Seventy Years and Thriving

Seventy years ago, in 1948, a group of scientists at the Royal Aircraft Establishment had the idea of using one of the ex – German ‘windfall’ yachts for cruising and sail training and decided to form a sailing club – the RAE Sailing Club. A few years later many members had bought or built their own yachts and in addition, a vigorous dinghy sailing section had been formed offering sail training to RYA standards and day cruises in the Solent and South Coast. Later still, dinghy cruising had been expanded to include sailing camps in the West Country and in other more distant sailing waters. Seventy years on, the club has changed its name and is no longer based at Farnborough but still has a very active membership and sailing programme. Well worth the celebratory dinner – described below!

Celebrating our yesterdays!

Our thanks and appreciation must go to the committee and helpers who planned, organised, and thoroughly researched to create a wonderful and entertaining evening to mark 70 years of sailing under the guise of CodySC / DERASC, DRASC, and RAESC.

And so it was, to the day, that Cody celebrated its 70th anniversary on 10th November 2018. A gathering of some 50 current and former members enjoyed a feast of a meal at the Devils Punchbowl Hotel at Hindhead. We mustered and mingled with friends of yesteryear – our reminisces prompted by a salvo of slides simultaneously displaying many of us with hair and figures now long gone. The first course was preceded by a welcome and introduction from our current commodore, immediately followed by Cody’s answer to the two Ronnie’s (or was is Ant and Dec?) – Gordon and Pete reminded us of the early years and the founding of the club – then known as the Royal Aircraft Establishment Sailing Club (RAESC) – I say reminded but much of our early history was completely unknown to many of us present – who knew that we had access to a 40ft windfall yacht? Our next speaker was former Cody (RAESC) commodore  – with so much history to cover Mike focussed on the “characters” of the club – Mike did a superb run though of some of more colourful members and their often bazaar exploits – it seems that being a bit mad has always been the essence of Cody membership. Twix main course and dessert Mike recounted a tale of an early cruise (an extract of the Bronzewing cruise) which was highly amusing and very much emphasized the fun that was, and still is, sailing with Cody. After pud it was time for a second offering from Little and Large (Gordon and Pete – in no particular order!) to bring us up to date with some more recent past exploits, and acknowledge those who drove the club as it gradually moved its core from cruiser (yachts) toward an emphasis of dinghy sailing and camping. The evening was rounded off with coffee and a presentation of flowers to Vanessa and Sarah to show appreciation for their sterling efforts to organise what was a splendid evening.


Walking on Hindhead Common

Many of the participants at the dinner stayed overnight at the hotel and on the following day a walk had been arranged. This was led by one of Steve’s friends, a local historian, who guided the party around the Devil’s Punchbowl and provided historical snippets on the way.