“Community, Commerce and Conservation working together” Helford River Sailing Club

Helford River Sailing Club was formed in 1948, when it was perceived by four local youngsters that there was a need for such a club on the river to provide good sailing and an active social calendar. It transpired that this perception was accurate as by September 1948 there was an active dinghy racing fleet with as many as 30 boats in the fleet!

Since those days there has been a lot of water under the bridge. The original clubhouse was a room above a garage belonging to one of the founder members – a far cry from the clubhouse now in use. The clubhouse you see today was built in 1970 following an agreement with Harry Graham-Vivian of Bosahan and Kerrier Rural District Council which enabled the club to purchase the land freehold. Members, their guests and visiting yachtsmen ( the club is not open to the public) now enjoy full bar and restaurant facilities, and comfortable seating areas from which to appreciate the wonderful views of the river.

The dinghy racing which started all those years ago continues today unabated. In addition there is an active fleet of racing yachts, for whom the Wednesday evening series is the most popular. Further races are held on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays. The club’s members also take part in offshore races organised by the Cornwall Offshore Group and HRSC won the series last year. The club is a member of the Port of Falmouth Sailing Association, who organise the series of regattas in August called Falmouth Week. There is an active cruising section, with members cruising in company to Scilly and Brittany, as well as up the coasts of Devon and Cornwall.

The year 1959 saw the first of the club’s annual race to L’Aber Wrac’h in north Brittany – hence this year’s race was the 47th run. Competitors from both England and France take part, and in the late 80’s the race attracted up to 100 boats of which about 30 were French. Although numbers have dropped to an average of about 30 in recent years it remains a popular race and many strong friendships have been forged over the decades with our fellow Celts across the water.

There is also an active teaching section in the club, with adult tuition on Tuesday evenings and junior tuition on Friday evenings. Both are popular, relatively informal (safety is paramount) and informative. The club owns 18 sailing dinghies which members may use for these sessions.

The club maintains close ties with the HVMCA – the Commodore is a member of the Advisory Group, our Vice Chairman is also a trustee of the club, and I am both Treasurer of the Advisory Group and Secretary of HRSC.

So fifty-odd years on the club flourishes with around 1,300 members. Sailing is a popular sport nowadays and Helford River Sailing Club continues to give to all those that wish to take part an opportunity to do so – on the same principle as was set out at the inception of the club ” to encourage sailing, racing, cruising and generally messing about in boats in a seamanlike

Robert Hewett

Extract from HVMCA newsletter No.33 Autumn 2006



© Helford Voluntary Marine Conservation Area