It is said to have all begun as a result of a chance race challenge between two gentlemen cleaning their boats on the beach at Middle Brighton in August 1875. One month later, the Brighton Sailing Club was established with fifteen members. By April 1876 the Club (now Brighton Yacht Club) had fifty-seven members and thirteen boats on the register. In 1877 the first building was erected on the site. The Club prospered despite the depression of the 1890s, and by the turn of the century was in a sound financial position with 167 members and a new clubhouse, opened in 1898. So popular was the Club that a branch was opened at Black Rock in 1903, later to become Black Rock Yacht Club.