A History of Tradition
The roots of sailing go back many years in the Beaufort area. A Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club was organized as early as 1884, according to records found in the 100-year time capsule that was opened at the County Courthouse in 1984. It is known that the Beaufort Yacht Club was chartered on August 28, 1908. Its purpose was to sponsor sailboat racing and to serve as a social club for the local citizens. From that time until World War I, sailing was a very popular sport and many exciting races were held in the Beaufort River.
During the war, the sport declined and formal races were discontinued. There were many informal races among the oyster boats, however, and since sailing was a popular form of transportation between the islands, there were many impromptu races. In 1929 the Beaufort Yacht Club purchased a 25-foot scow, the “Betty B,” and sponsored the first formal races in years. Five boats, representing Charleston, Rockville, James Island, Savannah, and Beaufort, participated. Since then, regattas have been held in the Beaufort River at least once a year.