The Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club was formed as the “Goolwa Regatta Club” some time prior to August 1854, and less than 18 years after European settlement of the then Province of South Australia. Its original object was to organise an annual regatta featuring various types of water sports between members of the fishing fleet based at Goolwa and those of the whaling fleet at nearby Victor Harbor. The regatta grew to be a highly popular outing for spectators and participants alike, attracting both locals and many visitors from Adelaide.
The GRYC is today believed to be Australia's oldest continuously operating yacht club, and is the home of Goolwa's yachting community. The club operates an active year-round sailing program and the club's facilities are available for members and visitors alike.
Most of the vessels on the Club's register are trailer-sailers or other lifting-keel yachts, which are well suited to the relatively shallow waters of the adjacent Lower Murray Lakes and Coorong areas, although traditional wooden riverboats and various sizes of power boats are also well represented.