In the beginning
It all began on 15 December 1979 when Cape Town’s Cape Argus newspaper asked the question, ‘What is blue and white, has two legs, and is continually moving?’ Readers were told that the answer would be revealed at the public unveiling of a new club for seaboard athletes. The club’s inaugural meeting would take place at the Arthur’s Seat Hotel on 20 December 1979 and those who wanted further information were invited to contact Robin Breakey or Mike Russell, two founder members destined to become legendary figures in Atlantic’s history. According to the newspaper, the objective of the new club was to encourage and promote athletics in the Green and Sea Point, Camps Bay, and Hout Bay areas.
The inaugural meeting: December 1979
The minutes state that 34 people attended the inaugural meeting, however, it seems that there must have been a shortage of pens at the meeting because the register only reflects 21 signatures. These belong to Les Barchard, Leon Kaimowitz, Cyril George, Robin Breakey, Mike Russell, Roy Shuman, Jeremy Kropman, Leon Margolis, Stan Glanz, P Veitch, Farrell Cohen, F Stern, Steve Townsend, P Lewis, G Green, Trevor Metcalfe, S Jossel, H Figov, and B L Goodman.
The first committee meeting was held at Aaron Lewis, the President’s house. on 7 January 1980. Les Barchard, the first secretary recorded that the ‘full committee’ attended, but did not state their names. However, the handwritten nomination sheet, which appears to have been prepared at the inaugural meeting, reflects that Leon Margolis (a.k.a. Moggy), was the treasurer, Robin Breakey: the Chairman, Jeremy Kropman: Information Secretary, Cyril George: Club Captain and the additional members: H Figov, R Shuman, Mike Russell, Leon Kaimowitz, Stan Glanz, Farrell Cohen, S Jossel and F Stem. The treasurer informed the meeting there was R595 in the bank and that 44 members had joined the club.
The record reflects that there was a ‘heated discussion’ at the inaugural meeting regarding the colour of the club’s shorts. The matter was put to the vote and the majority voted in favour of royal blue. Founder member Steve Townsend designed the Atlantic logo, which incorporates Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. The Western Province Amateur Athletics Association approved the club’s white vests, with blue hoops and royal blue shorts.
There is no mention of any female attendance at the inaugural meeting, nor were any women elected to serve on the first committee. In fact, the first reference to the fairer sex was a decision at the April 1980 meeting that ladies should utilize the male kit and take in the vest if they found it to be too revealing!
Atlantic Athletic Club has been involved with three successful Cape Town road races over the years.
The 32km Atlantic Road Race now known as The Bay to Bay was managed by AAC for 31 years from 1981 to 2012. The club introduced the popular 5km fun run in 1982, reduced the distance to 30km in 1983, and brought in the 15km relay. In 1989 MIKE RUSSELL (Chairman) proposed the name change to The Bay to Bay in reference to the course running through both Camps Bay and Hout Bay.
THE GUN RUN half marathon was first run in 1992 beginning at 9:30am and racing to the cut-off fired by the noon gun off Signal Hill. Seeff and the Cape Argus were the original sponsors and the race finished in the old Green Point Stadium. Over the years, the club added a 10km and 5km fun run.
Greenpoint Stadium 1980 -1982
West Point Tennis Club (later renamed Green Point Tennis Club) 1982-1987
Green and Sea Point Cricket Club 1987-1989
Hamiltons Rugby Club 1990-2010
Oceana Power Boat Club 2011-2012
Hamiltons Rugby Club 2012 to 2022
Glen Country Club Clifton 2022 to Present