The Royal Harwich Yacht Club – Sailing for All
PUBLISHED: 15:36 04 April 2017
Living in Suffolk, we are fortunate to have one of the most beautiful coastlines in the country, with many unspoilt rivers and estuaries, so it is no surprise that sailing and boating are popular pastimes.
There are many sailing clubs in Suffolk, but the longest-established is the Royal Harwich Yacht Club. Despite its name, the club is not based in Harwich at all, but in a stunning new clubhouse at Woolverstone, on the banks of the beautiful River Orwell, just a few miles east of Ipswich. It’s a fabulous location, not just for dinghy sailing and as a great base for both racing and cruising, but also for relaxing on the lawn enjoying a drink or a meal overlooking the river.
The club is friendly, lively and inclusive, offering a wide range of sailing and social activities. New members are welcome, including families and younger members – this is reflected in discounted membership fees for young people. The clubhouse is family-friendly, and the location means that kids can run around and have fun in a safe environment while parents relax and enjoy themselves.
The club offers a warm welcome to all new members, whatever their level of sailing experience, and whether or not they own a boat. There are many opportunities to sail with other members, and support and advice are always on hand. The club is a Royal Yachting Association Training Centre and offers a wide range of training opportunities, including both theory and practical courses for juniors and adults.
An active programme of dinghy, keelboat and yacht racing is laid on by the club, and support and encouragement is provided for those who may not have raced before but who want to give it a go. Every summer, the club runs Junior Week, which attracts young sailors from across the region for a week of dinghy racing – the emphasis is very much on having fun, and Junior Week now has a reputation as a must-do event for young sailors from across Suffolk and beyond. Although racing is at the heart of most sailing clubs, many members prefer to use the club as a base for cruising along the Suffolk coastline or further afield, taking advantage of the club’s facilities which include its own marina, which is also open to visiting yachts.
Lots of initiatives at the club focus on encouraging ever more people to get on the water. For example, the club’s “Try a Boat” scheme, which is promoted across the local community, is run twice a year. This is an opportunity for non-members, usually with no sailing experience, to have a go at sailing with guidance and help from an experienced club member, with no cost or commitment.
The clubhouse itself provides excellent bar and catering facilities serving the needs of members as well as visiting sailors, who are always welcome. The clubhouse is a fantastic venue that can be booked for private and corporate functions by members and non-members.
There is a programme of social events throughout the year, and during the winter the club runs a series of well-attended talks on a variety of sailing-related topics.
So, if you are already into sailing and are looking for a fun, lively club, or if you have never tried sailing but would like to give it a go, check out the club’s web site at www.royalharwichyachtclub.co.uk, have a look at the Facebook page, or call the office on 01473 780319.