The RMYC was founded by Sir Francis Spring in 1911. It was the first sailing club in southern India, and was originally based in what was called the Timber Pond area of the Madras harbour. Soon after its founding the club was granted royal patronage by George V, and it became one of the most prestigious sporting and social clubs in British India. Today the club is located at Springhaven Wharf, named after its founder.
Sporting sailing in the area first started in Ennore, situated north of Madras, in the early 1900s. Sir Francis Spring, the first Chairman of the Madras Port Trust, founded the Royal Madras Yacht Club in 1911. The first of the Inter-Club Regattas in India was held in 1924 between the Royal Colombo Yacht Club and the RMYC in Madras. It was accorded its 'Royal' status by the Emperor of India, George V, and the name was changed to The Royal Madras Yacht Club on 8 June 1933. The popular class at that time was the Bembridge. The club quickly gained a reputation for its formal atmosphere and it became one of the leading sporting social clubs in the country. After a number of re-locations, the club is situated at its original premises selected by its founder, which has come to be known as the Springhaven Wharf.
Recent decades have seen the facilities of the club improved and modernised. The then Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Radhakrishna Hariram Tahiliani, inaugurated the new Club House on 4 February 1987. The Club was affiliated to Yachting Association of India after the YAI was formed in 1960 and many national sailing events have since been held at the Club. The Club conducted many regattas in Chennai between 1961 and 1981, including the Madras Port Centenary Regatta in 1971. From 1963 to 1971, The Royal Madras Yacht Club conducted the Inter Club Regatta for the Yachting Association of India and in 1963 the club were runners-up. In 1971, the Club won both the individual and team events. At the international level, club members Deep Rekhi, Kuruvilla Abraham, Drona Narayanan, Navaz Currimbhoy, Sandeep Srikanth, Niloufer Jamal, Rohit Ashok and Varun Prabhakar represented India between 1970 and 2000. During the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the Club lost 12 Boats and its facilities were badly damaged.
The Club claims that its primary purpose is "to promote the sport of sailing" in all its aspects, and caters for sailors of all ages and abilities. It continues to provide facilities for national and intentional sailing events, in part due to the good sailing conditions off the coast of Chennai. The RMYC has a fleet of boats comprising Optimists, Lasers, Enterprise, Waterwags, 420 Class, 29ers, Omega and Seabirds. The Club has recently acquired a fleet of J80 boats which is the first in India.
Some notable achievements:
|Chinna Reddy and Yakubu Yakobu Kalaga (honorary member) won the Gold medal in the Hobie 16 Class in the '2015 SAIL THE GULF International Regatta' held at Doha, Qatar|
|The 420 Nationals held in 2008 and 2009.|
|The 420 and 470 Nationals held in 2010 as part of Centenary Regatta.|
|Miss Rohini Rau won an Asian Games Gold Medal in 2004.|
|Miss Rohini Rau and Miss Pallavi Shanbhag won the women's Gold in 420 Nationals held at the Club in 2008 and 2009.|
|Miss Zephra Currimbhoy won the Gold in the Invitation Cup at Mumbai Regatta at Mumbai.|
|Ajay Rau is the only Indian to participate and win laurels in the Prestigious Rolex Sydney Hobart Race held in Australia.|
The Chairman, Deputy Chairman and the Port Conservator of Chennai Port Trust are the patrons of the Club.
- Royal Madras Yacht Club website (History) http://www.rmyc.in/history.html
- The Geography of India: Sacred and Historic Places (Britannica Educational Publishing), 184.