Our club “Penzance Sailing Club” was formed in 1939 by seven people who bought 14 foot West of England Conference Redwings. These clinker-built sailing dinghies were built at Looe, East Cornwall where the class is still sailed.
The first premises were an old cottage on the west end of Penzance Promenade where the Wherry Town car park is now situated.
After the war the membership increased but had a set back when the clubhouse was destroyed in the “great storm” of March 1962. The Club then had temporary use of the old Coast Lines dock offices as a bar, galley and changing room (now a cafe) near the Ross Bridge slipway in Penzance Harbour. Its dinghy park was located on the site now occupied by the gardens opposite the old lifeboat house.
The first safety boat was a “Jolly boat”, with races started from the end of Lighthouse Pier. Courses were sailed around “The Gear”, the wreck buoy (southeast of the Lighthouse Pier) and back (either to port or starboard).
In 1968 our club took residence at the present site on the Albert Pier. Over the years the clubhouse has been gradually extended by our membership and extra dinghy park space acquired. The most recent addition to our clubhouse was an extension to the changing rooms including new training facilities.
In 1973 we hosted the Enterprise Nationals which saw us entering the Guinness Book of Record for the biggest racing fleet of one class sailing at one time. One of many National Championships that the club has been proud to host.
The 1970s also saw our club expand into a dinghy and cruiser club with a number of members buying the locally built Hurley 18 cruisers. Since then the cruiser fleet has gone from strength to strength.
In 1977 the British yachting enthusiast Bob Salmon came up with the idea of a transatlantic race for small boats. Penzance was seen as the ideal location for the start of this daring race which came back to Penzance three more times after the first start in 1977.
In the late 1970s a group of members started the idea of the PASAB (Penzance Around Scilly and Back) race and quickly planned the first race which took place in 1978.
In the 1990s we replaced our original club burgee with the current design. The original “skull and crossbones” (black on a white background) stayed but with the addition of the cross of St Piran (the patron saint of Cornwall) to add a Cornish identity to the design.
Today our club has an active membership with a healthy mix of cruiser and dinghy sailors and is an important part of the local community. Members have and still do sail all over the world representing our club up to international level.
At home club racing takes place on Monday and Thursday evenings and over the weekend, with training throughout the year run by our Training Group.
Our club is a RYA Training Centre for Dinghy, Powerboats and Shorebased courses and boasts a modern fleet of training dinghies and safety boats.