Please select your home edition
Zhik 2024 February Outlet - LEADERBOARD

Belmont 16s celebrating a century of sailing in style

by Mark Rothfield 3 Oct 2022 21:43 PDT 8-9 October 2022
16ft Skiff from the 1939 season © Belmont 16s

A century of sailboat racing on Belmont Bay, Lake Macquarie, will be celebrated on October 8-9, with Belmont 16s staging a major two-day regatta for its dinghy classes and 16-Foot skiff fleet.

The club is kick-starting the weekend on Friday night with a spectacular commemoration dinner, MC-ed by Vince Sorrenti and featuring entertainment by iconic Australian singer Kate Ceberano and the Ned Vermey Band.

It turns back the clock to October 7, 1922, when 400 people gathered on the Lake shoreline to watch the start of 16-Foot skiff racing at the newly formed Belmont club, which would subsequently grow to become one of the biggest and best in Australia.

Coming just seven years after World War I, the Lake community had rallied to build a humble sailing club for young men who were still licking their wounds. Seven skiffs and their crews, resplendent in uniform, set sail to greet the starter. At stake was prizemoney of £12, equivalent to a month's wages in those days.

Prominent Newcastle businessmen John and Mark Reid - nephews of Sir George Houston Reid, fourth Prime Minister of Australia (1904-05) and NSW Premier (1894-99) - were major driving forces. The venture soon attracted 50 members, yet these intrepid forefathers couldn't possibly have conceived that, a century later, membership would exceed 36,000.

Highlights for the club include hosting, and winning, numerous world, national and state sailing championships, along with the televised NBN sprint series and the Combined High Schools (CHS) regatta that was first contested in May 1967.

The club's evergreen Pelican trainer class was introduced in the early 1960s and, along with the VJ and Flying 11, has since produced some of the finest sailors to come out of Lake Macquarie, including Olympians and multiple world champions.

Today, Belmont 16s has a major extension and renovation project under construction, plus strong fleets of 16s, Cherubs, Lasers, Flying 11s, Pelicans and O'Pen skiffs as it reflects on the past and looks forward to the next 100 years. The Centenary Regatta is open to sailors from all other clubs who are currently sailing in these classes.

Find out more at

Related Articles

Oldest videos of sailing in 16ft Skiffs
A look back into our video archive We delve into the past, and round-up all videos which show sailing in the 16ft Skiff class of dinghy. Posted on 1 Dec 2023
Zhik Combined High Schools Championships overall
The final day was full of drama... The final day of the Zhik Combined High Schools Sailing Championships was full of drama. The breeze was predicted to be fresh from the South but it had not materialise and sailors were greeted with a 12knt SW. Posted on 17 Apr 2023
Zhik Combined High Schools Championships day 3
Marshall Day managed to reverse the result taking the win on corrected time Day 3 of the event saw a grey skies and a moderate 14-18knt Southerly breeze. The conditions proved to be difficult for some competitors to handle with several boats finding themselves in the water during the day. Posted on 13 Apr 2023
Zhik Combined High Schools Championships Day 2
Local sailors Radford and Palmer lead the Championship in 'Helter Skelter' Local sailors Connor Radford and his crew Jayden Palmer (Merewether High School) sailing their Flying 11 'Helter Skelter' have kept their form streak going with another two solid results in today's races to be outright leaders at the halfway point. Posted on 12 Apr 2023
Zhik Combined High Schools Championships Day 1
Belmont 16ft SC is hosting the event which sees students from across NSW and QLD compete If the opening day is any indication, the iconic Zhik Combined High Schools (CHS) Sailing Championships is set to be an absolute cracking event. Posted on 11 Apr 2023
Australian 16ft Skiff Sprint Series final
They say lightning doesn't strike twice... They say lightning doesn't strike twice. But try telling that to the Australian 16ft skiff fraternity. Posted on 7 Feb 2023
16ft Skiffs: Wild race of survival
The opening heat of Manly's 2022/23 club championship developed into a wild race of survival The winning skipper felt more like Daniel Ricciardo than Daniel Turner as the opening heat of Manly's 2022/23 club championship developed into a wild race of survival last Saturday. Posted on 23 Sep 2022
Zhik Combined High Schools Sailing Championships
At Belmont 16ft Sailing Club, one of the most desirable sailing venues in the country The Zhik CHS sailing championships commenced this week at Belmont 16ft Sailing Club. The iconic event is steeped in history and has been a rite of passage for many young sailors. Many past winners include State, National, Olympic, SailGP and AC sailors. Posted on 12 Apr 2022
Red Pumps 16ft Skiff AUS Championship wrap up
The wind gods could blow no more yesterday after giving their all during the Australian Champs A regatta like this deserved an exciting climax, not an ‘anti' one, yet the wind gods could blow no more yesterday after giving their all during the 2022 Red Pumps 13ft and 16ft Skiff Australian Championships held by Belmont 16s on Lake Macquarie. Posted on 9 Jan 2022
Red Pumps 16ft Skiff AUS Championships day 5
Torn kite blows early victory hopes for Ronstan A long-awaited and much-wanted Red Pumps 16ft Skiff Australian Championship was in the spinnaker bag today for Nathan Wilmot, Brett Davis and Malcolm Page aboard Ronstan... right up until their spinnaker cruelly disintegrated. Posted on 7 Jan 2022
Vaikobi 2024 Sale - FOOTERRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERABS24-SailWorld-1456x180-BOTTOM_02