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 HTSC by-laws currently cap membership at 300. The by-laws map out a clear process for members to sponsor and propose new members. All members pay annual dues and new members pay a nominal initiation fee.
The sponsor should request a membership application from the Membership Chair, which is to be completed by the applicant. The sponsor is responsible for providing a letter of support and soliciting three additional letters of recommendation from other members.
Only two letters may be from members of the Executive Committee or from their spouses or partners. No member may act as sponsors or provide a letters of recommendation more than twice in a calendar year, and they must be a members for a minimum of one year since their own election.
The sponsor shall ensure that the candidate has been introduced to a majority of the Executive Committee.
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.
Current members should consult the by-laws in their current directory for a complete list of information and rules governing the membership process.
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!