Online art #TogetherWithRFBYC

Online art #TogetherWithRFBYC

During the coronavirus outbreak, many art galleries around our nation have gone digital so that they may continue to share their collections with the community.

While we are all embracing the Stay at Home message we thought we would join in and share some artwork of Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club. This weeks inspiration comes from the book published in 1981 titled "Yacht Clubs of Western Australia". It was written by Ron Tough M.B.E and illustrated by Stewart Cownie. 


Ron Tough was a Life Member of RFBYC. He was awarded M.B.E for services to yachting in 1975. His dream was to establish a fund in WA to support young yachtsmen and women to improve their sailing, assisting them to achieve their maximum potential in the sport. In 1980 the Ron Tough Yachting Foundation held its first meeting. It is a terrific success still today and celebrating 40 years this year. Stewart Cownie had family involvement in sailing and he was head of the art department at West Australian Newspapers, specialising in Architectural illustration for many years. 

The book is a great piece of history on yacht clubs around our state. The picturesque Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club is featured on the dust jacket of the book, painted by Stewart Cownie. 


Enjoy the illustrations and paintings of our beautiful club and a few of its prominent characters. 


Extract of text from the book by Ron Tough M.B.E:

"Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.
On December 1896, a meeting was held at the home of the late Aubrey Sherwood, in View Street, Peppermint Grove, when it was decided to form the Freshwater Bay Boating Club.  The Chairman, Edward Keane, was elected Captain (now recorded as First Commodore), and Sherwood became Secretary.  Other prominent members of the earlier years included Sir J.Talbot-Hobbs, Hubert Miller, Dr Tregonning, Doug Roe, and Roland Smith.


A Clubhouse was built about a quarter mile north of the present site. According to a yachting annual of those times, progress with the new club was slow, until the advent of a "real live neighbouring institution" – presumably the Claremont Yacht Club – when a reorganisation took place and a new management started an era of energetic progress which has continued to the present day.  A Royal Charter was secured in 1934.

The present site was part of an area known as Prospect Place granted to an inn keeper named Butler in 1835. It was later known as Butler's Hump.  In 1891 the present club site was purchased by Mrs Keane, and became known as Keane's Point.  Mrs Keane proposed sub-dividing the area for housing in 1917, but a committee headed by Harry Boan, A.Lovekin, and F.D.Amies persuaded the Government to make a grant to assist purchasing the property for an invalid home for returned service men.  During the depression years the property was placed in the hands of the State Gardens Board, and in 1936 it was leased to Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club. 

The Club has consistently sponsored class racing, and cater for Dragons, Solings, Flying "15's", Hornets, Lasers, Moths, "420's", and Mirrors plus three divisions of cruisers.  The racing programme has covered many World and National Championship series, and pioneered long distance offshore racing when it inaugurated the Fremantle to Bunbury race. 

Over the years the Club has maintained a standard in buildings, amenities, and boating facilities that are in keeping with the magnificent setting, and is probably Australia's finest yachting centre."


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