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Home / News / SWSC to celebrate 60 years
Home / News / SWSC to celebrate 60 years

SWSC to celebrate 60 years

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Published 15:59 on 14 Apr 2021

On 13 May 1961, 20 keen sailors met in a room at Fell Foot to form the South Windermere Sailing Club. After an initial 10/- donation the fees were set at 1 guinea, and the club burgee (still in the SWSC logo) was designed. At the age of 17, the first Secretary, Bernard Rhodes, proposed they should purchase "Rope for racing buoys, whistle, yachtsman timer, loud hailer or megaphone, and one lot of 25 copies of the 1961 Racing Rules".

Racing was conducted without a base on land for three more years on Saturdays, Sundays and Friday evenings. The club briefly used the beach at Stott Park, where they built a small hut to store racing equipment, before they were offered a base at Fell Foot Park by the National Trust and in 1964 built their own clubhouse. The club subsequently built two jetties and converted one of the Boathouses into changing-rooms.

SWSC still has at its heart the love of "messing about in boats" and the enthusiasm about competitive sailing evident in those early days. Windermere's variable winds makes for sharp sailors and junior and adult members have achieved many successes in national and international sailing, including the Olympics, over the years.

SWSC continues to warmly welcome new members from those beginning to sail to keen racers and everyone in between. A new fleet of traditional boats is the club's latest expansion.

"The vision statement of our club is 'not just a club but a community', and we really do have a friendly, family atmosphere," says Angela O'Donnell, SWSC Commodore. "We are very much looking forward to our anniversary season and hope, Covid restrictions permitting, that we can enjoy a lot of time together on and off the water."

One of the unique racing events of SWSC is the Waterhead, scheduled for Sunday, June 13. Run since 1965, dinghies race the full length of Windermere and back. The Waterhead is an Open for boats with a PY of 1200 to 900. The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions will soon be online at

The Club has embarked on a history project. If you have any recollections, photos or other memorabilia about the South Windermere Sailing Club, please contact

More information on the South Windermere Sailing Club is available at

Last updated 13:23 on 11 February 2022

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