London Corinthian SC becomes an RYA-recognised offshore training establishment
The London Corinthian Sailing Club has doubled its membership in the last few years, making it one of the fastest growing sailing clubs in London. Based on the Thames at Chiswick and originally founded as a dinghy club, the club now has over 500 dinghy and offshore members, and a full calendar for novices and experts alike.
The fastest growth has been in offshore members, prompting the club to go for accreditation as an RYA recognised offshore training establishment in 2003. Members can now easily get access to the full range of RYA offshore practical and classroom training, co-ordinated across the whole club by the newly-created post of Rear Commodore, Training.
The location in West London is the perfect location for an offshore club, says John Yates, Vice Commodore, ‘We attract a group of Londoners in their 20s, 30s and 40s, who want to try their hand at a range of sailing as well as have a great social programme. The fact that we have fewer boat owners than most clubs is a positive advantage. Members can get out each weekend on a different boat if they want, with a different crew, and get a range of boat handling experience and move to skippering very quickly.’
From a few keen sailors organising half a dozen or so events in 1998, the club now has a full offshore racing, cruising and training programme and over 30 events planned for 2004. And every year there are some adventurous member-organised events – such as north to Spitzbergen in the Barents Sea or racing in the Caribbean.
Dinghy sailing takes place every week in all seasons, with a group of dedicated sailors drawn to the waters of the Thames. Says Simon Ashenden, Vice Commodore, Dinghy: ‘The racing waters on the Thames are variable to say the least, making them more challenging and fun than a lake. And for new members we offer training and a crew matching service, so there is always the chance of getting out with an experienced sailor.’
The club has Enterprise and Laser fleets, which can be hired, and also provides covered boat storage for owned boats. Every week, two hours before high tide, there is regular racing on the Hammersmith reach, marked by Hammersmith Bridge and Barnes Bridge. With favourable tides there is weekday evening sailing at a local riverfront pub, and every year the club enters open meeting events around the country such as the West Lancs 24 Hour Race, and organises an open event during the summer months.
Club night is Tuesday and new members are always welcome. The club is worth a visit, not only because it has a reputation for immense sociability, but also because the clubhouse, Linden House (which it also shares with the Sons of The Thames Rowing Club), is a beautiful Georgian Grade II listed building over-looking the river and the open spaces of Barnes. Log on to lcsc.org.uk for more information.