At the beginning of the last century only one yacht club operated in Estonia – the Estonian Marine Yacht Club. The members were mainly Baltic lords and most people interested in sailing had no opportunity to join.
In 1910 some of those people decided to establish a new society – the Tallinn Yacht Club. Harry Schröder gathered eight Tallinn businessmen and on September 8th 1910 the founding meeting of the club took place. The constitution of the new club was also passed at the meeting and then later in 1911 approved by the Governor without any major changes.
The first regular general meeting took place on March 8th, 1911. The meeting was chaired by the future commodore mr Heinrich Badendick. The flag and cap pin of the club were approved at that meeting. According to the rules of that time such insignia had to be further approved at the St Petersburg Ministry of Trade and Industry. Because of the opposition of the Estonian Marine Yacht Club the approval never came. After a year the commodore invited count Orlov-Davõdov who at the time lived in Maarjamäe, a liberal man, to become an honorary member of the club. The count accepted the offer and the long awaited approval came soon after that. At the same time the construction of the new club house began and several new sailing boats were purchased.
By 1913 the club had around 200 members with 10 yachts and 7 motor boats sailing under the TYK flag. The same year the first regatta was organised. These rapid developments were stopped by the outbreak of war and nothing happened for several years.
On May 6th 1918 TYK started again with mostly internal social events because the vessels were still stored ashore but never the less the club became active. The construction of the club house was completed in 1919 and in 1920 full activity was reassumed. New insignia was created and relations with foreign clubs were being established. The Finnish SPS yacht club became the main partner of TYK. In 1922 TYK members started taking part in SPS regattas and SPS members in TYK regattas as well as other regattas held in Estonia.
The constitution of the club was changed in 1923 and with this change the members that were not really interested in sea-fearing left the club. The remaining members continued even more actively than before. The club started organising training courses, opened a youth section and purchased more and more vessels. In 1929 started boat building at the Jakob Kiili boat factory. At the same time the members participated actively in the forming of the Estonian Sailing Federation. TYK members took the top positions, including that of the president of the Federation. Mr August Peet, a well known attorney, was elected as President of the Estonian Sailing Federation.
In the 1930 open sea sailing developed rapidly. In 1937 vessels sailing under the TYK flag sailed all together 16875 nautical miles, with “Boy-Roy” sailing a total of 2752 nautical miles. Every year the club organised a number of regattas, the national Muhu Väin regatta being one of them. This regatta has become one of the most popular regattas of even today’s sailing in Estonia with a lot of local and international participants.
In those days the members of TYK won a lot of national and international awards. Mr Ahto Valter, the first Estonian round the world sailor, was a member of TYK. The last yearbook published in 1940 showed that TYK was one of the largest yacht clubs in Estonia with 3 honorary members, 209 regular members and 22 junior members. The club register included 32 yachts, 13 motor boats and 11 ice boats. At that time the commodore was mr Friedrich Tofer. During occupation years club activity ceased for decades. TYK was re-established on December 29th 1988 when 18 sailing fanatics and the only original living member of TYK, professor Ilmar Öpik, got together. The constitution and club insignia were approved at that meeting and a well known yachtsman mr Otto-Sven Raud became commodore. The constitution of the re-established club was registered on May 25th 1990. Since at that time the club had no port or facilities the main activities were internal with the exception of organising of a couple of regattas. The biggest achievement of that time was the technical organising of the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race. On June 26th in 2001 the members elected mr Toomas Luman as the new commodore and since 2001 the club is based in Lohusalu Port. The location offers all facilities for sailing and any other water sport enthusiast.
Today Tallinn Yacht club has expanded even more. The club’s flag flies also in Old City Marina in Tallinn and in Grand Holm Marina in Haapsalu.