First time at major boat show for 27-year-old club

Gay boating club, the Sailing and Cruising Association, is exhibiting at a major national boat show for the first time.

The group is on stand 1M60 at the Earls Court Boat show until 9 December.

“This is a new departure for us and, so far as we know, for any UK boat show,” said association commodore Colin Weston.

“Our 27-year history shows that there is a demand for a gay boating club, and our inclusion in a mainstream event such as the revival of the boat show at Earls Court is an indication of yachting being among the leaders of the UK sports and leisure sector.”

The RYA-affiliated club’s main focus is on sail cruising, but it also includes powerboaters, dinghy sailors and racing interests.

In June 2007 it hosted the Euro Gay Cup international keelboat racing championship at Brighton, where S&CA members won the spinnaker class among competitors from several countries’ gay sailing groups.

S&CA’s 350-plus members, aged in their 20s to 80s, crew on each other’s boats for association rallies on the south and east coasts, and club together to share charters in UK waters and overseas. The group is open to gays and lesbians and their families and friends, and encourages members to take appropriate training to increase their enjoyment and safety at sea.

The association runs an email network of members across Britain and also meets at monthly club nights at Kudos Bar in central London on the second Tuesday of each month, and the Ship Launch Inn, Ipswich on the first Thursday of the month.

www.gaysailing.org.uk