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Vale Cameron Dale

Thursday, 2nd September 2021

Vale: Cameron Dale (21.12.91 – 30.08.21)

Dear SYC Members,

It is with great sadness, that we share the news that Cameron Dale passed away peacefully after a sudden illness on 30.08.21. 

We wish to address this letter to the members to express how much Sandringham Yacht Club and its community meant to Cam. Cam grew up at Sandringham Yacht Club, and probably spent the majority of his life in or around the club, simply SYC was his favourite place. We want to thank everyone at SYC for being his extended family. Due the current circumstances, we are unable to celebrate Cameron’s life at the club with you, however my family wanted to send this letter to share how much SYC meant to Cam.

Here are some of our memories of Cam’s time at SYC. We know we will have missed many others and hope that this letter sparks memories of sailing with Cam or times on shore with him around the club.

Cam first joined the club in 2000, having learnt to sail optimists in the pond. Our neighbour Roy ‘Hoffy’ Hoffert, gave Cam his first boat. An International Cadet that Hoffy had built, for his grandson. Cam was in love with spending time on the water from the first go.

Cam (aged 10) helmed his first regatta at the Sandringham International Cadet Nationals (2001/02). He loved sailing cadets, going to Metung at Easter, the OTB events and the family trips to the nationals each summer.

Cam was a great cadet sailor, representing the country at the 2006 International Cadet Worlds on Lake Balaton in Hungary, supported by the SYC community. Who could forget, Mum and Dad getting a call from the bar one winters night when Cam and I had taken the Cadet out to train in light winds, forgetting about the 5:00 sunset.

After Cadets Cam enjoyed being part of the SYC Match Racing Teams. I know there are a few tales to tell of the match racing teams on their travels.

He also loved getting involved with bigger boats. He was a part of a memorable Mumm 30 Nationals at Sandringham, sailed on many yachts including Dekadence, Calm, Terra Firma, Simply Fun, Ambition, Belle and I know I’ve missed many others. He was regular J24 and Etchells sailor too.

His first offshore race was a Melbourne to Stanley Race, as a 15year old, apparently he was sick the whole way. This didn’t stop his enthusiasm, at just 18 he completed his first Sydney to Hobart; one of three, his third being as a member of the youngest ever crew to complete the race.

Cam loved to be a part of SYC teams, including Hamilton Island, Port Lincoln Week, Geelong Week and the Sydney Harbour Regatta, to name a few. He enjoyed completing deliveries and found a passion in cruising, he was forever planning the next place to sail.

Cam always loved skiff sailing and enjoyed being a part of the i14 sailing fraternity, creating the infamous Herbie Racing Team. I know he was looking forward to the next i14 nationals in Melbourne.

Cam was forever passionate about SYC. He was integral in fostering a love for the club with the young members, his old boat Marissa H28 was used for many days out in the summer months. He loved twilight races, refurbished a club Cadet and had a way of bringing people together of all ages to go sailing. He also succeeded in changing the Club rules to allow the wearing of thongs in the bar on race days. 

Most recently Cam was very happy spending Saturdays racing with the boys on both PP1s, he was very proud of their recent ORCV victory to Blairgowrie.

Cam loved sailing. He loved racing, cruising, traveling and just sitting in the bar talking about sailing. He just loved SYC, in fact, he used to describe Opening Day, as better than Christmas.  It is impossible to describe how much Cam loved the club and what it gave him.

We have been touched by the countless messages from many people who spent time on the water and around the club with Cam.

On behalf of our family I want to thank the SYC community for giving so much to Cam. I want to thank everyone who has reached out to us over the past few weeks. Your messages have overwhelmed us with their heartfelt sincerity and compassion. We have loved hearing Cam stories and seeing all the picture of him sailing.

We hope to celebrate Cameron’s life later this year at the Club when restrictions ease.

Rest easy Cam.


“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows


Kindest regards,

Alison Dale

On behalf of Jess, Mark and Sue


Pics include;



Cam and Jess Sailing

Cam and Hoffy

The PP1 Boys

Opening Day on Marissa H28

2007 Cadet Worlds, Lake Balaton Hungary

Cam at the Helm