Club History and highlights of the area
1802 - Mathew Flinders sailed up the Spencer Gulf and decided the area was too flat and of no interest
1850 – Copper found in the area.
1860 – Wallaroo became the port for loading copper from the smelter here. Also, the port for loading grain grown in the area. Everything arrived and left by sea.
Many grain ships lost crew here because the voyage to Australia was too rough and the return journey was not something they wished to do. With that in mind, it’s amazing a sailing club ever eventuated…but it did.
By 1867 A New Years Day Regatta was organised to bring in people from all over the peninsula. Swimming and rowing were the main events. This event continued for many years.
1964 – The Wallaroo Sailing Club was formed by a small group of enthusiasts. That first fleet consisted of a Lightning, a Holdfast Trainer, 2 Gwen 12s, 2 Moths and a Rainbow. Bill Bollmeyer, a founding member quipped it was a “handicappers nightmare”.
Over the next year, membership fluctuated but the club did gain a Boatshed and a Holdfast Trainer for the younger members to learn the art of sailing.
As the emphasis changed from single crew to boats manned by 2 or more the fleet gradually grew so that by the end of the 60s there were 32 boats in 3 divisions. By 1969 3 regattas were held attracting more than 50 boats. Sailing also became the main event of the century-old New Year’s Day Regatta.
State Titles for Herons, Heats for the Sharpies, 125’s and the Rainbows have been held at Wallaroo as well as training camps in the clubhouse for the Moths.
Our Club members have also done themselves proud. Ian Porteous won the 1981/82 Surf Cat title while Alvin Atkinson won the Tripolis 3 Day Event for trailer and keel boats between Pt Pirie, Pt Augusta and Whyalla.
Sail Training was always an important part of the Club and for many years this was nurtured by Jeff Jones. This, in turn, earned him the title of South Australian Yachtsman of the Year.
In the past few years, the club has expanded its club rooms enabling the Club to hire the facilities to the public for Weddings and Conferences. Friday
nights it is open to members and the public for a drink and dinner.
Sailing is still the passion here and on any Sunday, you will find our sailors training or racing.
The Bar is open come for a chat, a drink and to watch the races.
(From Modern Boating September 1985)