Here are some of the notable waypoints from the last 100 years of YM

Founding Fastnet

YM editor Malden Heckstall-Smith was one of the founders of the first ocean racing event in European waters: the Fastnet Race. Seven yachts crossed the finish line in 1925. That same year, Heckstall-Smith was one of the founders of the Ocean Racing Club, which later became the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

City Club

The Little Ship Club was founded by 12 yachtsmen – one of whom was YM writer Maurice Griffiths, appointed editor the following year. The club was formed to meet the demands of City-based yachtsmen wanting to make the most of winters’ evenings with discussions on boat-handling and navigation.

Boats For All

YM editor Maurice Griffiths probably did more to make yachting popular in Britain than any single person. During his 40 years as editor he democratised sailing, promoting it for ordinary folk. He launched a new cruising philosophy and nearly 2,000 small craft around the world with 140 designs. As marine glues and plywood were developed, he designed shoal-draught, lifting keel boats, many of them for DIY boatbuilders, which could be kept cheaply on drying moorings. Sailing was no longer a passtime for the rich.

Sixties Sailability

Editor Des Sleightholme launched a campaign to get blind people sailing, which led to the development of the audio compass, adapted from Autohelm electronic autopilots. The first blind sailing cruise was such a success that Douglas Hurndall, director of the RYA Seamanship Foundation, took over the management of Blind Sailing Week. The foundation became RYA Sailability, which continues Des’s work today.

Azores… And Back

Twelve years after the first OSTAR (Observer Singlehanded TransAtlantic Race), correspondence in the pages of YM sparked the search for a shorter solo or short-handed race. Three years later, YM assistant editor, Andrew Bray, and four members of Falmouth’s Royal Cornwall YC, founded the Azores And Back Race (AZAB).

YM Triangle

The Yachting Monthly Triangle Race was founded by YM editor Andrew Bray and deputy editor James Jermain. The first race was from Falmouth to Crosshaven, in Co Cork, Ireland, to Morgat in Brittany, and back to Falmouth. It was designed for yachtsmen who couldn’t afford the time to do the two-handed Round Britain Race.

Saving GMIV

Gipsy Moth IV, the 53ft ketch in which Sir Francis Chichester made his epic solo, one-stop, small boat circumnavigation in 1966-7 was relaunched following a two-year campaign instigated by YM editor Paul Gelder to save the boat and sail her round the world on the magazine’s centenary. GMIV was rotting in dry-dock at Greenwich, but after a £300,000 restoration by her original builders, Camper & Nicholsons, she is now on her second circumnavigation, under the new ownership of the UKSA. She is due to return to Plymouth on 28 May 2007, 40 years to the day that Chichester sailed home after his 29,630-mile passage.

Big Birthday

YM’s biggest-ever issue goes on sale – with 145 editorial pages, including a 36-page souvenir supplement on the magazine’s history. The biggest-ever prize is also offered to readers – a £50,000 special ‘birthday edition’ of the Legend 27 bilge-keeler.