Cowes club set to overturn 199-year ruling

The Royal Yacht Squadron looks like it will overturn a long-standing and increasingly controversial rule that bans full women members.

The Cowes club, considered one of the most prestigious yacht clubs in the world, with the Queen as its patron, has allowed women who are ‘associate members’ to use its facilities since the 1960s but does not allow them to become full members.

Here is the unedited club’s statement: ‘The Royal Yacht Squadron is delighted to confirm that, following extensive consideration and consultation within its Membership, the Regatta Meeting of Members unanimously passed a resolution instructing the Committee to bring forward rule changes to the Spring Meeting next year that will give effect the agreement that Ladies may be proposed for Membership.

‘This resolution further confirms the commitment the Royal Yacht Squadron has had since the early 1960s, when Lady Associate Members were introduced, to integration of ladies in all its activities and in the use of its facilities.

‘This  decision  has come as we are preparing for our Bicentenary in 2015 and whilst the 50 or so young persons of both sexes that have been through our race training programme are doing so well in the ten Squadron J109s racing in Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.’

We’ll have reaction to the club’s statement in the next issue of Yachting Monthly.