The early days of sailing on Lake Couchiching date to the mid 1800’s, typically sailing and racing with boats as large as 30’. The earliest known organized sailing race in Orillia took place in 1844.
With a growing population of ~1300 people in 1870, the village of Orillia chartered the “Couchiching Yacht & Rowing Club (OYRC)”, now making it one of the oldest sporting clubs in Orillia. By the 1880’s the popularity of sailing on the lake meant that sailboats and boat houses lined waterfront beside the railway tracks north of the Mississaga St. wharf.
At this time the lakeshore looked quite different from today and sailing enthusiasts had to share the waterfront with sawmills, commercial shipping, the railway, and other industrial users.
Since 1969, the club has been located on Pumpkin Bay. Starting with one old empty float plane hangar at the edge of the original CPR tracks, it gradually evolved into the club that it is today. Land and facilities are leased from the City of Orillia.
The 1970’s was a popular time for recreational sailing, and the Champlain Yacht Club hosted several major regattas during this period.
The National Albacore Championships were hosted in the early 1970’s, with the National Junior trophy named after a highly respected local sailor Tre Behan.
In 1977, the National Hobie Cat Championship was hosted by the club. Dozens of catamarans are seen lining the short of Tudhope Park during this event.
The club was originally named the Champlain Yacht Club (CYC), after the famed 17th century mariner Samuel de Champlain. In 2009, the club was renamed as the Champlain Sailing Club (CSC).