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Story by Tanya Rabe


Southport Yacht Club’s Sailing Squadron in Hollywell would have to be one of the Gold Coast’s best kept secrets. Tucked away on the shore of the Broadwater, the venue offers something for everyone.

The first thing you notice when you arrive is being among the multitude of racing boats. Kids and adults alike are always amazed to see the boats out of the water showing bare bellies as they rest on their cradles waiting for the next race. As you walk through the premises toward the clubhouse, you will be charmed by the view with the clear blue water separating the mainland from South Stradbroke Island/Tuleen. It is not uncommon for dolphins to play in the bay directly off the shore of the restaurant.

Within the club, you immediately get a sense of the community atmosphere hosting a wide range of locals from sailors and business partners, to couples and families. How many places can you return to these days where the bar manager knows everyone’s name?

Inside the club, you are surrounded by sailing memorabilia and local history, dating back to 1971 when the club first opened. There are trophies handed down through generations and many photos of sailing champions and their beloved boats. Many members and guests who sailed here as young children forty and fifty years ago, now share it with their own families.

The sailing squadron is a huge hit with the kids. Mum and Dad can sit back and relax in the covered annex with water views, or get closer to the water’s edge on the outdoor tables while the kids play on the club’s sandy white beach five metres away. Watching them meet other kids and make their own fun takes you back to simpler times.

Coming down for lunch on a weekend offers exciting entertainment with racing on both Saturday and Sunday. The clubhouse is right beside the Race Control tower, so you get to see the boats milling together for an exciting start to the race and cheer them past the finish line, all from the comfort of your chair while enjoying a cool drink with a steak, burger or pizza.

There is always a choice of seating and each area offers something different. This unique waterfront venue has also become popular for functions, with many patrons booking their special events year after year. When asked what they love about the venue, the responses are always the same: the spectacular views and the community vibe.

Visitors are welcome at Hollywell. Pop down for a cold drink, have a meal, or test your knowledge in a game of trivia, and watch some sailing races in action. Who knows, you may just meet Olympic Gold Medallist Mat Belcher or Australian Sailing Champion Joel Turner when they are visiting.

If you love us, don’t forget to ask about becoming a member, so you can take advantage of the many benefits in becoming part of the SYC family.



Wednesday-Friday from 4pm to 8:30pm

Trivia Thursday from 6pm – Bookings essential

Saturday-Sunday from 8am to 5pm



Wednesday Keelboats from 4:30pm

Saturday Keelboats and Multihulls from 12pm

Sunday Dinghies from 1pm

Main Beach

Thursday Twilight Racing from 3pm

Sunday’s Offshore Racing TBC

For upcoming sailing events, follow this link



Published in print July-September 2022