• About the Club

    The club has been running for more than fifty years and has about 1,200 members using almost 600 boats – and facilities to match!

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  • About the Lake

    At about 3 miles long and, at its maximum, 1.5 miles wide, Grafham Water is one of the best inland sailing venues in the UK.

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  • Where we are

    The club is located three miles from the A1/A14 junction, between Bedford, Northampton, Cambridge and Peterborough and about 60 miles north of London.

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  • What we sail

    Almost anything! Our members sail dinghies, catamarans, sailboards, day keelboats and small sailing cruisers.

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  • Who can sail?

    The club caters for groups and individuals of all sailing abilities from beginners through to the very experienced. Newcomers to sailing can learn to sail through sailing lessons with our RYA accredited Training Centre.

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  • Learn to sail?

    The Club is an RYA Recognised Training Centre: we offer RYA certified training courses in dinghy sailing, windsurfing and power boating that we can tailor to different ages and experience levels.

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  • Safety

    Our professional and qualified coxswains provide top-class on-water safety cover seven days a week. At weekends, the coxswains are supported by RYA-qualified volunteer safety boat crews.

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  • Shore-side

    Our large clubhouse (on three levels) includes a café on the ground floor, large changing rooms on the middle floor and a smart ‘dry bar’ with spectacular views across the lake on the upper level.

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  • Membership

    Membership is open to sailors and non sailors of all ages. Non boat owners can join the Club and use the small fleet of club boats. Day visitors, with their own dinghy or sailboard are always welcome.

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  • No Boat?

    Join us and get access to our growing fleet of Club boats – or check out our Crew Register.

    Club Boats

    Crew Register

News

Congratulations to James Curtis who  is representing GWSC in the RYA eSailing Championships. He has just won the Eastern Region final and will be going forward to the National Final.

While the clubhouse is closed, important maintenance work is going on in the ladies and gents changing rooms. Read more here.

Keep an eye on the Coronavirus Blog which is being regularly updated (last update 22nd May). There is also an FAQ page (last update 21st May), and a dedicated eSailing blog (last update 21st May).

Coronavirus Update

Update 20th May: today the Commodore sent the following email to all members:

We do not yet have a date for the re-opening of the Lake; Anglian Water have not published anything definitive.  However, based on our discussions with Anglian Water we do believe this will be reasonably soon and so I am writing to you now with details of the way in which we expect to return to sailing initially, and the measures to which we will need to adhere.  To put this in context I want to stress three things up front:

1) This will not be a return to “normal” as we knew it before “lock-down”.

2) We will need to abide by a number of restrictions, most notably that relating to social distancing and personal hygiene. You will be responsible for your own safety on shore and on the water.

3) We intend to do things progressively.  We will start onshore with the barest minimum of facilities and on water with informal leisure sailing only.  Over time, as restrictions are eased, we hope to be able to open up more of our facilities onshore, and on the water move to more structured activity, including some form of racing.

General precautions to ensure the safety of yourself, other club members and the general public

Here is the link to the latest Government guidelines on social distancing. Please take the time to ensure you are absolutely familiar with them before visiting the Club site.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing

If you are unwell with the symptoms of Covid-19 do not attend the Club.

If you have had contact with a family or household member who is unwell with the symptoms of Covid-19 do not attend the Club for a minimum of 14 days.

Wash your hands after touching common surfaces – and always after coughing, sneezing and before and after arriving and leaving the Club.

Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, and avoid touching your face, nose and eyes.

Keep your distance and avoid being face to face with people from outside your household.

Do not share water bottles or food with people from outside your own household.

We suggest you bring some disposable gloves with you and use them if touching common surfaces.  We also suggest you bring a first aid kit with you so you can attend to minor cuts and such like yourself.

Accessing the site and opening hours

Revised opening hours will apply.  Initially the site will be open from 10 am each morning and will close each evening at 19:00 (including weekends).  The water will open from 10:30 and will close at 18:30 each evening.  Over time we may be able to relax these hours so keep an eye on the website for details.

The barrier will remain down during the time that the site is open.  It should open automatically for you.  If not, ring  07950 590754 from your mobile phone for admission.  Do not use the keypad at the barrier.

Parking

We are fortunate to have a large site so parking even with the current restrictions should not be a problem.  But please make sure you park well apart from the next car, sufficient to ensure social distancing when getting in or getting out.  That may mean you need to park further away from your boat than normal.  If we have a lot of people on site it may also necessitate using the top (visitor) field.

Clubhouse

The clubhouse will be closed, except that there will be restricted access to the toilets.  There will be signage at the toilets indicating the procedures to follow.  You should enter the toilets by the outside doors on the half landing facing the roundabout.

There will be no facility for changing on site.  You should arrive ready changed or change in your car.  You may want to invest in a dry robe or similar. Do not use the toilets for changing: this would be socially irresponsible.

Rigging and access to the water

Again, the key message is to adhere to the social distancing principle – 2m separation.  If you find that somebody in the adjacent berth to you is rigging their boat at the same time, come to an arrangement with them whereby you can both do this safely.  Please also remember that the Government guidance which we need to follow at this stage is to exercise in the company of only one person from outside your immediate household, and then adhering to the 2m separation guideline.  Larger gatherings are not permitted so please act accordingly in the boat park.

When launching also take care to adhere to the 2m separation guidelines.  Since dinghies are more than 2m long this should not be too difficult, but windsurfers take note, particularly if using the steps.

Do not touch other persons’ boats or trolleys at any time.

The water level is particularly high at present so launching may be more difficult than usual, particularly given the need to do so unassisted.  We intend to reposition the small dan buoys just offshore to aid in this but if you use them please do so wearing gloves.

On the water

For obvious reasons, only single-handed sailing or sailing in the same boat by persons living together in the same household, is permitted.

There will be a coxswain on site, but safety cover will be extremely restricted.  If you are going out on the water, your sailing skills should be of a standard commensurate with the red & white flag ie. able to right your boat unaided and return to the shore under the prevailing weather conditions on the day.  We expect to operate the flag system more conservatively than in normal circumstances.  We also expect that the red & yellow flag will be used frequently ie Lake open with restrictions.  Where this is used the restrictions will be posted on the window of the café. You may wish to use your own VHF radio to make contact with the Coxswain. This should be a VHF marine radio, ideally with the ability to take an earpiece.

Initially the Lake will be open for unstructured leisure sailing only.  We will not attempt any kind of organised racing, nor should you try to do this on an informal basis – it is likely to be in breach of the guidance against “gatherings”.  In due course we hope to introduce some form of racing and details of this will be posted on the web site.

Staff on site

There will be a coxswain on site all the time the site is open, based in the coxswains’ shed.  If you need to talk to him, do not enter the shed and do not cross the 2m line marked at the shed entrance.

The Office will not be physically accessible.  The hours when the Office staff can be contacted are shown on the website.  The chandlery will not be open.

For hygiene reasons tools may not be borrowed from the coxswains.  If you need anything you should bring it with you.

Day Sailing

For the time being we will not be re-introducing day sailing.  We may do so at a later date.

Updates to this advice

It is very likely that over time our advice will be modified and updated.  Updates will be posted on the Club Web Site so please do keep looking there

Best wishes, and stay safe

John Aston, Commodore

Forthcoming Events

Click here to view a complete list of forthcoming open meetings at Grafham with links to documentation.

All Open Meetings scheduled until the end of June have been cancelled due to Coronavirus. We will update the list as the situation changes.

Online entry, camper van and camping booking is now via the WebCollect system.

 


  • Coronavirus Blog

    The intention of this blog is to keep a history of announcements made by the Club, but also to provide a way of helping members... Read More

  • Refurb-Blog

    The male members of the club are probably unaware of what the ladies’ changing room in the clubhouse is like. Firstly it... Read More