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São Paulo Yacht Club Just 2 Years Away From Its Centenary

The São Paulo Yacht Club (SPYC), located on the north shore of the Guarapiranga Reservoir just 17km from the centre of São Paulo, is the oldest and one of the major sailing clubs on the lake. Today it has a membership of 120  families of various nationalities and is home to over 60 sailing boats of various classes (Lightnings, Olimpicos, FD, DaySailer, Snipe, 470, 420, Optimist and others).

The Club was founded in February 1917, shortly after the reservoir was created, by British ex-pat managers of Mappin department store in São Paulo who realized the sailing potential of the lake. Sailing boats were rare in São Paulo at the time so they used the wooden crates received from the UK home office, containing goods for Mappin, to build their own sailing boats and, in 1929, a house-boat which was used as the Clubhouse. The first Commodore was Mr. Bert Greenwood, Superintendent of Mappin Stores.

Over the past 98 years many members of the British community in São Paulo have been members of SPYC which still retains its links to the UK. Typical of this link is the Lord Cochrane pub and the fact that the club still flies the Union Jack every week end.

Major sailing events at the club include the “Regata de Abertura” which is the regatta that opens the São Paulo sailing season. It is the largest single event of the year on the Guarapiranga reservoir and has been organized by SPYC since 1956. Participants come from the 9 sailing clubs on the lake and usually number around 600 enthusiasts in 200 to 300 sailing boats of various classes. It is an impressive sight to see so many boats gathered at one time so close the centre of São Paulo. Approximately 600Kg of non-perishable food is collected for charity. The club also organizes 12 regattas for members, the oldest of which is the Foster Knowles Cup first raced in 1922.

Just two years away from celebrating its Centenary the club has now started the preparatory work to celebrate the occasion. Three events will be the centrepiece of the celebrations: the publication of a book telling the history of SPYC and its members, a celebration dinner and a special edition of the “Regata de Abertura”.

Our plan calls for the book to be published using the “Lei Rouanet” which, given the cultural nature of the project, will allow the sponsors to cover the cost of publication by deducting that amount from its income tax. The search for sponsors has begun and the Club Directors look for support from the various British companies in order to realize the project.

The following Directors can be contacted for additional details:
Hans Ludwig – Commodore: hjl@terra.com.br
Nicholas Edbrooke – Director: njedbrooke@gmail.com
John S. Bennett – Director: johnsbennett52@uol.com.br

SPYC São Paulo Yacht Club
Rua Francisco de Seixas, 225 – São Paulo-SP