Members of South Cerney Sailing Club have been sailing on Lake 16 since 1955 and we are thought to be the oldest dinghy sailing club in the area, with the largest and deepest lake.
A wide variety of dinghies has always been found on our water. While the Enterprises and GP14s that were the staple family boats of the 50s and 60s are still found throughout the Club, there are also classics like the Albacore and Flying Fifteen as well as singlehanders including the Laser and the Solo. Modern composite materials now predominate although wooden boats still compete with the best. Sails have changed radically over the years and cotton has now been totally replaced by synthetics and even carbon fibre.
For many years we have had a strong young people's section based on the Cadet. This is a two-person boat with a spinnaker, which has, on small scale, one of everything you find on much larger boats. Former Cadet sailors are found throughout the Club and some of our families have three generations of South Cerney sailors.
Copyright Jack Hill. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic Licence.
In 1966 the Club was incorporated as a Company limited by guarantee. In 2000 we gained national recognition as a Volvo Championship Club (for the quality of our youth training) and the following year we were recognised by the Royal Yachting Association as a Recognised Teaching Establishment. This means that (like other sailing centres in the Water Park) we can teach sailing to internationally recognised standards.
For most of the past 50 years our clubhouses and Boat Park were on a site along the bank of the lake next to the old railway line (now the bridle path and cycleway from Cricklade to South Cerney). The Cadet squadron lived in a wooden hut with various freight containers as changing rooms, while the adults existed in what was variously described as a second-hand henhouse and a retired cricket pavilion. Later the adults moved to a building assembled from pre-owned portable cabins, which were rapidly declining by the end of the last century. We only occupied the land on a short-term lease, which was a big hindrance to longer-term building.
Over the years 2002 to 2005 we have moved along the lake shore to a new site nearer to South Cerney village, secured a 99-year lease on the new site and built a brand new clubhouse combining adults and Cadets under one roof. The timber-framed building was prefabricated from largely renewable materials and built to energy-saving standards. While the core structure was professionally designed and built, members themselves built the new boat park and did most of the landscaping and internal fitting out. Funding included support from local Parish and District Councils and the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust. The new building was formally opened in October 2005 in our Golden Jubilee year by one of 2004s Olympic medallists, Joe Glanfield.
Last updated 13:32 on 15 September 2021