A well-used slipway in Shoreham has been replaced with an ‘excellent’ new and improved launching facility.
Shoreham Sailing Club’s new slipway in Harbour Way was officially opened at an event last Wednesday.
The old slipway, a metal structure, had to be replaced due to work on the Environment Agency’s Adur Tidal Walls scheme.
It closed last October, causing disruption to the club’s usual sailing activities.
But at the end of July, the new replacement concrete slipway was opened.
Sophie Mackley, Commodore at Shoreham Sailing Club, said the new slipway was both wider and longer and said: “It’s a significant improvement.”
Representatives from the coastguard, Shoreham RNLI, Lancing sailing club and Sussex yacht club joined Shoreham Sailing Club for the official opening last Wednesday.
Tony Parker, director of engineering at Shoreham Port, which owns the land, cut a red ribbon to mark the occasion.
Mr Parker said he was honoured to attend and said the new facility was ‘nice for the sailing club and nice for Shoreham’.
“The slipway they’ve put in is probably the best slipway on the south coast,” he said.
Mrs Mackley said: “The Port has been incredibly supportive. They seemed like the right people to open it for us.”
First down the new slipway was Alan Warren, an Olympic silver medallist and one of the oldest racing members at the club, along with his grandson Will Carroll and the club’s youngest racing member, Rhys Griffiths, in his Optimist.
The slipway is specifically for dinghies to use and is restricted to members of the sailing club.
Mrs Mackley said Shoreham Sailing Club had gone ‘from strength to strength over recent years’.
The club holds races every Sunday and Wednesday evening during the summer.
It held summer junior racing for the first time this year and will be expanding these next year, Mrs Mackley said.
The third and fifth Lancing and Shoreham sea scouts also use the site as well as the Adur Sailing Club.
“It’s a wonderful sailing location, launching in the harbour and sailing out to sea,” Mrs Mackley said.
“It’s considered some of the best sea sailing in the country.”