Welcome to HLSC

HLSC welcomes complete beginners to experienced sailors. Dinghy sailing takes place on a 117 acre reservoir set in the foothills of the Pennines in Littleborough near Rochdale and is easily accessible; just 10 minutes from the M62, junction 21.

HLSC is run by its members for its members with a great family atmosphere, has good fleet racing, is committed to training & developing sailing skills and is an accredited RYA Training Centre.

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Having recently completed a major clubhouse upgrade, HLSC now has modern and smart facilities thanks to generous support from the Sport England Inspired Facilities fund and a number of our own club members.SE_Lottery_Inspired-by-2012





Fancy taking part in this year’s 24 Hour Race?

GP @ 24 Hour RaceThis year’s  24 Hour Race at the Southport Marine Lake is being held on 13th and 14th September 2014.  As usual the race starts at 12 midday Saturday and finishes 12 midday Sunday.

If, as an HLSC member, you would like to participate then please sign up in the clubhouse or contact Bruce Mager (Sailing Secretary).

Boat crews usually sail two hour sessions depending on the conditions.


HLSC is taking part in Bart’s Bash!

Not long now…On 21st September, HLSC will be taking part in the inaugural Bart’s Bash! Bart’s Bash is a sailing race that will be run by sailing clubs all around the world on behalf of the charity, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.


Barts Bash


HLSC’s Stuart Bithell wins the Merlin Rocket National Championships 

S Bithell at Merlin Nationals

Congratulations to HLSC’s own Stuart Bithell on winning the Merlin Rocket National Champs, crewed by Tom Pygall, down at a windy Looe.  The Club also won the Team Trophy with Stuart, Dave Winder, Pippa Taylor, Richard Whitworth and Commodore Sally Townend.  Julian Parry and Becca Jones won the Silver Fleet.

You can see for yourself how windy it was by having a look at some of the action from the very windy 3rd race on YouTube.  Suggest you go to 14:05 to see how Stuart and Tom deal with heavy weather reaching.  They make it look far too easy!


During the same week the Club was represented at the GP14 World Championships, which were held at the East Down Yacht Club on Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, by Graham Knox, Craig Broadbent and Tom Daniel.


Successful Racing Clinic run as part of  ’Friendly Friday’ session 

Racing Clinic #1 - 8 AugustRacing Clinic #2 - 8th August

On Friday 8th August a pleasant breeze, that stayed throughout the evening, led to 13 boats going out on the water for our weekly ‘Friendly Friday’ session.  Martin Brennan in a GP14 took out Jo-Anna Dobbs for some helming practice, Martin Watts in an RS Vision took out a prospective member for a taster session and an Oppie was taken out by new members Tom & Charlie Holmes; these brothers took part in the Junior Stage 1,2,3 course earlier in the summer.

However the main event was a Racing Clinic run by club member Adam McGovern who is also the RYA’s Regional Development Officer North West.  10 Solos attended and after a briefing, with light weather tips, went straight out on the water.  A start line was set up and then a straight windward / leeward course set with Adam coaching from the RIB and Oliver Whitehead plus Pete Bramwell coaching from Daisy Fish.  The next start line was for downwind starts making most realize they did not know how to control their boat for this type of start.  The final race was beat / run / beat.  From the “buzz” in the bar afterwards it was obvious that all had thoroughly enjoyed the evening learning much in the process.

A big thank you goes to Adam and Oliver for arranging the event.


11 of our junior sailors revel in a week’s training 

Training Week #1Training Week #2

Recently 11 of our junior sailors took part in five days of boat handling including asymmetrical spinnakers, single handed & double handed sailing, racing rules and all other aspects of controlling a dinghy.   The sessions started at 10am concluding at 4pm with a break for lunch.

The weather was kind throughout the week with the wind being the strongest on the last day.  The last day was given over to as many short races, round a triangular course, as could be fitted in.  This lead to some good racing and some excitement as the gusts caused one or two capsizes.

It was a pleasure to see our juniors grow in confidence and boat handling over the five days.  Their enthusiasm throughout the week (arriving on time each day eager to go) bodes well for the future of Club.

None of this would have happened without the commitment of Dave Smith and Graham Knox who organised the event.  Special thanks must go to Dave Smith for his commitment to the week, for his excellent coaching throughout  and for making sure that the Juniors enjoyed themselves.  Also Sally Townend’s one to one coaching with Adam Hornsby made sure his sailing skills increased.

Thanks to Craig Broadbent / Oliver Whitehead / Bruce Mager / Richard Hodgson all of whom gave of their time to help with the smooth running of the week.



Sailing News!

27th August 2014
by Graham Knox

The strong easterly made it hard for some to sail out of the harbour. Once out, there was some exciting racing to be enjoyed. With the early mass start, the Merlins were soon away and Steve Crook with Saly Townend were on form planing ahead, while Les Bithell and Rosie Richards battled to keep Bruce Mager and Ryan Richards behind their transom and failed in the later stages. Oliver Whitehead was in a different league to the other Solos and Martin Brennan and Sophia Miles easily won in the GP14s.

Credit goes to JoAnna Dobbs crewing for Richard Mason in some of the windiest conditions. Richard Whitehill and Gary Butler tussled in the Lasers and this time Richard won.

Merlin Rocket- 1.S Crook/S Townend 2.B Mager/R Richards 3.L Bithell/R Richards
GP 14- 1.M Brennan/S Miles 2.R Mason/J Dobbs
Solo- 1.O Whitehead 2.D Hughes 3.M Whitehead
Laser- 1.R Whitehill 2.G Butler 3. J Maguire


24th August 2014
by Graham Knox

Bank Holiday Sunday proved a sharp contrast to recent Sundays with sunshine and a lightish breeze off the Lake Bank shore. On the other hand it gave some of the most fickle winds that gave the opportunity for great place changing.

The GP14 fleet noticed this most, particularly in the third race when the two leading boats were overtaken near the Wine Press. Andy & Emmerence Carter stormed into a lead from which Martin Brennan and Alastair Knott could not recover, despite closing the gap on the final leg.

Richard Blackburn had a good day in the Solos while some practised their recovery techniques in capsizing.

The Solo fleet will welcome visitors on Sunday to the annual Open Meeting.


Merlin Rocket-
Race 1: 1.B Mager/R Richards
Race 2: 1.S Crook/S Townend 2.B Mager/R Richards

Race 1: 1. M Brennan/A Knott 2.G Whitehead/N Thomason
Race 2: 1. M Brennan/A Knott 2.A & E Carter 3.C Knott/R Long
Race 3: 1. A & E Carter 2. M Brennan/A Knott 3. C Knott/R Long

Race 1: 1.R Long 2.G Booth 3.D Smith
Race 2: 1.R Blackburn 2.G Booth 3.G Winder
Race 3: 1.R Blackburn 2.G Winder 3.G Whitehead

All races: Will Smith


20th August 2014
by Graham Knox

A complete contrast from Sunday’s stormy weather gave everyone a pleasant evening sail. The trouble is that such evenings suffer a lot of wind shadow on the Club shore and a dying wind at that. The GP14s were late out to the start and that dictated the results. Roger Mee came out trying a Solo and won comfortably.

Merlin Rocket- 1.G Whitehead/D Thompson
GP 14- 1.S Crook/S Townend 2.M Brennan/M Whitehead
Solo- 1.R Mee 2.K Parry 3.D Kay
Laser- 1.G Butler 2. R Whitehill 3.B Glynn


17th August 2014
by Graham Knox

The stormy weather on Sunday would put off anyone from sailing on the Lake. Three boats did venture out but only one finished a race, and that despite a capsize near the finish line. Oliver Whitehead in a Solo was overwhelmed by the strength of the gusts. So ended the day’s racing.

During the past week, Merlin Rockets held their Championship and GP14s their World Championship in Northern Ireland. The Club’s Olympic medallist won the Merlin Rocket event in a closely fought battle during the final race.

Graham Knox, with crew Craig Broadbent, was racing on the day that hit the national headlines after a major incident was called on Strangford Lough. While many did capsize in a fierce squall, Graham and Craig did not succumb to that and sailed back to the Club and were surprised by all the blue flashing lights ashore of the emergency services and the subsequent media attention.