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Royal Navy helps Edinburgh institution celebrate a century-and-a-half on the Forth

One of the world’s oldest yacht clubs marked its 150th anniversary with a visit from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.

The Royal Forth Yacht Club was formed in 1868 by a group of 26 local gentlemen seeking to promote boating among the people of Edinburgh.  For generations they have operated from Granton Harbour, offering members the opportunity to experience sailing on the sheltered waters of the Forth estuary.

On Saturday, June 2, the Club’s Patron HRH The Princess Royal boarded Royal Navy Patrol Boat HMS Archer to take the salute from yachts participating in the Club’s Anniversary Parade of Sail.

The Princess also unveiled a plaque marking a century-and-a-half of the Edinburgh institution with the Lord Provost of Edinburgh Frank Ross also attending.

Charles Morton, Commodore of the Royal Forth Yacht Club, said: “We are proud to have been sailing from Granton for 150 years and intend to be here for many years to come. 

"Our link with recreational sailing goes back even further, to 1836 and the founding of the Royal Eastern Yacht Club which amalgamated with the Royal Forth in 1969.  

The Royal Navy were delighted to help support the Royal Forth Yacht Club’s 150th anniversary.

Captain Chris Smith

He continued: "Yachts in those early days were large and needed paid crews, today sailing is enjoyed by people from all walks of life.

“It is a particular privilege to have been elected Commodore in this special year.  We will be holding an Anniversary Regatta later in June with an Anniversary Cruise in Company setting off North at the beginning of July.

“We are honoured to have HRH The Princess Royal as our Patron, particularly as she is a sailor herself, and we are very grateful for her support.”

Less than a 15 minute drive from the city centre, the Yacht Club features a purpose built club house with showers, changing rooms, lounge and a licensed bar with catering.

It is the ideal location for the sport, with the Forth estuary off Granton used almost exclusively for sailing and boating and offering a spectacular backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

“The Royal Navy were delighted to help support the Royal Forth Yacht Club’s 150th anniversary,” said Captain Chris Smith, Naval Regional Commander Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“Much like the Navy The Royal Forth Yacht Club is an organisation with a long and proud heritage on the River Forth.  Its role in developing an understanding of the sea, whether that be for recreational or commercial use, is important to all of us living in this island nation.”

He continued: “The crew of HMS Archer were honoured to host Her Royal Highness and to be part of the event, especially since the ship is Edinburgh-based and is the training vessel for Edinburgh University Royal Navy Unit.”

The Club’s Royal connection goes back to 1883 when HRH Queen Victoria was “graciously pleased to command that henceforth the club would be known as the Royal Forth Yacht Club”.

HRH Prince Philip is also an honoury member with his name appearing as winner on club trophies with The Princess Royal being patron of the Club since 2003. 

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