designation "Royal" was granted to the Jersey Yacht and Rowing
Club in 1862 by her most gracious Majesty Queen Victoria. However, it has
not been possible to ascertain exactly when the club was founded.
Certainly in 1862 it became the Royal Jersey Yacht Club and in 1869, by
royal sanction, it became the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club.
would seem, from official records in London, that the Club is the sixth
oldest yacht club to bear the designation "Royal".
1863 the Board of Admiralty issued a Warrant authorising the Club to wear
the Blue Ensign with the distinctive marks of the Club thereon. This
Warrant was superseded by a Warrant issued in 1894, which imposed certain
restrictions similar to those in force today.
at the Coronation Naval Review of 1953 and the Silver Jubilee Review of
1977, Club members sailed to Spithead to be present at the ceremonies.
burgee of the Royal Channel Island Yacht Club was the first yacht club
burgee to reach the South Pole. An officer of the United States Navy was
given one in the Caribbean and from there the burgee reached Antarctic
explorer Sir Vivian Fuchs.
most distinguished Commodore was Sir W. H. Venables Vernon. Bailiff of
Jersey from 1899 to 1931. His yacht, the "Wyvern", was the last built
in St Aubin.
first woman member of the Club was Lillie Langtry (The Jersey Lily). She
was elected in 1892 and became a celebrated figure in Victorian Society
and one of the most talked about women of her day.
least as far back as 1872 and until as recently as 1946, the Club
maintained its headquarters at various hotels in St Helier. In 1946 the
Club's headquarters were opened at Le Boulevard, St Aubin.
Club's chief activity was originally rowing but from about the time it
became a "Royal" club, rowing declined in favour of sailing.
Eventually the rowing activities disappeared entirely and the offices of
Captain of the Boats and that of Club Master were abolished in 1888.
1939-45 war years witnessed a complete hiatus in Club affairs. Mr. T. B.
F. Davis, owner of the famous "J" class schooner-yacht
"Westward"' although absent from Jersey, was re-elected Commodore in
1939 but resigned immediately over some matters of club policy. He died
during the war. No successor was elected before the German occupation of
the islands. The last elected Rear Commodore also died about the same
time. Of the pre-war flag officers only Sir Victor Carey, Bailiff of
Guernsey, the Vice-Chairman in that island, survived the war to serve
again in the same office. In 1940, when the German forces were completing
their occupation of northern France, an appeal was made for Jersey
yachtsmen and other owners of small sea-going craft to assist in
evacuation from St Malo of allied military personnel. A naval party, landed
from a British destroyer to demolish the lock gates, was taken off in one
of the Club's yachts and returned to Britain through Jersey.
German occupation authorities prohibited all boating and in 1940
commandeered, for a military establishment, the Grand Hotel, St Helier, in
which the Clubroom and headquarters were situated. By the promptitude,
initiative and personal exertions of a private member, Mr Tom Lee, the
greater part of the older and more precious Club documents and records
were removed to safe storage at the shortest possible notice. All other
furnishings and effects were lost with the exception of the shaped and
1946, the St Aubin's Yacht Club was founded by residents of that
district and many of them were also members of the "Royal". This new
club secured clubroom accommodation in Le Boulevard, St Aubin, and shortly
after combined with the "Royal" who took over their accommodation.
this time dinghy racing was well established in the Island and both St
Helier Yacht Club and the "Royal" had regular dinghy racing in St
Aubin's Bay in addition to their traditional types of seaÂgoing
annual Regatta is held normally in July with regular passage races to the
adjacent French coast and neighbouring Channel Islands being organised
throughout the season. Several multihull series are run in St Aubin's
Bay and the club has hosted a race for 20ft
Catamarans from St Lunaire.
to the great natural advantages of harbour and marina facilities at St
Peter Port as well as its more central location among the Islands compared
to St Helier, far more yachts from outside the archipelago call at
Guernsey and, in the 1950's a group of Guernsey members of the
"Royal" formed a Guernsey Centre of the Club. To begin with meetings
were held in the United Services Club, but in 1954 permanent quarters were
established on the second floor of premises well situated on the harbour
frontage of the town, which provided a good vantage point for seeing the
yachts at anchor or moored in the harbour.
all shipping movements are easily visible and all the largÂer of the
Channel Islands as well as a portion of the French coastline are visible
from the Clubroom windows. These present Club quarters were opened by the
Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey on the 15th May. 1954.
and Guernsey each now have a Commodore. Vice Commodore and Rear Commodore.
Under present rules, no member may hold the position of flag officer for
more than two consecutive years. Formerly no such limitation existed and
Sir W. H. Venables Vernon held the office in Jersey for 45 consecutive