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Middle Harbour Yacht Club

Short NameMHYC
Physical AddressLower Parriwi Road, The Spit, Mosman NSW 2088
Postal AddressPO Box 106, Seaforth NSW 2092
StateNSW
CountryAustralia
Emailinfo@mhyc.com.au
Telephone Number+612 9969 1244
Websitewww.mhyc.com.au
Facebook Pagemiddleharbouryachtclub
TwitterNil
Date Formed1939
Videoswww.youtube.com/watch?v=V-xaeZfJ478
www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-xaeZfJ478

Middle Harbour Yacht Club

Middle Harbour Yacht Club lies on the shores of The Spit, some 7 kilometres North of Sydney's CBD.

With a membership of 1500, we are one of Australia's largest yacht clubs, and recognised as a national leader in sail training and associated education programs.

At the highest level of competition in our sport, our members and their boats have continued a tradition of excellence winning all of Australia's top events and bringing home many international honours.

MHYC is the scene of year round sailing activity. The club boasts a comprehensive calendar of events that sees action on and off the water taking place virtually every day and evening of the year.

This broad spectrum of events and activities offers participants at all levels and in all aspects of our sport the opportunity to experience and enjoy the many rewards sailing has to offer cradled in a unique atmosphere of spirit and camaraderie.

List of MHYC Flag Officers

Year Commodore Vice Commodore Racing Vice Commodore Cruising / Cruising Division Chairman Rear Commodore Club Captain
1939/40 Pres. K Down        
1940/41 Pres. K Down        
1940/42 Pres. K Down        
1940/43 Pres. K Down        
1943/44 Pres. K Down        
1944/45 Normal Way Keith Adams      
1945/46 Normal Way Keith Adams   Fred Smidlin  
1946/47 Normal Way Keith Adams   Fred Smidlin  
1947/48 Normal Way Keith Adams   Fred Smidlin  
1948/49 Normal Way Keith Adams   Fred Smidlin  
1949/50 Normal Way Ern Merrett   Fred Smidlin  
1950/51 Normal Way Keith Adams   Fred Smidlin  
1951/52 Normal Way Keith Adams   Harry Elderfield  
1952/53 Normal Way Bill Henderson   Lal McDonell  
1953/54 Normal Way Bill Henderson   Walter Burke  
1954/55 Normal Way Bill Henderson   Rod Jones  
1955/56 Keith Adams Bill Henderson   Rod Jones I.A. 'Dak' Harrington
1956/57 Keith Adams Bill Henderson   Rod Jones I.A. 'Dak' Harrington
1957/58 Keith Adams Rod Jones   Harry Alexander I.A. 'Dak' Harrington
1958/59 Walter Burke Horrie Godden   Harry Alexander I.A. 'Dak' Harrington
1959/60 Walter Burke Horrie Godden   Harry Alexander I.A. 'Dak' Harrington
1960/61 Walter Burke Horrie Godden   Harry Alexander I.A. 'Dak' Harrington
1961/62 Horrie Godden Harry Alexander   Lal McDonell K.A. Gategood
1962/63 Horrie Godden Harry Alexander   Frank Likely K.A. Gategood
1963/64 Horrie Godden Bill Liddell   Frank Likely M. Battye
1964/64 Clem Susans Gordon Reynolds   Frank Likely I.A. 'Dak' Harrington
1965/66 Clem Susans Doug Sturrock   Fred Farrell N. 'Curly' Curlewis
1966/67 Doug Sturrock Fred Farrell   Chas Middleton N. 'Curly' Curlewis
1967/68 Doug Sturrock Fred Farrell   Chas Middleton Peter Kaill
1968/69 Fred Farrell Chas Middleton   Jack Lutze Peter D'arcy
1969/70 Fred Farrell Chas Middleton   Jack Lutze Peter D'arcy
1970/71 Fred Farrell Chas Middleton   Jack Lutze Peter D'arcy
1971/72 Chas Middleton Don Richards   Peter D'arcy Ron Derrin
1972/73 Chas Middleton Don Richards   Bowen/Lees Jack Olive
1973/74 Don Richards M.G. 'Pat' Lees   Alf Wildman Barry Hopkins
1974/75 Don Richards G.F. 'Tig' Thomas   Alf Wildman Barry Hopkins
1975/76 Don Richards G.F. 'Tig' Thomas   Cliff McGarry Bruce Gayfer
1976/77 G.F. 'Tig' Thomas Andrew Clinton Tony Rickards Geoff Foster John Tavener
1977/78 G.F. 'Tig' Thomas Andrew Clinton Terry Ayscough Geoff Foster John Tavener
1978/79 G.F. 'Tig' Thomas Dak Harrington Don Richards(Dec'd)/ John McMahon Geoff Foster John Tavener
1979/80 Dak Harrington Don Radford Terry Ayscough John Tavener Tony Rickards
1980/81 Dak Harrington Don Radford Derek Gates Geoff Foster Tony Rickards
1981/82 Dak Harrington Tony Holt Howard Gee Geoff Foster Tony Rickards
1982/83 Geoff Foster Alan Sweeney Jim Young Fred Clutton Ian Alfonso
1983/84 Geoff Foster Alan Sweeney Jim Young Ken White Ian Alfonso
1984/85 Alan Sweeney Ken White Roger Lewis  Lindsay Rose Ian Crichton-Brown
1985/86 Alan Sweeney Ken White Gordon Forbes-Smith  Lindsay Rose Roger Lewis
1986/87 Alan Sweeney Ken White Stanley Wachman Keith Tierney Roger Lewis
1987/88 Ken White Tony Hill Stanley Wachman Keith Tierney Keith Lecompte
1988/89 Ken White Keith Tierney Peter Garske Tony Hill Keith Lecompte
1989/90 Keith Tierney Tony Hill Bill Mclaughlin Keith Lecompte Andy Brennan
1990/91 Keith Tierney Tony Hill Bill Mclaughlin Keith Lecompte Maurice Gilet
1991/92 Keith Tierney Tony Hill Don Jordan Andy Brennan Maurice Gilet
1992/93 Tony Hill Andy Brennan Don Jordan Maurice Gilet John Taylor
1993/94 Tony Hill Maurice Gilet Peter Moffitt John Taylor Lindsay Rose
1994/95 Tony Hill Maurice Gilet Peter Moffitt John Taylor Lindsay Rose
1995/96 G.F. 'Tig' Thomas Bryce Wauchope George Hibberd Don West Peter Dally
1996/97 G.F. 'Tig' Thomas Bryce Wauchope George Hibberd Don West Peter Dally
1997/98 Bryce Wauchope Rob Reynolds David Roberts Peter Dally Rory Burke
1998/99 Bryce Wauchope Rob Reynolds David Roberts Peter Dally Rob Lees
1999/00 Rob Reynolds Peter Dally Bill McLaughlin   John Crawford Rob Lees
2000/01 Rob Reynolds Peter Dally Phil Darling John Crawford ?
2001/02 Rob Reynolds Phil Darling Phil Darling John Crawford Bob DeCoster
2002/03 Chris Sligar John Crawford Phil Darling Vacant Jack Stenning
2003/04 Ian Box John Crawford or Jim Curtis? Phil Darling ? Jack Stenning
2004/05 Ian Box Alister Morison Bill Humel Kevin Wallis Jack Stenning
2005/06 Ian Box Alister Morison Bill Humel John Sturrock Jack Stenning
2006/07 Ian Box Alister Morison Phil Darling John Sturrock Jack Stenning
2007/08 Ian Box Alister Morison Phil Darling Carl Crafoord John McCuaig
2008/09 Martin Hill Alister Morison Phil Darling Carl Crafoord John McCuaig
2009/10 Martin Hill Julie Hodder Phil Darling Carl Crafoord John McCuaig
2010/11 Julie Hodder Phil Clinton Phil Darling Carl Crafoord John McCuaig
2011/12 Julie Hodder Phil Clinton Colin Pitstock Carl Crafoord John McCuaig
2012/13 John McCuaig Phil Clinton Colin Pitstock John Sturrock Julie Hodder
2013/14 John McCuaig Phil Clinton Colin Pitstock John Sturrock Mike Gallagher
2014/15 John McCuaig Phil Clinton Colin Pitstock John Sturrock Mike Gallagher
2015/16 John McCuaig Mike Gallagher Michael Mulholland-Licht John Sturrock Peter Lewis

History per Decade

Click on the Year to view more history per century.

1930s Middle Harbour Yacht Club in the 1930's
1940s Middle Harbour Yacht Club in the 1940's
1950s Middle Harbour Yacht Club in the 1950's
1960s Middle Harbour Yacht Club in the 1960's
1970s Middle Harbour Yacht Club in the 1970's
1980s Middle Harbour Yacht Club in the 1980's
1990s Middle Harbour Yacht Club in the 1990's
2000s Middle Harbour Yacht Club in the 2000's
2010s Middle Harbour Yacht Club in the 2010's

Brief History

First MHYC Clubhouse
First MHYC Clubhouse
Celebrating 75 years in 2014
Celebrating 75 years in 2014
MHYC before the new deck was put in in 2013
MHYC before the new deck was put in in 2013

 "Tradition and Excellence Since 1939"

Early that year, Togo invited a small group, including Griffin, to his home in Mosman, where the formation of a club was proposed. 

The first official meeting was held in the Griffin Brothers' Boatshed at the Spit. Mr Dick Down, a life member and past Commodore of the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, was invited to be President and Togo Middows became Secretary. George Griffin, a first-class boat builder, remained an active member of Middle Harbour until his death and was the subject of many stories regarding his legendary strength and sailing abilities. Nicknamed, "Gorilla", Griffin built the first registered club yacht, "Flying Cloud", which was owned by Togo Middows. Throughout the war years the club still conducted races and after the war Middle Harbour Yacht Club, as it had now become known, started to go from strength to strength.

In 1944, the club introduced Saturday racing in two divisions; A and B class yachts. The fleet was mainly small craft, and a yacht had to have a fixed keel to be eligible to race. By 1947, there were eight yachts in A Division and ten yachts in B Division. There were fifteen other yachts which did not race so the total fleet numbered 33.

On November 27, 1954 the first clubhouse was opened by the Mayor of Mosman. At the time, members had little idea that by the 1980s the club would grow larger than all the combined clubs of the time. Nor could they have foreseen the explosion in popularity that their beloved sport of sailing was about to experience.

The first off-shore race conducted by MHYC was a modest affair. On August 21, 1954 ten yachts crossed the starting line for a race to Newport on Pittwater. Despite light winds, forcing some of the fleet to motor to Pittwater, the race was won by "Pinta" who threw up a spinnaker after rounding Barrenjoey Headland and crossed the finish line at 0335 hours on August 22.

"Pinta" had started a new era for MHYC and it was not long before club yachts were making headlines. In 1956, "Siandra" became the first MHYC yacht to enter the Sydney-Hobart Race. It was to become one of the most famous yachts of the 50s. In 1958, "Siandra" with Graham Newland as skipper and Ron Swanson, Frank Likely, Pod O'Donnell and Peter Mounsey as crew won this blue-ribbon ocean event. A winning tradition had begun and the 1959 Sydney-Hobart Race saw seven MHYC yachts take part with four finishing in the top ten places.

In 1960, "Siandra" won the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's first Blue Water Championship. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, MHYC yachts and their crews took many racing honours with boats such as "Carmen", "Cavalier", "Cadence", "Moonbird" and "Janzoon II" all prominent winners. At the club's 25th anniversary a new race from Sydney to Brisbane was created to be a feeder for the Brisbane-Gladstone Race. Again, MHYC yachts were winners, with "Cadence" and "Carmen" coming 1st and 2nd in the inaugural event.

In 1969, famous yacht designer and builder, Ron Swanson, on "Sundowner", made MHYC proud by taking out the double of line and handicap honours in the Brisbane-Gladstone Race. In 1972, the race fleet was hit by a cyclone and only six yachts finished with Peter Hopwood's, "Harmony" battling on through incredible 112 mph winds to win!

In 1965, MHYC placed eleven members in the first Australian Admiral's Cup Team and internationally the club started to make its mark with many honours over forthcoming years going to names such as Ron Swanson, Doug Gilling, Hugh Treharne and Warren Johns.

Since the 1970's, MHYC members have continued to be top performers in all facets of sailing, whether it be the classic ocean races or the activities of the Centreboard Division, which was created in 1963.

With the success and continued growth of the club a new clubhouse became essential. In 1963 the club obtained the site of the old Spit Baths and it was on this perfect vantage point that a marina complex and the present clubhouse were eventually built.

During the 1970s MHYC benefitting from improvements including a new clubhouse, saw membership climb to the 2,000 mark for the first time. In fact, in 1976 membership was 2,197 compared to less than 1,000 in 1971; an amazing growth period. The 70s also saw the creation of a Cruising Division for the adventurous non-racing sailors and the "Sailing Birds" group was established to develop training programs to teach people how to sail. This tradition of excellence in training and safety programs has continued to be a feature of MHYC to this day.

1976 saw the inaugural Sydney-Suva Yacht Race started by the Governor General of the Day, Sir John Kerr. It was also mentioned in the Rear Commodore's report around this time that MHYC was conducting races on 170 days per year for over 200 entrants surpassing any other yacht club in Australia. The success of club members and their yachts during this period was legendary. It would be impossible here to list all the racing successes but in summary, MHYC representatives won practically everything on water including the Sydney to Mooloolaba Race, Brisbane to Gladstone Race, Dunhill Half Ton Cup, Ampol Tasman Trophy, South Solitary Island Race plus numerous State, National and World titles. In 1983, MHYC was the first club to welcome back the victorious Australia II crew, including club member Hugh Treharne, after they won the America's Cup.

 MHYC entered the 80s and celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1989. During this decade MHYC conducted its first World championship for the J24 class in 1982 and another Worlds for the International 505 class in 1988. The Navigator's Association as formed in 1983 to become another strong unit of club activity and in 1986 Shores Restaurant opened under a lease arrangement. The 1988 Australian Bicentenary was marked by a welcome of some of the Tall Ships to the club and an Around Australia Yacht Race was staged to celebrate the occasion with club yachts "Otella", "Apple Endeavour" and trimaran, "Verbatim" all placing in race divisions.

 During the 80s Twilight Races, The 3 Ports Race and the Philips Night Race all emerged as exciting MHYC activities. Despite the economic difficulties in the community during the 1980s MHYC, through the tremendous efforts of club members and volunteers, remained a progressive and viable organisation. MHYC emerged from the 80s a stronger outfit with the largest membership and yacht register of any yacht club in Australia. The club had established an excellent racing record, a comprehensive yearly calendar of first-class events, an enthusiastic Cruising Division, a tremendous junior membership program and first-rate training and safety schemes.

The 1990's saw a long financial struggle for MHYC, and the Club continue's today as a result of the resolve and contributions of its members. The Club now has no external debt. More importantly the Club was able to finance and construct a new 76 berth floating marina, which now forms the centrepiece of not only the Club's sailing activities but also its revenue stream. 

As a result of the Junior Sailing program held at MHYC during the 90's we developed a strong line up of Aussie Sailors. Culminating in the success of Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page in the 470 Class. Nathan and Malcolm won all before them, 4 World Championships, and finally Olympic Gold in Beijing in 2008. MHYC continues its junior racing activities to bring along more talented young Australian Sailors.

MHYC is the scene of year round sailing activity. The club boasts a comprehensive calendar of events that sees action on and off the water taking place virtually every day and evening of the year. This broad spectrum of events and activities offers participants at all levels and in all aspects of our sport the opportunity to experience and enjoy the many rewards sailing has to offer cradled in a unique atmosphere of spirit and camaraderie.

The History Continue's

MHYC Story

Middle Harbour Regatta 1959 - History of MHYC
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959 - History of MHYC
From: Middle Harbour Regatta Program 1959
THE Middle Harbour Yacht Club, originally known as the Middle Harbour Cruising Yachts' Association, was formed at a small meeting held at Griffin's Boatshed, The Spit, on December 13, 1939. Mr. R. Down was elected Chairman and Mr. H. Middows acted as Secretary.

The formal resolution that an Association be formed was carried and the following officers appointed: R. H. C. Down, President; H. Middows, Secretary-Treasurer; G. Griffin, Hon. Handicapper, and C. Powell, Committeeman. Annual subscription was fixed at £1/1/-, and the meeting place, Griffin's Boat Shed, rooms to be fixed up at a rental of £1 per week with varying charges for lockers.

The first race was arranged for January 20, 1940. The first Committee Meeting, 9th January, decided that the Club Pennant should be White ground with MH in Red on the left-hand side. Later this was changed and the pennant in its present form was chosen. Board of Trade's rules for shipping were adopted for racing and working sails only permitted.

The Association progressed quickly and satisfactorily. Various attempts were made to provide for extras in racing, but were deferred for the time. On November 3, 1941, the activities of the Association were suspended because of the war situation and half the fees were remitted to the members. The rooms at the Boatshed were relinquished and the furniture stored.

Association activities were resumed by the Committee on August 23, 1944, and a tentative program of racing was drawn up. Soon after, in September, a proposal was made that the Broken Bay Yacht Owners amalgamate with the M.H.Y.C.A., but nothing concrete eventuated. October, 1945, saw the adoption of S.Y.R.A. rules for racing.

The following year the first attempts at finding a home for the members meetings were made by a sub-committee consisting of Messrs. Elderfield, Ward and Thompson. The subsequent report was rejected, and an alternative proposal that Mr. Griffin's offer of his rooms above the Shed, suitably altered, was accepted. However, nothing came of this because certain domestic arrangements necessary for the change could not be carried out. Since the resumption of Club activities in 1944, meetings had been held at the Mosman Town Hall, and Committee meetings in members' homes.

At a meeting in July, 1946, the name of the Association was altered to Middle Harbour Yacht Club. At the meeting in October, 1946, Mr. R. Down and Mr. H. Middows resigned, and Mr. N. Way was elected as Chairman, and H. S. Elderfield, Secretary, with John Shannon continuing as Treasurer. The late Mr. C. W. Robson sponsored a proposal that the Club and the Sydney Amateurs amalgamate and during November, 1946, discussions between both bodies were held, but although the utmost goodwill prevailed it was considered impracticable. Nevertheless, the friendly feelings engendered at those meetings were maintained through the subsequent years and continue to this day.

At this time, the use of extras for racing was approved under strict measurement control and from this day it could be said that Club racing entered into its own and now the M.H.Y.C. has one of the finest fleets actively participating in Australia.    

Still without a home, the Club met at the Spastic Centre for a while and then settled in the Mosman Bridge Club's rooms; very comfortably. However, the demand for a home of our own would not be denied and eventually Messrs. Way and Elderfield, through the active support of the Mayor of Mosman, Alderman Ferris, secured approval of the project and site at the Spit. After many vicissitudes the present Club was entered into, being formally opened by the Mayor of the day, Alderman J. Warre.

Middle Harbour Regatta 1959 - History of MHYC
Middle Harbour Regatta 1959 - History of MHYC
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