On the waters of Port Phillip Bay, where Melbourne’s 1956 Olympic Games races will be contested by the yachting nations of the world, a triangular contest has just been completed for a silver cup. Old and even dented in places, but priceless to Australian yachtsman, the Sayonara Cup.
For more than half a century it has been the background of rivalry and competition that all started through a friendly challenge.
Regarded by Australian yachtsman, as the foremost trophy in their sport, it symbolises mastery in the national eight-meters challenge series for yachts up to 50ft load waterline.
The Sayonara Cup originally called the Interstate Yacht Race Cup, was in 1904, given by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, and the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, as a trophy for an interstate contest.
It arose out of a friendly challenge by the Sydney clubs to race their best yachts against the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria’s representative, Mr. Alfred Gollin’s, slick 54 ft William Fife designed, Adelaide built SAYONARA
As it was to be proved later, Mr. Gollin had appropriately named his boat SAYONARA, (meaning goodbye in Japanese). Alfred Gollin and his crew sailed up from Melbourne and anchored off Circular Quay. At Adam’s Marble Bar in Pitt Street they opened their purses of golden sovereigns and announced they could beat anything under sail in Australia.
The challenge was quickly accepted and Mr. M. T Binnie’s 50ft BONA was nominated by New South Wales in a bid to beat the southerners.