Our History Albert Park Yacht Club is the oldest continuing inland yacht club in Victoria. We've been around since 1871 and have a rich history, which we're very proud of.
But, it doesn't stop there, we're still making history with our contributions to the sport of sailing and to the community through our Sailability programme.
Albert Park Yacht Club offers a safe and convenient place to sail year round in the heart of the city. Add to this a great social calendar that includes some of the best musician's in the country (thanks to Cliff Ellery and Harmony Row) and you've got a pretty good deal!
In September 1871, at the Clarendon Hotel, a meeting was held to form the Albert Park Yacht Club and 50 members were enrolled.
The first clubhouse was built in 1879 situated on the North Western Shore of the lake and was widely revered as it was the first yacht club house (as opposed to a boat shed) to be built in Australia.
The activities of the club attracted considerable attention and popularised yachting to such an extent that other yacht clubs formed including Brighton (now RBYC) and St Kilda (now RMYC).
Originally all club members were required to wear a uniform – white trousers in summer, blue in winter, the buttons on the reefer jackets were polished brassed, and embossed with an anchor and each sailor was topped with a blue navy cap with a gold badge “APYC”. Officers wore much gold braid to signify their standing.
Dinghies, as we now know them, gained popularity in 1911 with the inception of the Albert Park Boys Dinghy Club, the boys sailing boats similar to the minnows of today.
The Clubhouse was moved to its current position in 1959 where a two story state of the art member’s facility was built. This building forms the basis of the current complex, which has been much extended to now include considerable boat storage facilities, a galley, hot showers and a second hall was added as part of our most recent renovations in 1996.
1959 also saw the admission of the first lady sailor and by 1962 the club had 12 women registered. 1971 was the club centenary – the occasion was celebrated with a brass band provided by the Navy and by crowd of over 200 people including many old members from days gone by, some quite elderly. In 1972 our first Sail-a-thon was held; a 24 hour race in where yachts are crewed by teams taking it in turns to ensure continuous sailing. Sponsorships are sought and all proceeds are donated to charity. Over the years such ventures have resulted in raising quite a lot of money for good causes (approx $2,500 each year) whilst creating an atmosphere and spirit of friendliness.
During the 1990s the club started running its training courses for dinghy sailors as well as hosting the Solo state titles and the Victorian Institute of Sport Olympic Athlete Program for Sailing. Over the years it seemed that APYC has become the unofficial protector of the lake; lobbying against various environmental threats ranging from dredging in 1876 to a bowling alley in 1962 through to constructing a bridge to the island and building a 5 storey restaurant with a carpark for 250 cars and most recently the redirecting of rainfall runoff.
All APYC members realise they are on public land and the Lake belongs to everyone, so everyone is welcome to come and share all of it. Our club takes great pride in making it possible to get the best of all there is to offer.
Olive - "The First Moth"
Albert Park Yacht Club proudly displays the first boat in the Moth class. Olive is a Mk 1 Moth built by Len Morris in 1929 at Inverloch.
Moths were sailed at Albert Park from 1944, the first being 'Cygnet' (A1), but Len MOrris had built a Moth in 1929 at Inverloch, no doubt based on plans he had seen in the US yachting magazine Rudder, but with his inimitable stamp upon it, as it was a restricted type design.
At first he called the boat the 'Inverloch 11 footer', but he changed the class name to 'Moth' a few years later. Len must have designed the Moth insignia we know today, which was ultimately adopted world-wide.
The hull has been preserved by the 'Wooden Boat Association'. Viewing is available on race days in the clubrooms.
The History of Albert Park Yacht Club
By Ralph P. Neale