The History of Banff Sailing Club
The Banff Sailing Club was founded in 1975 by a group of local enthusiasts who had a love of sailing and the sea. With no premises at this stage the meeting place was more than often the quayside or a local hotel. A small hut, no bigger than a garden shed, was then acquired, adequate for the needs at the time.
In 1978 a sectional wooden building, formerly Nairn Sailing Club premises, came up for sale and was duly purchased. It was transported to Banff to serve as the clubhouse on the harbour frontage for several years, despite several attempts by the sea and weather to demolish it.
In 1989, with a growing membership, the club thought it was time to expand into a permanent structure. When approached, by Banff and Buchan council at that time, with an offer to purchase a derelict stone building on the quayside, the membership was consulted and asked for financial help. The response was encouraging and the building bought and converted into the current clubhouse.
The two storey building right on the quayside has a splendid view over the harbour, into the bay and beyond to Macduff. The upper-storey serves as the bar/lounge area, with a balcony to enjoy the view. This provides a social and functional club role, with guest speakers and training sessions set within. The ground floor serves as the kitchen area, toilets, shower and storage for race marks etc.
Initially the sailing was for cruising pleasure. As more members began to buy boats of their own a competitive nature emerged and so began the practice of racing around a course set in the bay. This continues today with a variety of courses now being set, on the day of the race, with the club’s rigid inflatable.
As well as organizing races for members, Banff Sailing Club holds a number of cruise days for members to explore, flotilla style. These cruises mix all boat types, usually involving a drink and a bite to eat, either in a cosy harbour or a sheltered cove, with the anchor dropped. Once a year we hold our regatta and have links with other clubs which are well attended.
In 1995, after much hard work, a group of enthusiasts reintroduced dinghy sailing. A grant from the Foundation of Sport and Arts enabled the club to purchase some old mirror dinghies and the rigid inflatable required to act as safety boat. At the moment there are no dingy sailors in Banff and most of the sailing is now on yachts, moving towards cruising rather than racing.
Currently there are a number of motorboats within the club and there is keen interest to develop this element. Many have learned to sail at our club without previous experience using the two club boats as well as the power RIB. Training sessions are regularly arranged for all things sea or boat related. We have guest speakers who visit our club house during the winter months, providing further awareness and interest. New members are always welcome – whether you have a yacht, dingy, motorboat or no boat at all.