The year 1875 saw the birth of this club at Weymouth. With such a splendid expanse of water as there is at this port, and yachting a recognised sport long before that date, it seems to us at this period somewhat strange that there should have been no leading club connected with the sport in this famous old Georgian watering-place before the year 1875. The Royal Dorset has, however, in its thirty odd years of existence made its mark in the history of yachting, and the annual regatta takes its place among the chief fixtures of the season.
In the usual round of regattas, it comes first after the Solent big-class season. To a certain extent it may appear to suffer for this reason, as there are always a certain few boats which fit out for the racing inside ‘the Wight,’ and do not go outside the waters of the Solent. As a rule, however, the Royal Dorset fixture gets nearly all of the regular racers of the year. Matches are often arranged from Cowes to Weymouth, and these assist in attracting vessels westward. The last of these Channel races was in 1903, on which occasion the competitors were Bona, Brynhild, Cicely, Valdora, and Maid Marion. The day was a particularly dirty one, and the competitors did not come through scatheless. Britannia sailed her last race at this regatta in 1899, on which occasion there was a rather bad foul between the Prince’s cutter and the fine schooner Rainbow.
The port of Weymouth cannot be regarded as a home of yachting, and the Royal Dorset has to depend mainly upon visiting craft for its sport.