New York Yacht Club
|Founded||July 30, 1844|
The New York Yacht Club is a private social club and yacht club based in New York City and Newport, Rhode Island. It was founded in 1844 by nine prominent sportsmen. The members have contributed to the sport of yachting and yacht design. As of 2001, the organization was reported to have about 3,000 members. Membership in the club is by invitation only. Its officers include a Commodore, vice-commodore, rear-commodore, secretary and treasurer.
New York Yacht Club
New York Clubhouse, 37 W. 44th St.
|Location||New York, New York|
|Architect||Whitney Warren; Warren & Wetmore|
|Architectural style||Beaux Arts, Other|
|NRHP reference #||82001203|
|Added to NRHP||October 29, 1982|
|Designated NHL||May 28, 1987|
|Designated NYCL||September 11, 1979|
In 1845, the club’s first clubhouse was established — a modest, Gothic-revival building in Hoboken, New Jersey, on land donated by Commodore John Cox Stevens. After outgrowing its cramped quarters, the club moved to several other locations, including Staten Island, Glen Cove, New York and Mystic, Connecticut.
Its primary clubhouse is a six-storied Beaux-Arts landmark with a nautical-themed limestone facade, located at 37 West 44th Street in midtown Manhattan. Opened in 1901, it was designed by Warren and Wetmore (1898), architects of the exterior of Grand Central Terminal. The centerpiece of the clubhouse is the "Model Room", which contains a notable collection of full and half hull models including a scale model history of all New York Yacht Club America's Cup challenges. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
In addition to its Manhattan headquarters, located inland, the club maintains "Harbour Court", a clubhouse opened in 1988 on the water in Newport.
The New York Yacht Club was founded on July 30, 1844 by nine gentlemen. John Cox Stevens, the leader of this group, and a prominent citizen of New York with a passion for sports, was elected commodore. John Clarkson Jay of Rye, one of the nine founders, was a grandson of Founding Father John Jay and served as the first Secretary of the board. George L. Schuyler and Hamilton Wilkes were also NYYC founders who, together with Stevens and two others, created the syndicate that built and raced the great schooner-yacht, America. Wilkes served as the club’s first vice-commodore. Schuyler played a key role in the founding of the America's Cup regatta, and served as its unofficial consultant until his death in 1890.
In 1845, the club’s burgee was designed. The waters off Newport have been a key sailing venue for the NYYC since the beginning of its history. Indeed, the day the club was founded in 1844, its members resolved to sail from the Battery to Newport. Two days later they did, with several stops on the way, and trials of speed.
During the first decades of the club's history, racing for prize money was the objective among most members. In 1851, a syndicate of NYYC enthusiasts built and raced America, capturing the "One Hundred Sovereign Cup" at the annual regatta of the Royal Yacht Squadron. On July 8, 1857, the coveted trophy was donated to the NYYC, to serve as a challenge cup for sportsmanlike competition between nations. The "America's Cup Race", named for its first winner, played a central role in the history of the club.
In 1865, the Club was incorporated, adopting the Latin motto: "Nos agimur tumidis velis" -- "We go with swelling sails" (adapted from the verse of the famous Roman poet Horace, "Non agimur tumidis uelis", "We do not go with swelling sails", in Epistles, 2, 2, 201). During this time, membership transitioned from the "old guard" to a new generation of yachtsmen, who built large schooner yachts captained by professionals. Marking this evolution was the 1866 resignation of Commodore Edwin Augustus Stevens, brother of founder John Cox Stevens and member of the America syndicate.
The year 1866 is remembered in club annals for the legendary "Transatlantic Race". In December, the NYYC schooners Henrietta, Fleetwing, and Vesta raced from Sandy Hook to The Needles, Isle of Wight for a $90,000 winner-take-all prize. The Henrietta, owned by 21-year-old James Gordon Bennett, Jr., and skippered by Captain Samuel S. Samuels, a professional, won the race in 13 days, 21 hours and 55 minutes. Bennett would be elected commodore in 1871.
In 1876, the Mohawk, a large centerboard schooner, capsized due to its sheets being "made fast" (fastened securely) when a freak squall struck. Vice-Commodore William T. Garner, his wife and crew died in the accident. It is believed that this tragedy led to the extinction of the great centerboard schooner yachts. The Mohawk was later sold to the U.S. Navy and recommissioned as the U.S. Eagre.
New York Yacht Club Stations circa 1894
By 1894, the New York Yacht Club had a number of Clubhouses: Station 1 in Bay Ridge; 2 in New York NY; 3 in Whitestone NY; 4 in New London, Connecticut; 5 in Shelter Island, New York; 6 in Newport RI; 7 in Vineyard Haven and at Rendezvous Glen Cove. In 1868 the club bought a big mansion used as Station 2 at Rosebank, Staten Island. This building still stands and is known as the Macfarlane Bredt House.
In 1895, Richard H. Barker composed 'The yacht club march: march and two-step: for piano' in honour of the New York Yacht Club.
In 1994, as part of the Club's 150th celebrations, Melissa H. Harrington wrote 'The New York Yacht Club, 1844-1994,' 
Following the disastrous Bay of Quinte America's Cup challenge in 1881, the Club's committee voted a new rule to govern its races:
The America's Cup challenges of 1885, 1886 and 1887 used this rule with a 85 ft (25.91 m) waterline length limit. In 1887, the NYYC adopted the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club's rating rule, which handicaped length comparatively less. Then, in 1903, the NYYC changed its rating system to the "Herreshoff Rule", devised by the yacht designer, Nathanael Herreshoff. Later renamed the "Universal Rule", it would be adopted by the majority of leading American yacht clubs. The rule governed yacht design for almost forty years.
The America's Cup was held for 132 years, until Australia II defeated Dennis Conner's Liberty off Newport, Rhode Island in 1983. This record remains the longest continuous winning streak in sports history.
Since the loss of the Cup the NYYC has been forced to reinvent itself and the Club has become involved in team racing, dinghy racing, youth sailing, and international regattas. In 2002 the Club hosted the Intercollegiate Sailing Association Sloop North American Championships. In 2006 the Club hosted the Blind Sailing World Championships.
- 2005 Rolex Transatlantic Challenge
- "New York Yacht Club Cruise", an annual series of races held in July or August
- "Annual Regatta", started in 1846
- "Queen's Cup Trophy"
- "12-metre Worlds"
- "Una Cup"
- "Corsair Cup"
- "Astor Cups"
- "Solution Trophy
- Invitational Cup
- Winthrop W. Aldrich
- Brooke Astor
- John Jacob Astor, real estate mogul
- Vincent Astor
- George Fisher Baker
- August Belmont
- James Gordon Bennett, Jr., newspaper publisher
- Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City
- John Nicholas Brown II, philanthropist
- Frederick Gilbert Bourne
- William F. Buckley, author and commentator
- William A. Chanler, explorer, soldier and US Congressman
- Robert H. Conn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy
- Dennis Conner, racing yacht captain
- William P. Cronan, 19th Naval Governor of Guam
- Walter Cronkite, newscaster
- Chris Dodd, United States senator
- Pete DuPont, governor of Delaware
- Elbridge Thomas Gerry
- Jay Gould, railroad tycoon
- Alfred Walton Hinds, 17th Naval Governor of Guam
- Charles Oliver Iselin
- Charles O'Neal, politician
- Arthur Curtiss James
- Gary Jobson
- Edward Kennedy, Jr., United States Senator
- Dennis Kozlowski (resigned)
- Lewis Cass Ledyard
- John Lehman, Secretary of the Navy
- Bernard Madoff (resigned)
- J. P. Morgan, financier
- J. P. Morgan, Jr.
- Junius Spencer Morgan III
- Emil Mosbacher
- Robert Mosbacher
- Frank F. Olney (1851—1903), 18th Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island
- Trenor Luther Park elected 1883, owned the Sultana
- David Rockefeller, banker
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States
- Gary Roughead, 29th Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy
- Elliott Fitch Shepard, lawyer and newspaper owner
- Alfred P. Sloan
- John Cox Stevens
- Olin Stephens, yacht designer
- Ted Turner, media mogul
- Cornelius Vanderbilt III, Army general
- Harold Stirling Vanderbilt, railroad executive
- Thomas Watson, Jr.
- List of American gentlemen's clubs
- List of New York City Designated Landmarks in Manhattan on Islands
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Manhattan on islands
- Landlocked Berth for Boat Lovers; New York Yacht Club Spruces Up Its Grand Home And Finds It Can Thrive Without America's Cup, James Barron, The New York Times, 03 Feb 2001, "The effort to add fresh blood to the blue blood has increased the roster to about 3,000 members."
- National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "New York Yacht Club". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-17.
- http://dictionaryofarchitectsincanada.org/architects/view/310 Whitney Warren Dictionary of Architects in Canada
- ""New York Yacht Club", October 1985, by James H. Charleston" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination. National Park Service. October 1985.
- "New York Yacht Club--Accompanying photo, exterior, undated." (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination. National Park Service. October 1985.
- Clary, Suzanne. "A Legacy of Sailing: Owners of the Jay Estate & Yachting in New York 1843 - 1966". Rye Magazine: Weston Magazine, Inc. (38): 244. Retrieved January 2, 2016 – via issuu.
- Richard H. Barker 'The yacht club march: march and two-step: for piano' (Toronto : Whaley, Royce & Co., c1895)
- Melissa H. Harrington The New York Yacht Club, 1844-1994 (Lyme, Conn.: Greenwich Pub. Group, 1994)
- Thomas W. Lawson (1902). The Lawson history of the America's Cup. ISBN 978-0-907069-40-9.
- Hargraves, Carly (January 30, 2006). "2006 IFDS Blind Sailing World Championships - Yachting Australia". www.yachting.org.au. Yachting Australia. Retrieved 2015-10-01.
- "Frank F. Olney". The American Journal of Philately. New York, NY: The Scott Stamp and Coin Co: 353. 1 Oct 1903. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
- Homans, James E., ed. (1918). The Cyclopedia of American Biography. The Press Association Compilers. pp. 299–300.
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