The Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club was founded in 1952 by Tiny Mitchell, a well-known east coast sailor who was commodore of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club at Burnham. Tiny spent much of his time at Cowes as he found the sailing in the Solent more suitable for his 6 metre yacht. Tiny identified the plot of land now occupied by the Club as being suitable for the local sailors to build their own club and also allow them to store and launch their boats. He acquired the site for £500 and the locals took over and did the rest. Tiny was elected as the first commodore and held that position until he died in 1964.
Remarkably in 1953, only months after it was founded, the Club ran a Round the Island race for dinghies. This caused huge controversy in the national, local and yachting press but fortunately the weather was almost perfect with light to moderate breeze allowing the 180 boat fleet to get round safely. Remarkably the first two boats on elapsed time finished within one second of each other, Ian Proctor crewed by John Oakley and Cliff Norbury sailing the prototype Osprey just pipped Claude Nethercot in what went on to become the 505. Uffa Fox trailed behind by 5 minutes in his 18 foot Jollyboat.
Since then the Club has gone on to run major championships including the Flying Fifteen Worlds, Sonar Worlds, two J24 Europeans and numerous national and regional championships for classes such as Etchells, Dragons, Flying Fifteens, Sonatas and Impalas.
Club facilities have evolved considerably since the 1950s when there was limited access from a concrete hard standing using a hand operated davit plus mud berths for members boats. Today there are first class dry sailing facilities and a modern marina for members’ boats. This has been achieved by the hard work of the members which is the ethos of the Club.
A history of the first 55 years of the CCYC by Diana Cave is available from the Office.