History & Archives

CYCA Club waterfront 1958
CYCA waterfront 1958

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) was formed in 1944 and, despite its name, quickly became the leading exponent of ocean racing in Australia, at that time a little-known sport both here and elsewhere.

In 1945 a planned cruise to Hobart quickly turned into a race and the famous Sydney Hobart Yacht Race was born.

The race captured the imagination of the Australian public and it soon developed into an international yachting classic, attracting competitors from around the world.

With the CYCA conducting ocean races such as the Sydney Hobart Race since 1944, it has given the Club an expertise in race organisation and sea safety which is internationally acclaimed and widely emulated, some techniques being adapted world-wide following CYCA development.

1945 SHYR Wayfarer CYCA 260303 A-M.
Wayfarer in the 1945 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Rani crew who in the 1945 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Rani crew who competed in the 1945 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

To the surprise of the major ocean racing nations a CYCA team came close second at the Admiral’s Cup in England in 1965 and returned in 1967 to win the Admiral’s Cup.

With this result the CYCA established Australia as a force in international ocean racing.

The CYCA began when some keen sailors started meeting informally in a photographic studio in Sydney. They soon acquired a boatshed in Rushcutters Bay and the rest, as they say, is history.

Over the years the Clubhouse has been developed into a stylish and practical headquarters where races and regattas are coordinated and organised.

These days, the CYCA is the ‘Club of choice’ for its almost 3,000 members, sailors and non-sailors, who enjoy the world-class facilities, the extensive sailing calendar and the social programme of member’s nights, prize giving and just relaxing in the Sydney Hobart Bar after a hard-fought race.

In 2008, the CYCA launched its much anticipated book on the history of the CYCA entitled ‘From Ratbags to Respectability’. The book is ON SALE for purchase for $19.99 either through the online CYCA Store or at reception.


In 1987 Neil Stickler sang about the sailors’ journey to Hobart. Click here to listen

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