We encourage visiting and permanent homeowners, Bahamian residents, and cruising boat owners who wish to support the sport of sailing to learn about the Club. The Club's goals are simply stated:
To promote the sport of sailing in the area of Hope Town.
To hold or arrange regattas, races and other competitions and to offer, grant or contribute to the provision of prizes, awards and distinctions.
To encourage Bahamians to continue their interest in sailing and racing.
To provide social amenities for its members.
To finance the objectives of the not for profit organization through membership subscriptions and fees.
To support, financially and otherwise, community projects.
Guests of members, may attend with the member, the Club's weekly, Saturday night gathering called the Standup - in the British tradition. The event is BYOB and you stand for cocktails, conviviality, club business, racing recaps, and hors d'oeuvres provided by the membership.
The Club welcomes new members each year thru an application process. The HTSC by-laws map out a clear process for members to sponsor and propose new members. Generally, a Club member will approach the prospective member and offer to sponsor the individual for membership. The sponsor and applicant will fill out an application form and submit it with the applicable fees.
The sponsor is responsible for providing a letter of support, soliciting three additional letters of recommendation from other members, and assuring the application packet is complete.* The Sponsor is responsible for introducing the applicant to the Executive Committee prior to submitting the completed application packet to the Membership Chair.
The Executive Committee then reviews applications and tentatively approves members for “posting” at each monthly meeting. Anyone proposed for membership will remain posted for 30 days, or until the next Executive Board meeting. Members shall be elected by the Executive Committee upon review of application and communications from the membership during the posting period. A final vote can not be taken until the applicant has had the opportunity to meet a majority of the Executive Committee. The Membership Chair, Kim Penning, is available to guide both the applicant and Proposer thru the process.
*The Sponsor and the Proposers may provide a letter of recommendation only a total of twice during a calendar year. New members are able to Sponsor/Propose an applicant only after they have been a member for one year. Only two of the four letters of support may be from members of the Executive Committee or from their spouses or partners.
On February 21, 1964, the first meeting of the Hope Town Sailing Club took place at the home of Bowen White. By-laws were adopted stating the purpose of the Club:
To encourage sailing in the Hope Town, Abaco area; especially in dinghies of the workboat type, by organizing races and giving prizes. Towards this end, to encourage temporary and permanent visitors to join in, but most especially to encourage local Bahamians to continue their interest in sailing and racing.
Membership was to consist of ordinary members, junior members (under 21); and honorary members. Dues were $21. The five founding members were Clinton Baverstock, Bowen White, Frank Kenyon, Rudy Malone and Marcel Maury. Mary Balzac was part of the group, but only men were members! By the end of 1964 there were 47 members.
The Club burgee was designed as a white triangular flag with a stylized version of the Hope Town Lighthouse in red.
Among the dinghy racing fleet was an old sponge boat, a 60-year-old antique, a rickety fishing dinghy, an old work boat, and eventually an Abaco Dinghy. Race prizes were mugs.
In 1966, the Pinder building, formerly the store of Roger Lowe, was chosen for the clubhouse and was rented for $18/month with an additional $2/month for the dock. It was opened every day, the flags raised, and closed at night. In 1974 the building was purchased for $9000 plus $900 for legal and other fees.
As early as 1972 there were complaints about members bringing too many guests to Stand-ups. Other things haven't changed over the years either: crowds and noise cause a search for solutions, racing handicaps don't please everyone - and most everyone reports that Hope Town is a very special place. More than 50 years of the HTSC and still racing, cruising and having fun!