The James Island Yacht Club sits just outside the beautiful and historic city of Charleston, South Carolina. Located on an amazing spot with stunning views of the Ravenel Bridge, Fort Sumter, The Yorktown, Castle Pinkney and everything else in the Charleston Harbor. The family oriented club sets itself apart by its affordability, down to earth feel, and volunteerism.
The club started as part of an agriculture society in 1895 and raced their sailboats against other surrounding islands in the Charleston area. The club was officially incorporated in 1905. The club has an equal share of sailors, powerboat enthusiasts and fishermen. With Charleston becoming such a popular moving destination the JIYC has seen a large influx of membership applications, which is always a good sign for a club.
The many great activities at the JIYC include fantastic sailing with regular year round racing, a summer junior sailing program, fishing clubs and tournaments, and community charities. There is a playground for children, mutual use grills, small beach area for relaxing and launching boats, and of course a bar that is open year round.
The sailing race scene is competitive with many highly awarded sailors calling the club their home. Racing includes PHRF, a frostbite series for Laser, a summer Sunfish series every Tuesday that can get 20-30 boats, along with Lightings and Thistles. The club has one of the biggest groups of foiling Moth sailors in the country. The Moth class association has held their North Americans, Nationals and other large events at the JIYC. In 2014, member Ned Goss set the world Moth speed record at 35.9 knots. Award winning club members consist of a three time Sunfish World Champion, a sailor with 28 National and World titles in five different boats, and other sailors who have been winning events in the J70, J24, Thistle and Lighting classes. The club also has a great relationship with the College of Charleston’s Sailing Team. Kiteboarding has become a popular activity in Charleston and the JIYC included them in the Fort 2 Battery Race.
The JIYC junior sailing program has been around for years but about ten years ago the club decided to build up the program. A group of active sailors, Chris Hamilton, Ryan Hamm, Ned Goss, and Kurt Oberle and others made a concerted effort to shake things up and increase the size of the Optimist, 420, Sunfish, Laser, and Open Bic’s. Ten years ago the clubs junior sail program saw 25 kids go through the summer’s program and now its up to 120. The club wants to keep its junior sailing program growing and help sailors move from the summer program into the high school programs and college sailing.
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A special thanks to James Island Yacht Club member and friend Ryan Hamm for supplying information on this great club.