Really Nice Yacht Club
We all tend to think our yacht clubs are the best, with outstanding locations, views and often, history. We are often partially right.
Then, there’s the Royal Yacht Squadron, at Cowes, in England. The building is a castle, built in 1539 by Henry VIII to defend against the French. The club itself was formed in 1815 by a group of “gentleman” yachting enthusiasts, and was given a Royal warrant by George IV (he was a member) in 1815. This was BF (Before Forespar). The crenelations in the wall were built for cannons, and are still used for the race guns (brass cannons).
The white structure on the right of the photo below was added in the 1800’s to accommodate the start/finish line end, and race committees And is now know as “The Verandah”
Membership is by invitation, and consist largely of Dukes, Lords, Honorable and Knights (Sir Ben Ainsley). Sir Thomas Lipton of America’s Cup and tea fame was turned down in 1898 because he was “in trade”, but admitted later in his life..
The burgee is the Royal Navy White Ensign, granted by warrant in 1829 (Now that is definitely cool).
The original race for the Hundred Guineas Cup, donated by the RYS, was hosted here in 1851 with the same start/finish line as Cowes Race Week, etc., that is used today.
It should be noted that no British crew has ever won that trophy, known as the America’s Cup, in 160 years since. Sail Fast, Oracle…