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23 August 2014
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Coast

You are in: Southern Counties > Coast > Sailing

Sailing club

Sailing

Sailing is a major activity in this area, with many people buying homes here specifically so that they can sail. Olympic medal winners such as Mark Covell train and sail here.

Sailing is a major activity in this area, with many people buying homes here specifically so that they can sail. Olympic medal winners such as Mark Covell train and sail here.

Bosham‘s sailing club is one of the largest in the harbour. It was the first to be established on the Sussex side of the Harbour and now it is close to celebrating its centenary – a long way from pretty humble beginnings.

”The club was established in 1907. It didn’t have a club house and meetings were held in the local pub, the Anchor Bleu. After the Second World War they hired or bought a motor gunboat and had it moored up against the quay here- it accommodated about twenty people.

By 1856 they were offered the old mill as a club house, the whole place was renovated and we are still there today.” said the man who heads the club, its commodore,  Phillip Riesco.

”We are very lucky, because our Chichester harbour must be one of the greatest natural harbours in the UK. It is tidal, which makes it slightly more difficult to sail in than a lake or a reservoir.  There are about sixteen yacht clubs in the harbour, so over a weekend it gets very busy, so you need to keep a lookout, but during the week you’ll find that it is very much as it was fifty or sixty years ago.” he said.

It’s the tide that gives sailors some problems – at some times of year the water rolls back so far that club races are started from a point far to the west on land on the other side of the Bosham creek.

“The tides do make it quite difficult to sail in, because you have to allow for the current., so you learn where all the shallow places are pretty quickly; you end up on the mud otherwise. You can very easily be going very fast with a lovely white bow wave yet in fact be going astern – that means going backwards. “

The safe waters here are highly suitable for learning to sail and, at the moment, the 450 cadet members of Bosham Sailing Club comprise about one third of the club.

“Every year we have a junior week, which is a week when about 125 dinghies participate and we have  been doing that for about fifty odd years I daresay – we’re well known for it. “ said Phillip Riesco. So well, in fact, that older members of the club insisted on having their own version last year.

The mill in which the club is housed is leased from the Earl of Iveagh, Lord of the Manor of Bosham, head of the Guinness clan and one of the wealthiest men in Europe. The large black wood building at the end of the quay – the Raptackle – was once used to store ropes and nets for the local fishing industry.  

Now retrace your steps and move onto Quay Meadow – the long green lawn in front of the church and facing out to sea.

last updated: 07/12/07

You are in: Southern Counties > Coast > Sailing



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