The scenic Rushcutter’s Bay, just around the corner from our boat share facility at Point Piper, contains in it some of the most storied yachting history in all of the Australia, if not the world. Named for the rushes that formerly inhabited the shallows near the end of the bay, Rushcutter’s Bay now hosts the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, where the origins of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race lie.
This yacht club dates back to 1944, when a group of keen sailors came together to create a club with an emphasis on the slower pace of the cruising life. The club itself, situated on the eastern shoreline of Rushcutter’s Bay, was far from the chic surrounds that host corporate events today. It was a humble boatshed; but despite the surroundings, it became a key player in yachting history.
A visit by a visiting British captain John Illingworth, a year after the inception of the club, changed the fate, and the motif, of the club. He suggested that a planned sail to Hobart be changed to a race, a notion that was warmly accepted by the rest of the sailors in the club. Among the nine starters, eight of them finished, lead by Illingworth himself in his yacht ‘Rani’.
His winning time, six days and fourteen hours, has steadily fallen over the course of the past 70 years, with the fastest time now being held by Bob Oatley’s maxi yacht, Wild Oats, at one day and eighteen hours. The race has also been marred by tragedy: during the disastrous 1998 race, six sailors were lost and over fifty had to be rescued from Bass Strait amidst a severe storm. The CYC now sets a global standard for safety in yacht racing, bred from this wealth of experience.
All of this history can be traced back to the once-humble boatshed, one that can be part of your boat share experience, on Rushcutter’s Bay. For more information on accessing this premier boat share experience, contact Luxury Boat Syndicates or browse our lineup of yachts, today.