Seas alive as Sunderland regatta gets underway

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SAILING enthusiasts will be on the crest of a wave at an annual regatta.

 The seas off Sunderland will be alive with sail this weekend as Sunderland Yacht Club hosts its Roker Regatta.

Enthusiasts will be competing today, tomorrow and Monday, as the club celebrates its anniversary year.

“The regatta itself is actually split into two events,” said spokesman Paul Nicholson.

“Last week was the dinghy regatta for smaller boats and this weekend is the Cruiser class, so it is the bigger yachts who will be racing.

“Anyone is welcome to come down and they will be able to see the boats off Seaburn, which is where the course is going to be set.

“The races will be starting in the late morning and going on until late afternoon.

“Depending on the visibility, people should be able to get a good view, especially if they are able to get onto the pier.”

The regatta will conclude on Monday afternoon, when Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland Coun Iain Kay and Coun Barbara McClennan will hand out the prizes.

The River Wear has been hosting races for more than 150 years.

In 1837, it featured the first of the borough races, which included all water-based craft.

The first yacht club on the river, the Wear Yacht Club, was formed in 1856 and organised the first regatta, which was held for the Gold Cup, valued at 80 guineas.

In the same year, the Wear Yacht Club was granted an Admiralty Warrant and became the Royal Wear Yacht Club. However, it fell a decline and in 1905 the new Sunderland Motor Boat and Yacht Club. was formed.

It changed its name in 1912 and Sunderland Yacht Club was born.

Today, the club, based on Sunderland Old North Pier, at Roker, is in good health, with 250 members of all ages whom are able to enhance their skills with a series of Royal Yachting Association (RYA) courses.

The club is a recognised RYA training centre.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho