Who will become the first female member of the Royal Yacht Squadron?
The question is just as tantalizing as the ones that surrounded last year’s entrance of women into Augusta National Golf Club, now that 150 members of the Royal Yacht Squadron have voted unanimously to open membership in the prestigious yacht club to women.
If the full 475-strong membership ratifies the vote, it will change nearly 200 years of tradition at the yacht club, which has been men’s only since its founding in 1815.
The vote was taken August 4 entirely among the male membership. Not even “lady associate members,” the wives of full members, were eligible to vote, according to a report in The Telegraph.
The Royal Yacht Squadron issued no statement, and it’s unclear when the ratification process will be undertaken. It appears the members are trying to keep the decision on the down-low, to avoid the type of media frenzy that descended upon Augusta when, in 2012, it changed its men-only policy that dated to 1932.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore became the first women members at Augusta. There’s no word on whether they enjoy the sport of sailing.