W. & O.B.Y.C History and Information
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.
Our current clubhouse was built in 1966 and replaced the earlier small, thatched roofed building. The present building includes toilets, changing rooms, canteen, bar with lounge that overlooks the broad, various balconies and the race control room. There are two sets of stairs to the upper floor and a lift.
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 in 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 sailing sessions on Tuesdays, and the Suffolk Fire Brigade who use the club and the Broad for training sessions.
The main activity of the club is yacht racing, which takes place throughout the year, with a summer series from April to October and a winter series from November to March. The club is one of the largest in the Broads area with a large membership and the best sailing water. It is also the only one that provides racing on fifty-two weeks of the year.
We hold racing for sailing dinghies and for keelboats. The junior members tend to sail small dinghies like the Optimist, Tera and Topper, while adults tend to sail various types of dinghy from slow to fast, single handed or two-person, traditional or modern. The keelboats are mainly Waveney One Design, Broads One Design and Squib.
The main highlights of our 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 several neighbouring clubs as well as from farther afield. During the summer racing is held Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. In the winter it is just on Sunday morning. The safety of all competitors are given a high priority and two fast safety boats are manned during club racing. All members are expected to assist with the running of racing and a Line Duty Rota is issued each season.
As well as the clubhouse, there is a large dinghy park with free slipways and a covered boat shed available for maintenance and for 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. Next to the dinghy park is a large car park and there are various shops and restaurants nearby. The park has a large children’s play area, crazy golf, tennis courts, a museum and a small zoo. Moorings for keelboats are available in a council compound and on buoys on the south side of the Broad.
The affairs of the club are managed by a General Committee plus the Club Officers, the Commodore, Vice Commodore, Rear Commodore, General Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Sailing Secretary and Social Secretary.
On the social side, apart from the obvious attractions of the bar that is open on race days, there is a Fitting out Supper in the spring, various events during Oulton Week and an Annual Dinner and Dance in November. Presentation of the many cups and trophies which are competed for during the summer and winter series are made at these events. Several other social events also occur throughout the year.
Various classes of membership are available. These are Ordinary Membership, Family Membership which can include husband, wife and all children under 20, Young Adult Membership 20 – 29 yrs and Junior Membership for the under 20s. Subscriptions, details of which will be found on the Membership Application Form, become due on application and thereafter on April 1st each year.