A YACHT club is to hold a boat parade to celebrate its centenary.
Members of Sunderland Yacht Club, in Roker, will take to the water this weekend to mark its 100th anniversary.
Alan Dixon, commodore of the club, said: “Our parade will sail past the club and it is a fitting way to celebrate 100 years of our club. It will provide a colourful spectacle from the riverside.”
The club will also throw open its doors for a special open day, where visitors can take part in taster sessions on a dinghy or yacht.
“Our open days are now an annual event and allow anyone with an interest to try sailing as a sport,” said Mr Dixon. “We hope that all our visitors on the day will enjoy our sport as much as we do.”
Mr Dixon said the River Wear was one of the earliest sailing centres. In 1837, it featured the first of the borough races, which included all water-based craft and preceded the formation of the first yacht club on the river.
“This happened in 1856,” he said. “The Wear Yacht Club was formed and saw 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 saw a decline and a new club was formed in 1905, called Sunderland Motor Boat and Yacht Club.
“The club then changed its name in 1912 to the Sunderland Yacht Club.”
Mr Dixon said sailing stopped at the club during the First World War, but was formally started again in 1935. It then opened its first clubhouse at the North Dock. After relocations and redevelopment, the club settled at its current site at Old North Pier.
“Sailing is a sport that can be undertaken by almost anyone,” said Mr Dixon. “Age is no barrier. The club has sailors from six years to regular sailors over 80.
“The club is now a Royal Yachting Association training centre and offers training courses throughout the year for club members along with regular coaching sessions.”
The events will take place on Saturday. The parade will start at 4pm at Sunderland Yacht Club, head to the Wearmouth Bridge, before returning to the club.
The open day will be held at the club from 10.30am and 3.30pm. Taster sessions, which last 90 minutes, are open to adults and children over six years and can be pre-booked on 077531 760 601.