Fun tender racing, yacht racing and festivities will take place this weekend

Weymouth Sailing Club in Dorset is celebrating its
100th anniversary this year.

A Centenary Exhibition, funded by a £4,000
Heritage Lottery Fund grant, is on display this week with a digital screen and
historic items.

Held in the club’s longshed on
Weymouth’s Nothe Parade, the exhibition is run by volunteers and includes an original wooden
Falcon dinghy, plus a timeline and history boards telling the club’s story from
its original founding in Weymouth in 1913 as the Franklin Sailing Club.

It also invites visitors to share their memories on a special wall.

Historic revelations

Commodores from yacht clubs across Dorset were
among 100 people who gathered at Weymouth Sailing Club (WSC) last Sunday to
toast the centenary.

The WSC Commodore’s summer drinks party coincided
with the exhibition launch and interesting insights were revealed, such as a
Falcon dinghy called Merlin being hit by a runaway torpedo in 1928 while out
sailing in Weymouth Bay. The owner was so shocked he never sailed again.

The display also celebrates key moments in
the club’s history such as its role as the Team GB host club during last year’s
Olympic Games.

It also highlights changing attitudes to women at the club, revealing that although women were ‘becoming integral
members of the club’ by the 1930s, a proposal for women to be admitted to the
club’s annual dinners was ‘emphatically rejected by 32 votes to 12′ in 1933.

The following year this opposition was reduced to a majority of only two votes.

The Centenary Exhibition, situated next to
the lifeboat station, is open to the public, from 10am to 6pm daily until this
Saturday 7 September.

Excellent turnout

Commodore Kathy Claydon said: ‘We’ve had an
excellent turnout with Commodores and guests from all over Dorset attending our
summer drinks party and exhibition launch.

‘The club has got a fantastic history and
it’s in a fantastic location, it’s the first thing visitors see upon entering
Weymouth Harbour.

‘We want to let people know that there are
always opportunities for people to go sailing, you don’t have to own a boat
because you can crew for other members. We welcome people who are new to

Deputy Mayor for Weymouth and Portland, Councillor Kate
Wheller attended the celebration and said: ‘What a sweep of history WSC is
celebrating here.

‘Following on from the Olympics last year,
the wonderful waters of Weymouth, its harbour and surrounding area are well and
truly on the world-wide map.

‘I’m proud to be a member of Weymouth
Harbour Board and, with the new Harbour Master we’re moving into a new era.

‘I’m delighted that WSC has exciting plans
too and I wish you all the very best for the next 100 years of WSC.’

Weekend of festivities

The centenary celebrations will get into
full swing this Friday evening with fun tender racing, which is likely to turn
into a water fight, across the harbour in front of the club. Racing will take
place on Saturday afternoon, plus a crabbing competition on Sunday morning,
with a sail by after lunch and a final party in the clubhouse in the early

Members will be wet, tired and replete come
Sunday night and hopefully proud of their help in celebrating WSC’s 100th

Pictures: The WSC centenary exhibition. Credit: Laura Kitching