1956 – Emberton Park Sailing Club was first started by a group of keen sailors on 1 April 1956 and was known as “South Bedsfordshire Sailing Club”.
The club sailed on Lower drakeloe Pond, which was situated in front of the main house in Woburn Abbey Park.
Initially, four classes of dinghy were adopted:
- National 12
The GP14 was adopted at the end of the 1956 season, with the Enterprise class being adopted at the beginning of 1959, when the Firefly was dropped as there was only one in the club.
The very first sailing meeting was held on Whit Monday 1956, when 21 boats took to the water. Among these were Jack Holt in a Merlin.
1961 – The club hosted the Heron Junior Championship on 8 April 1961 and appeared on TV. A member of the club also won the event.
1962 – Despite the scenic surroundings, the location for the club was not ideal.
The amount of trees within the immediate vacinity of the pond meant that the winds were “flukey” and this combined with persistant weed during the summer months, lead to ever increasing frustration amongst members.
1965 – The club decided to move waters, and started to search for a new lake. They finally settled on Emberton Park, which was a former quarry site used during the building of the M1 motorway. The lakes at Emberton Park were ideal – no trees!
The club moved waters in 1965 and the name of the club was changed to “North Bucks and South Beds Sailing Club”.
The first race took place on Good Friday 1965.
The club kept the lease on Drakeloe Pond for a further year, using it only for cruising. The lease was discontinued in 1966 and the whole of the clubs activities were concentrated at Emberton Park. The name “Emberton Park Sailing Club” was then adopted. Note, the sailing club flag still has a deer logo on it, reminiscent of Woburn Park.
The original lake was in fact two lakes, split by what we know today as the “island”. Members could either sail on the “North” lake or “South” lake.
In the late 1960’s, the decision was taken to excavate the strip of land separating these two lakes, creating one large lake.
The club operated out of a “green wooden caravan”, parked on the north side of the spit. This served as the changing rooms for a number of years.
1969/1970 – The club decided it required a more “luxurious” club house and plans were put in place to build a new changing room block. With an enourmous amount of help from members, the project was completed in 1971.
1975 – During the mid 1970’s, the club house was further extended by the addition of the main function room and bar.
1980’s – The club became even more popular and new classes of dinghy were adopted, namely the Topper and Laser.
Unfortunately in 1987/1988 the original flat roof started to deteriorate, and members once again clubbed together and with the help of the local council, improved the facilities by adding a pitched roof.
1993/1994 – The original bar (located where the kitchen is now), was moved to an extension at the side of the main function room.
Present Day – The club today has an active growing membership and an ever increasing number of junior members.
Being an RYA Accredited Training Centre allows members young and old, to hone their dinghy sailing skills even more and be more confident when participating in our regular Sunday and Wednesday evening (summer only) racing series.