Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub/KDY
(Royal Danish Yacht Club)
The Royal Danish Yacht Club (RDYC) was founded on 3 July 1866 after a regatta in Nyborg (Funen), and was originally named the Danish Association for Pleasure Sailing (Dansk Forening for Lystsejlads). Ever since then, the Club has worked to promote sailing in Denmark and to support its members in their favourite sport.
;The Club rapidly increased its number of memberships, and when it celebrated its 25-year jubilee in 1891, it counted about 900 members, about 1,700 in 1920, but then the Club experienced a decrease in the post-war era. In the period 1930-1958, the number of members remained stable around 1,000; then the number increased again until it peaked in 1983 with about 2,700 members. Today RDYC has about 2,200 members of which many live in the provinces or abroad.
In connection with the 25-year jubilee in 1891, King Christian IX granted the Club his permission to use the name Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub (Royal Danish Yacht Club). Originally its burgee was white with 3 red stars; but in 1891 the royal crown above 3 yellow stars was introduced and has been used ever since. The yacht flag – the Danish naval flag with the letters YF in the upper quadrant – was allowed already in 1865 before the existence of yacht clubs as such. In 1873, the Club’s members were permitted to, by highest ordinance, to use 3 stars diagonally under the letters YF in their yacht flag.
The first clubhouse was built in 1884 at Pinneberg’s Ravelin on the Langelinie site facing the Copenhagen waterfront. For the first 15 years, the Club rented the house from De Forenede Bryggerier (the United Breweries of Denmark), and the building was replaced by Fritz Koch’s new and bigger pavilion in 1903. The Club remained located in the wooden pavilion until 1944 when it was blown up by the Nazis in response to sabotage attacks by the Danish Resistance. Fortunately, the Club had already found new premises in Skovshoved Harbour in 1942, and many of its activities could be continued from there whereas the Secretariat had several addresses in the Centre of Copenhagen. Especially the Junior Club, which was founded in 1929, benefited from the relocation to the municipality of Gentofte as the traffic in the Copenhagen Port had become too heavy and disturbing for junior boats and other vessels anchored in front of the Langelinie Pavillonen. When the pavilion was blown up, regattas in the harbour area nearly ceased. The Club’s Junior Club was the first organised youth club, and once again in 1942, the Club was up front with an initiative; the first girls were admitted as juniors.
Since World War II, there has hardly been any sailing activity from Langelinie, but the Club still has its beautiful premises and Secretariat on this address; now in Eva & Nils Koppel’s Langelinie Pavillon that was inaugurated in 1958.
Sailing underwent an explosive development from the middle of the 20th century. From 1960-1985, the number of sailors, attached to the Danish Sailing Association through their membership of a yacht club, increased from about 17,700 to 60,500, and the number of pleasure crafts increased likewise. To keep up with the development, which also led to lack of space on the Sound in the Copenhagen area, RDYC had to expand through the premises in Rungsted Habour which were built in cooperation with Rungsted Kyst Yacht Club and through kind financial support from the municipality of Hørsholm. The Club now owned its own premises in Rungsted financed partly through membership fees and partly through grants from various funds and institutions, and for the first time RDYC could begin to build up a healthy bank balance. Through consequent amortisation, the clubhouse in Rungsted is now free of debt so that RDYC’s finances rest on a well consolidated basis.
Times change, and so does the wishes of the members – and thus of the sailors. Olympic courses are always popular; handicap races and off-shore races are appreciated, but the interest is flagging these years and the wish for e.g. match race and more family oriented activities are in demand. KDY attempts to adapt to the demand and offers a wide range of various activities and never draws back from more special activities, such as arranging Denmark’s participation in Admiral’s Cup in 1987, 1989 and 1991 and assistance in the Cutty Sark Tall Ships’ Race.
In 1994, the Club bought two SSA (Scandinavian Sailing Association) match racers which have become extremely popular, and they are now owned by the KDY/SKS Match Race Centre which is operated jointly with Skovshoved Yacht Club. In 1997, the Centre bought another two match racers and how has a total of six (three in each club) and these racers were the basis for the successful World Championship in Match Race held in 1999. The Center is very active and organizes many regattas; i.a. a Grade One One Regatta each year with sailors ranking among the best on the world ranking list. In 2005 RDYC agreed with Skovshoved Yacht Club to take over their shares in the Match Race Center as Skovshoved Yacht Club wanted to pursue other strategic directions within sailing. As a consequence RDYC changed the name of the center to Royal Match Race Center.
RDYC prioritises its work for the youth and saw new possibilities when the Club inherited Rolf & Wanda Danckert’s Mindefond (memorial fund) in 1993, and with further support from J.C. Hempel’s Fond, they bought a new Yngling.
In the autumn of 2000, Rungsted Kyst Yacht Club and RDYC merged after having been neighbours for so many years in Rungsted – and having cooperated in the important international regattas. In this way, the Club got many committed members and more activity areas: club matches (one of the country’s most popular activities), the optimist division, dinghy and junior activities, and last, but not least, one of the best sailing schools in the country.
The next great step in the developing the RDYC occurred when Her Majesty The Queen of Denmark Margrethe II inaugurated then new Club House in Tuborg Harbor the 12th of June 2007. The new clubhouse is build in connection to the new marina in Tuborg, which is operated by RDYC as well. The area was until few years ago the headquarter for world famous brewery Tuborg.
RDYC is now operating from three marinas to help and assist more than 2200 members and offers the entire spectre of sailing activities for all ages and all interests.
updated Saturday, March 29, 2014