Sunday, June 24, 2018


A Short History of the Foundation of Dittisham Sailing Club

The club was started in 1950 by Mr Arthur Hancock,  a farmer from Somerset who retired to Dittisham  to enjoy sailing the safe waters of the Dart.  He was joined by Angus Primrose who later became famous in the Yachting world for designing racing yachts, but in the 1950’s owned and ran the boatyard at Galmpton where he started designing wooden dinghies.  The first of these, called Scimitars, were built in a redundant Nissen hut erected on the stern deck of a M.T.B by two shipwrights from Ditsum, Bill Quick and Ted Cox who also raced them and were founder members of the club.

Races in the early years were started by a shotgun fired from an old sentry box on the Greenway side of the river but when it was decided to start from the Ditsum side a small wooden hut was obtained and sited on the foreshore where it is still in use today, though it has recently been clad with timber to preserve it and to match the Club House.

In 1996 a boat shed was erected which provided storage for the 2 safety boats  and very basic changing and kitchen  arrangements.  As the club grew and started hosting many more open events it became imperative that it should have better facilities.  Plans were drawn up to enlarge the boatshed by adding a bay on each side to accommodate the safety boats, plus Ladies and Gents changing rooms equipped with loos and showers.  A second story was planned over the middle section to provide kitchen facilities and a room suitable for lectures and committee meetings etc.  The plans were passed in 2006 and the estimated cost to have them built was £147,000.  This was deemed too expensive for the club to finance so, after much discussion, members decided, with considerable trepidation, that the solution was to build it themselves and this they have achieved, saving the club about £100,000

With these excellent facilities the club has been able to host and help to run several more events.  In 2008 DSC held a S/W Laser Open, a S/W Topper open, 5 days of junior training and racing organised by D.R.Y.S.A., the two dinghy and one Gaffer races for Ditsum Regatta and four days of dinghy racing for the Joint Royal Regatta.  This is in addition to the weekly racing every Sunday and an evening race on alternate weeks.  I think it can be truly claimed that we are a flourishing sailing club. 

Read a detailed account of the building of the new clubhouse


 The Original Boat Shed


 The Original Starting Box


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