Queen Mary

Jim Saltonstall looks at the home of the Bloody Mary and a top inland race track
Queen Mary Sailing Club has long been one of the most popular inland venues in Great Britain, famous for its winter pursuit race, the Bloody Mary, as well as hosting numerous major dinghy and small keelboat events. The club is situated alongside the A308 in Ashford, Surrey, between both the M3 and the M25, so it is easy to locate and access. The clubhouse offers a spacious upper lounge and bar area, with excellent catering facilities and a grandstand view of the sailing area. The changing rooms are large and adequate, with good hot showers if required. Launching facilities are not too bad, there are various ramps down to the water - but they are fairly steep. So take care whilst launching and recovering, more hands make light work, especially when the tide is out! The club also has two mechanical ramps for launching and recovering small keelboats, these are perfect for the job, enabling the club to host small keelboat events. Car parking is not a problem with a large car park on the lower level - this must be used, since parking is not allowed on the upper level. Once you have unloaded your ship and kit, you must remove your car to the ground floor so as not to create the grid lock scenario! The club itself is run by a professional team, and they do an excellent job in a very friendly atmosphere. We have always been well looked after at the club, with great hospitality from the members. The club has a wealth of talent on the race management side of operations, running big events with great efficiency, and you can always look forward to some good racing with good courses. Local accommodation is spread over quite a large area, mainly in the northern sector away