While many inside the yachting industry strive hard to take the snobbery out of yachting and give it a broader appeal there are many who appear to be working equally hard to put it back.
In Chipping Norton, a land locked town in rural Britain’s Cotswolds, the huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ set have decided that, despite being over 100 miles from the sea, they now need a yacht club
The area, surrounding the Oxfordshire town is home to Prime Minister; David Cameron, TV presenter; Jeremy Clarkson, Pop musician turned celebrity cheese maker; Alex James and former News International chief executive; Rebekah Brooks and is a two-hour journey away from the Solent considered by many to be the heartland of British yachting.
Yet this does not seem to have deterred 66 year old boating enthusiast Trevor Taylor, the man behind the Chipping Norton Yacht Club. He wants to give sailors a chance to socialise without having to travel to coastal areas and is aiming at affiliating his club with the Royal Yachting Association for events and training courses.
He said there is a surprisingly keen interest with up to 100 people expressing an interest in joining the club, which is targeting holiday sailors as well as more serious participants in the sport in the area around the town.
The aims of the club are to Cotswolds’ sailing community together so that they can share experiences, hear interesting speakers, find crew, swap gear, enjoy social meetings, share a meal and exchange general ‘scuttlebutt’ at the bar.
Taylor the club’s prospective commodore said not having any major inland sailing facilities nearby was no barrier to forming a club and warned that there was little chance of nearby sailing activity.
He said: “We’re on a hill so this is the last place you’d expect to find a yacht club,” he said, adding, “Unless the polar ice caps melt and Chipping Norton’s market square becomes a harbour.”