George Yacht Club evolved, was founded in 1838 by a small group of boating enthusiasts who had decided that'the (River) Liffey was every year becoming fouler and less agreeable for aquatic pursuits'. They applied to the Commissioner for Public Works, and were granted a piece of ground near Dun Laoghaire Harbour on which to build a clubhouse - the first privately owned building to stand on publicly owned space. Initially, the members' main interest was in rowing, but membership grew rapidly, and amongst them were many well-known yachtsmen of the day. One of these was the Marquis Conyngham, who used his influence with Queen Victoria to have the privileges of a Royal Yacht Club conferred in 1845. The Club flag was to be "the Red Ensign with a crown in the centre of the Jack" and the Burgee was red with a white cross with a crown at the centre.This, of course, is the St. George's Cross, and is quite possibly the reason why, in 1847, the Club became The Royal St. George's Yacht Club, although this has never been established. It subsequently became the Royal St George Yacht Club; it is referred to by all who know it, as simply'the George'.
The new clubhouse was the first custom-built clubhouse in the ancient seaport of Dun Laoghaire (or Kingstown, as it was known from 1821 to 1920). The clubhouse was designed by Mulvany, a follower of Gandon, designer of the Custom House in Dublin, and he produced a beautiful miniature Palladian villa in the neo-classical style.
The builder was Masterson, who built many other beautiful houses in the neighbourhood, including Sorrento Terrace, Dalkey. Work was completed in 1843, but, incredibly, such was the growth in membership, that the clubhouse was already too small. Permission was granted by the Harbour Commissioners in 1845 for an extension of the original façade, which involved clever duplication of the existing Ionic portico with the erection of a linking colonnade between.The symmetry and classical grace of the clubhouse was thus preserved in the new building. The George has a long tradition of racing and cruising, and members have, from the start, made their mark in home and international waters.
In 1851, the Marquis Conyngham, Commodore, competed in his 218 ton yacht "Constance" in the Royal Yacht Squadron Regatta. An American yacht called "America" won the race! In 1893 William Jameson, of the eponymous distilling family, was asked by Edward, Prince of Wales, to be sailing master on his new yacht "Britannia". He won 33 out of 43 starts in her first season.
Additional image of a flag reference included in the photos just for reference.