Chicago Yacht Club

Organized in 1875 in the City of Chicago as an association of 37 yachtsmen, the Chicago Yacht Club is one of the oldest clubs in the United States. Known for their commitment to promoting the sport of sailing, the club is host to the venerable Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. CYC is also a leader in teaching children and adults to sail, having provided sailing lessons for more than 85 years.

Stories from Chicago Yacht Club

The Chicago Yacht Club was organized at the Sherman House in the City of Chicago in 1875, as an association with a membership of 37 men. The first year there were 50 charter members with a $5 initiation fee and $4 dues, paid semi-annually. In 1898, the club hosted the first Chicago-Mackinac Race as an informal contest between five boats. William Cameron’s 64′ fin-keel sloop Vanenna won the race with a time of 51 hours. The 289.4 nautical mile race is now one of the oldest annual freshwater distance races in the world, with more than 355 boats entered and approximately 3,500 crew participating. Racers who compete in 25 Mackinac Races are invited to join the exclusive Island Goats Sailing Society, originally named for the sailors’ appearance, aroma and behavior upon reaching Mackinac Island.

The Chicago Yacht Club membership is proud to become a founding member of the National Sailing Hall of Fame. Since 1875 our Club has embraced an aggressive racing program, which today includes an average of 100 regattas annually. From our very active junior sailing program to our signature regatta – the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac – our focus is on supporting and growing the sport of sailing. We could not be more pleased to support the Hall of Fame in its effort to honor the achievements of American sailors.

Joseph S. Haas