The Royal St. George was founded in 1846, or, rather, it would be more correct to say that the Royal Kingstown Yacht Club was formed in that year, and afterwards changed its name to that by which we know it to-day. Before the date referred to there was a Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dublin, formed in 1838, which must not, however, be confused with the existing club of that name. It was upon the dissolution of that organization that the Kingstown club was formed, so that the St. George may be said to have descended from the original Royal Irish, and to have had an almost continuous history from 1838.
Its quarters are situated at Kingstown, inside the harbour. To see anything of the big-class racing from the club-house it is necessary to ascend to the top of the building, but those who wish to follow it closely usually betake themselves to the end of the outer arm of the breakwater, the fort at the end of which is used by the officers of the day. The harbour entrance forms the starting and finishing line. The club-houses of the St. George and Irish are almost adjoining, and the two clubs work in perfect harmony, and give their annual regattas alternately. It is the custom amongst Irish clubs, and an excellent one, to make the annual regatta the occasion of a big social function, and the Royal St. George is no exception to the rule. As some compensation for not being able to obtain an uninterrupted view of the big vessels from the club precincts, there is always a series of aquatic sports provided for the amusement of visitors, immediately in front of the club, which is always crowded on these occasions.
The course is an open and fair one, and given a moderate breeze and good entries, excellent sport may be looked for. Unfortunately, in more recent years this regatta has suffered in common with the other Irish fixtures owing to the clashing of dates, more particularly those of foreign regattas. We have, therefore, to look back a few years for some of the most famous matches sailed under the St. George's burgee. Take, for instance, the regatta of 1878. There were on that occasion seven vessels of over 100 tons competing for the Queen's Cup, while the 'forties' numbered four and the 'twenties' five. In later years we have not seen such a fleet as that in Dublin Bay. In the year named the Queen's Cup was won by the Cythera. She seems to have had rare luck in that district, for she won three Queen's Cups in Dublin Bay. The race for the King's Cup in 1906 had three competitors, one of which, Nyria, gave up early in the race owing to a 'carry-away.' The White Heather won the cup on that occasion, and crossed the winning-line almost under bare poles. There was every appearance of a heavy thunder squall coming down the bay, and White Heather's skipper, to keep his canvas dry, commenced to stow it some time before the line was fetched. Her only remaining opponent then was some miles astern, so that he was so far safe, but the incident is somewhat unique in yachtracing—not many such risks are taken with a King's Cup at stake.