The Royal Perth Yacht Club is Australia’s third oldest yacht club. It belongs among the world’s most prominent yacht clubs. It is the home of America’s Cup. It is located at Australia II Drive, Crawley. The Club was founded in 1841 when some sailors held a small regatta in celebration of the Foundation Day. Similar events were held in 1851 and in 1859, until the group of sailors who initiated the first regatta made Perth Yacht Club official in 1865. The Club has since then focused on sailing, training champion sailors, and hosting premiere events.
In its early years, the regattas only included races for yachts and gigs. It was not until 1880 when a jetty was constructed on the place where the Club was originally situated, at the end of William Street. The year 1889 saw the opening of the Clubhouse. In 1890, the name “Royal” was added to the Club’s name upon Governor Sir Frederic Napier Broome’s advice to Queen Victoria. It was also around this time that the Lords of the Admiralty awarded the Royal Warrant to the Club to carry the Blue Ensign in its undefaced form.
The following year, the club members decided during one of their general meetings to drop the Club’s old burgee. The new burgee they adopted was colored white with the St Georges Cross in red. The St Edwards crown is displayed on the upper part, also in red. The Club established the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1920. This organization, now defunct, became the Royal Australian Navy’s reserve force. During this time, sailing was already recognized as a sport, not just in Royal Perth Yacht Club but in other yacht clubs in Albany, Fremantle, Geraldton, and Esperance as well.
The Royal Perth Yacht Club has produced many champions. Among these were world champion Gordon Lucas, America’s Cup 1983 winner Steve Ward (for Australia II), and another America’s Cup winner Alan Bond, who won in 1983 and put an end to the New York Yacht Club’s record as consistent winner since 1851. The Club hosted America’s Cup in 1987 in Fremantle. To this day, it is considered to be one of the most successful America’s Cup based on overall event, promotion, and of course corporate success. Champions from Royal Perth Yacht Club who have become internationally known are Iain Murray, John Bertrand, Colin Beashel, Peter Gilmour, and Jon Sanders. Other celebrated members of the Club are Sebastian Destremau who belonged to the top 3 Australian match racers, David Dicks who is the youngest person to sail alone and nonstop around the world, and Noel Robbins who won a Gold medal in the Paralympics Sonar class.