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.

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.

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.

1945 SHYR Wayfarer CYCA 260303 A-M.
Wayfarer in the 1945 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

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.

These days, the CYCA is the ‘Club of choice’ for its more than 3,100 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.

The full Club history can be found in the book “Ratbags to Respectability” which can be purchased online or at the CYCA reception.

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