The Royal Temple Yacht Club Ramsgate

The Royal Temple Yacht Club was founded in 1857 with the Ramsgate Clubhouse opening in 1896. The Royal Charter was granted a year later and permission to fly the Blue Ensign granted by the Admiralty in 1898, which was the same year that our annual Ramsgate Week regatta started.

 

Ramsgate Week, held annually in July, has attracted many famous people, including King George V who raced his cutter “Britannia” until 1924. Former Prime Minister Edward Heath was a member, and Her Majesty the Queen has also visited the club. In more recent times, Dame Ellen MacArthur allowed herself to be auctioned off as a crew member.

 

A successful regatta was held in 2019 with Broadstairs based Euromarine Insurance taking the headline sponsorship title for the first time. Well-known sailing magazine Yachts and Yachting sent their correspondent Sue Pelling down to cover the event, leading to a four-page feature on Ramsgate Week. Sadly 2020 was cancelled due to COVID but this year we were back, albeit without our usual European competitors.

 

As well as our annual regatta bringing visitors into the town, in recent years we have also joined with Ramsgate Town Council in encouraging our own yacht owners to light up their boats in December. This has grown over the years and become a popular tourist attraction with families coming down to see the lights. The prize giving is held at the Yacht Club and the Ramsgate RNLI benefit from donations collected by the local traders.

 

The membership of the yacht club is very different these days from when it was first formed. At the turn of the last century, the Commodore Baron de Rothschild would bring his close friend The Prince of Wales to dinner, and the majority of the crew were paid hands.

 

These days people mainly sail their yachts with family and friends. We have competitive club racing every Sunday from April to the end of October with about 15 yachts taking part weekly. Some of our IRC racing yachts also travel to compete at other regattas like Cowes Week and the famous Rolex Fastnet Race.

 

There is also a large portion of the club who use their yachts for holidaying, cruising with friends and visiting Europe or other clubs along the South Coast.

 

In the winter months when it’s too cold to race, club members hone their skills sailing remote controlled model racing boats in the harbour, which tends to attract quite a crowd.

 

If anyone is interested in joining The Royal Temple Yacht Club, please contact [email protected] and we can arrange for you to come along and meet everyone.

Written by: Karen Cox, Chair of Ramsgate Week

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