CLA members enjoyed a fascinating tour of the Royal Yacht Squadron as part of our Isle of Wight AGM and summer social.
The fully-booked event also included a drinks reception, two-course dinner and a talk from CLA Vice President Gavin Lane.
The CLA would like to thank partners BCM and Moore South for their support.
The Squadron proved an interesting venue for members.Founded in 1815, it bills itself as one of the most prestigious and exclusive yacht clubs in the world. It enjoys a rich history spanning 200 years, having organised yacht racing as a principal feature of the annual regatta at Cowes in 1826.
Qualification entitling a gentleman to become a member of the Yacht Club, as the Squadron was first known, was the ownership of a vessel not under 10 tons – today this is interpreted as having an interest in yachting. The castle itself was fitted for ladies in the 1960s, while the award-winning Pavilion, designed by Sir Thomas Croft to resemble an orangery, was opened in 2000 and provides on-shore facilities for yachtsmen and their families while allowing the castle to retain its ‘country house’ ambiance.
Henry VIII had the castle built in 1539 as a deterrent to the French. Its former guns are only once known to have been fired in anger, in 1642 during the Civil War. Now its William IV cannon, which once belonged to the Royal Adelaide, fire at five-minute intervals to start 4,000 yachtsmen in their races. The squadron bought the castle and grounds from the Crown in 1917.
The latest alteration is the RYS Jubilee Haven which, together with the Cowes Harbour Commission pontoon off the Parade, does much to enliven the scene on the water for Cowes visitors.