King George V
The Motor Boat Club of New South Wales was formed on 6 July 1905, by a group of Motorboat Owners at the Aaron’s Exchange Hotel in Sydney. The aim of the Club was to promote motor boating, including racing and social activities. In 1927 His Majesty King George V granted the Club the honour of Royal patronage, conferring the right of the Club to use the prefix “Royal”, the first time a Motorboat Club outside of the UK had been given this honour.
William Arnott – Founder of Arnott Biscuits
1927 saw the auspicious opening of the Royal Motor Yacht Club Newcastle Branch (renamed Toronto in 2000) Saturday 1st November at its present location at ‘Lake Holme’, the former residence of William Arnott and family (of Arnott’s biscuit fame).
The Club has been trading at its current location since its opening in 1927, except for a six year period during World War II when the Club was requested by the Royal Australian Air Force to serve as a recreation centre for its personnel stationed at the nearby Rathmines Catalina base.
At its inception the Club fostered cruiser and power boat racing and operated with a “very high degree of nautical ceremony and prestige, and on occasions, such as race days and other functions, uniform dress was mandatory”.
The Club today continues this tradition and on formal occasions it is not unusual to see senior members of the Club and Flag Officers in Naval Summer Whites or Mess Uniform.
Ken Warby in “Spirit of Australia”
Setting the World Water Speed Record
Since its establishment the Club had produced many local, state, national and international speed boat champions. Ken Warby, holder of the World Water Speed Record of 511.11km/hour which was set in 1978 and still stands today.
In the past the Queen’s Birthday regattas held at the Royal Motor Yacht Club were seen as the highlight of the racing year and would bring speed boats from all over Australia to compete. However, the rising cost of insurance premiums and concerns about speed boat noise on Lake Macquarie saw competitive speed boat racing discontinued. The Club, however, does maintain an active Cruising section.
Chris and Darren Nicholson – 1992 World 505 Champions
In sail boat racing the Club has been as equally as proud, and has produced local, state, national and international champions; such as 1983 World 505 Skiff Champions Terry Kyrwood and Reg Crick, and 1992 World 505 Skiff Champions Chris and Darren Nicholson. The Club also has an active sail boat committee, which conducts sailing yacht races twice a week.
Today, as well as supporting on-water sports, the Club plays and important role as a social and dining venue. With a membership of approximately 2,500, the Club regularly hosts weddings, charity functions, family reunions and social gatherings.