A Brief History of the Lake Jindabyne Sailing Club.
The Lake Jindabyne Sailing club has a long history with roots dating back to the earliest days of the Snowy Scheme. The formation of a sailing club in the Snowy Mountains was an idea that had the support of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Authority including the Authorities’ Commissioner, Sir William Hudson, who was also Patron of the club.
Workers from the Tumut Pond Dam and Tumut 1 Power Station formed the Cabramurra Yacht Club in 1957 and the first organised sailing took place on 3 Mile Dam, due it’s proximity to Cabramurra. However as the Snowy Scheme moved on so did the club members so the Sailing Club’s activities moved to Lake Eucumbene where the "Festival of the Snows" regatta was held in 1958.
In July 1968 after an offer from the SMHEA Assistant Commissioner Dave Douglas the sailing club moved from Eucumbene to the present site on the shores of the recently inundated Lake Jindabyne. The clubhouse is one of a few buildings located within the full supply area that was saved from demolition when Lake Jindabyne was created. This was seen by club members to be a positive move due to better, safer sailing. On the 13 August 1968 the name of the club was changed to the Lake Jindabyne Yacht Club and on the 1st January, 1969 the club signed a 20 year lease with the SMHEA.
While the building let by the SMHEA to the club was nothing like the clubhouse of today, it did offer an ideal location providing valuable recreational opportunities for the Snowy Mountains community while at the same time making use of a site that was not suited to other development due to its foreshore location within the “Full Storage” area of the lake.
In 1979 a Catamaran Club was formed and in April 1982 the two clubs amalgamated and the Lake Jindabyne Sailing Club was established. By the time the lease expired in 1989 the foreshore land was leased from the (then)Snowy River Shire Council and subsequent sub leases have been through that body.
In 1996 the sailing club commenced a re-building project that transformed the club house into a modern facility that was the envy of many sailors visiting for both the Hobie Cat National Championships in 1997 and the Maricat National Championships in 2001. Some of the rooms of the original farmhouse were retained for posterity during the reconstruction work.
In 2002 the Lake Jindabyne Surf Life Saving club began using the Clubhouse as a base for the activities of the Jindabyne Yabbies and Nippers. This group has continued to use the facility and contributed to the site infrastructure with a fund raising effort that resulted in the installation of a Solar Power and Hot water System under a national scheme to promote alternative energy through upgrades to Surf Life saving clubs around the country. The Involvement of the Yabbies has also lead the Sailing Club Committee to invite other user groups to use the club facilities. These groups include Yoga, Tai Chi and Meditation which are seen by the Sailing Club Committee as a valuable service to the Snowy Mountains community.
The rebuilding of the Lake Jindabyne Sailing Club clubhouse was undertaken in 1996 and was a significant project undertaken by the Sailing Club members without funding support from any other group or government body. Most of the work was undertaken by club members and many local tradesmen donated quite a bit of specialist work such as plastering, rendering and plumbing. The cost of materials for the project was $80,000 and the donated labour value invested in the project was at least equivalent in value. The entire project was funded by the Lake Jindabyne Sailing Club with no donations or grants accepted.
In September 2020, construction of two sheds commenced with funding of $193,000 provided by the NSW Government and, once again, a lot of labour provided by club members. The sheds were completed in early 2021.
As happens in all clubs, membership rises and falls over the years. The 20's of the 21st Century sees club membership on the rise once again. In terms of numbers, we are not a huge club. Membership is approaching 150 but, of course, not all members sail in every event. We are however a very happy club.