SAILING: The King’s Lynn-based Ouse Amateur Sailing Club is one of the oldest in the country and will be holding an event to celebrate its 140th anniversary.
Three races will be taking place on the Relief Channel at Saddlebow on Sunday from 10.30am.
The club started in April 1881 when a group of gentlemen and businessmen met at South Lynn School with the objective of forming a club to enable small boat sailing in Lynn.
It was to be called the Ouse Open Boat Sailing Club. Mr GF Cresswell was president and an annual subscription of one shilling was set. There was also a race fee of a shilling and all boats had to be less than 18 feet in length.
The club’s headquarters were at the Ferry Lane Boat Inn at the end of Ferry Lane.
Races took place on the Great Ouse and in 1901 the club issued an invitation to Cam Sailing Club to race against each other at Denver. The event was a success with a Lynn victory and it was decided to make this an annual event. So a second race was arranged, and again won by Lynn – in 2001! A date for the third race is yet to be decided in this “annual” event.
Originally the boats were not sailed by their owners but by local fishermen. In 1907, however, it was decided that professional sailors were not to race and the name of the club was changed to the Ouse Amateur Sailing Club, as it is now.
The club did well and in 1930 was able to purchase the Ferry Boat Inn, which it still owns today and leases to the Ferry Lane Social Club.
Sailing is now concentrated at Saddlebow on the Relief Channel, where the clubhouse is located. These facilities are used by several local groups including Lynn and Wisbech Sea Cadets, Lynn Scouts and U3A. Because of increasing membership the committee is planning to expand the facilities.
Dinghy racing takes place every Sunday from February to Boxing Day and on Wednesday evenings from May to July.
The club also hosts races during the week of the annual regatta of the North West Norfolk Sailing Association, in which boats compete at various local clubs.
Despite Covid, membership and sailing numbers continue to increase and the club goes from strength to strength.
Full details of events, races and membership along with contact details can be found on the club’s website at www.oasc.co.uk