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Gold Coast Sailing Club

Gold Coast Sailing Club

The Gold Coast Sailing Club has been operating at Varsity Lakes for almost 10 years. The gold medal winning venue that houses the Club is centrally located on the Gold Coast (near Robina) at the Community Sports House along Christine Avenue in Varsity Lakes.

Our Club’s venue is the only protected location on the Gold Coast that can host an “Olympic Triangle” racing for off-the-beach (OTB) dinghy and multihull boats. We rarely see a power boat, jelly fish, sandbank or tide. This is an exciting “Short Course” venue with viewing all around the lake for great media coverage. One can enjoy a large rigging lawn, gazebo, boat ramp, sandy beach, pontoon, sheltered sail training area in front of the Clubhouse adjoining the expansive Lake Orr International Olympic and Bermuda Triangle clover-leaf “Marathon” five-kilometre race course. The average water depth is from three to five metres.

We have local families sailing on Saturday mornings, and general racing in the afternoon around our fabulous five-kilometre Bermuda Triangle competition course. We commence with a briefing at one o’clock in the afternoon. Racing is highly competitive with teams visiting the Clocktower, Bond University, Bermuda Street, and Christine Avenue before finishing back where they started.

During the week, we specialise in sailing for the disabled with a number of local schools, private individuals, and organizations taking part. Our talented volunteers assist and accompany the disabled with the aim of teaching them to sail for recreation, or to become independent solo sailors in their own right.


Pathways exist for both sailors with a disability and volunteers to attend competitions at regional, state, national and world events. We also host after-school sail training, holiday camps, and corporate events depending on group sizes. Club members’ ages range from four to 74.

Young people find that sailing gives them a low impact outdoor sport that is very challenging and competitive. They get to be captain of their own boat. There are pathways for sailing worldwide on a wide range of boats. The whole sailing experience provides group interaction, team work, sail training, safety training, and social skills that will last a lifetime.

My role as Club coach, commodore, and charity director is varied and very rewarding. I sailed with my children as they grew up, then found that I enjoyed being a sailing instructor, and later a coach for sailors with disability. I compete in open events for dinghies, catamarans, small yachts, and for Sailors with a Disability.  I was selected as head coach for the Special Olympics Australian Sailing Team at LA2015, but also sailed as on-board coach with two young ladies with disabilities where we won Gold! What a Thrill!

My greatest achievement has been to set up this sailing charity group run solely by volunteers and to see the look on the faces of our sailors when they discover the joy of sailing. Sailing should be part of a Gold Coaster’s life because we live near the water and need water safety skills. We can visit so many adventure playgrounds (competition and recreational pursuits), and sailboats have minimal environmental impact on our waterways and foreshores.

There are no permanently funded staff positions in our Club, so donations, sponsorships, or grants are greatly appreciated. The community has already recognised a number of our volunteers for their service to our disability programs.

Come and meet the team, contact Sue 0488644757, or visit the Gold Coast Sailing Club.

By Chris Ruston