How to take up sailing in the Mothers City
The Royal Cape Yacht Club is undoubtedly the largest and most active sailing club in the southern hemisphere.
The Club was founded as the Table Bay Yacht Club in 1905 and commenced operation as such in a waterside boatshed located some 50 to 60 metres northward of the foot of Loop Street. Surviving early vicissitudes, the club’s name was changed in 1914 to the Cape Yacht Club which incorporated the Alfred Rowing Club and shortly after we received the Royal Charter to become the Royal Cape Yacht Club.
Buffeted by change we moved from clubhouse to clubhouse, and it was not until the decade after the 2nd World War (1939 – 1945) that the shell of the present clubhouse came to be erected. It was added to when the local yachting boom – started by the first Trans-Atlantic Race from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro in 1971 – took off and changed the Club from a small membership of around 300 to the present figure of some 3000.
The club itself is modest, a low-slung building that houses offices, a first class restaurant and a bar where more tall tales have been told than on any other patch of earth. Its relaxed atmosphere and view over crowded docks bustling with activity is a very pleasant way to while away a long lunch or a cozy, romantic dinner.
The Club hosts important sailing events including the Country’s premier keelboat regattas. The Cape to Rio and South Atlantic Races have been hosted by Royal Cape Yacht Club since inception in 1971. Other international events have included the Whitbread Race, the BT Global Challenge, The BOC Around Alone Race, the Volvo Race, The Lisbon Expo 98, Clippers, and the Hong Kong Challenge, to name but a few. Down the centuries, the Southern tip of the African continent, has extended a welcome to seafarers, gaining for the city the soubriquet of the “Tavern of the Seas”.