The Royal Thames Yacht Club (RTYC) is one of the oldest yacht clubs in the world, founded in 1775 1 2 3. But it credits the start of it all to the Starcross Yacht Club which as The Starcross Society (a dining club) held a regatta in 1775 known as the Fete Marine. 10,000 spectators were reported to have attended.
- According to Forbes, the Royal Thames Yacht Club is one of the top 50 most exclusive yacht clubs in the world 4.Maritime Page also lists it as one of the most prestigious yacht clubs in the world5.
- The Royal Thames Yacht Club has a collection of maritime art and artifacts, including paintings, prints, and models. The collection is displayed throughout the clubhouse1.
- The Royal Thames Yacht Club has had many famous yacht owners as members, including King George V, King Edward VIII, and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh1.
- concerts are performed nearby at Hyde Park.
- There are several London attractions within 3 miles of the Royal Thames Yacht Club, including Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Natural History Museum1.
The Royal Thames Yacht Club has a collection of maritime art and artifacts, including paintings, prints, and models. The collection is displayed throughout the clubhouse. There are a variety of rooms available for different functions and events.
- The Clubhouse comprises 30 cabins for members’ and reciprocal members’ use, including cabins with full en-suite facilities and others with shared facilities1.
- The Royal Thames Yacht Club has many versatile rooms to accommodate a range of functions. The rooms can cater for 12 – 250 guests in different settings2.
- The Clubhouse has two bars, reading and meeting rooms, an excellent restaurant, private dining rooms, and cabins for members staying in London4.
- The Britannia Bar & Deck is adjacent to Hyde Park, making it an ideal space for listening to concerts and for lunches and dinners for up to 72 guests or cocktail receptions for up to 100 guests5.
- The Edinburgh Room is a private dining room with views over looking Knightsbridge street accommodating up to 20 guests for a seated dinner or up to 30 guests for a standing reception6.
There are three floors at the Royal Thames Yacht Club and the hallways and stairs also display artwork and artifacts.
It is important to note that RTYC is a private and exclusive yacht club, and to become a member, one must be proposed by an existing member and be approved by the club’s membership committee.
RTYC Members are expected to be active in the club’s sailing and social events and to uphold the club’s traditions and values6. Therefore, only members, members of reciprocal clubs (temporary members) and their guests have access to the artworks and other artifacts at the club.
As members of a reciprocal club my wife obtained reservations for a cabin. We left the day after Independence Day and flew direct to Heathrow Airport from Seattle on British Airlines.
After clearing customs at Heathrow, we reached the Royal Thames Yacht Club by taking the Piccadilly line on the London Underground from Heathrow airport to Knightsbridge station. The journey took approximately 40 minutes145.
The Royal Thames Yacht Club and the Starcross Yacht Club are both prestigious yacht clubs, but they are located in different parts of England. The Royal Thames Yacht Club is located in Knightsbridge, London, while the Starcross Yacht Club is located in Devon.
- The club in 1772 began organizing annual sailing regattas2.
- The first sailing regatta was held in 1775, and the club became known as Starcross Yacht Club in 182724.
- From 1886 to 1966, the club was based in the Courtenay Arms Hotel in Starcross1.
- The 1914-1918 war resulted in a poor post-war membership, and the club struggled during this time1.
- In 1933, the club moved to a permanent location in Powderham4.
- The club built a clubhouse in 1966, and it has been located in Powderham ever since2.
- Today, the Starcross Yacht Club is a modern, informal family club that hosts a variety of sailing events and regattas35.
In conclusion, the Starcross Yacht Club has a long and rich history dating back to the 18th century. The club has gone through many changes over the years, but it remains a thriving sailing club that hosts a variety of events and regattas. The Starcross Yacht Club hosts a Junior Sailing Regatta, which is a fun, friendly, and inclusive event for young sailors5.
Royal Yacht Clubs are yacht clubs that have been granted the title “Royal” by a reigning monarch or other member of a royal family. This designation is considered a great honor and is often associated with a long and distinguished history of yachting. Here is some information on how a club can become officially designated as Royal:
- The title “Royal” is granted by a reigning monarch or other member of a royal family2.
- The club must have a long and distinguished history of yachting, and it must be well-respected in the yachting community2.
- The club must apply for the title, and the application must be approved by the appropriate authorities2.
- Once a club has been granted the title “Royal,” it is entitled to use the designation in its name and on its flag2.
- There are many Royal Yacht Clubs around the world, including the Royal Thames Yacht Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, and the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club126.
- The Royal Yacht Clubs are often involved in top-level world-class events like the Fastnet Race6.
The first Royal Yacht Club was named in 1820, when its most distinguished member the Prince Regent became King George IV. Members met in London and in Cowes twice a year, to discuss The Club and changed its name in 1833 to The Royal Yacht Squadron and the highlight of the racing calendar was the annual Cowes Week regatta.
In 1851, the New York based schooner America arrived in Cowes to compete in the Hundred Guinea Cup, a race that took the fleet around the Isle of Wight. It won spectacularly and the trophy was known thereafter as the America’s Cup in its honour. Queen Victoria, gave the Channel Islands Yacht Club, in New Jersey USA, its ‘Royal’ designation after witnessing the victory.
In conclusion, Royal Yacht Clubs are prestigious yacht clubs that have been granted the title “Royal” by a reigning monarch or other member of a royal family. The title is associated with a long and distinguished history of yachting, and it is considered a great honor.
The RTYC’s purpose is “to provide the members with outstanding yacht cruising, racing, and social opportunities in the UK and internationally, building on the club’s unique heritage, central London facilities, and close reciprocal relationships with other leading yacht clubs around the world”1. The club’s sailing and social calendar includes a variety of events, such as regattas, races, and social gatherings3.
The club also has a state-of-the-art marina in Cowes that can accommodate yachts of all sizes, and members have access to a range of services, including boat storage, maintenance, and repair4.
The Royal Thames Yacht Club participates in a range of yachting events for both cruising and racing yachtsmen, motor yacht owners, and all those interested in the sea2. Through the club’s events and other contacts, members have access to yachting activities worldwide2. Royal Thames Yacht Club’s involvement in two major sailing events is note worthy:
- The Fastnet Race: The Royal Thames Yacht Club has a long history of involvement in the Fastnet Race, which is a biennial offshore yacht race from Cowes to Fastnet Rock and back to Plymouth. The club has won the race several times, and its members have participated in the race for many years23. The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) is responsible for organizing the Fastnet Race, which is a biennial offshore yacht race from Cowes to Fastnet Rock and back to Plymouth24. The RORC is the principal organizer of offshore yacht races in the United Kingdom.
- Cowes Week: The Royal Thames Yacht Club is also involved in Cowes Week, which is one of the world’s oldest and largest sailing regattas. The club has a strong presence at the event, and its members participate in various classes and events23. The club owns a marina at Cowes capable of “accommodating a vessel of any size.” The Royal Yacht Squadron introduced organized yacht racing for cups to Cowes Regatta in 1826, which eventually became known as Cowes Week1. However, the Royal Yacht Squadron is no longer responsible for organizing Cowes Week. Today, Cowes Week is organized by Cowes Week Limited, which is a not-for-profit company1.
Our purpose in flying to England was to view those two events.
We exited the London Underground at Knightsbridge station and walked for several minutes to reach the Royal Thames Yacht Club. The club is located at 60 Knightsbridge, London, England, overlooking Hyde Park45. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or a private car service from Heathrow airport to the Royal Thames Yacht Club. The journey takes approximately 30 minutes but that depends on traffic1. It can take much longer by car.
We arrived at 4PM, and after a shower and nap, enjoyed appetizers and draft Italian beer while listening to Bruce Springsteen at Hyde Park.
In recent years, sound quality has improved at Hyde Park concerts. Capital Sound and Martin Audio provided the sound system for the British Summer Time Hyde Park festival in 2015, and it was described as the best ever6.
The concert experience at Hyde Park has changed over time. Here are some of the changes that have occurred:
- The first rock concert held in Hyde Park was in 1968, and it was a free event15. Later concerts were pay-to-enter5.
- Since the early 1970s, rock musicians such as Pink Floyd, Roy Harper, and Jethro Tull have performed at Hyde Park35. The Rolling Stones headlined a concert on 5 July 1969, which is now remembered as one of the most famous gigs of the 1960s56.
- In recent years, Hyde Park has played host to many music festivals, including Party in the Park between 1998 and 2004, The Wireless Festival between 2005 and 2012, Hard Rock Calling between 2006 and 2012, Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park since 2011, and Barclaycard presents British Summer Time5.
- In July, 2023, and the bands that performed were Blackpink, Sabrina Carpenter, The Rose, Caity Baser, and Mae Stephens2.
- The concert stage in Hyde Park has hosted many high-profile artists. Concerts have been held there three times a week since 18903.
- The concert experience at Hyde Park can be crowded, and it is recommended to arrive early to catch the main support acts and the main act. Once inside the arena area, it is not possible to leave6.
- The park has also played host to important demonstrations, and with Speakers’ Corner, a place of free expression was established3.
- Possibly to take advantage of the Hyde park concerts, the RVYC renovated its Britannia Deck in 2011. The sound is great from the deck for Bruce Springsteen. RVYC staff volunteer to enjoy free attendance.
“From the turn of the 20th Century, local day-boat one-designs were the backbone of popular racing, particularly in the Royal cubs, most of which had their own class.”RTYC Model Catalog
Stewart Morris was a member of the Royal Thames Yacht Club and an accomplished sailor in the International 14 (I-14) one design class. The I-14 is a high-performance racing dinghy that is popular among sailors who enjoy open-water racing.
O.B.E stands for Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. It is a class of appointment to the Order of the British Empire, which was instituted in 1917 by King George V to reward services to the war effort by people not on the front line6. The Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry that recognizes distinguished service to the arts and sciences, public services outside the Civil Service, and work with charitable and welfare organizations136. The O.B.E is the second highest ranking Order of the British Empire award, after the GBE, KBE, or DBE (Knight or Dame of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire)6. It is awarded to individuals who have a distinguished regional or county-wide role in any field, through achievement or service to the community1.
Stewart Morris, a member of the Royal Thames Yacht Club, was awarded the O.B.E for services to the legal profession and the community in the 2019 New Year Honours1.
We run a full programme of fleet and team racing on the Solent and at Queen Mary SC and where we are in the process of replacing out fleet J/80 sports boats with a new fleet of 12 Sonars, in addition we own a fleet of J/70s which are based in Cowes and which is active from April until October.RTYC website
The Sonar is a one-design keelboat that was designed by Bruce Kirby and introduced in 19802. The Sonar was designed to be a high-performance, one-design racing sailboat, and it quickly became popular in the USA and UK2. The Sonar is a 23-foot keelboat that is designed for three-person racing2. The Sonar is still in production and is manufactured by the Sonar Class Association in the USA2.
he Sonar Class Association website and other sources state that the Sonar is built by Rondar Raceboats in their factory in Wiltshire, England, and shipped worldwide via roll-on/roll-off ships to the port nearest the customer124. However, the same sources also state that Rondar builds boats to order, and lead times are typically 60-90 days including shipping, so customers need to plan ahead12. The Sonar is a one-design trailerable racing sailboat that was designed by Canadian naval architect Bruce Kirby and first built in 19803.
Arguably, the first yacht club started when the fleet of Neva was formed by Peter the Great in 1718 (Nevsky Flot). The Royal Cork Yacht Club is the oldest club on the British Isles, founded in 1720 as the Water Club of the Harbor of Cork. The next two oldest clubs in the world are the SYC and the RTYC.
There are several noteworthy pubs and bars within a short walk of the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Knightsbridge, London. Here are some of the options for a pub crawl.
- Wilton Arms: This pub is located 0.1 miles (0.2km) from the Royal Thames Yacht Club on 71 Kinnerton Street. It serves real ale and is open daily1. The business was leased by Shepherd Neame until it closed in July 2019. It is now leased by Inda Pubs and reopened in September 20212.
- Nags Head: This pub is located 0.1 miles (0.2km) from the Royal Thames Yacht Club on 53 Kinnerton Street. It serves real ale and is open daily1.
- Harvey Nichols 5th Floor Champagne Bar: This bar is located 0.4 miles (0.6km) from the Royal Thames Yacht Club on 109-125 Knightsbridge. It offers champagne and cocktails and is open daily2.
- Harrys Dolce Vita: This bar is located 0.4 miles (0.6km) from the Royal Thames Yacht Club on 27-31 Basil Street. It offers Italian food and cocktails and is open daily2.
- Paxtons Head Knightsbridge: This pub is located 0.5 miles (0.8km) from the Royal Thames Yacht Club on 153 Knightsbridge. It serves real ale and is open daily2. Paxtons Head is located in Belgravia and is an unmissable pub right next to Knightsbridge station. It is an iconic grade II listed building owned by Greene King Pubs16.
- The distance between Harrods and the Royal Thames Yacht Club is about 1.4 miles3. Harrods is owned by Qatar Holding LLC, a subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority7.The new owner of Harrods has invested £200 million in the renovation of the store8. Harrods has its own brand of beer called Harrods English Ale, which is brewed by the Marston’s Brewery in Burton upon Trent9.
- The Royal Thames Yacht Club itself has two bars serving tap and bottled International brews in London3456. The bars are typically closed Friday through Sunday. Nonetheless, the night porter will quench your thirst with a bottle.
In conclusion, there are several noteworthy pubs and bars within a half mile of the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Knightsbridge, London, including Wilton Arms, Nags Head, Harvey Nichols 5th Floor Champagne Bar, Harrys Dolce Vita, and Paxtons Head Knightsbridge. Harrods has its own brand of English beer. The Royal Thames Yacht Club has its own bars and restaurant.