Our History

The Barbados Cruising Club was founded by Ian Gale, of The Barbados Advocate in October 1957 in response to restrictive membership practices then in place at the neighbouring Barbados Yacht Club. Founding members included the who’s who of Bajan society, most notably the Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow, who after completing his term as the first club treasurer, went on to lead Barbados to independence from Britain in 1966, becoming the Island’s first Prime Minister.42

Those days are now long gone.Though in spite of our perfect sailing conditions, beautiful beaches and crystal blue waters, yachting and sailing are still not mainstream sports in Barbados. Therefore the Club’s mission, to make sailing available to ordinary Barbadians, is as important now as it was back then in 1957.

After many years as a vibrant social and sailing club, the Barbados Cruising Club fell into decline following the turn of the century. By 2006 the Club was effectively bankrupt, with large debts and few members. But those members never gave up and their persistence and determination paid off. A steering committee was created to guide the club back to life. Through their hard work, and partnerships 49 50with local businesses the Cruising Club was given a new lease of life.

The Club today is almost unrecognisable from the Cruising Club of 2006. Major renovations started in 2009, and continued through 2010. Our membership numbers grow month on month. The Cruising Club is now proudly back in its place as a vibrant South Coast hub, with regular sailing and social events.

Although our decor has changed, and our facilities improved, the core values and aims of the Club have not. We are a totally inclusive club that has never refused membership to any applicant. We strive to share the ‘sailing bug’ throughout Barbados. We recognise the special place that Errol Barrow holds in our history through the name “Dippers”, his nickname, and also by hosting The Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race on Errol Barrow Day, January 21st annually.