Welwyn Garden City Sailing Club

Established 1973 and still racing at Stanborough Lake on Saturday Mornings , cruising on Thursday nights from 18:00 (summertime)

All Welcome

No sailing until further notice

England’s second lockdown began on 2nd November 2020 and is due to last until Wednesday 2nd December. It is possible the government may extend it beyond that date.

UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, there will no sailing at Stanborough Lake because of the latest Covid requirements. (Better have closed their office and all the staff are currently furloughed).


The committee is continuing its work, meeting and running business via e-mail. So please get in touch, if you want add something to the agenda.

Click the link above to see the weather forecast


OOD = Officer of the Day AOD = Assistant Race Officer RD = Rescue Driver RA = Rescue Assistant

Please remember OODs are responsible for contacting their team during the week before the race to confirm they are available.

SWAPS - To avoid confusion and to ensure races run smoothly, when Duties are swapped, all swaps MUST be notified in advance to the Race Officer, Charles Adams, (race.officer@wgcsc.org.uk) with a copy to the Webmaster, (webmaster@wgcsc.org.uk). It is the responsibility of those involved in the swap to ensure that these officials are notified. The Web version will be kept up-to-date by the Webmaster in conjunction with the Race Officer based on these notifications. e-mail racers@wgcsc.org.uk to request swaps or directly contact member.


To be update when we know more

Copies of early Windbag can be found here Windbag

Farewell to Brian

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Brian Cardinal, one of the club’s longest standing members. He had suffered a severe stroke and died peacefully in his sleep in hospital on Saturday 24th October.

Brian was a highly competitive Laser sailor in the 80s and early 90s, and a true stalwart of the club. He served as Secretary for six years, and Commodore from 1988 – 91. He always had a big smile and was ready to help in any practical way he could, from making new plinths for trophies, to finding heavy chain for marker buoys!

Ever since Brian had to hang up his sailing boots after heart surgery, he and his wife Thelma, have continued to contribute much to the life of the club. The pair of them have regularly done Racing Duties, provided delicious homemade cakes on birthdays and special occasions, and donated many generous raffle prizes at the Annual Dinner. They could always be relied on to dress up for the Christmas Pud Race and Welly Challenge. Who could forget the pair of them as “Elf & Safety” last Christmas?! Above all, Brian will be remembered as a sailing enthusiast who helped so many of us starting out, as well as coaching many to improve their performance. He was a highly regarded rival on the water!

Alan Campbell wins 2020 Autumn Pursuit Series

Alan Campbell wins 2020 Autumn Pursuit Series

It’s something of a miracle that this year’s Autumn Pursuit Series was able to be completed.

After the first shock lockdown, club racing sessions were finally allowed to re-commence on Sunday October 4th, and they finished on Sunday 1st November, just before the second lockdown was announced.

Congratulations to Alan Campbell who was the overall winner of the series, with David Lambert 2nd and Roger Morse 3rd.

Thanks go to Peter Thornley and David Campbell who volunteered to stand in as OODs, and to Paul Shelley for doing an extra Rescue Assistant duty.

AGM 2020

Clubman trophy goes to RO and Acting Commodore Charles Adams

See the video here But who? and Acceptance

The outgoing committee prepare for the AGM

Our New commodore

Some more video here

AGM videos

Caption competition

CorVID-19 Jig

Storms of 2020

Welly Challenge 2020

See more pictures here

Welly Challenge 2020

'SCIENCE FICTION' was the mind-stretching theme for this year's Welly Challenge, but as always, everyone rose to the occasion and the parade of characters arriving at the Mead Hall, Wheathampstead, on Saturday 8th October was literally out of this world. They included an army of Ghostbusters, two Princess Leia and others from Star Wars, a couple of Dr Who, FBI agents, a Deep Space Listening Post with Big Ears, a Klingon from Star Trek, an Astronaut, A Robot, an Invisible Man, a science fiction book, and a Back to the Future character sporting luxuriant white curls, looking suspiciously like Father Christmas.

The totally surreal evening - full of mad quizzes and strange goings on involving a Tardis - was hosted by Roger Morse and Shaun Smale. At the end of all the challenges, it was victory for the Slow Fleet by half a point! The grand sum of £177 was raised for Headway Herts, a charity which works tirelessly to improve life after a brain injury for those immediately affected, and the loved ones who care for them.

Where in the universe?

Princess leai and her Jedi knight

Deep space hearing aid

Ghost Busters


Mauler and Scully

What Quiz?


Arthur Dent

Back to the Future


Erected in 1978 the race hut gets some TLC

Have you noticed the Club's Race Hut at Stanborough is suddenly looking very smart indeed!

Charles Adams and Shaun Smale have been busy renovating the logo and woodwork in readiness for WGC's Centenary next year. The large display logo was orginally made by former Race Officer, Ray Wilson, but the passing years had taken their toll on the paintwork. Charles decided it was time for it to be renovated. It has now been screwed back looking good as new, and the improved woodwork is down to Shaun who has given it all a protective coating (modern 'creosote').

A big HOORAY from everyone in the club! - Val

Christmas Pudding race 2019


In memory of Mike Fairman

Birthday boys!

Annual Dinner 2019

Barry Leake giving the Toast to the Club

See Val's write up and photos from the evening by clicking the link below

Some of this years winners!

Results to follow.

Pauline Shaw, our intrepid Sailability sailor, tells what it's like to sail a Challenger trimaran in winds gusting up to 29mph...

All three of us felt truly alive when we came off the water!

I had an unexpectedly brilliant sail at Grafham on Monday. I thought it would be far too windy but two of us decided to go out anyway (well three if you count the other sailor had a buddy with her). It was extremely cold (I had four thermal vests on) but the water temperature wasn’t too bad relatively speaking. Just as well, as I got hit in the face by crashing into at least TEN big waves.

I wish I had been able to record my speed as I was going so fast. I enjoyed just reaching back and forth on the most exciting point of sailing instead of racing. It definitely put the fun back into sailing! I perfected my heavy weather gybe and did a brilliant lea shore landing. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to slow down enough but I did. All three of us felt truly alive when we came off the water. Then I ate all of my fish and chips at the pub, and went home to dry some really wet kit.

For those that don’t know, I sail a 15 foot Challenger trimaran "Louise" with Grafham Water Sailability. We get launched and retrieved from a trolley in the water. So coming in to shore means you have three pointed hulls heading straight for two people standing in the water waiting to catch you. The trick is to stop the boat two inches from them. Not so easy in a strong onshore breeze. The strongest gust was 25.2 knots (29 mph).

Sailing in the rain!

Burgee 6

In what I understand were horrible sailing conditions all are to be congratulated for completing any races, but newcomer Alex Shelley produced a notable 6th and 7th in his RS Feva and a 2nd and a 4th in the Personal Handicap races (with a PH of 400 - the same as Tom and Ben).

Paul McAlister with a 1st and a 3rd continued his excellent results in the PH series which he now leads. He can expect his PH to be cut considerably (to a max of 10%) in the half way stage review of handicaps...

Check out a new page about the Club's history

Preparing for the Centenary of Welwyn Garden City, lets take a look at the club history.

Windbag archive

Peter wins on his 80th Birthday!

It was a beautiful June-the-1st day with wall-to-wall blue sky and high feathery cloud, and drifting across the water, and settling on the banks, was a fluffy summer 'snowstorm' of white willow seed.

Ten helms competed, including junior Ben Hawker in his Comet, taking time out before his last GCSE exam. His Dad, Simon, was assisting David Brown in the rescue boat.

On shore there was a lot of activity connected with a "Race for Life" cancer charity event, with at least a hundred - probably many more - ladies milling around in bright pink t-shirts. As the fleet gently sailed the course, it was accompanied by some lively motivating music from the sound system!

Best of all though, nature was looking its best. On the banks there were plenty of ducklings, wild flowers and lots of dragonflies for those who had the time to notice.

At half time, Peter produced a box of fruity flapjacks which he'd baked himself. They were absolutely delicious and sailors and Mouse Club members demolished them very quickly. He said he'd brought them along because he was about to start a two-day celebration of his 80th birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PETE!

Fast Fleet winners were Roger (Race 1) and Shaun (Race 2)

Slow Fleet winners were Peter (Race 1) and Charles (Race 2)

Combined fleet winner in (Race 1) was Peter in a Comet, in (Race 2) it was Charles in the Miracle.

Some may have noticed that Pete Thornley has been racing a Comet instead of his trusty Streaker. Karen McAlister explains why: "Here are a few pics of Peter collecting the Comet the Cory's kindly loaned us when they left Welwyn Garden City. I believe it was originally Richard Burnside's boat - good to have it back in the club." Pete used to have his own Comet and he says he's been enjoying sailing one again, but ... he still prefers a Streaker!

Peter added that he was sailing the Comet to be in a fleet, as the streaker was the only one, and usually alone for most of the race.

He consider himself the custodian of this comet (554) on behalf of the club, until a new deserving sailor comes along. He will be keeping the streaker :-)

Going........ Going....... Gone!

If you are seeking advice on sailing, contact us on info@wgcsc.org.uk and we can discuss what we can do to help you.

NEW MEMBERS are very welcome, so come and join us.