The Hubbards Yacht Club was founded in 1966 by a group of permanent and part-time residents of Hubbards. They were the founders of what exists today – they had a vision and a goal to create a constructive outlet for the energies and spare time of children beginning at the age of six.
In early 1967 The Quarterdeck (Dauphinee Inn) offered to sell their establishment to the Hubbards Yacht Club. Although an ideal location and set-up for the yacht club, financing to cover the mortgage for this purchase was not available. The owners of the Quarterdeck nonetheless so generously offered use of their docks and floats until such time as a permanent site could be found. Dr. Art Shears and R. Shankel were voted on the steering committee with a mandate to develop a safe and viable sailing program. The Hubbards Yacht Club launched its first sailing season on July 15, 1967 with 3 rented dinghies and a number of privately owned dinghies. Also, a number of children took part in the swimming lessons at Hubbards Beach. The first yacht club party was held in the Gunroom of the Quarterdeck later that summer with full community support.
The club took root very quickly and became a charter member of the Canadian Yachting Association in early 1968. Dave Surrette was the first CYA certified sailing instructor to coach at the club. With a fleet of 1 Morris Dinghy, 2 Tech dinghies and a number of privately owned dinghies, he coached a total of 52 junior sailors through the program that year. Rowboats were used for safety (crash) boats until later that summer when ‘The Green Monster’, a mini cape with a 6 horsepower outboard, was donated by Dr. Art Shears. At the end of the summer, property was leased on the other side of the cove thanks to the generosity of Fred MacLean & family.
With hard work by the members of the volunteer committees, floats were built and the clubhouse was completed. The clubhouse building was officially opened on August 23, 1968.
The summer of 1969 saw 92 junior sailors in the sailing program and 100 children take swimming lessons. This level of participation in the yacht club continued through to the summer of 1973. That summer the numbers of children enrolled in the sailing and swimming programs declined to an average of 15 sailors per week; this trend continued into the 70’s, 80’s and mid 90’s.
Entering the new millennium, the club offered three levels of sailing programs: Introductory (Opti), Intermediate (Whitesail I-II-III) and Advanced (Bronze IV-V). The club did not offer Racing (Silver VI) forcing those junior sailors who wanted to complete the full CYA ‘Learn to Sail’ national curriculum to go to another club. Throughout this time the number of registered junior sailors averaged 35 to 45 sailors over the summer.
Thanks primarily to the efforts of Peter Stow, commodore from 1995 to 2002, his managers at the time, Sally Hilton and Ryan Barkhouse, and supported with funds raised at the annual yacht club BBQ/auction fully organized and supported by Jack Flemming, the fleet of training dinghies grew to 25 and the coach boat fleet grew to 4 laying the platform for major growth. In the summer of 2001 with this fleet of dinghies and coach boats, financial support from the Aspotogan Heritage Trust, the efforts of the Learn to Sail Director Len Poirier, the Silver VI advanced racing program was offered for the first time. This program requires a minimum of two years of intense training including participation in a number of regattas. We can now boast a large roster of sailors receiving their Silver VI certification through our club.
Since 2002, the Hubbards Yacht Club averages 135 junior sailors in its summer program supported by a staff of one manager and 6 coaches. Primarily university students and senior high school students run our junior sailing program. This facilitates continuity in our programs through a progressive migration from the junior sailing program to a coaching position. Typically our coaches work with us for three summers beginning in their last year of high school and continuing though their first two years of university.