Watch the action or get involved in sailing at Belmont 16s Sailing Club
If you’re yet to experience the revamped Belmont 16s Sailing Club, you’re in for a treat.
Not only has the club’s $20 million redevelopment meant fresh dining spaces (hello Martha), but its sailing facilities have enjoyed an overhaul.
If you’re used to visiting Belmont 16s for the food, drinks, and excellent views, you might not remember that the club is, first and foremost, a sailing club!
Originally established in 1922 as Belmont Sailing Club, Belmont 16s has a rich sailing heritage, having been at the forefront of sailing excellence throughout its 102 year history, even producing World Champions and Olympians.
Sailing at the club isn’t boat shoes and big steering helms – sailors at Belmont 16s sail 16 foot skiffs (hence the name of the club), wear wetsuits, and hang off the side of their boats, flying across the lake. It’s exciting to watch, and even more thrilling to participate in.
Have you got little ones? Kids aged seven to 12 can participate in the club’s learn to sail program called Tackers, which not only teaches them technical sailing skills, but life skills like critical thinking, team work, and organisation.
Kids don’t have to have experience to start sailing – while many sailors at Belmont 16s are generational, Sailing Manager Nadine Steenson says the club is seeing a massive increase in junior sailors from families who want to venture into the sport.
“We have seen a major shift in our junior sailing participation – it is double that of previous years. This year more than ever we are seeing how imperative our older junior sailors are to our senior classes, as they have proven that regardless of gender or age they are providing our 32+ mature experienced crews with quality on the helm,” Nadine said.
The sailing season kicks off at the start of September each year and runs until the end of March the following year. In that time, Belmont 16s hosts state and even national championships, boosting Lake Macquarie’s status as a sports tourism destination.
The next regatta is the annual Hahn Super Dry 16ft Skiff Sprint Series, happening on February 3. It’s a great opportunity to watch sailors from all over the country compete in an exciting and fast-paced championship regatta.
Now with state-of-the-art race control, training rooms, and regatta office space, Belmont 16s is looking to the future of sailing. There’s something for everyone to enjoy – whether you’re racing across Belmont Bay on a skiff or spectating from the newly-renovated clubhouse.