Cowes Week-Behind the Scenes

image of RYLC emblazoned with bunting to the left and the RYS in the far right
RYLC emblazoned with bunting to the left and the RYS in the far right

RLYC emblazoned with bunting to the left and the RYS in the far right

By William Mills

Although Cowes Week is the most famous event in the UK’s yachting calendar, Cowes itself is a hive of sailing activity the year round and here we take a brief look at some of the people and venues involved in the smooth running of things

Peter Taylor MBE is a principle race officer for Cowes Week and is part of the hub which organises the numerous races run every day during the regatta.

He is also the present commodore of The Royal London Yacht Club, that came into being in the glorious Victorian heyday of recreational yachting.



image of Peter Taylor MBE commodore of RLYC
Peter Taylor MBE commodore of RLYC


Founded in 1838 it started its life at the ‘Coal Hole’ in the Strand, London, promoting yacht racing from the Temple Steps.

However by the 1880’s the River Thames was becoming increasingly polluted due to the rise in population and more efficient sewerage.

So a new home was found on the seafront at Cowes. This small Isle of Wight port was made popular by Queen Victoria (1837-1901) who built her holiday home of Osborne House nearby.

The RLYC has been there ever since while retaining its link with the capital with reciprocal membership with the Royal Thames Yacht Club.

Peter Taylor MBE, is a retired engineer and former barrister. Having sailed  worldwide  including Dubai and other Middle East locations. Now a West Sussex resident he’s been a member of the RLYC for over twenty years and in charge since 2014.

Asked for his most memorable highlight during this time,

Peter Taylor said;

“The growth of Cowes Classic Week. Since its inception in 2008 with around 40 entrants it has grown into a significant regatta in only nine years with 188 competitors today. The quality of the racing in the Solent is second to none.”

The RLYC is not just for the rich and famous, indeed it supports local talent through its Youth Trust which introduces youngsters native to the Isle of Wight to sailing. Its Etchells Academy sponsors three boats in these  popular 3 to 4 man day racing keel boats.

The Etchells are attracting top sailors from all over the world and the RYLC is hosting the Etchells World Championships 2016 from 4-10th September.



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