The Club’s history began towards the end of the nineteenth century when Vittorio Augusto Vecchi (known as Jack la Bolina) and a group of sailing enthusiasts, including H.M. the King Umberto I, founded the Royal Yacht Club Italiano.Since its inaugural regatta on 8th August 1880, when 177 boats competed in the Gulf of La Spezia, the Yacht Club Italiano’s aims have always been to promote the sport of yachting, organise national and international regattas and cruises, and educate young sailors.
The association process involving other Clubs (Naples, Palermo, Trieste, Venice) which resulted in the birth of the Federazione Italiana Vela (Italian Sailing Federation) began with the Yacht Club Italiano during the 1930s.Since the early years of the 20th century, the Yacht Club Italiano’s history has been rich with important events: from H.R.H. the Duke of the Abruzzi’s victory in the 1902 French Cup in the 10 tonne "Artica" that announced the Club’s arrival on the international racing scene, and the gold medal awarded to the 8 metre “Italia” at the Games of the XI Olympiad in Kiel in 1936, to the participation of the 12 metre S.I. "Italia" in the 1987 “Americas Cup”.
Over the years, the Yacht Club Italiano has continued to consolidate its International profile: through twining and partnerships the Yacht Club Italiano has established close ties with some of the principal European Clubs, and Beppe Croce, well-loved Club President for 28 years, subsequently became the first President of the ISAF from a non-English speaking country, holding the post for 17 years.Over the years, the promotion of Yachting as a training vehicle for young people has generated numerous projects, such as the foundation of STAI (Italian Sail Training Association) in collaboration with the Italian Navy in 1966. This association, which is affiliated to ISTA (International Sail Training Association) provides young people with crew training experience on civilian and military vessels.
A long history of important events and goals that continues today with great sailing champions such as Luca Devoti and Alessandra Sensini, and the regattas organised by the Club.
The list of regattas includes classics, such as the Giraglia Rolex Cup, queen of the Mediterranean, which celebrated its 53rd anniversary in 2005, Pirelli Coppa Carlo Negri events, the Zegna Trophy, the SIAD Bombola d'oro Trophy, the Coppa Alberti, as well as two “young” regattas that are becoming more and more popular with enthusiasts and the general public every year: the Millevele and the Mba's.
The Yacht Club Italiano currently boasts 1,200 members and 295 yachts fly the Club’s pennant.