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A concise history of Australia’s premier ocean-racing club, From Ratbags to Respectability traces the story of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia from its humble origins in 1944 through to its prominent position in the world of blue-water racing in 2005.
It tells the story of what was intended to be cruise to Hobart in 1945 that became a race (the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race) that captured the imagination of post-war yachtsmen and over the ensuing years turned into what is recognised as one of the three great ocean races of the world, some say “the Everest of ocean racing”. A young club struggling for acceptance in the yachting community and considered an ‘upstart’ in its early days, the CYCA carved a niche for itself in ocean racing, becoming the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s de-facto representative in the southern hemisphere. Throughout the ensuing decades the CYCA played a significant role in the development of safety procedures that have now been adopted by clubs around the world.
From Ratbags to Respectability is written in an easy, readable style and presents a wealth of detail about the development of ocean racing in the latter half of the 20th century. It contains many biographical notes about the colourful characters who shaped the club and its independent approach to racing in our very challenging waters.