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Augusta Sailing Club History

During 1952, a small group of Augustans became interested in sailing on the newly constructed Clarks Hill Reservoir. The Augusta Sailing Club was formerly incorporated as a non-profit organization on July 24, 1953, with its stated purpose as follows:

"The object of the corporation is to establish, maintain, and conduct a club for the purpose of promoting sailing and boating; to provide a clubhouse, docks and other facilities for sailing, boating, swimming, mooring, keeping, maintaining and repairing boats of all kinds and character for the convenience of its members and their guests; to hold and conduct regattas and races of boats of all kinds and classes and to provide a place for the social entertainment and sport of its members and their guests and to do generally any and all acts and things necessary, convenient, expedient and ancillary to or in aid of the accomplishment of the foregoing."

While seeking a permanent site for locating the Club, the early members gathered at the Modoc Public launching area on the Carolina shore. On June 15, 1955, the Club signed a twenty-year lease with the government for the use of approximately ten acres of unimproved, wooded land which includes what is now known as the clubhouse point and the West Point. The rent was $250 per year.

Martha Harden recalled those early days: "First the dock was constructed and the members and families cleared the area. Boats were anchored out and captains and crews rode out in dinghies, carrying sails and other necessities. There were two boat trailers in the crowd. It was like moving day when a family arrived with sails, chairs, food, water and barbecue grills every Saturday and Sunday. The 'clubhouse' was a picnic table on the boat point. Occasionally some of the younger boys spent the night sleeping out on the boats.”

"There was great rejoicing in 1956 when the real clubhouse was built and the fine well was dug and was functioning. This was financed by selling bonds to members."

Even in the early days, the focal point of the Club was on the racing program. The Minis trophy was established in 1956 by a group of Savannah sportsmen and the Minis Sporting Goods Store as a competition between the Savannah Yacht Club and the Augusta Sailing Club. In 1957, Clem Castleberry established an intra-club competition and later gave a handsome silver punch bowl to the Club as a permanent trophy and annual keeper trophies for the individual winners. This series of races later became known as the Castleberry- Robertson Regatta because of the close association of Clem and devoted Club member, Jim Robertson.

In October of 1959 the Club leased the East Point area. The rent for the Club site increased to $355 per year increasing the land mass of the ASC to approximately 15 acres. In 1960, the Club filed a plan of development with the Corps of Engineers designating certain tracts of Club property for the construction of privately owned cottages and other tracts as semi permanent "tenting" areas. Although cottage sites were available to any member, only seven cottages were built. The original cottage permit provided that the cottages were exclusively for recreational use and could not be rented without Board approval and could not be sold outside the Club membership. This has subsequently been modified with the implementation of the uniform cottage site leases.

On March 13, 1962, the water between the clubhouse point land the East Point was named Harden's Cove in recognition of the contribution of William D. Harden. To date, this has been the only area of the Club formally designated, though through usage the dinghy area is known as the West Point and the camper area known as the East Point. In 1968, the clubhouse was expanded (actually rebuilt) around the original fireplace and included a large kitchen, showers, and all of the comforts of home.

Since the Club's inception. Club members have been active in competition at home and around the country and beyond. In 1975, Boykin Wright won the Y-Flyer Nationals with David Annis as crew. Bob Teabeaut carried the sailing Club burgee as far as the Royal Thames Yacht Club in England. Over the years, members of the Augusta Sailing Club have excelled in other fleets as well, including the Jolly, Lightning, Flying Tern, Cougar Catamaran, Catalina 22, Capri-25, and Coronado-15. In 1975, the Club negotiated a new twenty-year lease with the government. The annual rent increased from $355 per year to $3,900. That same year, the Mid-Winter Cup was founded in an effort to encourage competition between the cruising sailors at the new Tradewinds Marina and those at the Augusta Sailing Club. The regatta is now open to all cruising sailors on the lake.

The Club has always supported a training program for young sailors and several of the Club's current members were originally members of these junior programs. During the early 1980's, the program received a boost as the Club began assembling a fleet of Sunfish for use in the Junior Program as well as by the general membership.

In 1985, the Augusta Sailing Club successfully negotiated the purchase of the present Club site and consummated the transaction in December for a purchase price of $56,000. In 1990, the Augusta Sailing Club was remodeled and the kitchen was enlarged and modernized. The clubhouse restrooms and shower facilities were updated facilitating handicap access. The exterior framing was stained and painted. A new septic system was installed and the electrical system was brought up to current building code standards

In 1993, in the wake of a major revision to the Corps of Engineers' Lakeshore Management Plan, the Club successfully negotiated permit authority to construct additional boat slips. Over the next several years these docks were built. The Dock Authority began a major replacement cycle in 2010 with a plan to replace a dock every two years.