Sailing in Eccentric Circles by Ian Dear
The Royal Yacht Squadron is the world's most prestigious yacht club and, like all great British institutions, its members take it very seriously indeed. Joining the club is quite a privilege and is not for the likes of any old yachtsman in his 36ft Beneteau. It's easier to get into Debrett's than the club's lavish Cowes headquarters, with members including dukes, barons, lords, judges, politicians and even the Aga Khan - though not the Queen, who was barred from joining due to her gender, despite being the club's patron! The rest of us, however, will find plenty to laugh about in the Royal Yacht Squadron's illustrious backstory - supercilious traditions, ostentatious characters and satisfying mishaps. So what better way to celebrate the club's 200th birthday in 2015 than this new edition of Ian Dear's affectionate alternative history? Uncovering fascinating tidbits and trivia from two centuries of exclusive yachting, this book pokes gentle fun at all those posh sailors who wouldn't let us in their bar for a whoppingly over-priced pink gin. And of course there's nobody else who could better illustrate such a book than Mike Peyton, the world's greatest yachting cartoonist, whose levelling wit brings all sailors down to equal footing and exposes everyone who tries to pass off their good luck as sailing competence.