The New York Yacht Club (NYYC) was started on July 30, 1844, when John Cox Stevens invited eight friends to his yacht Gimcrack, anchored in New York Harbor. The nine who met nearly 170 years ago resolved to form the NYYC and named Stevens commodore. Three days hence, the new commodore announced, members would be departing on a yacht-club cruise to Newport. Thus, began the historical connection between the NYYC and Newport, RI. The 2013 Annual Cruise, in Maine will be the Club's 157th.
The NYYC's first clubhouse was built in 1845 on land donated by Commodore Stevens, at the family estate at Elysian Fields in Hoboken, NJ, overlooking the Hudson River. The clubhouse, a Gothic revival building, officially opened on July 15, 1846. This was followed the next day by the first club regatta, billed as a "trial of speed." This became the "Annual Regatta." This summer (2013), the NYYC will host its 159th Annual Regatta, presented by Rolex. Today, the NYYC has its signature clubhouse on New York's West 44th Street – a National Historic Landmark -- and an on-the-water clubhouse in Newport, RI. The first clubhouse, "Station 10," is on the Newport property.
Racing sailboats has long been a theme of the NYYC. In 1851, a schooner painted black arrived at the Isle of Wight in England looking to win races. This was the yacht America, owned by John Cox Stevens, the first commodore of the New York Yacht Club (NYYC), and other club members. America crossed the Atlantic on her own bottom and challenged all English yachts to a match race. No yacht was willing to race her, however. Finally, America joined a free-for-all on Friday, August 22, around the Isle of Wight. Watching the race, which included 15 English yachts and America, was Queen Victoria, who supposedly inquired, "Which is first?" Told it was America, she asked, "Which is second?" "Ah, Your Majesty, there is no second," was the reply. Or so the story goes. America won the Royal Yacht Squadron's "Hundred Guinea Cup," later called the America's Cup in honor of the yacht that won it. The NYYC defended that trophy from 1870-1983. This has been described by journalists as "the longest winning streak in sports."
Today, the NYYC conducts the aforementioned NYYC Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex and Transatlantic races – the next one, the Transatlantic Race 2015, will be in June 2015 -- in conjunction with the Royal Yacht Squadron, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Storm Trysail Club. The club also conducts the biennial NYYC Invitational Cup presented by Rolex for Corinthian (amateur) sailors representing their yacht clubs and nations, its companion US Qualifying Series, and national, North American and world championships. The NYYC also runs and participates in numerous Team Racing Events and Cruising activities. View More