The CYCA Hall of Fame was established in 2018, recognising Members past and present with notable involvement to the Club and sailing achievements.
Members of the CYCA Hall of Fame by year of induction:
- Stan Darling
- Syd Fischer AM OBE
- Magnus Halvorsen
- Trygve Halvorsen
- Captain John Illingworth
- Hugh Treharne OAM
- Michael York OAM
Lou Abrahams was a Member of the CYCA from 1970 until 2014. He was also a Member of Sandringham Yacht Club (SYC) from 1964, where he was Commodore in 1972/73.
The Junior Sailing Centre at SYC is named after Lou due to his influence on young sailors and his generosity.
He competed in 44 Sydney Hobart Yacht Races between 1963 and 2007. The first with Sir Arthur Warner on Winston Churchill before becoming an owner and racing 43 consecutive races in eight yachts.
He won the race twice, first with Challenge 11 in 1983 and the second with Ultimate Challenge in 1989. He was also second overall in 1991. With the 1983 victory, Challenge II became the first Victorian yacht to win the race.
Lou’s ocean racing success was not restricted to the Hobart.
- He was Australia’s Team Manager for the 1979 Admiral’s Cup, which Australia won.
- He won the 1980 Great Circle Around Tasmania with Vittoria.
- He raced in the Kenwood/Clipper Cup in 1982, 1984, 1988, 1990 and 1996.
- He was part of the Admiral’s Cup team in 1985 & 1987 – on Challenge III and Ultimate Challenge.
- He was third overall on Challenge in the 2002 and 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobarts.
- He was first in the Sydney 38 Division on Challenge in the 2005 and 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobarts.
- He was Sydney 38 National Champion on four occasions.
In recognition of his achievements, Lou was awarded:
- Victorian Yachtsman of the Year – 1983
- CYCA Ocean Racing Yachtsman of the year – 1990
- CYCA Veteran Yachtsperson of the year – 1996, 2002 and 2006
Lou Abrahams was inducted into the CYCA Hall of Fame in 2023.
Better known in the sailing fraternity as ‘Sighty’, Richard Hammond went from a young skiffy out of Manly to become one of the most renowned ocean racing navigators.
Sighty was a Member of the CYCA from 1967 until he passed in 2013. He competed in his first Sydney Hobart in 1952 aboard Wanderer (the stories of his early voyages were legendary) before joining Russell Slade aboard Janzoon and Janzoon II, where he met his lifelong sailing mates Colin Betts and Richard Norman.
He went on to become the first yachtsman to compete in 40 Hobarts, winning overall in 1968 aboard Koomooloo, taking Line Honours the following year on Crusade and being instrumental in navigating Sovereign to the line and handicap double in 1987. In addition, he navigated yachts to second and third places in several races.
Australia’s involvement in the Admiral’s Cup was a particular favourite of Richard’s, where he represented Australia seven times, including seven Fastnet races, all as navigator and becoming the only Australian to be on two winning Australian team sin 1967 and 1979.
He was instrumental in Australia’s success over the years, with his intimate knowledge of English conditions, and was mentor to all Australian Teams from 1967 to 1989.
Sighty was also part of several Australian teams in the Kenwood Cup in Hawaii, winning the inaugural event in 1988.
Richard Hammond was inducted into the CYCA Hall of Fame in 2023.
Peter Kurts was a Member of the CYCA for 38 years from 1967 until he passed in 2005. Peter competed in 31 Sydney Hobarts, winning twice overall, a second place and two fourth places, as well as six divisional wins.
Peter competed in his first race in 1964 aboard Kaleena before launching the first of his five yachts, Mister Christian, followed by the famous Love & War, in which he won two of her three Hobarts, becoming only the second boat to achieve three wins in the history of the race.
He also built Once More Dear Friends, Drake’s Prayer and Madeline’s Daughter, all successful yachts which in his career carried him to:
- Win the 1966 Brisbane to Gladstone Race.
- Win the 1967 Sydney to Brisbane Race.
- Represent NSW and Australia in six Southern Cross Cups, three as Team Captain.
- Have the top scoring yacht in the 1987 Southern Cross Cup as a member of the winning team.
- Win the 1973/74 Blue Water Pointscore with Love & War
- Be owner/skipper of six challenges for the Admiral’s Cup (only Syd Fischer has done more) with a second and third place.
- Be the Australian Team Captain twice.
- Compete in eight Fastnet races.
- 1983 Australian Team at Kenwood Cup in Hawaii.
- Win Line Honours in the 1980 Bermuda Race aboard Bumblebee 4.
- Helm Nefertiti as Trial Horse for Dame Pattie in 1967 America’s Cup in Newport, Rhode Island.
Peter Kurts was inducted into the CYCA Hall of Fame in 2023.
A skiff sailor, yacht designer, ocean racer, Olympian, America’s Cup helmsman, Regatta Director, High Performance Manager for Australian Sailing and an innovator in yachting technology. Iain Murray AM is the complete package.
He is a World Champion in 18-footers and Etchells, as well as Australian Champion in Cherubs, 18-footers & Etchells.
A Member of the CYCA since 1985, Iain has competed in 27 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races, winning three times, including as the designer of three winning yachts and crewing aboard 10 Line Honours victors, including in 2022 aboard Andoo Comanche.
He won the 1973 Cherub Championship at age 14, in a boat he designed and built himself at 12. He won six World 18-footer Championships in a row from 1977
Iain was the first to use carbon fibre in boat building in Australia with John McConaghy.
His first Hobart of 26 was in 1977, when he sailed with Denis O’Neil and Peter Kurts, before skippering Bumblebee 5 to win the 2001 Hobart on the yacht he also designed and built.
Iain competed in three Admiral’s Cups, winning in 2003.
He was the Australian Yachtsman of the Year in 1984 and was awarded an Order of Australia in 1991.
In the America’s Cup, Iain was skipper of the 12 Metre Advance in 1983 and stayed on in Newport to skipper trial horse for Australia II.
His America’s Cup record included:
- 1987 Skippered, managed and designed Kookaburra.
- 1991 – Skippered, managed and designed Spirit.
- 1995 Head of the design team for One Australia.
He was also Etchell World Champion in 1984 & 2019.
Iain represented Australia at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in the Star.
He has been Regatta Director for the America’s Cup in 2013 (San Francisco), 2016 (Bermuda), 2021 (Auckland) and has been appointed for the 2023 edition in Barcelona.
Iain became Regatta Director for Sail GP in 2019 and was High Performance Manager for the Australian Sailing Team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Iain Murray AM was inducted into the CYCA Hall of Fame in 2023.
Sir James has been a Member of the CYCA since 1971, celebrating his 50th anniversary last year.
As one of the first committee members of the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy, he played a key role in establishing the YSA, which has become an institution of our Club.
A successful sailor from an early age, he was Australian champion in the 12 square metre Sharpie class in 1959, Flying Dutchman class in 1964 and world 505 champion in 1966.
Sir James represented Australia in two Olympic Games, skippered three America’s Cup challenges and competed in four Admiral’s Cups.
His name is deeply etched in the history of the America’s Cup, having competed as crew, then skipper aboard Gretel in 1967, skipper of Gretel II in 1970, on Southern Cross in 1974, on Australia in 1980 and as relief skipper and advisor to John Bertrand for Australia II’s win in 1983.
As helmsman aboard Impetuous in the 1979 Admiral’s Cup, Sir James assisted the Australian team in winning the prestigious trophy for the CYCA.
He also enjoyed many Sydney Hobart Yacht Races over the years, from his first in 1955 with Norm Howard on Southern Myth to those as skipper of his own yachts – Nyamba, Police Car and the famous family yacht Nerida, on which he raced in the 50th Sydney Hobart in 1994.
In recognition of his contribution to sailing and the community, Sir James was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1975 and knighted for his services to yachting in 1981.
He was then inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame in ’94 and was awarded the Australian Sport Medal in 2000.
Inducted in 2022.
Gordon served as the CYCA’s Rear Commodore in 1965. He is currently the second longest serving Member of the Club, having joined in 1949.
A year later, he competed in his first Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, aboard the 29-foot Jasnar.
In 1962, Gordon purchased Caprice of Huon, and competed in four Sydney Hobarts, his best result being second-place overall in 1972.
Gordon and Caprice of Huon qualified for the 1965 Admiral’s Cup, where she recorded the exceptional result of three wins in four races, resulting in the team placing second.
Gordon qualified Caprice of Huon again for the 1967 Admiral’s Cup team. As he was campaigning with Sir Frank Packer’s team for the ’67 America’s Cup, he lent the boat to Gordon Reynolds, assisting that famous Admiral’s Cup win.
Gordon sailed on a wide range of yachts, from ocean racers to one-design Dragons and 5.5s. He won the 5.5m Australian Championship in 1961, 1962 and 1969, also winning the Scandinavian Gold Cup in 1969.
Following the 1967 America’s Cup campaign, Gordon went back to one-design sailing in the Tempest class, winning a national championship and selection to the Australian team for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
In 1976, Gordon purchased Gretel II from Alan Bond and challenged for the 1977 America’s Cup. He continued to race Gretel II on Sydney Harbour and in 12m World Championships, before returning to the Dragon Class, where he has had exceptional results. In 2018, at the age of 91, Gordon won his fourth Prince Philip Cup, a remarkable achievement.
For his many services to sailing, Gordon was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.
Inducted in 2022.
After competing in the inaugural Sydney Hobart Yacht Race aboard Horizon, Alan became one of the CYCA’s earliest Members in the late 1940s.
He was a cadet draughtsman during World War II while training as a naval architect, and established a naval architect practice following the war.
Alan enjoyed early success with his designs Nocturne, Solo and Cherana – three overall wins and three Line Honours wins between them in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Alan was commissioned to design Gretel, Australia’s first challenger for the America’s Cup in 1962, as well as Gretel II for the 1970 America’s Cup.
In the 1980s, Alan was co-opted by the CYCA, along with Professor Peter Joubert and Gordon Marshall, to assess the construction of ocean racing yachts. They recommended the American Bureau of Shipping Rules be adopted in Australia and eventually, with Alan’s support, they were used as a worldwide reference for construction standards.
Aside from being a most talented designer, Alan was known as a thorough gentleman, never pursuing financial success, nor trading on his reputation. He was unflappable, meticulous, warm, sincere, patient, understanding and always good for a laugh.
Alan was a Member of the CYCA until he passed away in 1995.
Inducted in 2022.
Vic Meyer joined the CYCA in 1950, when he owned the motor sailor, Lauriana.
He assisted the Club in purchasing its first property, the Rushcutter Yacht Service, for 10,000 pounds, with a loan guaranteed by Vic, Merv Davey and Colonel Albert Saafeld.
In 1952, Vic offered Lauriana for use as the Radio Relay Vessel in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. On the cruise back from Hobart, the engine was shut down and Vic experienced the joy of sailing. From then, he was hooked.
In 1954, Vic approached a young naval architect, Alan Payne, to design him a cruising yacht. A 57-foot steel-hulled sloop was built by Vic and his son. They named her Solo – a born winner.
Vic was a hard driving skipper and never expected his crew to do anything that he would not do himself. Vic and Solo enjoyed incredible success in the 1950s and 1960s.
In eight Sydney Hobart Yacht Races between 1955 and 1962, Solo won two Tattersall Cups, two John H Illingworth Challenge Cups and was second on line four times.
She won many other major ocean races, including six Line Honours wins and four overall wins in the Montague Island Race, as well as five Line Honours wins and two overall wins in the Brisbane Gladstone Race.
Vic circumnavigated Australia in 1962 and retired Solo from racing the following year, spending the next decade cruising around the world, often with an all-female crew.
Vic retired to Maroochydore, where he passed in 1991.
Inducted in 2022.
Kay Cottee could be termed a CYCA baby; the daughter of prominent members of the time Jim and Joy McLaren, she was taken sailing for the first time when only a few weeks old.
Kay along with her four sisters spent her youth around the CYCA where her love of sailing developed and where she met and married the son of another prominent CYCA family. She was a member of the club in 1970’s re-joining in 1993.
In 1988, Kay became the first woman to sail single handed non-stop and unassisted around the world, aboard the 37ft yacht Blackmores First Lady. On her return through Sydney Heads on 5th June 1988, she was greeted by tens of thousands of well-wishers.
Following the famous voyage Kay undertook an 18-month national schools tour, speaking to over 40,000 high school students and raised in excess of $1million for the Rev. Ted Noffs’ Life Education Program.
Kay was the Australian of the Year in 1988; awarded an Order of Australia in 1989 and was Chair of the Australian National Maritime Museum from 1995 to 2000. In 2017 she was an inaugural inductee of the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame.
Inducted in 2019.
Stan Darling was born in Hobart in August 1907. He worked for the ABC as a radio announcer and in 1936 was transferred to Sydney before enlisting for service in World War II in the Royal Australian Navy. Stan returned from the war as one of the most decorated Australian naval officers being awarded three Distinguished Service Crosses.
In 1947, Stan joined Trygve and Magnus Halvorsen as navigator aboard Peer Gynt thus embarking on a yachting career with equal distinction, making up the third member of the most consistently winning ocean-racing team ever put together.
Stan competed in 27 Sydney Hobart Yacht Races, taking Line Honours twice (1953 Solveig and 1976 Ballyhoo) and was overall winner five times (1954 Solveig, 1957 Anitra, 1963 and 1964 Freya and 1970 Pacha).
Due to illness, the Halvorsen Brothers did not sail in 1954, leaving Stan to skipper Solveig to an overall win. In 1967, Stan was navigator in the winning Admiral’s Cup team aboard Balandra.
Inducted in 2018.
Mervyn Davey could be termed Mr. CYCA.
Merv joined the CYCA in 1945, the 25th member. He served on the Board of Directors for a number of years before becoming Rear Commodore 1947 and 1948 and Commodore from 1949 to 1951 and again in 1957 to 1958.
Merv was elected to Life Membership of the club in 1961 and in 1962, was appointed Secretary and continued in that capacity until 1971 when he became the full time Sailing Secretary.
Along with the Board, Merv was responsible for the acquisition in 1951 of the small boatshed at Rushcutters Bay as the first CYCA clubhouse and was one of the guarantors for the loan; the first marina in 1952 and the building of the addition to the clubhouse in 1958, the marina extensions in 1960 and the completion of the new clubhouse building in 1965 and the acquisition of the adjoining boat yard and marinas in 1968.
Merv designed and supervised the construction of his 44 foot yacht “Trade Winds” which was the first modern ocean racing yacht constructed of steel in Australia. He skippered her to wins in the 1948 Montagu Island race and the 1949 Sydney to Hobart race.
As a highly qualified engineer, Merv was also well known for his measuring skills and was a leading exponent of the RORC rule and the development of the IOR rule in the 1970’s. A very principled man, he was Chief Measurer for the Australian Yachting Federation and represented the country on the world rating Councils.
He was described by the highly respected yacht designer Olin Stephens as “a brilliant young man who was a credit to the CYCA and Australian yachting”.
Inducted in 2019.
One of the founding fathers of the CYCA and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Jack Earl OA, the noted marine artist owned a Colin Archer designed 43’ gaff rigged ketch named after his beautiful wife “Kathleen Gillett”. Jack and Kathleen lived aboard and cruised with their son Mick and daughter Maris. He and Peter Luke were friends who cruised together and had the idea of forming a cruising club, which they did on 6th September 1944.
Jack competed in the first CYCA race in October 1944 from Sydney to The Basin in Pittwater.
It was Jack’s intention to cruise to Hobart in December 1945 along with Peter Luke and the Walker brothers which was the foundation of the Sydney to Hobart race.
In 1947 Jack departed Sydney for a circumnavigation of the world only the second Australian yacht to do so, arriving home in November 1948. He completed another circumnavigation in the 1960’s aboard his Tasman Seabird yawl “Maris”.
Jack was a great supporter of the CYCA over his long membership until his death in 1994.
Inducted in 2019.
Syd Fischer has been a Member since 1962, and has competed in 47 Sydney Hobart yacht races, owning 14 different yachts along the way. His first Hobart in the Lion Class Malohi in 1962 was followed in 1968 by the most famous of his yachts, the 48’ Sparkman and Stephens-designed Ragamuffin, in which he went on to race to Hobart in six races, rarely out of a podium finish either overall or in division. Syd won the race overall in 1992 and took Line Honours twice in 1988 and 1990.
Syd was a committed competitor and was part of the Australian Team in the Admiral’s Cup in six events, Captaining the Team on five occasions and winning the Fastnet race in 1971 and leading the winning team in 1979. In addition, Syd challenged for the America’s Cup five times involving many CYCA Members, particularly junior sailors in many of his challenges.
Inducted in 2018.
Trygve and Magnus Halvorsen are among the most successful ocean racers ever to have sailed out of Sydney. Their record performance in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is unlikely ever to be broken and overshadow their unquestioned distinction in boat building, yacht design (Trygve’s great talent) and ocean yacht navigation (Magnus’s self-taught specialty).
Trygve joined the CYCA in 1946 serving on the Board of Directors and Rear Commodore 1953-54. Magnus joined in 1947 and had an active role in the Safety Committee
The brothers designed and built all their boats meeting great success in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race with five overall wins (1954 Solveig, 1957 Anitra, 1963,64 and 65 Freya), in addition to five second-place finishes.
Magnus went on to win the race again in 1974 as navigator on Love & War, as well as Line Honours twice, 1971 Kialoa II and 1975 Kialoa III. The race record, set by Kialoa III in 1975, stood for 21 years.
Inducted in 2018.
Captain John Illingworth was one of the greatest exponents of sailing and ocean racing. Following World War II, he was the Chief Engineer Officer at the Royal Navy Repair Base at Garden Island. His reputation as an accomplished ocean racer in the UK had preceded him, notably his knowledge of all aspects of yacht design, rigging and racing and his willingness to share his knowledge with others earned him the deep admiration of would-be ocean racers in Australia.
Following a meeting of the newly formed CYCA in May 1945, Illingworth was invited to join Peter Luke, Jack Earl and Bert Walker in a cruise to Hobart over Christmas that year. Illingworth suggested “Why don’t we make a race of it” and the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race was established.
Through Illingworth’s connection with the RORC, their rating rule was utilised to measure the fleet. Illingworth went on to take Line Honours in the first race and win the event on handicap.
John Illingworth is considered the Father of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and was elected a Life Member of the CYCA in 1957 and remained a friend of the CYCA for the rest of his life.
Inducted in 2018.
A member since 1987, Grant came to prominence in 1983 when he navigated AUSTRALIA II to win the America’s Cup, an obsession which has seen him involved with 6 America’s Cup campaigns, winning 4 times.
In addition, Grant is a distinguished ocean racer having competed in 21 Sydney to Hobart races, winning aboard Yendys in 2000 and a Line Honours victory aboard Drumbeat. He also competed in the Australian Admirals Cup Team in 1981, 1985 and 1983 and other major regattas throughout the world.
After the 1983 success Grant stayed with Alan Bond’s syndicate and was navigator on AUSTRALIA IV during the 1987 Defender selection series.
He was co-owner of North Sails Australia for 17 years until 2000 when he joined ALINGHI as managing director and head of design. Grant helped design the winning 2003 and 2007 America’s Cup boats as well as ALINGHI 5 for the 2010 America’s Cup defence.
In 2010 Grant joined Team Origin as CEO but they withdrew and in 2012 he became general manager of Oracle Racing, overseeing the day to day operations at the 2013 and 2017 America’s Cup.
Grant was inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame in 2017.
He joined Ben Ainslie Racing in late 2017 to prepare for the current America’s Cup.
Inducted in 2019.
A Member since 1971, Hugh Treharne is one of the most exceptional sailors in Australia, having won the America’s Cup in 1983, Admiral’s Cup in 1979, Sydney Hobart race twice (1992 and 1993), the Fastnet Race in 1971, the World One Ton Cup in 1971 and Half Ton Cup in 1975 and the World 18-foot Skiff Championship in 1970 as well as numerous national titles in yachts and skiffs.
Hugh has sailed in 30 Sydney Hobart races commencing with Norm Brooker aboard Seawind in the mid 1960s. He sailed aboard many top-quality yachts including Ragamuffin winning the race overall in 1992 and winning overall again in 1993 aboard Cuckoo’s Nest.
Hugh sailed in six Admiral’s Cup campaigns, including winning the Fastnet Race aboard Ragamuffin in 1971 and winning the Cup for Australia in 1979 as helmsman aboard Impetuous.
Inducted in 2018.
Michael York is the longest-serving member of the CYCA, having joined in 1945. Mick and his wife Jeannette have been a part of the CYCA virtually since inception and have contributed much to the fabric of the club. The annual drinks party at the York’s waterfront home for visiting international yachts out for the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race are fondly remembered.
The consummate seaman Mick was in high demand aboard ocean-racing yachts in his day and was a crew member aboard Gretel in Australia’s first challenge for the America’s Cup in 1962 and aboard Caprice of Huon in the 1965 Admiral’s Cup team. With the arrival of the maxi yachts contesting Line Honours in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Mick was a regularly crewman aboard Kialoa and was aboard Kialoa III in 1975 when she set the race record which stood for 21 years.
In 1974 Mick skippered his Tasman Seabird yacht Tui Manu to an overall win in the Sydney Noumea Yacht Race. He and Jeanette spent many years cruising their yacht Rockhopper in the Pacific.
Inducted in 2018.