Our club has a rich history and you can see how it unfolded with our timeline of events.
Visit to RPYC BY HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand
Opening of RPYC Annex Marina at Fremantle
The 1983 Americas Cup was the occasion of the first winning challenge to the New York Yacht Club who had successfully defended the cup over a period of 132 years. An Australian syndicate representing the Royal Perth Yacht Club won the match races to win the Americas Cup which ended the longest winning streak in sporting history.
Winning the America’s Cup
Jon Sanders double circumnavigation of the world
First Australia Cup Regatta
Launching of ORPYC
RPYC’S First rescue boat
Opening of Junior Club House
Past Commodore Bennett opened our first Junior Club House
Albany Ocean Race
The inaugural Albany Ocean Race was held in the 1967-68 sailing season. The first winner was JB Fitzhardinge in “Theanna”
In the inaugural Albany race in 1968, John Fitzhardinge set a race record that stood for 25 years, defying bigger yachts and technology until 1993.
Inaugural Achille Lauro Ocean Race
The first Achille Lauro Ocean Race was sailed in the 1967-68 sailing season. The first winner was J Muhling in “Hydroconic”
Inaugural Carnival of the Swan
The Inaugural Carnival of the Swan was held in the year of the Commonwealth Games
Inaugural P&O Iberia Ocean Race
The first Iberia Race was sailed on 5th March 1960. The results were 1st and fastest Bill Lucas in “Panna muna” followed by Sandra with “Eun-na-mara third”.
Lord and Lady Teynham
Visitors to RPYC. Lord Teynham was Commodore of The House of Lords Yacht Club
Lord and Lady Mountbatten
Visitors to the Club
HRH, The Duke and Dutchess of Gloucester
Visitors to the Club
RPYC’s First Olympic Medal
Roly Tasker won silver at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 sailing “Falcon 1V” – SEE HALL OF FAME
Inaugural Cape Naturalist and Return Ocean Race
The first Naturaliste Race was started by His Excelency Sir Charles Gairdner at 11 am, 11 March 1955. The first winner was Len Randall sailing “Rugged”
The development of the Pelican
Inaugural mention of the design of a new Club trainer, the Pelican, was mentioned in General Committee Minutes in November 1955
The Office of Commodore
General Committee deemed that because of the Commodores work load, future appointment to the rank of Commodore would be for a period of 2 years only.
Paying off Pennant
The Paying off Pennant, with 88 red and white stripes, one for each year of the Club’s existence was streamed from the mast head of the Old Club on 10th December 1953.
1952-1953 Sailing Season at Crawley
The 1953 Sailing Season was open at the new Crawley Premises by The Governor H.E. Lt Gen, Sir Charles Gairdner K.C.M.G K.C.V.O K.B.E C.B The total membership at that time was 472 members.
Ocean Racing Era
The great ocean racing era at Royal Perth began when three Western Australian sailing identities. Bill Lucas, John Fitzhardinge and Stuart Ward, sailed Corsair, the largest cruising yacht in the State at the time, to Sydney for the famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
Inaugural Australia Day Regatta
Australia Day Regatta and Aquatic Carnival held in Crawley Bay 26 January 1948
American Naval Seaplane Base and a lease of 21 years
Several years before the war, the possibility of moving to Crawley had been actively canvassed. In 1939 the proposed site became an American Naval Seaplane Base for the duration of the war. After the war, the Club actively pressured all Government and local authorities to gain a lease on the Crawley site. In 1952 after protracted and frustrating negotiations, a 21 year lease was granted. The building of a new Club House commenced late in 1952
Lord and Lady Baden-Powell
Visitors to the Club
Amy Johnson visits RPYC
Miss Amy Johnson (1903-1941) Aviatrix visits Royal Perth Yacht Club at William Street in June 1930 and is welcomed by Commodore Winterbottom
Club House Extensions
As early as 1910, Club House extensions were planned. Due to the Great War plans were put on hold and in 1923, plans were re submitted but it was not untill 1930 when full architectural plans were submitted and passed and the extensions built. This process took nearly 20 years.
A proposal to shift the Club down river
It was proposed that the Club should shift to an area between the Spring and the brewery in Mounts Bay Road. The area was officially approved for the Club but rejected by a majority of members as being “too far out of town”. In 1926 “The Coombe” in Mosmans Bay was offered to the Club at a ridiculously low figure but again rejected by a majority of members who were horrified at “going bush”.
Visitor to RPYC
First Tax Assessment
The Club was hit with its first taxation assessment, Six Pounds Sixteen.
The first mention of Junior Members in Minutes read – “Gentlemen over the age of 16 and under 21, not being the owner of a boat, may be accepted as a Junior Member”. There was no nomination fee and the annual subscription was One Guinea. Three years later there was only four junior members listed in the Club records.
WAs First National Yachting Title
Andy Roche, later to become an Hon Life Member of RPYC, sailed “Elma” to win the 14 foot dinghy National Championship on Sydney Harbour
The first winner of a Royal Perth Yacht Club Power Yacht Race
“Vista” sailed by AW Green won this inaugural race on 19th May 1906
The Esplanade was reclaimed to within 60 yards of the Club
The earliest reference to the racing of the Governor’s Cup is in 1904, the winner that year being Carter and Ariotts sailing “Waitangi” . Further research is being conducted in ths area.
First recorded visitors in the Visitors Book
Members of the Royal Comic Opera Company
Bar and Bar Chits
The first mention of a bar was in the Committee Minutes dated 6th January 1897. Bar Chits were introduced soon after but reluctantly withdrawn after two months.
The members unanimously decided to dispense with the old blue “PYC” Burgee and adopt a new one . The design chosen was a white burgee bearing a Red St Georges Cross an emblazoned with a St Edwards Crown in the upper canton.
The “Royal” prefix
Exciting news was given to members at the Annual General Meeting held in 1890 – that Her Majesty, Queen Victoria had been pleased to confer upon the Club the title and prefix “Royal” … Your committee think it right to remind members that these distinctions have been conferred … and would recommend that Sir Frederick Napier Broome be written to, thanking him for his efforts in obtaining the title for the Club.
The Royal Warrant to fly the Blue Ensign
The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty granted the Club the Royal Warrant to fly the Blue Ensign
Title and prefix of Royal
On the recommendation of Governor Sir Frederic Napier Broome the Club received the title and prefix of Royal from Queen Victoria and at the same time it was announced that the Lords of the Admiralty had granted the Club the Royal Warrant to fly an un-defaced Blue ensign
Perth Yacht Club received the Royal Charter in 1890
First Hon Life Member appointed
First Club House
In 1889, Talbot Hobbs submitted plans for a new Club House. The plans were drawn and the tender of two hundred and thirteen pounds was accepted. In the same year, Governor, Sir Napier Broome declared the Clubhouse open at a banquet to celebrate the occasion.
First Smoke Social
In the 1889 – 90 season was the first mention of smoke social and later advertised as Grand Smoke Concert
First Ladies Committee
In connection with the Ball held in 1888, The first Ladies Committee to be associated with the Club was appointed by General Committee consisting of Mesdames Bennion, Burnside, Sherwood and Misses Saunders and Victor.
President to Commodore
In 1886 President Gugeri’s title changed from President to Commodore in line with the practice current in English Yacht Clubs and this practise still continues today.
First caretaker appointed
The caretaker was only referred to as Mr Mac. His sallary was 12 pounds per year and his duties were to keep an eye on the jetty and moored boats. Mr Mac was also the manager of the Baths next door.
Perth Yacht Club and Burgee
At the Annual General Meeting 29 new members were elected. At that same meeting, a Resolution was passed dropping the word “Boat” from the title of the Club. It was also decided that the Burgee should be blue with the letters PYC in white in the centre. Membership was fixed at one guinea.
Application to construct a jetty
An application to construct a jetty complete with drawings, was submitted to PCC for approval.
Jetty and Clubhouse
A jetty was built at the Clubs original location at the foot of William Street. The Clubhouse was opened in 1889 when the States population was just 49,000
The first formal General Meeting
This meeting took place at the Fremason’s Hotel with all the original members present an others. Mr JG Lee Steere was elected President with George Shenton Vice President. Governor Weld accepted the office of Patron. This meeting was the progenitor of the Royal Perth Yacht Club.
Formulation of Sailing Rules
A committee called the “Officers of the Regatta” was formed to frame sailing rules. Its first meeting was at the Freemason’s Hotel
Perth Yacht Club formalised
History records further notable events in 1851 and 1859, and in 1865 this original group of pioneer sailors formalised the Perth Yacht Club.
Formation of Perth Yacht and Boat Club
A meeting was convened with WH Knight (the first elected President) in the chair with de Lisle,Glyde,Lawrence, Scholl, Mitchell, Stone and Wynne also present. An annual membership fee of one pound fifteen shillings was struck and the name of Perth Yacht Club was officially chosen.
Celebration Regatta for the 32nd Anniversary of the Foundation of the Colony. Entries in the early Club Minute Books of the 1860’s, refer to a band of Swan River sailing enthusiast who revived the regattas each year to ensure continuity. Governor Arthur Kennedy was one of the instigators of the Regatta revival. It was some of these members who instigated the formation of the now Royal Perth Yacht Club.
First Perth Regatta
On the 29/11/1850, the “Perth Gazette” published an item to spark public interest. Boat Race: a match race between two gigs, “Native Chief” and “Lady of the Lake”. “Native Chief” won the race in 35 minutes with the crew of J Watson, H Burgess and J Dyer steering. This was the forerunner of the Perth Regatta which took place on 18/06/1851. This was a contest for cargo boats, sailing boats, a pulling match and a duck hunt.
The next Regatta
On Foundation Day 1843 a regatta was hastily arranged to celebrate the occasion
First printed record of a Regatta
An advertisement signed by WB Andrews, G Nash and GJ Webb, designated Stewards, was placed in the “Inquirer” for a Regatta on 01/06/1841.
Swan River Colony
Captain Fremantle arrived to establish the Swan River Colony for Britain
Exploration of the Swan River
Captain James Stirling of HMS Success explored the West Coast and Swan River
First “Sails on the Swan”
A french expedition sailed up the Swan River as far as Heririsson Island.
Discovery of the Swan River
The Dutch Captain Willem de Vlamingh after his arrival at Rottnest on 29 December 1696, later discovered and named the Swan River on 10 January 1697.