Royal Yacht Squadron Marks Two Centuries

Author:
Updated:
Original:
The three Js made for a magnificent sight racing down the Solent

The three Js made for a magnificent sight racing down the Solent

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.

Royal-YS-castle

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

pic00

Installing a Helm Pod

Our 1987 Pearson project boat came with an elderly but functioning Raymarine chartplotter, located belowdecks at the nav station. Since I usually sail solo or doublehanded, it was of little use down there—it needed to be near the helm. When I decided to update the plotter along ...read more

Panamerican

Pan American Game Success

Team USA’s young sailors went to the quadrennial Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru this summer with high hopes, and returned with a good haul of medals—two Golds, three Silvers, and two Bronze. Gold medals went to Ernesto Rodriguez and Hallie Schiffman (Mixed Snipe) and Riley ...read more

190916-AC75

U.S. Team Launches First America’s Cup Boat

Fast forward to around 2:25 to see the boat in action. First day out and already doing full-foiling gybes: not too shabby! Hard on the heels of the unveiling of New Zealand’s first AC75, the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic team has now launched its first America’s Cup ...read more

GGTobCaysHorseshoeColors

Picking a Charter Destination

Picking a destination should reflect the interests of your group, says People often ask about my favorite charter destination, and invariably, I sidestep the question with one of my own: “Well, what do you want to do on your vacation?” Most often I hear an incredulous, “Why, ...read more

sinking

Waterlines: Chasing Leaks on Boats

Chasing leaks on boats is a time-honored obsession. Rule number one in all galaxies of the nautical universe through all of nautical history has always been the same: keep the water on the outside. When water somehow finds its way inside and you don’t know where it’s coming ...read more

BestBoatNominees2020-Promo

Best Boats Nominees 2020

Bring on the monohulls! In a world increasingly given over to multihull sailing, SAIL magazine’s “Best Boats” class of 2020 brings with it a strong new group of keelboats, including everything from luxury cruisers nipping at the heels of their mega-yacht brethren to a number of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Relieve the load  One of the ancient arts of the sailor is setting up a “stopper” to relieve a loaded rope without letting anything go. The classic use for a stopper is to take the weight off the genoa ...read more

05

Ask Sail: Water Getting into Coax

Q: While inspecting behind the nav station for my spring cleaning, I discovered water behind my chartplotter and VHF radio stack. Freshwater to boot! Do electronics leak? I didn’t think so. — Everette Gracy, Norton Shores, MI Gordan West Replies  Last winter your region was ...read more