So from a meeting in the pub 125 years ago, what's the club doing now 125 years later (apart from being RYA Club of the Year in 2018)? Club and RYA regional team member Bill Stock takes up the story:
As a club we offer a wide range of activities to our 500 plus members including:
Dingy sailing on the River Thames; offshore cruising in the UK and worldwide; offshore racing mainly on the UK South Coast; run a wide variety of training as a recognised RYA Training Centre.
Dinghy Sailing and Racing
Dinghy sailing continues on the Thames from our club house at Hammersmith. We have run a wide variety of events during the year including Enterprise and Laser open meetings. The racing is generally popular; we have seen growth this year in the Laser classes probably at the expense of the Enterprise fleet. We continue to use our fleet of RS Visions to train and provide opportunities for people to get into racing in double handed boats. The club's dinghy committee is currently grappling with the future of its double handed dinghy fleet. We need to find a double handed spinnaker dinghy that will prove more attractive to the younger members than the Enterprise currently does. But it has to work in the confines of the Thames.
We continue to the run dinghy events each week during the summer months that encourage newcomers into the sport. Wacky racing is popular with short races on the river. We also run trips up and down the river to various watering holes as the tide allows. We run a regular club race series at weekends throughout the year.
Our dinghy committee has just purchased a set of paddle boards. The Thames is a great place to sail but with the good weather over the last couple of summers we have lost quite a lot of sailing time due to the lack of wind. The paddle boards were purchased to get people out on the water on those days, ensuring members who make the effort to travel to the club have something to do.
J80 sailing at Queen Mary has proved popular with our members over the last couple of years. Queen Mary is easy to access from West London and provides close racing. We had 28 members in 7 boats racing for the day at Queen Mary using the Royal Thames Yacht Club boats a couple of weekends ago.
The club's offshore group has been very active this year. We’ve run trips to Scotland, Greece, Turkey and the West of Ireland. These trips have involved up to five chartered boats. The Ireland trip proved particularly popular with a number of boats making the trip from the UK South Coast over to Ireland to join the event.
Closer to home, we’ve had four trips run on the Solent, including our 125 year anniversary rally which had nine boats attend, and one outing to the east coast. The Solent trips prove popular with members joining the club who want to get into offshore sailing. It’s a reasonable cost low commitment way of finding out whether offshore sailing suits them.
Corinthians have raced in a wide variety of Offshore races this year including;
The Fastnet Race series with RORC. Whilst we didn’t run a formal club campaign, we had a number of boats crewed by mostly LCSC members. With, to my knowledge, no retirements and most of the finishers in the 200’s it shows that the number of members racing offshore is growing year on year.
Cowes Week/Taittinger/Round The Island Race – We have sent one or more crews to the Taittinger Regatta at Royal Solent Yacht Club for at least the last six years. It’s a great social event. The Round the Island race was also popular this year with many club members including a club chartered boat with our CI board taking part. We also ran a club boat for the first weekend of Cowes week this year; sailing the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The crews had a good weekend building on the experience gained at Taittinger earlier in the season. They did however struggle with the bad weather with little or no sailing on two of the days.
Sunsail F40 series - London Corinthians have run two boats for most of the Sunsail series this year with some success. We have a boat through to the final on the 19 October and are hopeful of a good result.
LCSC have offered a diverse range of RYA training over the last season from powerboating, race officer and dinghy training on the river Thames to offshore competent crew and day skipper courses run down on the Solent.
We've seen a number of students successfully progress from complete novices, starting out in dinghies before converting into offshore sailors completing their competent crew and now committed to their day skipper theory scheduled for the winter season.
The RYA L1 and L2 dinghy courses prove to be a good way of drawing people into the club from where they progress to the other types of sailing.
We've included a number of offshore skills and development cruising weekends this year to bridge the gap between the RYA courses. This gives the students the opportunity to focus on specific skills they want to improve on and build on their sailing experience. These have proved to be very popular with the intention of the weekend being relaxing in a cruising environment but with a qualified instructor for guidance. These have built a lot of confidence in both newer and 'seasoned' sailors who needed refreshers in certain areas.
These skills weekends also fit in well and compliment the club's skipper development programme. We need to grow our club skipper pool to maintain our ability to run the offshore cruising and racing events.
With an already full theory calendar for both the RYA Day Skipper and Coastal/Yachtmaster courses this winter, we look forward to a successful conversion of those students on to offshore practical courses next sailing season.
LCSC is an RYA Recognised Training Centre. Find out more about the club