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
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
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
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
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,
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.