Club History

Stonehaven Cup History2022-12-20T17:06:14+11:00

Trust: Perpetual

Winner of the Stonehaven Cup Interstate Championship

A broad metal cup with a flower grill, which is permanently attached to a multi-tiered round wooden base carrying engraved shields for each winning boat


12 Foot Cadet Dinghy

The Cadet Dinghy has gone through an extraordinary number of changes over time: from heavy wooden hull through light-weight Western Red Cedar hull to fibreglass hull, from gaff rig to bermudan rig, from fully open boat with no added buoyancy to fore and aft buoyancy tanks and ultimately to fully integrated side buoyancy tanks, from steel centreplate to aluminium alloy centreplate, and from fixed blade rudder to swing blade rudder.

The constant thing in all of this has been the hull, which has preserved its external shape and load carrying capacity. It is the fact that the Cadet Dinghy was designed to carry a team of three adolescents which has been a core distinguishing feature of the design and a great enabler of the social interaction so important to teenagers.

RS Quest

The Quest is very modern, having been designed over 2014 and 2015, and launched into production in November 2015. With its clean lines, white hull, coloured sail patches, and square-topped mainsail, it has a striking, contemporary look.

While it was designed primarily as a three or four crew trainer, the high aspect rig, combined with a large sail area, provides exciting sailing in a moderate wind, and presents handling challenges in a heavy wind.

As a sign of the world-wide rate of sales of these boats, RBYC’s first boat “QUESTionable” has hull number “133”, and 18 months later, its most recent acquisition “John Akhurst” has hull number “1472”.

Transitioning to the RS Quest

In January 2017, the Stonehaven Cup National Council agreed in principle to the transitioning of the equipment platform from the Cadet Dinghy to the RS Quest, subject to equipment acquisition approvals at each of the competing clubs. It was understood then that the duration of the transition period to the new platform would be determined by the time to acquire the new boats, and that this might take several years.

As it has turned out, the January 2018 regatta became the last Stonehaven Cup to be contested in the Cadet Dinghy. All of the competing clubs have now managed to acquire RS Quests, and so the January 2019 Stonehaven Cup will be the first to be contested in the RS Quest. This is a substantial achievement for the clubs individually and for the competition overall.

Club History2022-11-16T09:34:46+11:00

The Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, with a history of over 140 years, is one of the oldest yacht clubs in Victoria with a long list of historical firsts. Situated at St Kilda in close proximity to the Melbourne central business district, it is regarded as the centre of aquatic events in Victoria.

Most major championships have been held off its shores and the Squadron was the control centre for the 1956 Melbourne Olympic yachting events, as well as the 1999 Laser World Championship.

The Squadron had its beginnings in the early 1870s when a small group of yachtsmen and occasional fishermen gathered at St Kilda beach. Where there are yachts, there were challenges, and soon informal races started.

By 1876 the group became the St Kilda Sailing Club, with approximately 20 members and Robert Hill as Commodore. The annual subscription was ten shillings.

During season 1879-80 and with a bank balance of over seventeen pounds, plans for a club shed were submitted to Council; however strong opposition from St Kilda residents ended that plan.

Membership grew to 44 in the 1881-82 season and with a bank balance of thirty nine pounds, Louis Meyer again took up the question of a clubhouse. But his efforts were to no avail, because the Council again objected to the plan.

At the Annual Meeting on September 1884, with the desire to place the Club in a premier position , it was moved to change the name from St Kilda Sailing Club to the St Kilda Yacht Club. It was also decided to extend the tonnage limits to allow larger yachts to participate in races.

Louis Meyer never gave up negotiations for a club site and in December 1885 his persistence was rewarded when the Lands Minister provided a ‘Free Grant Site’ on West Beach. A weather board club shed designed by Sydney Wilson was later built on the site, at a cost of one hundred and twenty pounds.

By 1890, St Kilda Yacht Club had 200 members and 25 yachts on the register. By weight of members this made it the strongest on Port Phillip. Improvements made at the time included connection to the water main, a cold shower for members and a fence around the premises.

In 1894 it became apparent that the club would have to build a slipway suitable for slipping larger yachts. An application was lodged by Commodore Meyer for a more convenient site closer to the pier. In September 1895 this was granted by the Crown.

In October 1903, at its annual meeting, the Club decided to admit women as members and entitle them to all privileges. Rules were prepared to negotiate the change, but despite the landmark decision, there were no immediate applicants, so the scheme did not come to fruition.

During 1904 the construction of the Club’s slipway began at the new site. It became necessary to proceed immediately with the erection of a clubhouse.

Designed by a member, J.P. Kennison, the two-storey clubhouse was built by Adams Bros. at a cost of 629 pounds. The clubhouse was formally opened by Past Commodore Louis Meyer on 24th June 1905, making St Kilda Yacht Club one of the first yacht clubs in Australia to have an on-site clubhouse. Eighty two members joined the services during World War I. Six were killed. In January 1920, a tablet was unveiled by the Mayor of St Kilda Councillor T.G. Allen, bearing the names of the members who lost their lives during the War.

In August 1919 the St. Kilda Yacht Club had unsuccessfully petitioned for the right of the prefix ‘Royal’. They again petitioned with the backing of Lord Forster in April 1923. The club was advised in May 1924 that His Majesty, King George V, had conferred on the Club the prefix ‘Royal’.

By this time the Club had 284 members and was becoming very cramped so the battle for more land started again.

The erection of an imposing two-storey building was commenced in 1926. The Foundation Stone was laid by the Governor-General Lord Stonehaven. To mark the Club’s Golden Jubilee the new clubhouse was opened on 23 October 1926.

Soon after the opening, more than 1,200 members and visitors were at the Club when the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) landed at St Kilda.

World War II saw 140 members enlist in the various services. By the end of the War, 10 had been killed in action.

1956 was a big year for the Club. It was the Executive Headquarters for the yachting section of the Melbourne Olympics. The victory ceremony and presentation of medals took place on the lawns on 6 December 1956.

Discussions began in 1961 on the possible amalgamation of the St Kilda 14 Foot Sailing Club with Royal St Kilda Yacht Club. In the meantime the Club was negotiating through the Government for a name change.

The Club was advised through the Governor General’s Office, that from 26 June 1961, Her Majesty the Queen approved the club’s change of name to the ‘Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron’.

It was agreed that the name change was to be effective from Cup Eve, 6 November 1961, when the club officially amalgamated with the St Kilda 14 Foot Sailing Club.

Women were around the club house from as early as WWII as guests and later on as Honorary members. By 1976, women were accepted as full members with equal rights, making it the first of the Australian yacht clubs with a royal charter to do so.

There have been many famous yachts based at the Squadron over the years. An equally promising future seems assured as committee and members take seriously their obligation to respect its traditions while striving wherever and whenever possible to improve the sailing experience for generations to come.

A multi-million dollar investment improving an already exceptional clubhouse experience, and the opening of the magnificent floating marina in February 2014 have helped place RMYS as one of the most progressive and forward-thinking clubs to be found not only in Victoria, but in the whole of Australia.

This achievement was recognised when the Squadron won the prestigious Yachting Victoria 2014 Yacht Club of the Year Award.

Marina Background and History

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