The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda was founded on 12th May 1967 by H.H. the Aga Khan, Andrè Ardoin, Giuseppe Kerry Mentasti and Luigi Vietti as a non-profit making sporting association for fellow sailing enthusiasts and with a view to promoting related activities. The sporting events organized by the Club and the victories won by members flying the Club's burgee have helped to establish the YCCS' position at the forefront of international yachting. Today the YCCS enjoys reciprocal agreements with the Yacht Club de Monaco, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein and the New York Yacht Club. The YCCS is represented by the Board of Directors headed by its President, Princess Zahra Aga Khan, and by the Vice President, Roberto Kerkoc.
The first regattas
From its inception, the Club has aimed to organize international regattas and as early as 1972 the first edition of the Settimana delle Bocche was held. In 1973 the Club organized the One Ton Cup and became recognized as the primary promoter of competitive offshore sailing in Italy and in the Mediterranean. The first Sardinia Cup, held in 1978, marked an important step for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in organizing annual and biennial world-class sailing events.
The Azzura years
In 1981 the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda launched the first Italian challenge for the America's Cup. Just two years later the 12-Metre Azzurra came a triumphant third in the qualifying regattas for the finals in Newport. Azzurra became a symbol for Italy's potential in top-level competitive sailing and was followed closely by fans at home. In 1984 the Royal Perth Yacht Club chose the YCCS to act as Challenger of Record for the 1987 edition of the America's Cup. A vessel flying YCCS colours also participated in this edition: Azzurra '87.
1981 saw the launch of the Smeralda Prima, a Two-Tonner which achieved second place in the World Championships. Ten years later, YCCS Members commissioned German Frers to create a one-design sailing boat which could take part in fleet yacht races and match races. The first boats of the Smeralda 888 class were launched in 1992 and quickly proved fast, competitive and rewarding to handle even with only three crew members. The YCCS currently organizes a range of superyacht regattas as well as World and European Championships for classes such as the TP52 class, the Farr 40 class, the International 12-metre class and Maxi classes.
Virgin Gorda, BVI
Continuing the Club's quest for innovation and excellence, the YCCS inaugurated a new winter Clubhouse in January 2012 in Virgin Gorda, BVI where it already manages a purpose-built superyacht marina. The new TP52 Azzurra will also debut in 2012 on the international sailing circuit with Audi Azzurra Sailing Team.