25 years at the helm25.02.2023 Sports & Leisure, Events, Sports & Leisure, Gstaad Living
A quarter of a century ago, the Gstaad Yacht Club (GYC) was founded with a unique vision: to create a global yacht club away from the waters rather than another local club by the waters. This idea captivated the ten founding members in 1998 and has since spread to over 400 members from over 40 countries.
Since its inception, the GYC has sought to maintain its special identity and held its first sporting event two years after its foundation. With the help of the Eagle Ski Club, the Yacht Club de Monaco, and the Royal Yacht Squadron UK, as the first interclub participants. The event has since grown into one of the GYC’s flagship events, attracting teams from 25 clubs around the world.
The club established a special relationship with the Yacht Club de Monaco after the first sailing event, which was held at the invitation of the YCM. Today, the club has a network of 40 reciprocal and friend clubs worldwide. The chalet-style clubhouse in the heart of Gstaad marked a significant milestone for the club and evolved into a home away from home, complete with a restaurant and a lively social calendar for members and guests.
The GYC supports sailing at all levels, from juniors to professional sailors, and has become a prominent force in Swiss sailing, particularly in Olympic sailing and classic yachts. The club’s support for athletes with world-class ambitions is valuable to the Swiss sailing community, and its Racing Team includes prominent sailors such as Flavio Marazzi, Nils Theuninck, Mateo Sanz Lanz and Nathalie Brugger and Anja von Allmen.
The Gstaad Yacht Club gained international recognition as the Centenary Trophy creator during the Voile de Saint-Tropez. This classic regatta only allows yachts that are 100 years or older to participate. The Centenary Trophy was initially from 1911 and was a hundred years old when the first regatta was held. In 2022, on the tenth anniversary of the regatta, a documentary was produced that showcased the stunning beauty and sophistication of the historic yachts that took part in the event.
In 2011, the club began prioritising ocean and water protection and has collaborated with organisations such as the Blue Marine Foundation, the Klosters Forum, and IUCN Ocean Ambassador William Winram.
In 2023, the club will celebrate its 25th anniversary and will host the International Council of Yacht Clubs’ European Conference from March 9th to 11th. The conference will welcome up to 60 representatives from associated clubs from around Europe and beyond and will provide a unique opportunity for the GYC and Switzerland to connect with other yachting nations.