The Foundation was established by Don St Clair Brown and Sir Tom Clark in 1988 by arranging the amalgamation of the financial resources of three existing organisations, each of which had similar objectives but was severely restricted by insufficient funding from achieving those objectives. Those organisations were The New Zealand International Yacht Racing Trust (established with the residual funds from the Whitbread Round the World Race campaigns of Ceramco New Zealand and Lion New Zealand), the New Zealand Yachting Federation Challenge Foundation Inc and the Foundation of Offshore Yacht Racing New Zealand Inc.
Don and Sir Tom were both very prominent New Zealand yachtsmen, with outstanding records of success both in yachting competition and in assisting and supporting other sailors and yachting campaigns.
They gathered around them as additional trustees several other people well known in sailing and founded The New Zealand International Yachting Trust, with Admiral Sir Gordon Tait KCB, DSC as its first chairman. Amalgamation of the three funds resulted in a more meaningful capital fund and greater efficiencies.
The Foundation is not allied to, or affiliated with, any other organisation. It acts independently in endeavouring to encourage the development of top level sailing skills amongst New Zealand's amateur sailors, both in the international centreboard classes and also in offshore keelboat racing other than professional events such as the America’s Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race and international match racing circuits.
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