Please select your home edition
Edition
SW newsletters (top)

Royal Yachting Association pays tribute to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

by Loretta Spridgeon, RYA 9 Apr 05:13 PDT
Charles, Prince of Wales with his father the Duke of Edinburgh and crew members Uffa Fox, the Duke's Yachting adviser and Lieutenant-Commander Alistair Easton, Sailing Master of the yacht "Bluebottle", at Cowes, during their Dragon class race © PA Archive / PA Images

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is deeply saddened by the loss of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh - former RYA President and RYA Honorary Member.

Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen, RYA Patron, The Princess Royal, RYA President and the entire Royal Family at this time.

Though probably best known for founding The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme in 1956, His Royal Highness was also involved in the work of many more charities and organisations which reflected his wide-ranging interests including conservation, the military and engineering, as well as his passion for getting afloat.

Well-known for his love of sailing, as well as his long-standing naval career, The Duke of Edinburgh started sailing while he was at Gordonstoun School in Scotland. He sailed frequently with Prince Charles in the Dragon Class keelboat Bluebottle, which was a gift to The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh on their marriage from the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, Isle of Wight. The Duke sailed the boat competitively for a number of years.

In 1948, Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh were listed as new members of the RYA and given Honorary Membership. At the 1956 RYA Annual General Meeting, The Duke of Edinburgh was elected as President of the RYA for the first time. Following his election, the Council was regularly invited to hold one of its meetings on board HMY Britannia during Cowes Week.

Under his watch as President, the first ever RYA Training Committee was formed and today, some 50 years on, the RYA now has a network of more than 2,400 recognised training centres in 58 countries worldwide and supports the delivery of over 100 different courses.

Upon learning that The Duke of Edinburgh was to step down from his role as President in 1970, the RYA Council resolved to launch an appeal to the membership with a view to presenting the Duke with a model of the 63ft royal racing yacht Bloodhound to thank him for serving 14 years as President.

The longest serving British consort then resumed the role of RYA President in 1975 and presided over his last Council meeting as President at the Little Ship Club in 1980. At that time, the then Chairman Brian Southcott said: "The membership knew of his keen interest and were grateful for it. His willingness to chair every General Meeting during his presidency had been very much appreciated."

Subjects covered at RYA Council meetings during The Duke of Edinburgh's Presidency continued to be raised as discussion items in the decades to come - ranging from membership numbers, subscription levels, clubs, revenue, sponsorship, training, committees, Olympic Games, the Association's regional structure and the role and future of the Council.

A regular attendee at Cowes Week on board HMY Britannia, The Duke of Edinburgh became a friend of the boat designer and legendary sailor Uffa Fox, racing in Cowes Week in 1957 in Bluebottle. He also frequently sailed with Uffa on Coweslip, the most famous of the Flying Fifteen keelboats. Together, they had great success sailing competitively, including winning the Britannia Cup in 1952. In 1962 at Cowes, Coweslip nearly sank when she was hit by a gust of wind and capsized, throwing both Uffa and the Duke into the water.

Sarah Treseder, RYA Chief Executive, today paid tribute to The Duke of Edinburgh: "As a sailing community we share the nation's sadness following the loss of Prince Phillip. He will be missed by the RYA family and we pay tribute to not just a keen, competitive and successful yachtsman, but also an outstanding President of our Association who dedicated many years to helping protect and promote our sport.

"In 2011, I was lucky enough to attend one of the celebrations for his 90th Birthday at Trinity House, of which HRH The Duke of Edinburgh was Master until succeeded by HRH The Princess Royal the same year. His affinity for the sea and camaraderie with his fellow mariners shone though.

"The Duke accompanied Her Majesty The Queen on a trip to Cowes in 2012, where he was introduced to a number of young OnBoard sailors and asked some very searching questions about their experiences on the water. Some were a little nervous, but the Duke was clearly interested and soon put everyone at ease.

"In 2012, the RYA was recognised as a National Operating Authority for the Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE), the renowned self-improvement programme for young people - and more than 20 RYA training centres are now recognised as DofE centres. It is thanks to the Duke's passion for boating and his commitment to helping young people fulfil their potential that our centres are able to give so many DofE participants the opportunity to experience new activities or develop existing skills.

"2016 saw the celebration of 60 years of the DofE scheme take place in the gardens of Buckingham Palace and we were all impressed by the extraordinarily wide-ranging knowledge the Duke had of the various partners there."

The Duke served as Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes, Isle of Wight, and was also patron of the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble, having become Admiral of the Club in 1952.

Related Articles

Complimentary SIBS tickets for RYA members
Southampton International Boat Show 2021 tickets exclusively for RYA members The Southampton International Boat Show is back and the RYA is delighted to announce that once again its 100,000 plus members can take advantage of a complimentary ticket to the Show. Posted on 24 Jul
Nominations open for RYA Musto Youth Awards
The search has begun for this season's most inspirational young boaters The search has begun for this season's most inspirational young boaters with nominations now open for the RYA Musto Youth Awards, celebrating the achievement of young people in sailing, windsurfing and powerboating. Posted on 15 Jul
Dani Rowe named RYA Yachtmaster of the Year
25yr-old welsh sailor named as the recipient of the prestigious award 25-year-old welsh sailor, Dani Rowe has been named as the recipient of the RYA Yachtmaster® of the Year award for her exceptional demonstration of sailing skills during her RYA Yachtmaster certificate of competence exam. Posted on 14 Jul
Explore the UK with new RYA Dinghy Trails
The new trails are at Great Cumbrae, Cardiff Bay, Lake Bala, Lough Erne, Plymouth Sound, Lymington If you're looking to spend time on the beautiful waters of the UK this summer, the RYA have added seven brand new #DinghyTrails which are ready to download and explore. Posted on 14 Jul
Studland Bay: RYA receive reassurance from MMO
Of moderate approach to management plans The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) have written to the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) to confirm a conservative approach to the Studland Bay Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ). Posted on 10 Jul
Maritime Minister takes to the water
Robert Courts MP sails at the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre in London Focus on recreational boating safety as Maritime Minister, Robert Courts MP, meets with the RYA at the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre as part of Maritime Safety Week. Posted on 8 Jul
RYA announces career move for Chief Executive
Could you be the next helm at the national governing body for boating? The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has today confirmed that Sarah Treseder will be moving on from the organisation to become the next Chief Executive at the UK Chamber of Shipping, replacing Bob Sanguinetti. Posted on 1 Jul
Refer a friend and enjoy a double 'thank you'
RYA is calling on its more than 100,000 strong membership to help spread the word The RYA is calling on its more than 100,000 strong membership to help spread the word about the many benefits of being a member to their friends and family with its Refer a Friend programme. Posted on 29 Jun
Boating post-Brexit and beyond: what's the latest?
Essential round-up from the Royal Yachting Association Since the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU) in 2016, the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has been lobbying tirelessly on key issues that directly affect UK boaters as third country nationals. Posted on 28 Jun
RYA Coastal Atlas update
To improve protection of recreational boating The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has commissioned ABPmer to update the digital map of Recreational Boating Intensity held in their online UK Coastal Atlas of Recreational Boating. Posted on 16 Jun
MBW newsletters (top)