It’s Our Birthday

March 09, 2015

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Irene Pritchard's Zephyr

Balmain Sailing Club turns the big One Three Zero this year and there are a few important things we want to celebrate. Firstly, there is the somewhat significant 130th birthday of the BSC, which was founded at the local Town Hall on the 24th of October 1885 – this year’s regatta will be on October 25.

From its earliest days the BSC thumbed its nose at convention. It was the first club to allow professional and amateur sailors to compete together and even more significantly was the first to welcome women as skippers and crew.

The most prominent female skipper in the early years of the club was Irene Pritchard, who was said to be unbeatable in her 8ft skiff, Zephyr in the 1890s.

We are planning to celebrate Irene and our tradition of women’s sailing at this year’s regatta and are searching for more information about her. She sailed the Zephyr with her two brothers as crew so obviously the Pritchards were a Balmain region family of sailors. We would love to tell more of their story so this is a shout out for anyone who has links to the family or information about our first lady sailor.

Campbell Reid


Proud Sponsors of the Balmain Sailing Club