Cruising Yacht Club Australia (CYCA)

This prestige venue and club house, home of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, was transformed with a set of atmospheric spaces, oriented to the harbour.

Established in 1944 along the Rushcutters Bay foreshore, CYCA is a recreational and hub for over 3,000 club members, their guests and visitors. They come here to celebrate the sport, either as social sailors or seasoned ocean-going racers. Since 1993, the club has seen thousands of students graduate from its Youth Sailing Academy, with many going on to represent their club and country internationally. 

With a modest budget, but a vision to become Australia’s premier keelboat racing club, CYCA engaged us to design a comprehensive upgrade of facilities. This involved a radical replanning of the two-storey club house to better engage with its dual aspect – parkside and waterfront. 

The dominant central staircase was removed, making way for flexible function and training rooms that open out to the marina. These can be joined or separated, as needed, with a capacity of up to 200 people in function mode. A more discreet staircase in spotted gum was inserted towards the park side, leading up to the plush Members Lounge, with a dual-front fireplace dividing the space into quieter, intimate areas including an archive/reading lounge. 

Amenities and back-of-house catering facilities were all upgraded, with full-access toilets and lift access added, along with energy-efficient lighting and rooftop solar energy.  

Project Facts


Gadigal Country, Darling Point, NSW


Cruising Yacht Club Australia (CYCA)


Architecture, Interior Design




Nic Bailey

Key Contacts

Michael Heenan
Director, CEO View profile

Scott Norton
Studio Director, Interiors View profile