An idyllic sailing paradise tucked away in Changi, the Changi Sailing Club (CSC) was first built in 1936 as the Changi Garrison Yacht Club (CGYC). The idea of constructing the club was borne out of Captain Sterling Wilkinson, Royal Signals, from the British Army.
In the late 1930s to early 1940s, regular races between CGYC, Royal Air Force Seletar and Royal Navy were held in the Straits of Johor. Before dinghies were introduced to the club, local sail boats such as koleks and jongs were used for sailing.
When World War II broke out, the club’s activities were ceased. It had its last meeting on 1 March 1942 before club members were held captive. Three British military personnel attempted to escape from Singapore by CGYC’s dinghy named Goldeneye. However, they were stopped two weeks later by a Japanese cruiser in the Sunday Straits, between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. The club was later revived in 1947, after the war.
When the British military withdrew from Singapore in 1971, the club was handed over to the National Sports Promotion Board (NSPB). As the board saw an increased interest in water sports in the 1980s, new amenities and buildings were introduced to meet these growing demands. The original pier constructed in 1938 was also relocated in 1989 to the other side of the boat ramp to enable sailing during the Northeast Monsoon period.
The buildings that make up the club today are mainly constructed in the 1980s and features the modern tropical architectural style. This architectural style consists of design elements such as steep gradients and generous eaves, that shelter the main buildings from tropical rain and sunlight. The buildings’ design also encouraged cross-ventilation and allowed natural lighting into the indoor spaces.
Over the years, the club has played a central role in propelling Singapore’s place in regional sporting history. Siew Shar Her, a sailor from the CSC, did Singapore proud at several regional and international sailing competitions. Other notable sailors who trained at the club include Benedict Tan and Teo Wee Chin.
Today, the club offers sailing programmes and hosts an annual Ambassadors Cup—a social sailing competition which gathers Ambassadors from different countries for a day of sailing and revelry by the glistening waters of the Changi coastal sea.
Buildings and sites featured on Roots.gov.sg are part of our efforts to raise awareness of our heritage; a listing on Roots.gov.sg does not imply any form of preservation or conservation status, unless it is mentioned in the article. The information in this article is valid as of March 2020 and is not intended to be an exhaustive history of the site/building.