Bribie Island Sailing Club with John Ennis

By Neil Wilson - Sub Editor for the Bribie Islander


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On the water with John Ennis

In any club or organisation, there are often fluctuations in membership numbers for various reasons which can be ill health, relocation or just loss of interest and whilst some people only remain as a member for a short time, there are also those who have joined in the very beginning or shortly after and continue to be active within the club for many years. For the August “On the Water” article, we take a look at someone who certainly fits the latter description when it comes to his membership of the Bribie Island Sailing Club.

Featured Image(above): The sleek 8-metre Eclipse

Keen sailor John Ennis has been a member of the local sailing club since moving to our beautiful island from Melbourne in 2004. He told me that although he did spend a fair amount of time in power boating during his time in Victoria, he has enjoyed sailing from when, as a teen, he and a mate had small sailing dinghies and just went sailing whenever the time allowed. ‘We basically taught ourselves to sail and just sailed them around on our own,’ said John.

‘We were never members of a sailing club because there was always such a long waiting list to join,’ he added. John, who has now retired from his career as an engineer in the resources sector, explained that he sold his sailing craft before he relocated to Bribie Island, but he did bring a 3.8-metre wooden runabout with him. ‘My dad was building that boat when he passed away and so I finished it off. It was a wooden hull with a fibreglass coating,’ John told me. ‘I have sold it now as the fibreglass was starting to come off the hull. I took it down to the Classic Boat Regatta one year and it was sold in about ten minutes,’ he said.

At the Helm of Eclipse

When he first joined the Bribie Island Sailing Club, John bought a 4.3-metre sailing catamaran which he has now replaced with “Eclipse” which is a sleek mono-hull yacht. He remarked that he usually only sails it when the club has races, as his wife is not a very keen sailor. Members such as John Ennis are the backbone of the club which is now in its sixteenth year and is constantly growing stronger. Earlier this year the MBRC finally allocated a site beside the Bribie VMR so that the sailing club and their sister club, Mahalo Outrigger Canoe Club have their own premises.

This followed a long period of using the VMR enclosure to store equipment and vessels. The Bribie Island Sailing Club and The Bribie Mahalo Canoe Club are both divisions of the Bribie Island Boat Club and new members are always welcome. The Mahalo club has come and try days from time to time and hold their club days each Sunday from 9 am.

Anyone who would like to find out more about the Mahalo Club can call 0418 450701 to talk to club president CC Wilson. For information about the sailing club, the website which is www. will provide details. Alternatively, go to their Facebook page or contact them on the Boat Club number, 0490 471930.

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