Karachi Yacht Club
Yacht Fleet

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A Resume of the Club's History

A new one design class of 14’-6” boats, called, “Karachi Flyer” was started with 7 in the fleet during mid-1959. These were evolved from a prototype made by Air Vice-Marshal A. McDonald, R.A.F., during his service as C-in-C Pakistan Air Force. The Club started sailing to the new I.Y.R.U. Rules on 1st June, 1959. In 1962, British Overseas Airways Corporation presented the “Speedbird Cup” for competition by the Flyer fleet and the British India Steam Navigation Co., Ltd. presented a second “B I” Cup for separate competition by the Tomtits.

In 1964 the venue of the Club Annual London Reunion was changed to the Little Ship Club where it has since been held with increasing popularity. In September 1965, the outbreak of hostilities between India and Pakistan resulted in the closure of the Club under the Security Regulations controlling the Karachi harbor area. No organized sailing was possible for five months and activities were limited to beach parties, where a few privately acquired mini-sailors, were in constant use, and to the use of a Club “annex” established in a small flat with distant views of the harbor and sea.

Resumption of sailing in February 1966 found the Club with reduced membership but with the boats in good order, thanks to the attention of the Club Tindals who with difficulty had managed to get over to the Club and to put the boats into the water with reasonably regularity. In 1970, the Club imported ten fiber glass Larks by special assignments. To provide Trophies for the new class there was some re-allocation mainly from the Tomtit events. As a result of the war with India in December 1971, the Club was again closed and as the harbor remained closed to foreign nationals until April 1973, the Club went through a difficult period. Some racing was organized at Sandspit, but with the Club closed there was considerable loss in revenue and a dwindling in membership, some boats were removed from the Club whilst others deteriorated through lack of use.

Consequently, when the club reopened in 1973, it was found necessary to run all races on a combined fleet basis. Even so, there was little support for Tuesday racing and this was discontinued in November 1974. Subsequently official races were introduced on Sunday mornings in addition to the informal afternoon races.

In 1973 Cadet Class of membership was introduced. In 1975, the club sent a team privately to Colombo to compete in the 5th Southern Asian Yachting Regatta. During 1975/1976 the Enterprise boat was introduced to the Club. Subsequently this class of boat has become very popular and the club members today own a large number of this class of boats.

In September 1978 the club organized a very successful 7th Southern Asian Yachting Regatta in Karachi in which teams from India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and Pakistan took part. This was the first international Yachting Regatta in Pakistan and became instrumental in promoting Yachting as a sport in the country.

In November 1978 Members of the club participated in the VIII Asian games held in Pattaya, Thailand, in which Byram Avari with Lt. Munir Sadiq won the first Yachting Gold medal for Pakistan. This was an outstanding performance considering strong opposition from India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and others. For this achievement Byram was given a Pride of Performance certificate by the President of Pakistan.

In the years following yachting has gained a great deal of popularity in the country and the competence of our sailors is as good as any in the world today. Another encouraging sign is the interest being shown by the young members and the club is proud that in the Asian Regatta in Bombay in 1981 a bronze medal was won in a junior competition.

During 1980/1981 the club undertook the task of major restoration of its club premises. At the same time a well needed facility of a toddler’s pool and a play area for children was added. In the 9th Asian games held in Bombay in November 1982 Pakistan sent teams to participate in Enterprise, O.K., Fireball and Windglider events. Byram Avari with his wife Goshpi was once again outstanding and won a gold medal for the second time running in the Enterprise class of boats.

Capt. Khalid Akhtar (from the Navy) also showed excellence in sailing the O.K. class of boats and also won a gold medal. The Club looks back with pride for its contribution to sailing in Pakistan now that the performance of sailors in the country has reached a level where 2 out of 3 gold medals won in the IX Asian games were in the yachting events.

For a while, windsurfing had also become popular.