Royalty And Regattas

It is likely that King Charles II took yachting to England following his years of exile in the Netherlands: when he was restored to the throne after the English Civil War, the Dutch East India Company presented him with the 52-ft (16-m) Mary, complete with gilded fittings, in 1660. She inspired similar vessels.

The first recorded regatta of sailing boats was in 1720, on the south coast of Ireland at the Water Club of Cork. Rather than race, they took part in waterborne dressage, which involved performing intricate maneuvers according to signals. So, the sport of yachting was born.

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The traditional shallow-draft felucca, on the Nile River, has a center plate and huge, heavy sails made from natural fiber. Its gentle passage, using light winds and river currents, is popular with tourists.

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