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1913 clubhouseSandringham Yacht Club’s (SYC) history can be traced back to the Port Phillip Yacht Club (PPYC), which was originally established in 1903 adjacent to the current public jetty. The present day club burgee was the original burgee of the old PPYC, founded at Picnic Point in 1903. In 1911 Sandringham Yachting and Angling Club founded. In 1912 Sandringham Yachting and Angling Club was renamed Sandringham Yacht Club, with the first SYC racing season conducted in 1913/1914.

In 1931 a devastating fire to PPYC resulted in the amalgamation of PPYC and SYC in 1932. Another fire in 1955 totally destroyed the original SYC Clubhouse with the Club losing all of its records and memorabilia together with most of its documented history.

With rapid rebuilding, helped by volunteer labour a new club was built for the 1956 Olympic Sailing “Finn” Class and was honoured with a visit from his Royal Highness, Prince Philip, himself a keen sailor, who later became SYC’s Commodore in Chief on the 25th January 1980 and recently visited the Club in 2000. The old Clubhouse (current car park site) was built in 1963 and the funds were raised through a debenture scheme

SYC has been focused on providing its members and guests with the best facilities and services on any yacht club on Port Phillip Bay. In the early 1990’s SYC put in place the current 340 berth floating marina we enjoy today. In 2002 SYC redeveloped the waterfront facilities including the:

  • Boat yard environment and pollution control system
  • Marina Fuel System
  • 40 tonne travel lift
  • Boating Maintenance Precinct
  • Concessions/Brokers Building
  • Ken King Centre
  • Capital cost of $3.5 million

In late 2007 SYC commenced construction of FMP2 – our new clubhouse and car park facility with a capital cost of 12.75 million. Construction concluded at the end of June 2009. Members and guests are currently enjoying the state of the art facility.

The Club burgee has been flown for 106 years which is the longest continual use of any burgee on Port Phillip Bay.

Following is the story of the SYC burgees

Port Phillip Yacht Club began at Sandringham in 1903, and adopted the burgee that we fly today – a red diagonal on a white background.

Sandringham Yacht Club had its beginnings in 1911, and in 1912, adopted an emerald green burgee with a golden yellow cross. The club flew this until it adopted a new burgee in 1925 – a navy blue background with a red cross overlaid with a white five point start.

In 1931, fire destroyed the Clubhouse of PRYC and the two clubs decided to amalgamate the following year, retaining the Sandringham name and the Port Phillip burgee. This burgee has a proud history, having been flown consistently since 1903, and is one of the oldest on Port Phillip Bay.

During our centenary celebrations we have discovered that the red white and blue burgee, flown from 1925 – 1932, was identical in colour and design to the burgee of the New York Yacht Club. Their burgee has been in use since 1844 and the design was published in the Lloyd’s Register in the late 1800’s. The design is rightfully theirs, but because of its historical significance to our club, especially in our centenary year, NYYC have graciously given permission for its use as part of our centenary logo.

Our current burgee with its bright red diagonal has become synonymous with good sailing and strong competition. It is known and respected in Port Phillip Bay, throughout Australia, and around the world, and should be shown on members’ vessels with pride, on every possible occasion.

Graeme Disney
Club Historian