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Royal Solent Yacht Club






The Yarmouth One Design Class
A Classic Vintage

The Yarmouth One Design Class, based at the Royal Solent Yacht Club in Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, is one of the oldest and most exclusive fleets of  keelboats still racing in the Solent. 


Photograph by courtesy of Paul Brown

The discussions that eventually led to the establishment of the YOD Class were initially instigated in 1910 by Sir Arthur Cope, RA, (1857 – 1940), a famous portrait painter of the Royal Family who was Class Captain from its foundation until 1935 and Commodore of the Solent Yacht Club from 1926 to 1933.  The Club’s Royal status wasn’t awarded until 1947.

 Henry Longmore, who worked at J Samuel White’s shipyard in Cowes during the First World War, designed these pretty boats.  Of the 13 launched, Theo Smith in Yarmouth built eleven just before and after the First World War and two were built in the 1920s by Woodnutts at St. Helens on the Isle of Wight.  

The original owners of the YOD Class were generally quite distinguished and included officers from the Army and Navy, a knight, a baronet and the first Lord Mottistone. The Class Rules reflect the social conditions of the day: ‘One paid hand is allowed, but he may not touch the tiller during a race.’

Linking the Past with the Present

Two YODs left the Class in the early years and two sank during racing, leaving nine surviving when the Class was disbanded in 1970.  Most of them stayed in the Solent area and thanks to the enthusiasm and perseverance of their present owners over a period of several years, they have all returned to the Royal Solent Yacht Club. The Class was offically re-established in 1995 and the Y's now race regulary from late April to September on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings.

Photograph by courtesy of Paul Brown

The YOD Class has a very active social side and the highlight of the year is the annual party in July to raise money for charity. This takes place in the gardens of the Towers next door to the Royal Solent YC, with live music, dancing, fireworks, food and drink. The event is open to all, with tickets on sale at the door at at the RSYC front office.

Newcomers are always welcome to the Class and anyone interested in sailing a YOD should, in the first instance, contact the YOD Class Honorary Secretary Jennie Beaver (





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