50 is the new 40! The Royal Southern Yacht Club reveals the average age of membership
The Royal Southern Yacht Club defies time, getting younger every year, with the average age of its membership now under 50.
Chris Mansfield, the newly elected Commodore, has a strong heritage in professional blue water yacht skippering, on boats such as Duet as well as leadership positions on Velsheda, and latterly Bloodhound. He was a founder member of Splash, the Club’s youth sailing section, 30 years ago and is in a unique position to have witnessed the gradual growth of the Club and broadening of its activities to help attract a younger membership.
“It’s taken over 30 years to get to this point and the Club is justly proud of a growing membership, now standing at over 1700 including 100+ members of the Royal Southern Academy that was launched five years ago.”
The Club cites one of the key reasons for welcoming an increasingly younger membership is through its concerted efforts to host and manage a broad variety of on-water and on-shore activities whilst always maintaining the traditions and fundamental values of its Royal Yacht Club status.
The Royal Southern is well positioned as a 21st Century Club while still revering its past with over 175 years of yachting achievement from an America’s Cup syndicate to the Volvo Ocean Race and World Championship yachtsmen and women.
Never a Club to rest on its laurels, the Royal Southern continues to expand its facilities and services and has invested over £5 million pounds into its infrastructure over the last 10 years.
Furthermore, the Club’s latest major construction project, a new sea wall designed to reduce the risk of flooding in the future and the building of the Prince Philip Yacht Haven, is due for completion in the late Spring.
Chris Mansfield: “We are creating a fabulous new facility for all the membership to enjoy. This includes additional car parking including four disabled parking spaces, a hoist to assist disabled sailors onto and off their boats, an additional area overlooking the water for receptions & parties and additional facilities afloat. Very importantly, we have gone a long way to reduce the risk of flooding to the Clubhouse and car park. These facilities will futureproof the Club for many generations to come.”
Home-grown sailing talent will be mixing it up on an international stage
In 2015 the Club’s on-water programme includes eight external regattas, including four National Championships, the ISAF Grade 2 Match Racing event and the Club’s usual programme of monthly regattas and Club races.
The Royal Southern’s ISAF Grade 2 Match Cup includes an automatically invited entry to the winner of the Warren Jones Regatta, the Australian-held international youth match racing event for under 25 year olds. The winner, Chris Steele and his 36Below Racing team from Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, together with UK and other international teams will battle it out in Solent waters in a fleet of J80s in June.
The Club has also thrown down the gauntlet to other Clubs to join it in an Inter-Club Challenge at April’s Antigua Sailing Week where it has already entered a two-boat team and there will be an entry from the Royal Southern in the prestigious New York Yacht Club Invitational in Newport, RI, later in the year.
The Royal Southern’s racing programme for 2105 is available on the Club’s web site at royal-southern.co.uk
by Peta Stuart-Hunt | Press Officer