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Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club

Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club

Become a Vice Commodore of Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club


They call themselves Shaggers and are the loyal members of the Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club (SICYC)—a social network of cruising yachties and individuals who enjoy boating. “Shag islet was chosen as our nominal geographic location because of its idyllic location in the Gloucester passage in the Whitsundays,” explains Ken Thackeray, the founder of the club. “And of course, its unique name, which has now contributed to SICYC being so iconic.”

Shag Islet Cruising yacht Club Aerial

A phenomenally successful idea, the SICYC boasts more than 3500 members in 14 countries around the world. The club is also a charitable one. On the club website, the club states that, “We are registered as not for profit and our charity is the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. Over the past four years we have raised over $170,000 for prostate cancer research.”

Unlike conventional yacht clubs with a board and hierarchy of officers, the SICYC registered all their members as Vice Commodores representing an individual nautical location such as an island, islet, river or bay, which they have some knowledge of, so as to be able to provide advice or assistance to other “vice commodores”.

“The SICYC offer a lifetime membership for a one-off fee of $60 that includes a club polo shirt, access to the members’ area website, a monthly newsletter and discounts available from a growing list of sponsor companies,” says Ken.

Your membership card number is 0010, the same number issued to every other member. The club prides itself on being exclusively non-exclusive. “The SICYC burgee flies from all members’ yachts, and is a rallying point out on the water across the world,” clarifies Ken. “Each member is entitled to fly the burgee and have the option to purchase the burgee when they join.”

Ken was recently awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) honouring his services to veterans, charitable organisations, and the Whitsunday volunteer marine rescue club. “The receipt of the OAM—while an incredible personal recognition—the greater significance is the recognition of the achievements of SICYC through its fund raising,” shares Ken. “In reality, the OAM hasn’t changed my life. However, it has indirectly ensured SICYC great credibility.”

Shag Islet Cruising yacht ClubTrippin Turpins

During the last weekend of August the members are invited to the annual Rendezvous at Shag Islet, in the Whitsundays. When first conceived in 2009 Ken thought that he might attract 50 or so friends with yachts, only 34 yachts turned up that year. At the most recent 2014 Rendezvous, approximately 30 vessels travelled from the Gold Coast. These vessels added to a staggering 240 yachts that participated. Thankful for the support, Ken declares, “At last year’s rendezvous, 1,000 members helped to celebrate the boating lifestyle while raising money for prostate cancer.”

For those considering the journey to the 2015 SICYC Rendezvous on 27-30 August, will also want to lookout for the Hamilton Island Race Week which is staged two weeks prior to the SICYC event. Ken says “Quite a number of SICYC yachts compete in the Hamilton Island Race Week and in most cases, race under the SICYC burgee with the crew in SICYC uniform. In fact some years ago, one of the yachts won the event.”

Attending the 2015 Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club Rendezvous is a great opportunity to meet new friends and help raise money for a worthy cause. Visit the website to join


By Andy Kancachian