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Club History

History of Hayling Island SC - In The Beginning . . .

In the autumn of 1921 seven sailing enthusiasts met to form the Hayling Island Sailing Club, of which the first Hon. Secretary, Mr R. C. E. McKilliam, was a member, the other six being Mr Simpkins, (the first commodore), Mrs Nixon, Dr Knight, and Messrs Baker, Logan and Dawe.

Although recreational sailing was beginning to be enjoyed by many people, any organised activity had come to a halt with the First World War but afterwards small fishing and waterside communities such as Hayling looked for organised events and activities. The first clubhouse was originally a fisherman's cottage adjacent to Salterns Quay, and known as Quay Cottage. After a short while, the club moved into the premises now occupied by the Mengham Rythe Sailing Club.

With the keen support of the local tradesmen and residents, the first regatta was held in 1922, with a number of entries from Bosham, Emsworth, Langstone, Itchenor and Portsmouth. In other parts of the harbour, clubs were being formed and the annual regattas brought sailing enthusiasts together and continue to this day.

All roads to HISC unmade in 50s, but still parking problems!

In addition to sailing, the Regatta programme of 1922 included rowing and swimming races, pillow fights on a pole slung between two barges, and concluded with a mud-patten race. Not surprisingly this race was won by some Emsworth fishermen, who afterwards rescued Club members, naturally inexpert in this activity, who had ventured to compete and become stranded in the mud. In the evening, there was dancing on the green beside the clubhouse. Weather conditions were ideal throughout, and the whole event proved highly successful.

As a result of this auspicious beginning, about 120 members were enrolled at an annual subscription of 1 guinea, and enjoyed handicap racing with a varied collection of boats. However, the desire for a one-design led to the introduction of a Hayling Island Class boat costing some £50 fully equipped. These were 16ft. clinker built, centreboard craft, three-quarter decked, with sliding gunter rig. They were not particularly fast but were sea worthy in all conditions.

A standard type of 8ft. pram dinghy was introduced as an introduction for the younger members, and slowly the appeal of one design class racing was recognised. As a result of this, apart from the Annual Regatta, handicap racing gradually died out on a regular basis.

The original Club Burgee was designed by R. C. E. McKilliam, with the approval of the founder members, and consisted of an accurate replica of the Hayling coat of arms on a red background. Over the years this has been modified and today, the logo seen on the website and used on publicity material is a natural progression.

In 1936 the club moved to its present site, a unique position on the southern shores of Chichester Harbour, on the bulbous tip of a narrow peninsula, known as Sandy Point.

Here it dominates the harbour entrance and provides immediate access either to the open sea or to the expansive, land-locked waters of the harbour. Sailing is possible at all stages of the tide and times of year.

Until 2001 the Clubhouse was a two-storey brick building, built in a cruciform shape, and designed by the late Captain Ivan Snell, MC.

With a large restaurant and bars on the first floor, together with a balcony which leading from them, it commanded magnificent views of the harbour, the Downs to the north, and the coastal plane stretching away towards Chichester and beyond. To the south-east lies the Sussex coastline visible as far as Selsey Bill, with the Nab Tower standing guard to the South.


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