Imperial Yacht Club is a dinghy yacht club situated at Zandvlei, Lakeside. The club celebrated its 100th year in 2006, having derived its origin from the Lakeside Boating Club, which was formed on the banks of Zandvlei in 1906.
In the early days there was a strong Italian influence at the club, particularly through the influence of Count Labia. It is likely that the name ‘Imperial’ refers to the Italian and not to the British Empire.
With the outbreak of the First World War, sailing was interrupted and only resumed in the mid-twenties. The Second World War again hampered sailing, but it was a local problem that eventually saw the disbandment of the club in 1946. The problem was silting up of the vlei and it eventually became overgrown with weed. As a result of the war, interest in sailing was lost and the club’s boats fell into a state of disrepair.Although efforts were made to revive the club, it was not until 1962 that they bore any fruit. With the redevelopment of the vlei, sailing was again possible. A new clubhouse was built and opened by Rear Admiral Bierman on the 22nd May 1965. The club’s constitution stated that its aim was to promote amateur yacht sailing and allowed for certain racing classes, viz. Extras, Finns, Sonnets, Sprogs, Tempos, Dabchicks and Optimists. At that stage there were about 500 members, mainly family members, with a total of about 150 boats.
The club’s 75th anniversary was celebrated on the present site in 1981 and in the late 1980’s the Peninsula Canoe Club joined The Imperial Yacht Club and as parent body, Zandvlei Sports Club, was formed. The Zandvlei Sports Club looks after the facilities with each club operating separately and managing it own affairs.