Brief Historical Note on Ranelagh Sailing Club

The name of Ranelagh has long been associated with yacht sailing on the Thames. The third Viscount Ranelagh was a close confidant of that pioneer of yacht racing, King Charles II who reserved several of his yachts for "up river" sailing.

In 1775, the Cumberland Fleet, from which evolved the Royal Thames Yacht Club, assembled off Lord Ranelagh's house at Chelsea, then transformed into the famous Ranelagh Gardens and a sailing match took place from Westminster to Putney Bridge and back. The result of this event was that sailing rapidly developed in these reaches of the river until 1840, after which the fle

Some time after 1856 the Ranelagh Yacht Club, flying a blue burgee with the letters "RYC" in white, and with headquarters at the "Swan" at Battersea commenced racing between Battersea and Putney, its upper turning mark being opposite the then Lord Ranelagh's house at Fulham, just down river of the old wooden bridge. These races continued until the construction of a succe

However, on February 16th, 1889, eight sailing men met at the "Star and Garter" hotel, Putney and resolved to form the Ranelagh Sailing Club. A Club House was established on the unspoilt reach above Putney Bridge and a new impetus given to yacht racing on the Thames. Several members of the Ranelagh Yacht Club joined the new club. Others who joined were members of the 2nd

During more than 100 years of existence, the Club has consistently encouraged dinghy sailing and some 75 years ago open races were given for the West of England Conference class, the forerunner of the 14ft International dinghy. The Club was at an early date affiliated to the YRA, now known as the Royal Yachting Association, and has fostered the development of dinghy clas

Members of Ranelagh Sailing Club were closely involved with the development of the Merlin Rocket and National Twelve dinghies and over the years, Ranelagh has provided many leading helmsmen. In recent years, the single handed classes, the Solo and the Laser, have been added to the boats which are regularly sailed in competition at Putney. Many features of the Club have c

The challenging (some would say difficult!) conditions which apply on this tidal stretch of river mean that, regrettably, the sailing is not suitable for unaccompanied children.