BY EMILY WILLIAMS

Belmont 16s is celebrating a huge milestone, marking 100 years since its first 16-Foot skiff race on Friday.

On October 7th 1922, 400 people lined the shores of Belmont Bay at Lake Macquarie to watch 7 skiffs and their crews compete for the coveted prize of £12, equivalent to a month’s wage at the time.

In the months following, brothers John and Mark Reid went on to build Belmont Sailing Club, a shed over-hanging the lake, and accumulated 50 members.

A century later, Belmont 16s is one of the largest clubs in the Hunter and has grown its membership base to over 36,000 people. 

Club President David Berryman says the club’s history has been riddled with highlights.

“The Club has held and hosted numerous World Championships, we’ve had sailors from the Club compete at the Olympics,” he said.

“We’ve hosted multiple National Championships, and for a very long time we’ve hosted the Combined High School Championships.”

To celebrate the Centenary, the Club is hosting a commemoration dinner tonight, hosted by Vince Sorrenti with entertainment by Kate Cebrano. 

The rest of the weekend will see a sailing regatta take place in Belmont Bay to mark the milestone, including dinghy classes and 16-Foot skiffs. 

Sunday’s events will also see an appearance by the historic 18-Foot skiffs.

The Club is currently undergoing a major refurbishment and expansion project that is expected to be completed in Spring 2023.

Mr Berryman is excited for what the future of the Club holds.

“I think the future is very bright for the Club and hopefully it will be able to continue supporting sailing and 16-Foot skiff sailing for the next 100 years,” he said.

You can keep up to date with Belmont 16s’ Centenary project here.