mr James Glover (Captain) indicated his intention to present a perpetual Rose Bowl for the Ladies Race – to be known as Empire Furnishing Company Rose Bowl

June 1937


Boatman’s wages increased to £2.00 per week



Sailing Committee requisites £5.00 purchase of material and gear required for launching of yachts

One bottle of whiskey only to be issued from the bar for consumption nightly

March 1945


Caretaker / Steward appointed at 30 shillings per week


£350.00 to pay for slip – Wm. Logan & Sons Ltd

August 1945


No Member of the Club is to receive more than 1 glass of whiskey between 9.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m. After 10.00 p.m. the whiskey to be given out until it is finished.

Permission given to purchase 1 dozen whiskey glasses

November 1945


No visitors entitled to play in the card games


12 April 1946


James Magee proposed as a new Member

May 1946


Sea Hawks admitted to the Club as a Class

June 1946 


Advert for the Club Punt in Belfast Telegraph – under £20.00

November 1946


Purchase of 4 bats and 1 dozen balls for new diversion for the Ladies  –  Table Tennis

April 1949


Public phone discussed, but deemed to be unwanted at this time



29 May 1950


Special Meeting held due to loss of ‘Fair Maid’ and crew. Sailing and social activities cancelled for 1 week.


John Wylie – founder Member died

July 1952


Admiralty Chart of Belfast Lough displayed


Snooker Table recovered, re-cushioned and new pockets £64-19-6

6d per person per ½ hour

October 1952


Hugh Kennedy purchased plans of GP 14 Class

July 1953


Prompt closing of the bar at 11.30 p.m. was emphasized while all singing and noise was to be stopped at midnight

April 1954


Upper part of slip completed in concrete – £130.00


Calwell Cup presented for GP 14 Class


Auld Cup presented for Juniors


Beach Road premises acquired

£300.00 to extend slip – shelved


Plans to fix balcony at a cost of £2346.00

October 1961


Gates acquired for Beach Road – £15.00

Fencing acquired for Beach Road – £15.00

April 1963


Royalty of 2 guineas to CAYC for plans of the Waverley

15 August 1963


Sara Annett joined the Club

September 1963


Wooden steps at side of Club House replaced by concrete at a cost of £150.00

October 1963


First Junior Committee to be formed

November 1963


Table Tennis Table made for £5-12-6

December 1963


1914-18 War Memorial Plaque moved to left hand side of fireplace

1939-45 War Memorial Plaque (new) moved to right hand side of the fireplace

Presented by Mr John McKendry

Wood carving presented by Mr John Henshaw

February 1964

McCalmont Trophy was deemed to be irreplaceable. No valuation could be given and decision taken to keep it in the Bank all year round except for Captain’s Night. (The trophy has now been valued at approx. £25,000) 

April 1964


Rails on slip to cost £39.00


May 1964


Waterproof cover for the snooker table cost £9-10-0

September 1964


Framing of architects’ original drawing completed

May 1965


Installation of pay phone

March 1966


First Aid kit purchased

February 1970


Moveable bar purchased for £90.00 (still used every Regatta Day as an outside bar facility)

January 1972


Request made for Double Diamond draught beer at bar was made although there was some opposition from the Guinness drinkers

April 1972


Klaxon horn presented to Club by Mr Gerry Easton (still used for Points Racing)

August 1972


First inflatable Rescue Boat purchased

New slip completed

September 1972


Workman Trophy presented to the Club by J R Workman from RNIYC for the Lake Class which were now being sailed at CAYC

May 1973


Electric winch finally in position

June 1973


George Thomas joined the Club

September 1973


Cable Hut sold to the Club for £500.00


May 1974


Purchase of 4 Olympic Marks £21.92 each with the moorings extra

June 1974


Proposal that a Commodore’s Board be put in place pending verification of valid information. (This was subsequently completed in January 1991)

January 1975


Increase in membership subscription to £7.50 for Ordinary Members

August 1975 


Proposal for snooker team to join the Larne & District Snooker League


June 1976


Proposal for building changing rooms passed.

October 1976


Proposal to purchase Dory for £1340 + Vat @ 12 ½ % less 12 ½% discount including engine

November 1976


First Gaming Machine installed

June 1978


Glass washer purchased for the bar

October 1978


Harry McKee joined the Club

February 1980


Neville Hack Trophy presented to the Club by Mrs Hack

August 1980


Laser Rose Bowl presented to Irish Laser Association (Ulster Branch)

July 1982


Consideration for extension of bar area

March 1983

Purchase of new Rescue Boat – £900.00 to fix old one. Cost of Sea Rider £1500.00

May 1984

Harry McKee to arrange for extension of bar store

July 1984

D J Elwood joined the Club

September 1985

New cash register – £550.00 less allowance for old register of £50.00

January 1987

Letter received from D J Elwood re. Break in to the Club. Lost all his tapes – Committee decided that he should be totally reimbursed.

August 1988

Successful European Scorpion Championships held at the Club

October 1988

General Room finally refurbished

January 1989

Voluntary bar staff took control of bar for a period of 1 year to improve financial position of the Club

April 1989

Six ‘Optimists’ were purchased via a Sports Council grant. These small craft have been a tremendous success in encouraging young sailors in the Club to ‘have a go’. The Optimist Class are single handers ideal for juniors in the 5-15 year old bracket though in reality most move into the Mirror or Topper Classes by the age of 12/13.

August 1990

John Lewis and Roger Kernaghan sailing ‘Roobarb’ won the Irish Scorpion Championships after an intensive two year campaign. A major accolade for the Club.


Club receives Royal Patronage: H.R.H Duke of York

May 1991

The ‘Flying Fifteen’ Class began to develop when Sheela Lewis purchased ‘Charley Brown’. This was subsequently followed by Jim Rankin in ‘Blue Moon’ and Shane Haveron in ‘Bonnie’. Laser class consists of at least 20 boats. 

June 1991

A very successful Ulster Laser Championship attracted 70 boats and this was sponsored by Northern Bank. Brian Erskine, North East Regional Manager at the time and former Club member, presented the prizes and recollected some memorable times at the Club re-establishing many old friendships.

July 1993

The Club hosted the Ulster Laser Championships which had an entry of 94 boats. This stands as a record for any provincial championship ever held for the Laser Class in Ireland.

August 1993

The Flying 15 fleet had increased to six and was continuing to attract new interest. The RYA courses continue to be successful with growing numbers of Juniors.

June 1994

The ‘Topper’ Class  began to develop  with five boats actively racing and attending regattas. Junior members have included Chris Moore, Sarah Moore, Graeme McKenzie, Deborah-Ann Perry and Patrick Smyth. The juniors are seen as the life blood of the Club in the years ahead.

July 1995

The Commodore, Mr Harry Carse and 3 guests are invited to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

June 1996

Fourteen Flying15’s were registered at the Club. The sight of many masts in the bay and a huge turnout during points racing on Monday and Wednesday nights was very encouraging. Peter Waugh, Des McKendry, Tim Taylor, and Stephen Canning in addition to those mentioned above have had extremely close racing in this very competitive class. In order to keep costs under control and provide fair sailing only old boats under sail number 2660 are allowed to compete.

July 1996

A number of the juniors entered the Irish Topper Championships with a reasonable degree of success.

August 1996

Many of the senior members with young families are clearly determined to provide boats for their children to encompass the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) training courses which have been held at the Club during the last 4/5 years. This commitment will ensure the survival of CAYC. The Club is now a recognised training centre under the RYA scheme.

Top of Form

Bottom of Form


February 2000

Keith Black ends his two years as Commodore, one of the longest standing members to have sat on Committee. (One short break off Committee and he is still doing it…Bar Convener 2000 and in 2001 Sailing Secretary)

Sheela Lewis is voted onto Committee as First “Madam”  Commodore

April 2000

“New Slip”  has major renovation work carried out, £12,000. Club members are levied and many offer an additional donation. Also £1,000 donation received from a “Business contact” No loan was required.

July & August 2001

Record number of RYA courses run at the Club.

Another successful Raft Race, £1000 donated to the RNLI


March 2002

Snooker Team win 3rd Division Larne & District League


August 2002

Centenary Regatta, well attended approx 70 yachts.  A beautiful morning of sailing, followed by a fog bound afternoon with racing abandoned. Fortunately there were results from the first round of all classes participating.

October 2002

Centenary Formal Dinner Dance.

Quality Hotel, Carrickfergus : 25th October 2002 the  Club is 100 years old to the Day !