Oldest Yacht clubs of Europe

Yachting is a sport enjoyed by many people all over the world. Some Clubs were established many years ago, the oldest started in 1720! (Other old clubs have disputed this). This is the Royal Cork Yacht Club which is now situated at Crosshaven, County Cork, Ireland.

Royal Cork Yacht Club

Cork week is a large sailing regatta held every two years in which there are multiple events. The first Cork Week was held in 1976, and it was a great success. The event attracted only about fifty boats. During the 1985 event, it was realized that the races were dominated by expensive modern designed boats of very light construction that had to carry weights on the windward side – not a good idea. To compete with these boats, the competitors had to sail 24 hours a day for four days, taking much of the enjoyment from the races. These boats were not accepted at future events, and new rules were incorporated. The International Standards approved these rules.

Neva Yacht Club

The Neva Yacht Club is based in St Petersberg, and this club contests the Royal Cork Yacht Clubs claim to be the oldest club in the world. The Tsar established it, Peter the Great in 1718 and he was the sole sponsor, but this ceased on his death. The Royal Cork Club disputes this as a club should be run by members on a committee voted in by members, not a club run and financed by an individual.

The Lough Ree Yacht Club

The Lough Ree Yacht Club is found in Ball glass, Coosen, Ireland, and also is a contender for oldest Club but the Royal Cork Yacht Club is the most former seawater-based club, and Lough Ree Club is probably the oldest freshwater club as it is based on a lake.

The Starcross Yacht Club

The Starcross Yacht Club is based in Devon on the Exe estuary. Recorded information goes back to 1775, but the club was used since 1772. Regattas were held regularly, and the club was housed in the Courtney Arms in Starcross. Membership dropped off after the First World War, so the club joined forces with the Chockstone YC of Exmouth. The clubhouse, in 1933, was in a wooden hut with a balcony overlooking the yacht moorings. With the support of the Earl of Devon, the club moved to Powderham Point (its original location) where the Fete Marine started 200 years previously. When the fisherman’s cottages became inadequate for the club, a clubhouse was erected in 1960.

The Royal Thames Club

The Royal Thames Yacht Club established itself in 1775 and is the oldest club internationally with an entire membership. (The oldest mentioned had periods of closing). Initially, members met in coffee bars, by 1857 the club owned property in London and moved to the premises at 60 Knightsbridge, in 1923. It has since moved to its present premises.