Fifty Years of Sailing on the Hawkesbury

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The Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Sailing Club (HKSC) celebrated its 50th Anniversary season with an afternoon beach party at its waterfront clubhouse near Brooklyn on Saturday.

With over 1000 young people having passed through the Club’s training and development program over five decades, the opportunity to gather for a catch up was always going to be special. The current crop of parents, supporters, and enthusiastic young sailors pulled out all the stops to fly the HKSC burgee and showcase recent improvements at the facility.

Two hundred guests of all ages gathered as Julian Leeser MP opened the building extension funded under a grant from the Stronger Communities Program.

“It’s extraordinary to reflect on the vision of the founding members back in 1968, and the enormous contribution they made to build this club, and to contribute to the nurturing and development of young people through sailing,” said Julian. “It has been my privilege to support the Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Sailing Club and get to know its hardworking volunteers who continue to live out this vision and invest in our community every weekend.”

In a moving speech, club Commodore David Downey thanked parent organisation Police Community Youth Clubs (PCYC), members, helpers and supporters past and present, and made a special presentation to the Brown family who have mentored generations of junior sailors and guided the Club to this remarkable milestone.

Accepting a memorial plaque on their behalf, recently retired Commodore Graham Brown paid tribute to his father and HKSC founder, the late Jim Brown. “It makes me incredibly proud – as it would my father – to look out over this group of terrific people, at this beautiful view that inspired Dad and his mates fifty years ago, and know that next summer and the one after that, a new group of youngsters will take to the Hawkesbury and feel the thrill of sailing for the first time”.

Closing out the party with a monstrous birthday cake as the sun set, David Downey was thinking ahead to the next fifty years. “Our corner of the world is becoming more and more special,” he said. “We are the only sailing club in the region and it’s up to us build on the fine legacy of the Brown family and all of our friends and supporters, to introduce new generations to sailing in this magical place”.  

The Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Sailing Club will open its 51st season in September, and welcomes enquiries for Learn to Sail and youth racing programs. For more information please visit their website at


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