Incorporated on June 21, 1926.
Sarasota Yacht Club was originally founded in the spirit of inter-club racing aboard Fish Class sailboats. These boats were popular throughout the Gulf Coast region of the U.S. since their inception in 1919. The SYC fleet saw success with Lipton Cup Regatta wins in 1930, 1931, and 1932. Fish Class racing remained a club focus until about 1965.
The story of yacht clubs in Sarasota began more than a century ago in 1907 on the northern end of Siesta Key. At the time, Siesta Key was considered remote and only accessible by boat. This early iteration of a yacht club in Sarasota was driven by the locally well known Harry Higel, developer, soon-to-be mayor, and commodore.
The second iteration of a club in Sarasota came to be as the Sarasota Yacht & Automobile Club in 1913. Also driven by Harry Higel, this club was developed on Cedar Point, now known as Golden Gate Point. The land at the time was described as being "made charming by nature, with its evergreen growth of trees and shrubs, the surrounding bay and cool Gulf breezes, with a view for miles." The club was a social center during its brief lifetime with the New Year's Eve celebrations being described as "brilliant in the highest with a hearty informal spirit … more like a family or neighbor than might have been expected where guests hailed from half the states in the Union." In August 1916 the closure of this club was announced in the newspaper.
On June 21, 1926, our Sarasota Yacht Club was officially incorporated. Founded by sailors with the goal of pursuing inter-club racing aboard fish class sailboats, Sarasota Yacht Club has continued and built upon this legacy. For the love of sailing and the camaraderie of a club, we are honored to celebrate our centennial alongside our members in 2026.