Before the Second World War, there were two sailing clubs based on Oulton Broad. The Waveney Sailing Club had been formed in 1895 and was based at the Commodore Public House in amongst the many boat yards that operated at the east end of the Broad. The Lowestoft & Oulton Broad Yacht Club had been formed after the Everitt family estate became Nicholas Everitt Park in 1929 and was based in the north-west corner of the park, on a site which had been donated to the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club. In 1946, the two clubs merged and became the Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club and adopted our current base in the corner of Nicholas Everitt Park as home.
In 1966, a new and improved clubhouse was built to replace the previous small, thatched roofed building. This featured small upstairs lounge area, a race control box, a canteen, and toilet and changing facilities. It was then later extended to include a bar area and lounge for use of our members and their guests as well as a balcony overlooking the racing area of the broad. In recent years, we have extended further to provide lift access to our lounge as well as accessible changing facilities, and we plan to extend again in the coming year to provide a larger, level access balcony with seating overlooking the main racing area. More details can be found on this here.
Our clubhouse is used by various other organisations throughout the year, including the Lowestoft & Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club who run powerboat racing on Thursday evenings and Bank Holidays throughout the summer, the University of East Anglia Sailing Club who have a fleet of boats based at the club which they sail at weekends, Waveney Sailability who run accessable sailing sessions on Tuesdays afternoons during the summer months, and the Suffolk Fire Brigade who use the clubhouse and the Broad for their water based training sessions.
WOBYC is one of the largest sailing clubs in the broads area in terms of members, and the only one to provide racing for its members 52 weeks a year. We also provide safety cover for our members during club racing hours, with two fast safety boats being manned by trained crew members ready to assist if needed. Although our safety crew man the safety boats, all members are expected to assist with the running of racing from the control box in the clubhouse and a Line Duty Rota is issued each season.
The main highlights of our sailing year are the Junior Training Week which is held at the end of May, the Summer Regatta in July and Oulton Broad Regatta Week which is held towards the end of August and attracts helmsmen from neighbouring clubs as well as from farther afield. Oulton Broad Regatta Week features competitive racing for river cruisers, keel boats, and dinghies along with a wide variety of social events for all aged groups. It has been often called one of the best regatta weeks in the area, and both the sailing and social sides of it are always enjoyed by both members and visitors alike.
On the social side, apart from the obvious attractions of the bar that is open on race days, there are frequent social events held throughout the year, and these can be found on our social Calendar. Our most noticeable events are the Fitting out Supper held on the anniversary of the club in the spring, the various events such as live music and the quiz night held during Oulton Week, and an Annual Dinner and Dance in November. Presentation of the cups and trophies awarded for open meetings and special one off races are awarded at prize giving ceremonies held after racing for these events.
As well as having the use of the clubhouse, members have access to a large dinghy park with free slipways, a covered boat shed available for maintenance and a limited amount of winter storage, and an electrically operated crane for lifting in/out of keelboats. The use of these facilities bears a small extra fee, which is not included in the club subscription. Moorings for keelboats are available in a council compound and on buoys on the south side of the Broad.
Next to the dinghy park is a convenient and large pubic car park and there are various shops, cafes, restaurants, and pubs nearby in Oulton Broad. The park has a large amount of green open space as well as a children’s play area, crazy golf, trampolines, tennis courts, a museum and a small zoo.
WOBYC is a club ran by its members, with the affairs of the club being managed by a General Committee voted on by the members, plus the Club Officers; the Commodore, Vice Commodore, Rear Commodore, General Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Sailing Secretary and Social Secretary. Members are frequently updated on events and proceedings at the club in our email newsletter; the e:broadside, and are invited to attend our annual AGM.
Various classes of membership to our club are available, with cheaper rates offered to juniors and young adults, and a family membership available for couples and all children under the age of 20 residing at the same address and in full time education. Subscriptions, along with any additional fees for dinghy park or boatshed spaces are due on application and thereafter on April 1st each year