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Home / About Us / The Club / History


WOBYC History

Yacht racing on Oulton Broad has happened for many years. In the early days, it was organised by the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club, usually from Everitts Meadow (the back garden of Broad House, owned by the Everitt family).

In 1885, another club was formed, called the Waveney Sailing Club, which was primarily aimed at working men (rather than the elite) and was based at the Commodore pub.

Following the death of Nicholas Everitt, Broad House and the land around it was bought by Howard Hollingsworth and in 1929 he gifted a section of land on the north-west to the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club with the instruction to encourage yacht racing on Oulton Broad (the remaining land was gifted to the council and became Nicholas Everitt Park). The Lowestoft and Oulton Broad Yacht Club was formed to facilitate this.

During World War Two, leisure boating was suspended, but resumed in 1946 when it was decided that the two clubs should merge and became the Waveney and Oulton Broad Yacht Club.

During the 1950s and 60s the main keelboat classes were Broads One Designs and Waveney One Designs, although there were also a variety of other craft. In 1976 the Squib Class was added to the racing programme.

Many dinghy classes have come and (mostly) gone over the years, including International 14s, International 18s, Oulton Raters, Oulton Gulls, Enterprises, Merlin Rockets, Fireballs, Mirrors and Optimists. These days there are so many different dinghy classes to choose from, that it was decided that handicap races offered more flexibility and allowed individual sailors the freedom to choose a boat which suited them.

The original WOBYC clubhouse was basically just a thatched shed with minimal facilities to enable racing. This was demolished in 1966 and a steel-framed brick clubhouse was built. This had a canteen, toilets and changing rooms downstairs and a viewing platform and race office upstairs. Over the years, this has been extended, firstly the upstairs was extended south to give a bar and lounge, later it was extended east to give a lift and disabled facilities and more recently the upstairs west balcony was added to give a more open lounge area.

The Gull Trophy

Awarded by the Flag Officers for services to the Club

1974    C.G. Fuller

1975    S.G. Allerton

1976    I.R. Colby

1977    V. Holmes

1978    B.H. Stebbings

1979    W.N.Cracknell

1980    P. Long

1981    L. Balls

1982    N. Blowers

1984    B. Batley

1985    R. Stone / R. Clarke

1986    V. Falat

1987    J. Fryer

1988    N. Blowers

1989    S. Lucas

1990    S. Lee

1991    R. Asher / T. Horne

1992    A. Turner

1993    L. Catchpole / P. Hodges

1994    H. Walker

1995    B. Horne

1996    B. Howard

1997    M. Matthews

1998    M. Cone

1999    M. Snowling

2000    C.G. Fuller

2001    J. Balls

2002    A. Gisborne

2003    H.D. Hannant / G. Deary

2004    A. Martin / J. Walden

2005    Keith Davies / Kathleen Davies

2006    Carol Calver

2007    Julia Falat

2008    C. Desborough

2009    J. Lindley

2010    J. Wilkerson

2011    Jackie Soards

2012    Tamsin Highfield

2013    Trish Rix

2014    Jack Pickering

2015    Emilie Reeve

2016    The Safety Boat Team

2017    Veronica Falat

2018    Jordan Levett

2019    Adrian Dobson

2020    not awarded

2021    John Ward

2022    Sam Cole

2024    Jake Hadingham

Last updated 21:31 on 11 January 2024

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