Medway Yacht Club
Founded and registered with the Yacht Racing Association in 1880 early members included the Earl of Cavendish, Lord Beresford, marine artist W.L. Wylie and author of adventure books for children A Henty. By 1894 it is reported that the club had 86 members.
1898 saw the start of one-design racing that continues today when MYC successfully answered a challenge laid down by the Sydney Flying Squadron which resulted in MYC winning the Anglo-Australian Shield. The challenge was revived and re-run at Upnor in 1998 and in Sydney in 2001 using replica 1880’s skiffs.
Early meetings were held in Rochester and in 1920 a clubhouse was opened on the Esplanade near Rochester Castle. Currently recognised as a safe haven for all the family to sail, the Club was apparently a riskier place in the 1920’s. An incident in the club accident book records that a member was shot when live rather than blank cartridges were supplied for use in the clubs starting cannon.
Always a forward thinking club, MYC admitted ladies for the first time to the annual dinner held at the Sun Hotel in 1934.
Between the two World Wars, motor-boating became very popular. Whilst normal club activities were suspended during both world wars, 1940 saw at least six Medway Yacht Club boats rescuing troops from Dunkirk, and later serving with the defence forces.
After World War II, it was decided to bring all club activities together and in 1948 the current site at Lower Upnor was acquired.
In 1952 the clubhouse which forms the main part of the facilities seen today was built although this has been extended and improved over the years.
1953 saw MYC received its warrant from the Admiralty allowing members the privilege of wearing our defaced Blue Ensign. Two years later saw Bluebottle, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Dragon, given to him as a wedding present by Her Majesty the Queen, competing in a special series of races arranged by MYC. Bluebottle’s racing flag was presented to the club and can be found in the clubhouse today.