The Lagos Yacht Club, located at Magazine Point, near the Army Officers’ Mess on the beautiful Island of Lagos in Nigeria, was founded in 1932. The Club is located right across Independence Bridge leading to Victoria Island. Magazine Point was an ideal location for a sailing club not only because of its picturesque scenery but also for its convenient location.
Sailing as a sport and a pastime was introduced to Nigeria in Lagos around the turn of the century. The earliest photographs dated 1907, show enthusiasts standing by their gaff rigged boats, clad in long trousers and jackets and wearing the obligatory topees, on the very spot where the Club now stands. The Club archives contain photographs of boats, housed in covered sheds and captioned ‘Lagos Sailing Club 1907’ but there are no proper records until October 1931.
The first meeting of the Lagos Yacht Club was held on 4 October 1932 at the original Ikoyi Club. A committee was formed and the fee was set for the annual subscription. The first annual general meeting was held on 13 October 1932 and the officers of the club were appointed. The first official Regatta was held on 29th October and on 31st October the first Sailing Committee was appointed and numbers L1-L9 were allotted to the boats.
Membership of the Club was soon boosted by a surprising and very welcome number of enthusiasts from the Railway. Boats were manhandled over the sand beach on rollers to a bamboo and thatch shelter. It was some more years before the club was able to finance a concrete hard with hauling gear and some sort of Club House.
Over the years the Club has been fortunate enough to have good leaders and careful managers. Initially, only the committees were the Main Committee and the Sailing Committee. As the Club Property became more substantial and facilities provided were expanded a House Committee was formed in June 1968.
The basic elements of LYC Saturdays have not changed since 1932, the harbour, the sun, the wind, the rush and bustle of crews getting boats into the water. The Club remains a stable feature in the lives of its members, it offers sport, relaxation and a place to meet and make friends outside the confines of employment. We all continue to be grateful to those members throughout the years who have watched over and developed the Club which we enjoy today.
Sailing and yacht racing is an exhilarating experience but like most sports, you need to know what you’re doing. If you have the ‘need for speed’ and water is your element, then the Lagos Yacht Club is the place for you.