The New York Yacht Club has been an organization of remarkable achievement for all its 150 years. Auspiciously, it was founded on a yacht, and equally auspiciously, some might say, it was born with a certain autocratic air.
It was a regional, even a national, club from its beginning. Its first clubhouse was not in New York but in New Jersey. And barely four years after its founding, its prominence was such that the United States government asked it to design a flag that would fly only on pleasure vessels. That flag, unchanged from the original New York Yacht Club design, has been the U. S. Yacht ensign ever since.
And a scarce seven years after its founding, the club’s burgee flew over the yacht America as it established in that famous race off Cowes the superiority of America’s yacht designers and builders.
The Club’s first century and a half, is a dramatic story of winners and losers, gallant gentlemen and an occasional spoilsport, great yachts and real adventurers united by their relentless quest for speed under sail. Its proud history is, indeed, one for the book.
By Walter Cronkite