On July 13th, 1912 a group of Beach Haven summer residents, unhappy with the direction the Beach Haven Yacht Club was going, met and formed the Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club. By the end of the 1912 summer the new club had over 30 members. At that time the island was lightly developed and mostly seasonal; summer residents tended to come to Beach Haven for extended vacations, not just weekends, there was no road bridge to the island, access was by ferry or train only.
Over the first few years LEHYC acquired some property on Berkeley Avenue and built a dock. Activities at the club included sailing races and motorboat races, parties held at the large local hotels: Baldwin and Engleside. In 1916 the clubhouse was built and some activities were held there but the big events were still held at the hotels into the 1930s. In 1921 the club acquired the first 4 of the LEHYC 25 foot one-design sloops to increase adult racing. In 1923 the Skippers program was started to teach young boys sailing and seamanship. Activities continued to expand throughout the inter-war period with additional classes, addition of the Skipperettes program for young girls and construction of a tennis court.
After a slow period in WWII, the club began rapid expansion in the late 40s through the 60s.During this period LEHYC became well known for superior regattas and excellent race management. LEHYC held many prestigious sailing championships including several at the National, North American or International levels. This culminated with hosting of the NAYRU (now US Sailing) Mallory, Adams, O’Day and Championship of Champions. At the same time several LEHYC Sailors won major events. Mac Allen won the Moth North Americans and Jack Barclay won the International Comets at LEHYC in1963. Other events continued and expanded, Skippers merged with Skipperettes to form one of the premier Junior Sailing Programs in the nation.Tennis Courts were added and social activities expanded.
Today LEHYC is well known throughout the country as a great place to sail. The club has twice won US Sailing’s St. Petersburg Trophy for race management and continues to host many major regattas. The Junior Sailing Program teaches over 100 children in the Optimist Dinghy every summer and LE Sailors have had significant results at the national level. The facility has expanded and now extends along the waterfront from Norwood Avenue to Pearl Street. Other activities have also grown with the increased and more diverse membership and now include: Art, Bocce, Book Club, Exercise, Fishing, Junior YC, Pickleball, Tennis and many more. The LEHYC Community continues to thrive and “Beach Haven is Home” is the theme of most of the membership.