Traditional Solent Racing

Regatta for the Household Division’s Queen Victoria Cup (Classics) and the Vanity V Cup (Moderns)

July 8. This event will be run by the Household Division Yacht Club and based at the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes.

The Household Division is made up of seven regiments, two are mounted (The Household Cavalry) and the other five are The Foot Guards Regiments. The Division are her Majesty The Queen’s personal troops and most famously mount guard at Buckingham Palace & Horse Guards Parade as well as Trooping The Colour. Aside from their ceremonial duties all the soldiers serve in the front line and almost all have seen repeated action in current conflicts.

The Household Brigade Yacht Club (HBYC) was formed in 1932 as a private club for serving and retired officers of The Brigade of Guards, and later changed its name in 1969 to The Household Division Yacht Club (HDYC). The first clubhouse and jetty were at the mouth of the River Hamble. However, in 1953 it burnt down, some say after a particularly good party. After the fire a plot of land was purchased next to the Royal Thames Yacht Club (RTYC) clubhouse at Warsash but never built on, sharing facilities with the Royal Thames YC, and once the RTYC decided to move to London the club entered into an arrangement with The Royal London Yacht Club (RLYC) in Cowes that lasts to this day.

The Household Division Yacht Club has had a long association with 12mR (as well as 8mR and 6mR) with members sailing several boats pre-war, organising class racing in the 1950's, taking part in America's Cup trials and continue to hold occasional 12mR races.

They hold an annual regatta at Cowes from the Royal Yacht Squadron, originally as a trial event for a more formal Cowes Week prior to which racing had been club-based. The event is now a warm-up event for the modern Cowes Week and is held on the last day of the Metre & Classic Keelboat Regatta. The 12mR are invited to participate in these events
(see programme page for details).


In contrast to the championship courses sailed in the Nationals and Worlds, the Household Division YC will set a traditional Solent course, reflecting the type of course typically sailed from Cowes. The start will be from the Royal Yacht Squadron line and the aim is for a long race (perhaps up to 35 miles) with plenty of legs (for which read 'action at the marks'). Navigation is an essential aspect of Solent racing, not just to find the marks, but to avoid shallow water and anticipate sailing angles to take advantage of favourable or avoid adverse tides - see the navgiation page. A course guide will be provided that identifies the marks used and their corresponding symbols - these symbols are displayed on The Platform (race committee deck) to show the course to be raced.

A characteristic of the Royal Yacht Squadron line is the array of 22 cannons. The guns come from a scaled down miniature frigate, the Royal Adelaide, built by King George IV in the 1820's for Queen Adelaide IX to be moored at Virginia Water, a lake near Windsor Castle. Miniature is a relative term in this context - it was still 50 tons. The charges are specially made up and are designed to make as much noise and smoke as possible with the least amount of 'blast'. The cannons are loaded by the yeoman of the Royal Yacht Squadron or his assistant, but they are fired electronically by the bridge team. What was quite amusing was the time the loading batton was accidentally left in the cannon and fired through some poor fellow's mainsail.

One legacy of the Household Division YC's involvement with 12mR is some seriously large bits of silver - The Royal Victoria Challenge Cup, presented by Queen Victoria herself, will be awarded to ... and the Vanity V Cup to the ... (to be confirmed).

Social Programme

To be confirmed, but may include:

  • Cocktail Party & Prizegiving: possibly with one of the Guards’ Regimental Bands, maybe not a full marching band which would rattle The Castle (the clubhouse of the Royal Yacht Squadron) but a breakout mini-band.

Moorings & Logistics

As for Worlds

Local Information