The Motor-Car Journal, for Saturday, 9 May 1908, vol. 10, page 230, under the general heading of “Motoring Notes from Brighton” states:
“Brighton rejoices in the possession of the only motor-boat club “whose current balance-sheet reveals a satisfactory financial position.” At least, so said Mr H.J. Mann, the secretary of the Sussex Motor Yacht Club, at its first annual meeting at the Grand Hotel last week. For a young enterprise, only a year old, the club may be regarded as a very healthy and promising youngster. It has about a hundred members at present, with a fleet of twenty-five boats, but several other craft are building and will be added this ensuing season. Viscount Curzon has accepted the appointment of Commodore, in succession to Admiral T.S. Brand, who is leaving Sussex, but Lieut. Sir Theodore Angier, R.N.V/R., and Lieut. O. Summer continues as Vice-Commodore and Rear-Commodore respectively ”
Also in 1908
Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt 1887 – 1915
Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt presented the ‘Venture International Challenge Cup’ to SMYC. The cup is an unusually large Edwardian silver trophy decorated with an enamelled SMYC burgee and engraved “Sussex Motor Yacht Club, The Venture, International Challenge Cup.
The cup was to be used in 2016, 101 years after it was first presented as the prize for the Venture Offshore Challenge. A 1,000-mile race around Ireland. Unfortunately the race had to be cancelled.
Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt was an extremely wealthy sportsman and a member of the famous Vanderbilt family of philanthropists. Tragically, he died in 1915 at just 28 years old, when he was on the 32,000-ton luxury liner RMS Lusitania when she was torpedoed and sunk by U20. U20 was captained by Kapitän-Leutnant Schwieger.
Lusitania sunk within 18 minutes from the time the first torpedo was fired at 14.09 on May 7th 1915 just off the coast of Ireland. Alfred was valiant to the last, helping women and children into the lifeboats and even though he was a non-swimmer, he and his valet handed and fitted their life-belts to a woman and her child.