Dreaming of a warm climate and a relaxed environment, doing something you love? We are looking for a Sailing Club Director/Head Coach to assist with the growth and management of our Sailing Club and School in Freeport Bahamas. The position is ideal for someone who loves coaching and sailing, is a self starter with a positive attitude, is able to motivate others and follows through with their ideas. Accommodation, car and flight credit available. For more information and to apply, see the job ad HERE
Our History. In 2006 a small group of local business people and keen sailors approached Sir Jack Hayward with the idea of resurrecting the Sir Charles Hayward Yacht Club. The two story building located at the end of the canal approximately half a mile West off the Grand Lucayan Waterway was built by Sir Jack in 1976 and named after his late Father. Built in traditional Bahamian style, the structure has French doors leading from the main room out to a balcony overlooking the water. An extensive patio leads to a swimming pool on the same level. The ground floor comprises of wash rooms and an apartment. Adjacent to the club building are two hard tennis courts. The Club was active in the 1970’s/early 1980’s and the small number of boats were privately owned by its members. The social scene was well supported and there were a number of lively regattas.
In the late 80’s many of the expatriate members left the island and support of the club diminished. It ceased operating as a club, closed its doors but some time later reopened as a restaurant called ‘Scorpios on the Bay’. They ultimately closed their doors and the property was dormant for several years. In 2001 the building was taken over by the Grand Bahama Development Company and operated as a sales office. This too was an unsuccessful enterprise and it closed three years later. When Joe Thompson, Chris Paine and Sarah Rolle approached Sir Jack in 2006 with the idea of starting a children’s sailing Club, he embraced the idea with great enthusiasm. A lease was granted by the Grand Bahama Development Company and the Grand Bahama Sailing Club Ltd was incorporated on 12th June 2008.
The club building, although structurally sound, needed some repairs and a face lift. A group of volunteers set about the design and construction of a sail storage facility and shed to house the boats. Fourteen Optimist dinghies were initially purchased by private owners with the condition that they all were put into the ‘Club Pool‘ for use by all members. Sir Jack provided substantial personal funds to make the improvements to the infrastructure and facilities which include the resurfacing of the tennis courts. In 2012 the Club took over the management of the Club docks whereby slips are rented to boat owners generating additional revenues. The Club remains a nonprofit organization relying on memberships, funds raisers, social events, and donations for support.
Though a mainly volunteer driven organization, the Club has prospered with both social, sailing and tennis activities. In 2010 sixteen children participated in the annual Optimist National Championships in Nassau and have represented the GBSC every year since. In 2007 the Club held its first Summer Sailing Camp. Attracting both experienced sailors and beginners, the two week camps were well received, overseen by both local and visiting coaches. A prime objective of the GBSC is to support underprivileged children and today the Summer Sailing Camps offers places to over 50 children who are sponsored by both the private and corporate community. The four two week camps have grown in popularity and typically over 100 children take part. In addition children sponsored by various civic organizations (Salvation Army, Columbus House, Rotary Clubs, etc) are encouraged to sail year-round. In 2010 the Club hired a full time sailing Coach, David Valentine. A graduate from Texas A & M and avid sailor, he established sailing programs with children from both private and public schools on Grand Bahama. This led to children competing in regattas in the Caribbean, the US and several sailors representing the Bahamas in the ISAF world Laser championships Ireland and Cyprus. Sailing was promoted in a number of island communities with local regattas being held in High Rock and West End.
Today the Club fleet comprises of 21 Optimists, 9 Lasers, 6 Flying Juniors, a CAL 25 and three coach boats.