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The history of Clacton Sailing Club

“The Clacton on Sea Sailing Club” was formed in 1951 by local residents Terry Baker, Ron Childs, Stan Camp and Norman Seymour. The new club was situated 2km east of Clacton town centre at a small promontory known as Star Point. Until this time these sailing stalwarts had moored their vessels off-shore but when a severe storm in August 1950 sank two of their boats it was decided that the time had come to find a shore base.

During the winter of 1950-51 our founders approached Clacton Urban District Council with a proposal to form a club if the Council would allocate them some land and build a launching ramp. This was agreed in the spring of 51 with the Council starting work on the ramp and renting the club a compound area that had previously been used during the Second World War to house an observation post.

Our first race was held in the summer of 1951 and with a now very visible presence the club quickly expanded attracting many new members and of course more boats. By 1954 the original compound was full and the Council was approached again. They granted use of more land adjacent to the promenade for storage of the bourgeoning fleets of Sea Rangers, Fleetwinds, GP14`s and Cadets. By 1959 this area was also full and the only land available was an area big enough to store some 40 boats 1/2Km away from the club itself, not an ideal situation.

Clacton Sailing Club’s last Regatta to be held at Star Point took place on the 24th July 1960 and boasted class racing for Enterprises, Herons, Sea Rangers, Hornets, GP14’s and Mayflies in addition to a handicap race for the “new kid on the block” catamarans. With a membership of over 250 and more boats than it could accommodate in its 3 compounds the club was “bursting at the seams”. Increasing pressure for further expansion and by members who wanted to sail the larger Swift and Shearwater catamarans meant the club had completely outgrown its Star Point location.

Consequently in April 1961 Clacton on Sea Sailing Club moved “lock stock and starting cannon” 2.5 km further east along the coast to its present site at Holland Haven. By the summer of 1962 a new clubhouse had been built, and officially opened by internationally renowned sailor and yacht designer Uffa Fox, with the club’s new compound, housing 90 boats.

Over the past 40 years our “Haven home” has served us well not only for the countless hours of sailing and racing that have been enjoyed our members but enabling the club to host many European and National Championships as well as East Coast Open Meetings from Toppers to Thai’s and Snipes to Swifts. With a vast expanse of open water right in front of the clubhouse there is no restriction to setting any type of championship course that may be required and with a compound that can accommodate up to 60 visiting boats and their crews; we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming back returning fleets of “friends” time after time.

FAQ: Why are you called Clacton Sailing Club when you’re based at Holland on Sea?

Ans: Firstly when the club was originally formed it was just within the official Clacton area and, although other names were considered, it was felt that this name attached us to our principal geographical location.

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