Safety of Life at Sea Trust (SOLAS)

History of the CYCA SOLAS Trust

Following the tragic loss of six lives in the 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the CYCA Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Safety of Life at Sea Trust was established by the Club and a number of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s then Directors. Since its creation, the CYCA SOLAS Trust has raised more than $1.6m.

2023 SOLAS Trust Dinner – Chair David Kellett AM with guest speaker Lindsay May OAM. Credit: Darcie Collington

The Trust’s objectives are to:

  • Assist the immediate needs of families of those lost at sea during Australian Sailing sanctioned races.
  • Provide assistance to search and rescue organizations.
  • Foster research and training to improve procedures and equipment for use at sea.

In 2023, Australian Sailing selected SOLAS Trust as a one of three key organizations that it would promote nationally – in line with its Safety pillar.

The Trust is managed by a company trustee with five Board Members including a Chair.

The CYCA SOLAS Trust Board Members

Chair: David Kellett (CYCA Past Commodore)

Board Members:

Paul Billingham (CYCA Past Commodore)

Matt Allen (CYCA Past Commodore)

Arthur Lane (CYCA Commodore)

Leander Klohs

David Gotze

Secretary: Justine Kirkjian (CYCA CEO)


The work of the CYCA SOLAS Trust is ongoing. In excess of $1.6 million has been donated by those participating in the sport to the CYCA SOLAS Trust since its inception, with the vast majority coming from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and its members.

The annual CYCA SOLAS Trust Fundraising Dinner attracts guests and VIPs from across the community.

2017 SOLAS Trust Dinner


To make a donation to the CYCA SOLAS Trust please download the form or contact accounts@cyca.com.au.

In recognition of the support that CYCA members give to the annual Rotary Charity Regatta, the Rotary Club of Sydney Cove committed to include the CYCA SOLAS Trust as a nominated beneficiary of the Regatta.

Applying for a donation

The Trustee is continuously seeking giftable search and rescue organizations around Australia with a view to supporting their capital expenditure on search and rescue facilities. If you think your organisation meets the criteria, please email your detailed proposal seeking support from the SOLAS Trusts to the CYCA at cyca@cyca.com.au or post your submission to:

The Chair
c/o Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
1 New Beach Rd
Darling Point NSW 2027

David Kellett AM, Tom Slingsby and John Markos. 2016

Supporting Search & Rescue organizations

Since it was established in 1999, the Trust has distributed in excess of $1.2 million to search and rescue organisations Australia wide including the following recipients:

CYCA Principal Sponsor

CYCA Official Sponsors

CYCA Youth Sailing Academy Sponsors and Supporters