In October 1897, a flotilla of boats sailed from Sans Souci to Dolls point and back. The owners and crew adjourned to Fraters Pavilion where St George Sailing Club was formed.

Sans Souci was an aquatic resort surrounded by the waters of the southern part of Botany Bay, George’s River and Kopgarah Bay. Many boat sheds around its foreshore catered for pleasure boating, fishing as well as housing sailing craft used for sailing in the newly formed Club.

Early races were for 8th to 24ft in length, in cladding the Quadratic Rater (a score-bow craft) with handicaps accordingly adjusted. By the 1901-1902 season, the Club had 3 main classes of boats, namely the 18fts, 16ft dinghy type boats, and the 14ft dinghies.

That season, a championship for each class was held. The first championship for the 14 footers sailed on Botany Bay course with 4 starters. The championship for the 14 footers would become a major annual event of the Club, eventually becoming the famous Botany Bay Championship and Stuart Challenge Shield.

By the 1903-04 season, the 14ft dinghy was the main class of boat sailing in the Club. This class of open boat originated over 50 years ago on Sydney Harbour, being sailing in Western Australia and Queensland. The 14ft dinghy was an unrestricted craft with Gunter rig, commonly called a gaff rig, having a huge mainsail on a 20ft boom with a top sail above its gaff. A large jib was set on a bumpkin protruding from the bow. For running before the wind, a peak head spinnaker was set, aided by a ringtail set off the after leech of mainsail. If conditions were right, a water sail was set under the room. For reaching, a ballooner was set at the end of the bumpkin.

They were a beamy boat, generally around 7ft, capable of crewing 6, including the Bailer Boy, a necessity when the going was hard. The annual championship for the 14 footers that 1903/04 season attracted 8 entires.

The success of the annual 14ft championships proved itself in the 1906-07 season with 14 starts including boats from Queensland, South Australia, St George, Sydney, and Middle Harbour.


It was about September 1908 when the shield donated by Alexander Stuart (who was Commodore at the time) arrived in Sydney, it was realised the Botany Bay race should have better recognition. It was to become known as the Botany Bay Championship Stuart Challenge Shield.


Prize Money
16ft Handicap 16ft Scratch
1st $3,000 $1,000
2nd $2,000 $820
3rd $1,500 $700
4th $1,250 $600
5th $1,000 $550
6th $900
7th $820
8th $750
9th $700
10th $650
11th – 14th $650
15th – 19th $600
20th – 24th $560
25th $500
26th – 46th $20 reduction per place
47th $60
48th $60
49th $50
50th $50
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