Yachting on the East Coast has never made the sound progress which has marked its history on the West Coast of this country. The Clyde is to the Scot the Mecca of yachting, and though the Royal Eastern Yacht Club came into a comparatively early existence at Edinburgh and Leith, it has never been favoured in the degree in which Clyde clubs have been favoured since their foundation.
The Royal Eastern Yacht Club is the oldest of the East Coast clubs. It was founded in 1835 on December 31, when an influential committee was convened to consider the expediency of holding a regatta in the following year, under the auspices of a club to be called the Eastern Regatta Club. The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, the Provosts of Leith, Musselburgh, and Dunbar, and about two dozen of the leading county gentlemen interested in sport, formed themselves into an interim committee for the purpose. The Duke of Buccleuch was elected Commodore and the Earl of Caithness Vice-Commodore of the club. The support accorded to the committee was such as to encourage them to form a permanent club, and the scheme was so heartily taken up that within a few months the Eastern Yacht Club was formed.
On June 30, 1836, the Lords of the Admiralty granted a warrant authorizing the fleet to wear the blue ensign of His Majesty's navy, and the royal patronage of the club was bestowed by H.M. William IV. in that year.The first Commodore of the Royal Eastern Yacht Club was His Grace the fifth Duke of Buccleuch, and throughout its existence the office of Commodore has been held by a member of that family, the present Duke having been elected Commodore on the death of his father in 1884.