The Royal Thames is a very special yacht club, as a glance at this website will show. The Club has a clear purpose, as follows:
"To provide the members with outstanding yacht cruising, racing and social opportunities in the UK and internationally, building on the Club's unique heritage, central London facilities and close reciprocal relationships with other leading yacht clubs around the world."
The Royal Thames is thus involved in a wide range of yachting events for both the cruising and racing yachtsman, motor yacht owners and all those interested in the sea. Through the Club's events and other contacts, members have access to yachting activities worldwide.
Members also have access to to the Clubhouse in Knightsbridge, convenient for many of the attractions of London, where there is a welcoming staff, excellent food and comfortable cabins. When travelling, members can often dine and/or stay at reciprocal clubs.
There are many Club events in London, usually with a yachting or other nautical theme and the Royal Thames has been a natural meeting point for those interested in yachting, and with connections in London, for well over 200 years.
Every year, the Club organises several cruises in UK waters and overseas. The overseas cruises take place all over the world from New Zealand to the Caribbean. Some members join in with their own boats - a quarter of the boats that fly the Club's burgee are based outside the UK - while others charter. With the Club's widespread membership, the cruises frequently involve privileged opportunities to visit places that would not normally be accessible, to be welcomed in other members' homes and on board their yachts.
The Club participates in numerous racing events both in the UK and worldwide. There is an annual regatta - the Cumberland Regatta - on the Solent and opportunities for both fleet and match racing. The Club is particularly active in keelboat team racing and regularly competes with other leading clubs around the world, on their waters, on ours or in places like the USA and the Mediterranean.
Training days are arranged to introduce members to team racing, followed by excellent opportunities to participate, whether at the helm, as tactician or crew. The inter-club events are generally great fun and lead to many new friendships.
Much of the Club's racing activities are on the Solent, but with shared ownership of a fleet of J/80s since 2010, there is an active programme of racing for all levels at Queen Mary Reservoir, near Staines, from October - April when the boats go to Cowes for the summer months where they are managed by the Royal Yacht Squadron. The Royal Thames is in the unique position of being able to pick the best location for any event, and will often work in conjunction with other yacht clubs.
Our members include internationally recognised race officials, jurors and umpires. They set the highest standards in race management and always welcome new recruits to their team. The Race Officials team welcomes members who are interested in this aspect of the sport and available to join them. There are many opportunities to participate throughout the year.
Royal Thames in The Future
The Club is rich in traditions but not bound by them. As the interests of members evolve, the Royal Thames has always aimed to meet their needs. Recently this has led to a surge of activity both on and off the water, leading to renewed interest by both existing and new members. As a result the Club's involvement in Cowes has increased as it is a natural centre of racing in the UK and a destination for many members who have yachts on the South Coast of England.
The Club also helps its younger members to develop their sailing skills and has been training the best talent among young champion sailors through the Club's Sailing Academy scheme. This includes sponsoring some young members at regattas overseas. The Club recognises that it is all these younger members who are the key to its future.
On this website there are links to the Royal Thames Cumberland Cup and the Royal Thames Mansura Trophy. These are very different activities, but they illustrate the diversity of the Club. The Cumberland Cup is a major team racing contest among the leading yacht clubs of the world - generally the reciprocal clubs of the Royal Thames. The Mansura Trophy is an award for technical innovation in seagoing motive power, involving new hybrid power sources. The Club is proud of these activities and will, no doubt, take on new challenges in the future.
Without sailing water on its doorstep - although there is some talk about reviving sailing on the Serpentine in Hyde Park - the Royal Thames must always be innovative. For centuries the Club has succeeded in this respect, and it will continue to do so.