Updated:
Original:

Royal Yacht Squadron Marks Two Centuries

Known as simply “The Yacht Club” when it was founded on June 1, 1815, on St. James Street in London, the Royal Yacht Squadron became “Royal” when its member George IV ascended the throne in 1820. Throughout its history, it has been instrumental in helping to establish the modern sport of sailing via its role in developing various rating rules, founding such iconic events as Cowes Week and, of course, serving as the host for a race around the Isle of Wight that served to kick off what eventually evolved into the America’s Cup series.

This past July, the club marked its 200th birthday with a special five-day invitational regatta sailed on the Solent, just off its historic clubhouse in Cowes, also known as the “The Castle.” (see below)

Althought the three-boat J Class, featuring Lionheart, Velsheda and Ranger, stole much of the limelight, the fleet boasted a wide variety of boats: ranging from the 160ft schooner Eleonara to the S&S-built Dorade, a section of one-design Beneteau F40s and a dozen J/70s, the latter mixing things up in a team-racing format.

The courses sailed were equally varied, including a race around the Isle of Wight and a series of buoy races, which in combination with the boats taking part, made for an apt tribute to an organization that was truly there at the genesis of yacht racing as we now know it. For complete results, visit bic2015.org.uk.

The “Castle” at Cowes

Arguably the most iconic yachting clubhouse in the world, the Royal Yacht Squadron’s “Castle” on the edge of Cowes on the Isle of Wight began life in the early 1500s as part of a chain of coastal defenses built by Henry VIII. During the Napoleonic Wars it boasted no fewer than 11 nine-pounder cannon. Decommissioned in 1855, the building was leased soon afterward to the RYS, which moved in in 1858. Despite a number of alterations over the years, the building’s original round tower is still in evidence.
Despite the club’s exclusivity—women were only admitted in 2013—the walkway out front is open to the public, making it very much a part of the Cowes scene. This walkway also serves as the rampart upon which the club’s 22 miniature bronze cannon are mounted and fired to signal the starts of races beginning alongside the club.

For more racing results, visit SAIL's racing page here.

Photos courtesy of Billy Black

October 2015

Related

Hurrican-PHOTO

A Storm by Any Other Name

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricanes (the term most U.S. sailors are familiar with) and typhoons are just two different names for the same weather phenomenon: tropical cyclones, i.e., “a rotating, organized system of clouds and ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_1002

Cyclone Season in Polynesia

Thinking of spending cyclone season in the South Pacific? Plenty of sailors take the chance every year, with the recent travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic making this an especially popular option in 2020. Cyclone season in this part of the world runs from November to ...read more

01b-LEAD-INSET-Kirby-IMG_0077

Eight Bells: Bruce Kirby, Creator of the Laser

With 2021 drawing to a close, Laser sailors find themselves reflecting on both their class’s 50th anniversary and the passing of the man who made it all possible: Canadian designer, sailor and sailing journalist, Bruce Kirby. Kirby, who died this past July at the age of 92, ...read more

2021ROLEXIC_DF_0061

Southern Yacht Club Wins Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup

Newport, R.I. -- The 7th Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup wrapped up on Saturday after five days of highly competitive racing in an international fleet that saw the Southern Yacht Club (SYC) of New Orleans best a fleet of 19 teams from Europe, Canada, Bermuda and ...read more

DUFOUR-530_NAVIGATION_009

Boat Review: Dufour 530

Dufour Yachts seems to have shifted its strategy with the introduction of the new 530. Previously, the French builder maintained two lines: Performance and Grand Large, with the latter targeted at the cruising crowd. With the Dufour 530, however, Dufour decided to combine the ...read more

210913-11HRT-SKIPPER-PORTRAITS-VC-122

11th Hour Christens Two IMOCAs, Hits a Snag

This week has been a big one for the American-founded, sustainability-centric ocean racing team 11th Hour Racing. In addition to christening their two new boats, the team also took them out for a quick test ride—against some of the most intense IMOCA 60 skippers in the world. ...read more

01-LEAD-DSCF3091

Clewless in the Pacific

Squalls are well known to sailors who cruise the middle Latitudes. Eventually, you become complacent to their bluster. But squalls vary in magnitude, and while crossing from Tahiti to Oahu, our 47ft Custom Stevens sloop paid the price for carrying too much canvass as we were ...read more

Nigel

SAIL’s Nigel Calder Talks Electrical Systems at Trawlerfest Baltimore

At the upcoming Trawlerfest Baltimore, set for Sept. 29-Oct. 3, SAIL magazine regular contributor Nigel Calder will give the low down on electrical systems as part of the show’s seminar series.  The talk will be Saturday, October 2 at 9am. Electrical systems are now the number ...read more