Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club is:
- A well-run club with a good reputation
- Run by its members for its members with a great family atmosphere
- Fortunate to have a wonderful setting with excellent open water sailing
- Committed to training and developing sailing skills
- An accredited RYA Training Centre
Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club welcomes complete beginners to experienced sailors. The club enjoys excellent open water sailing on a 117 acre reservoir set in the foothills of the Pennines and its principal objective has always been “to create a safe and successful club of people who enjoy dinghy sailing and create opportunities for all to enjoy this sport”.
Since its foundation in 1946 HLSC has had a prominent role in British dinghy sailing being the home club of number of national champions, world champions and an Olympic silver medallist. Its members own and manage all the functions of the club including organised racing, training and safety cover on the water, with a friendly welcome and an active social programme ashore.
Off The Water
Our members are involved in all aspects of the club, from race management to providing refreshments and organising social events. We have a modern and smart clubhouse (which has recently been extensively refurbished) with good catering, changing and relaxation facilities. A comfortable bar is the focus of the social programme. During the winter months, social and training events for all ages are scheduled in the clubhouse.
The Club’s main focus is on dinghy racing which takes place on Sunday afternoons (from the beginning of March to mid-December) and Wednesday evenings (in the summer).
Enthusiastic dinghy racers, whether you own a single or double handed boat, can readily join our club racing as, because of the differences in speed across the range of boats, our club race starts are split into two fleets; Fast Handicap and Slow Handicap.
As we use the RYA Portsmouth Yardstick (PY), which enables boats of different types to race against one another, then any dinghy with a PY between that of an Optimist and an RS400 can be raced.
At HLSC, we offer you an opportunity to develop your skills, through encouragement and support, in activities and events throughout the year. Whilst we would be keen to encourage you to take part in the club’s racing programme there are also a number of informal opportunities to get afloat away from club racing. One of the great things about HLSC is that, as a member of the club, you can choose to sail on the lake whenever you want. This option is available on any day of the week and so you have the freedom to practice your sailing when you want to. However if someone has very little experience we would recommend that their sailing takes place when the safety cover is there.
We run ‘Friendly Friday’ sessions in the summer months which is the ideal opportunity for any club member, however inexperienced, to just go out and have a sail. One to one instruction can be arranged or just come along and have an informal & relaxed sail.
You do not need to buy a boat to join the club. As most of our boats are two handed boats then crewing opportunities are nearly always available; the perfect and inexpensive way to introduce yourself to the sport.
Training and Development
The club offers a range of opportunities to members in order to develop their skills. As we are an accredited RYA Training Centre then the courses we run are RYA courses. The training courses are organised for all abilities including youngsters on the RYA Youth Sailing Scheme and adults who are new to the sport on RYA Dinghy Levels 1 & 2 courses.
Facilities and Equipment
Outside, the dinghy park provides hard standing for the boats, with wide concrete slipways, giving easy access for launching into a sheltered harbour.
The club owns a number of boats (RS Visions, GP14s, Mirrors, Optimists and Lasers) which are available for members to hire.
During all races a patrol boat is on the water. There are first aid facilities at the club. The club also has a number of buoyancy aids which new members can borrow.
The recent refurbishment to the clubhouse enables us to offer modern and smart Ladies and Gents changing rooms with good hot showers, a stylish (and well heated) clubroom that caters for the needs of all our members whether sailors between races, spectators viewing the races or members’ children enjoying themselves with a bit of freedom plus playing with our stock of toys, a well stocked bar, catering facilities plus step-free access to our clubroom, bar and accessible w.c. enabling everyone to enter with ease. The club is excellent for spectating with superb views over the lake and the surrounding countryside. You can also keep in touch with the outside world as the club has free Wi-Fi.
We would you encourage you to consider sailing in one of the classes that we currently race, especially if you are new to the sport. These are boats which are especially suitable for our lake and are capable of being sailed well to their handicaps.
Below is a description of the main boats that we currently race. These classes enjoy popularity both at Hollingworth Lake and other clubs. This means that there is usually an active second hand market both to buy your first boat from and to sell into when you are ready to progress to the next level or if sailing turns out not to be for you.
Mirror – excellent for juniors
Laser – a single hander for the fit and agile
Solo – a classic one-design, single hander that is sailed at many clubs in the UK
GP14 – a two-person dinghy, suitable for inexperienced sailors, while still providing entertaining racing up to a high standard
Merlin Rocket – an out and out two-person racer.
Choosing a class that has a regular following at the club is very important as you immediately “join the community” of that class and you can get lots of advice, guidance and support from our existing class members. It’s always a lot easier to learn to sail a new boat if there are a few of them around you.
Additionally the club owns the following boats, which are used mainly for training, and can be hired by members:
Optimist – are designed for kids, who can handle them without danger or fear. Over 150,000 kids in over 100 countries cannot be wrong. The Optimist is not only one of the biggest dinghy classes in the world, it is the fastest growing.
RS Vision – an adult training boat that’s also a perfect all-round family sailboat for easy handling. A boat that is roomy, stable and great to sail.