The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club was established on November 1, 1844. Two years later in 1846, the Royal Charter was acquired making the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club the 20th royal yacht club in the world. Lord Mark Kerr, a British Officer, was instrumental in acquiring the royal charter and subsequently, the first Commodore of RBYC.
During the 19th century, sailing in Bermuda was primarily match racing – two boats, one winner, one loser and a large wager on the table. With the creation of RBYC and a keen yachting community to support it, match racing evolved into modern-day, professional sailing. In 1906, following the introduction of fleet racing, rules and regulations the first Bermuda Race debuted. This regatta, known today as the Newport to Bermuda Race, bridged an ever-lasting maritime affiliation between the American east coast and Bermuda.
Many ideas and contributions to the world of sailing came from Bermuda and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. When one looks on a map of the Atlantic Ocean and sees that tiny dot called Bermuda, it is hard to imagine how much practical knowledge of the sea evolved from this tiny island. Bermudian sailors and RBYC Members contributed to modern hull designs including ships and dinghies.