Images: Arthur Lowndes & JM Falls.
In 1930 at the suggestion of Sil Rohu, Sydney's leading Gun Smith, Charles Sparrow, Naval Draftsmen, designed the first Vee-Jay (Vaucluse Junior) with the assistance of F. Sargent and R. Banks. The Vee-Jay was designed for two boys under the age of 17. In 1932 the Vaucluse Amateur Sailing Association (V.A.S.A.) was established. The members of V.A.S.A. then built the Vee-Jay prototype "Splinter". The first working Vee-Jay "Chum" was launched August 1931 and is currently on display at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. 1932 was also the year the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened.
F. Sargent and R. Banks are also known for their efforts in building the Vaucluse Amateur 12 ft Sailing Club at the north end of Kutti Beach.
Based on demand for a father son boat Charles Sparrow designed the Vee-Ess (Vaucluse Senior) in 1936. The Vee-Ess was 3.5 ft longer than the Vee-Jay and had a crew of three aged 18 or older. V.A.S.A. housed member's Vee-Jays and Vee-Esses in "McKlellans" boat shed at the south end of Kutti Beach.
V.A.S.A. soon out grew McKlellans and the Vaucluse 12 ft Skiff Club declined to adopt V.A.S.A.'s Vee-Jays and Vee-Esses. The "Vaucluse Amateur Sailing Association (Vaucluse Branch)" was opened in October 1939 in Marine Parade by Eric Harrison (Postmaster General). The construction was substantially funded by Norman Knock, of Knock & Kirby fame, a hardware store formerly located in George Street Sydney. The present name "Vaucluse Yacht Club" was adopted at a later stage.
By 1940, 30 Vee-Jays and 14 Vee-Esses were racing out of the Vaucluse Yacht Club, with an active membership in excess of 100. Shortly after World War II, one hundred Vee-Esses were built in Sydney and shipped to Japan for use by the Australian Occupation Forces.
Due to the changing lifestyle of the average Sydney sider and advancing technology the Vaucluse Yacht Club introduced several classes replacing the Vee-Jay and Vee-Ess. The Vee-Jay retained its popularity as an active racing class of the club for the next 40 years, until 1972. Currently the Club races Lasers and Yachts.
The club would like to acknowledge the efforts of the following people for providing the information used on this page: C. Sparrow, N.W. Hastie and G.Andrews.