Broad Bay Sailing Association was formed in 1958 by a group of sailors
seeking informal racing on Linkhorn and Broad Bays in various types
of small boats. To add a little spice to their endeavor they built
or purchased a few 11 foot Penguins and 16 foot Comets which along
with several Hampton One-Designs were the nucleus of the Broad Bay
fleet. The emphasis was on Sunday afternoon racing, monthly meetings
at the members’ homes, and numerous cookouts at the Narrows
to which they generally sailed from points around Linkhorn and Broad
The social highlight of the year was the annual Awards Presentation
and Change of Command Dinner in January of each year, a tradition
which is still being followed.
In 1961 BBSA joined the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association
and in June of that year held the first Broad Bay Regatta. Until
1964 the members did most of their racing on Sundays on Broad Bay
with very few going off to other regattas. 1964 saw the low point
of racing on Broad Bay; the Association attempting to hold Sunday
afternoon races while more members were hitting the regatta circuit.
And then a new breed arrived on the scene, the cruising type boats
in the 25 foot range which could get under the bridges out to the
the late 1960s the Sunday afternoon racing had disappeared, the
One-Design sailors, who now included Shark Catamaran, Mobjack, Thistle,
505, and Sunfish skippers, were hard on the trail of the regatta
circuit silver. Monday morning accounts of regatta activities were
filled with the names of Broad Bay skippers who had won in their
classes. While the One-Designers were busy gathering their silver
the Cruising types were holding informal races in Lynnhaven Roads
and forming up cruises to other parts of the Chesapeake Bay.
Until 1974-5 there was a very well attended regatta schedule on
the lower Chesapeake, with the Broad Bay Regatta being one of the
premier events. In 1970 there were 175 boats racing in 14 classes
on Broad Bay at one time! All hands turned out to host the skippers,
their crews, and their families to two days of racing and a Saturday
afternoon picnic/cookout which originally featured oysters and crabs
and in the later inflationary years hot dogs and hamburgers.
Gradually the Broad Bay Sailing Association has evolved into the current day BBSA,
with its racing fleets (Willoughby Racers, Little Creek Sailing Association, and one designs)
including a full slate of big boat racing.
and its large contingent of cruisers and day sailors. A good portion of the BBSA members cruise and race, while others stick to their chosen activity.
As the club has grown, we now focus on all types of sailors who want to do what they love best with
a congenial group of friends. They also want to know more about sailing, so education and training have
become a primary focus in the off months. With an active group of volunteers, we schedule many group
cruises during the warmer months with something for everyone. We have members who continue in the
group although they may not be sailing any longer or do not have boats. They attend membership
meetings, training, events, and are always welcome as crew on the racing boats.
All are welcome who share a love of sailing. Check out the
membership page on how
to join and start having fun.