Royal Yacht Squadron to allow female members

A tradition of restricted male only membership dating back almost 200 years has been swept aside by the Royal Yacht Squadron on the Isle of Wight after the membership voted to allow women in as full members

Sign of the times: After 198 years Royal Yacht Squadron votes to allow women as full members

Sign of the times: After 198 years Royal Yacht Squadron votes to allow women as full members

12:26PM BST 05 Aug 2013

 A meeting on Sunday, attended by 150 of the 475 members, voted unanimously in favour of the motion to extend membership privileges to women. There was not a single vote in opposition though the decision still has to be ratified by the full membership.

Officials at the Squadron, which is housed in a grand castle in Cowes and billed as one of the most prestigious yacht clubs in the world, said they had been lobbying members on the issue of women’s membership for four years before yesterday’s ballot.

There was no announcement from the RYS which established their ‘gentlemen only’ membership in 1815 when the club was founded and the club declined to comment.

Even lady associate members, the wives of existing full members, who were not eligible to vote, were unaware of this dramatic change of policy.

RYS invites candidates to join but the only known criteria for membership is an active interest in sailing.


Royal Yacht Squadron leads the armada against windfarm plan

‘Lillgrund Wind Farm in Denmark – could you sail between these?’    .

Britain’s most prestigious sailing club, the Royal Yacht Squadron, is orchestrating a campaign against the largest wind farm ever planned in the world, off the south coast of England. It fears the Navitus Bay wind farm could impact on the main sailing route from the Isle of Wight to the south west, including the Fastnet Race, which starts in Cowes and finishes in Plymouth.

Navitus Bay wind farm proposed site –  .. .

The development comprises 200 turbines, each the height of a skyscraper and spread over an area the size of Glasgow. The planned wind farm, which is three to four times bigger than any previously built, is expected to earn its Dutch owners Eneco more than a quarter of a billion pounds a year in subsidies alone.

The scheme has already attracted widespread criticism with opponents claiming it will ruin coastal views for generations to come. Eneco has submitted notice of its plans – in a 173-page report – to a special Government body set up to deal with ‘national significant’ infrastructure projects. A full planning application for the wind farm is expected next year with the decision process taking a further 18 months.

Eneco’s preplanning report suggests each turbine could be as high as 670 feet – taller than the Gherkin skyscraper in London – and as close as eight miles to the coast. Eneco claims it will provide power for anywhere between 500,000 and 800,000 homes.

The campaign against the Navitus Bay wind farm is being spearheaded by the Royal Yacht Squadron, which is based in Cowes.

It has written to 200 sailing clubs on the Isle of Wight and along the south coast calling for concerted action against the development, which will occupy 76 square miles of the English Channel between the Isle of Wight and the Dorset coast.

Chris Mason, the Royal Yacht Squadron’s yachting secretary, said: ‘We understand renewable energy is important but it is very difficult to see why it has to be built this close to the land.

‘This is prime sailing territory. This is definitely a hazard and definitely a problem for sailors.’ Mr Mason said he had no idea if Prince Philip, who is the squadron’s admiral and as such its head, had been consulted before the letter had been sent out.

Chris Radford, who runs the Challenge Navitus campaign group, said: ‘Navitus is eight miles from the shore and the turbines could be 200 metres high.

‘This could damage an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a World Heritage site and a great public amenity. There are also potentially damaging effects on tourism, safe navigation, diving and fishing interests.

‘Nothing on this scale has previously been built so close to a tourist area. We think these risks are out of balance with the suggested benefits from wind power. This development could be further offshore or somewhere else with less impact.’
by Telegraph/Sail-World Cruising


I am back in front of my computer. Leaving behind the routine that my body had come to recognize as normal. I lost some weight, not unexpected. Now I must reset to land.

Every transatlantic race is a unique experience. This one was no different. Perhaps the most remarkable circumstance was how the Azores and Bermuda Highs dominated the Atlantic. I have never sailed the north atlantic like this. The water temperature was much warmer than expected, and the sea state was more calm than I ever would have expected. The race certainly did not meet my pre-race predictions.


Our start on June 29th from Castle Hill in Newport and finishing off the Lizard in southwest England approximately 150 miles from the dock. Our elapsed time was 15 days 11 hours 23 minutes and 23 seconds. The stated distance of the course was 2975 miles. I know we sailed quite a lot further. Picking our route was the true challenge for the race. The winners did a better job than we. “Carina” sailed a brilliant race and was still beaten in the end by Bill Hubbard’s “Dawn Star”. Full results HERE.

“Snow Lion” is always a pleasure to sail. We had moments, I hit 22 knots once; the high of the race. We had only 3 days with runs over 200 miles. We needed more of those days if we were to win the race.


We start on wednesday. My gear is loaded, I have been packed for longer than I care to admit. Snow Lion went back in the water today. Bottom faired and carefully wet sanded. I few details left which we will accomplish tomorrow; fuel, food, people.

We had a weather briefing this afternoon before the Perini Navi reception at Harbor Court. We have hope. A most pleasant evening overlooking Newport Harbor. If you look at the tracker, the first group is struggling with light air , headed in almost every point of the compass at some time.