South Shields Sailing Club is ship shape at organising top events

Some of the boats heading to the start line.
Some of the boats heading to the start line.
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A sailing club in South Tyneside is on the crest of a wave after hosting a series of major events.

South Shields Sailing Club has been praised for hosting three national regattas in recent week – with plans for them all to return to the town in the future.

High speed Phantoms off Shields beach.

High speed Phantoms off Shields beach.

The National Scout Sailing Regatta, Phantom Class National Championships and UK Laser European Qualifiers have all been hosted by the club in the space of a few weeks.

Jason Riby, club commodore, says he has been delighted by the feedback the club received from various guests and competitors.

He said: “Although it was certainly a challenge for everyone, we’ve now proved that we have the equipment and manpower needed to run events on this scale.

“We appreciated being able to liaise closely with South Tyneside Council to provide launching facilities right from the beach, as this meant we could accommodate the larger fleets.

“With the confidence gained from this experience, we now have ambitions to host a large event every year.”

He added: “That said, we pride ourselves on being a friendly, welcoming club, and welcome applications from any size fleet, large or small.”

The first major event of the year was the National Scout Sailing Regatta on August 27 and 28. The four races were attended by over 100 competitors from all over the country.

The next event was the National Phantom Championship on September 2 to 4.

Nearly 50 boats entered the event, which saw a packed programme of five races over three days, rounded off with a BBQ and a fish and chip supper.

Reporting the event in the national magazine, Jon Nutall praised the club, saying “It was a fantastic weekend and South Shields made us feel very welcome.

“The food was excellent, as was the beer and company. Massive thanks to the ladies in the galley and the bar staff, who made the weekend very special.”

The most recent event was a the UK Laser European Qualifiers on September 17 and 18. The entry list of 120 boats included Olympic sailor Ali Young, who earlier this year became the Laser Radial World Champion in Mexico in April.

The UK Laser Association has now announce their intentions of returning in 2018.

Sailing can best be viewed on Sundays between 11am and 1pm from the South Pier or the groyne.