Sailing club at risk as centre in Shoreham closes

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A SAILING club that recently celebrated its 40th year said its future is now hanging in the balance after Adur Outdoor Activities Centre closed last week.

“All our volunteers are devastated,” said Michelle Cannon, the principle of Adur Centre Sailing Club in Shoreham.

“We had no idea it was going to close, which was the tragedy of it all, we were just emailed about it three weeks ago.”

The club which recently celebrated its 40th birthday, uses the centre to store equipment, launch boats using the nearby slipway and teach theory to its 40 plus members.

The 35-year-old said: “Our youngest member is ten years old and our oldest is 72. Some people think it’s the end of the club and I don’t want it to be, but the future is just unkown for us.”

After the shock announcement that the Adur Outdoor Activities Centre in Brighton Road will close, clubs that use it have been in a race against time to find alternative venues to host their facilities.

This is due to the centre’s Trust pulling out after it discovered it was no longer financially viable to keep the venue going.

Mrs Cannon said: “We had an emergency meeting and an emergency boat turn over, but we couldn’t rehome 34 boats in such short notice, we don’t know if we’re going to get our boats back again.”

The club, which falls under the Royal Yacht Association (RYA), attracts members from Shoreham Worthing, Hassocks, Hove, Brighton and as far as Newhaven in the past.

She said: “We have always been an accessible club, members don’t need to own a boat and we have all the insurance.

“Some people think it’s an elitist sport but it’s not, it’s for everybody and our members have gone on to do amazing things.”

Mrs Cannon has been the principle of the club for ten years and said West Sussex County Council, which owns the building, and the Trust have not kept the club well informed and have been unable to help the volunteers find an alternative venue.

“We have emailed them about our situation, but unfortunately we don’t know much more unless another leisure centre will help us out,” said Mrs Cannon.

Adur District Council, which owns the land, will be meeting with the county council over the next few weeks to discuss the centre’s future.

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