At the time that the public meeting was held the owners of three yachts had prevailed upon the authorities to allow them to moor their craft in the harbour. Mr.A.Nilsen owned “Bess”, a ketch rigged, double ender. Roly Benn, a descendant of the famous Knysna pilot family, had “Ilowe”, a drop keel, hard chined yawl of some 25ft., and Arthur Jenkin’s “Melody” was a familiar sight anchored off S.A.S.Donkin. Sailing in the Bay was barely tolerated and Port Authority’s rein was tight. The sailing activity was limited to daylight and its extremities confined to the Bell Buoy and yachts had to stay within sight of the small harbour Signal Station at all times. This state of affairs existed until 1956 when Lipton Cup fever gripped Port Elizabeth. This proved to be the fillip that local sailing needed. Harold Kohler visited Cape Town,caught the Lipton Cup bug and brought it to Algoa Bay.
Each year the cup is competed for by recognised yacht clubs from Walvis Bay to Beira. It was during Harold Kohler’s visit to Cape Town in 1956 that this competition, being raced in 30 Sq.Metre class yachts, was in progress. Having watched this event, as Harold puts it, “I was persuaded to acquire ‘Trickson II.’ “Trickson II” was shipped to Port Elizabeth, where Kohier had coerced the Port Captain into allowing him to berth her in the harbour. The cost of shipping was one bottle of whisky for the captain of the coaster to ensure that she was lashed down snugly and securely. A crew of dinghy sailors from the river clubs was pressganged and they set about sailing her on the bay as often as possible. Having achieved a reasonable standard of proficiency, they took yacht and crew off to Cape Town in 1957 to see whether they could bring this Lipton Cup to Port Elizabeth. Racing under the burgee of the Redhouse Yacht Club they did precisely that through sheer consistency. Other yachts won one or another of the races but failed miserably in others while “Trickson II” steadily notched up good positions in all of them, even surviving a protest lodged in the last race. The Cup was theirs. The Deed of Gift stipulates that the winner can nominate the venue for the subsequent competition and, without hesitation, Kohler named Algoa Bay.
Unstinting and enthusiastic co-operation was received from Charles Allen, then CO. OF S .A.S. Donkin, who gave permission for the 12 visiting yachts to be moored in front of the base. A number of local firms were persuaded to donate or loan equipment, some of these “loans” being somewhat permanent. A crane was fabricated and erected on the naval jetty for the stepping of masts, three hundred metres of heavy chain with mooring pennants spliced onto it was laid and eventually moorings were a fait accompli. Apparently there are still 12 anchors lying on the bottom of the harbour, remnants of those first twelve trots laid.
Unfortunately for Port Elizabeth a local win did not happen. The race was won by Wilf Hancock who hailed from Durban. This left little hope for a similar event on the bay in the ensuing year. But local excitement had been whetted and it had been proved that the bay could provide conditions for sailing and racing which could be exhilarating yet not terrifying.
There was no doubt that, by the end of 1958 sailing in the bay was a force to be reckoned with. It became apparent to that first committee formed at the public meeting in 1948 that a properly constituted club should be organised. Thus on 14 September 1959 the inaugural meeting of the proposed Algoa Bay Yacht Club was held at the home of Graham Packer. A committee was elected with Harold Kohler as President, Commander Charles Allen the Commodore, Scott Pearson became Honorary Secretary and Jerry Cullum the Treasurer. Committee members were Graham Packer, Mike Morgan, Stomp Mcdonald and Paddy Goodall. The object of the Club was quite simply stated – “The Club shall exist to foster interest in sailing.” An objective maintained and upheld to this day. To Stomp Mcdonald and Scott Pearson was delegated the responsibility of drawing up a Constitution, and the Club was up and running. By today’s standards the membership restrictions of that first Constitution were extremely narrow in that it stated that Membership shall consist of (a) Sailing Members and (b) Non active sailing members and shall be restricted to males only. The entrance fee was set at R20.00 and the annual subscription was R6.30.
Graham Packer and Harold Kohler motored down to Cape Town and brought their persuasive powers to bear upon Admiral Biermann who gave Commander Allen permission to grant the club the use of what had been an Engineering Workshop in S.A.S. Donkin to use as a clubhouse.