Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) is proud to have won the Community Clubs Victoria Regional Club of the Year Award 2019/20 at the CCV Virtual Awards Night last night.

This prestigious award was achieved during one of the most challenging periods in our community’s history.


RGYC has a proud history and an exciting future, with several awards being won over the past 12 months. In 2020, RGYC was named the Australian Sailing Club of the Year in recognition of its biggest sailing season in the Club’s 161-year history, strong community engagement and inclusive programs, as well as the Australian Sailing Sport Promotion Award, for effectively promoting the sport of sailing.


During the 2019-20 season, RGYC hosted the ‘Summer of Sailing’ – the biggest season in the Club’s 161-year history. This included a large calibre of events, including World Championships, with 7 scheduled major events (6 completed, 1 cancelled due to COVID-19).


RGYC also continually support and demonstrate benefit to its community. The club is heavily involved in supporting underrepresented groups such as Sailability, Vision Impaired Sailing, She Sails and the St Ayles Skiff migrant boat building and rowing program. RGYC also partner with local schools to offer sailing experiences with RGYC’s qualified instructors , as well as a partnering with Newcomb Secondary College and their PTech program. RGYC also has a strong relationship with the Barwon Sports Academy (BSA) – a sports academy focused on high performance development of emerging sailors who live in the Geelong region.


RGYC also regularly engage with Local and State Government to work collaboratively across events, key projects and decision making. Similarly, RGYC also engage with the Wathaurong community representatives to work collaboratively to inform decision making for the Club’s major events, activities, and key projects.


During the 2019/20 season, RGYC also entered a Sustainability Partnership with local Torquay company, Joco Cups. Through this partnership, Joco has supported our Summer of Sailing events which included a ‘RGYC Green Team’ across all events and a Beach Clean Up event during the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championship, where over 95kg of rubbish was collected. Joco has also deployed a Seabin in the RGYC Marina as part of their ‘Turning the Tide on Plastic’ initiative.


In the wake of the decision to cancel the 2019 Australia Day Fireworks display out of respect for the bushfire victims and Australia’s volunteer firefighters, RGYC donated $10,000 to kick start a Bushfire Appeal which was then conducted, in partnership with Geelong Connected Communities, during the event. In total, $41,555.80 was raised and donated to the Salvation Army’s National Bushfire Appeal.


RGYC has adopted the Inclusive Club Standard for Sailing Clubs in Victoria, published by the Victorian State Government and Australian Sailing.


Geelong’s new $10.1 million, 440m Wave Attenuator has been open for almost 12 months, being a major milestone in the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project. RGYC has initiated and lead the construction of this exciting waterfront multi-faceted project.  Wangim Walk has also become a popular tourist destination, with the 440-metre boomerang-shaped structure increasing public open space at the Waterfront for walkers and recreational fishermen to head out across the water.


Named after the Wadawurrung word for boomerang because of its unique shape, it provides an opportunity for visitors to walk out over the Bay then come back. Another part of this project is the club’s new facilities which will offer even greater accessibility and engage with the community through equitable access, providing the ability to further enhance the Club’s offerings to maritime education and the community. Youth groups will particularly benefit from the new facilities as they will be offered a full maritime education program as part of the Victorian Sailing School, in conjunction with Newcomb Secondary College.


Ultimately, RGYC aims to provide opportunities for all to participate and connect with adventure, environment and coast while sharing experiences and lasting friendships.


The Club utilises the services of Community Clubs Victoria in the form of accessing their weekly newsletter, utilising their advice to improve operations, seeking advice directly with CCV staff and constantly seeking Human Resource advice. This has been particularly the case during the COVID-19 lock down periods, where both the newsletter advice and information has assisted the Board and staff in making critical management and operational decisions.


RGYC Commodore Stuart Dickson said that the award is a credit to all involved with the club. “Being awarded Regional Club of the Year is a wonderful tribute to all members, staff, stakeholders, partners and volunteers who drive and support our many diverse and community focused activities. I am extremely proud of the club’s achievements, particularly through the disrupted and challenging periods experienced in 2019/20,” he said.


RGYC congratulate all award winners.