A Brief History of the Royal Armoured Corps Yacht Club
The Royal Armoured Corps Yacht Club was formed in 1949 as Europe began to settle down after WWII. The Club had the use of two yachts, Theodora and Alamein, of which the former is still in commission and is being refurbished by her current owners.
Sadly, Theodora proved too expensive to maintain and after a particularly stormy passage from Kiel to Portsmouth in 1952, had to be towed into Harwich having blown out all her headsails. She was sold shortly after and Alamein went the same way three years later. With no yacht, the Club effectively became dormant until re-awakened in 1959 with the purchase of Troika (1959-1962), a South Coast One Design (SCOD), a sister yacht to the then Commodore’s, Col Sir Freddy Coates, Varthan. Freddy followed this by having a new SCOD built, Red Jerboa (1962-1966), for the Club.
Four years later came the first of the White Knights, a Rustler 31 (1966-1978). With a GRP hull, she was easier to maintain and she was successfully and enjoyably raced and cruised by many in her 12 years with the Club – she was replaced in 1978 by White Knight II, a Contessa 32 (1978-1994). Another proven design, she had the advantage of a large class and therefore evenly matched racing. White Knights III (1994-1998) and IV (1998-2004), reflected a perception amongst a number of Club members, that more of a family cruising boat was required, and these were a Westerly Seahawk and Westerly 33, respectively. For the racers, the Army had a fleet of yachts. During the period 1990-1993, the RACYC had a second yacht, Amarylis (later renamed Ocean Cavalier), an Oyster 35, donated by the Royal Naval College Dartmouth.
White Knight 5 was an X332, a return to the cruiser/racer marque. She was bought in 2005 and had notable success in a number of races, including being the first Service yacht to round the Fastnet rock in 2005 and first in the Army Offshore regatta of the same year. She was well cruised, by both family and Service crews
White Knight 6, a Beneteau First 34.7, was bought on 2009 and has been raced and cruised extensively, including 3 Fastnet campaigns, before being sold in 2014
The first White Knight, a Rustler 31, owned by the Club from new (1966-1978) has a new owner. She is based at Poole Yacht Club and is still named White Knight. Photos of her after her 2008 refit are in the photo album here. Her new owner attended the 2009 AGM as a guest of Maj "Oggie" Hoare, at which event Maj Hoare presented the Club with a framed jigsaw puzzle of White Knight sailing in Cowes Week in 1970(?), with a 14/20H crew and their Colonel-in-Chief, HRH Princess Anne. It is hanging in the Club room in the west wing of the Bovington mess.
Click here to read the full history.
Cups & Trophies
Maj A Franklin RY has been awarded RAC Colours for the 2013 season.
The following trophies have been awarded:
Theodora Trophy - Capt Henry Foster (KRH)
Cavalier Trophy - Lt Col Tom Holloway (KRH)
Commodore Trophy - Capt James Kayll & Tpr Cayle Royce LD (for coming second as Row2Recovery Team containing 2 disabled servicemen in Talisker Transatlantic Rowing Challenge)