Elie and Earlsferry Sailing Club celebrates 50th year

Boats in the harbour, with the clubhouse in the background.
Boats in the harbour, with the clubhouse in the background.

This is a golden year for Elie & Earlsferry Sailing Club as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a special weekend of events.

But while marking the achievements of the last 50 years, the club is equally focused on the future and maintaining its role in the community.

From its humble beginnings back in 1964, when the ‘clubhouse’ was the dining room in Ship Inn, the club has seen the ebb and flow of dinghy sailing, Group 4 power boat racing and windsurfing to reach today’s point with its own clubhouse overlooking the harbour and a happy balance between keel and power boats.

Right from the outset the club set out to prove that sailing was not elitist but could be inclusive and family-friendly and it found wide support in the local community.

In 1994 the club launched an ambitious appeal to raise £30,000 to build the clubhouse and it was completed the following year.

“The beauty of the club is that you don’t have to have a boat to join,” said past commodore Steve Blaney. “The beauty is that you can hire the club boats, and also tap into all the experience that there is in the club, before deciding what you want to sail. There is a wonderful spirit in the club to help each other.”

Sailing highlights over the decades have included hosting Scottish dinghy championships and power boat races in the 1970s, being a favoured venue for the Scottish Windsurfing Association in the 1990s and hosting catamaran events in the 1990s.

At its height it had almost 200 members but, like many organisations in the community, it is up against a declining permanent population, and membership currently stands at around 90.

Last weekend it held a special dinner for past commodores and on July 26-27 it is inviting boats from all along the Forth to join in a weekend of celebrations.

For more about the club see www.eesc.org.uk