Weymouth Bay

Jim Saltonstall looks at Weymouth Bay - sailing's Olympic field of dreams
One of the best racing venues in Great Britain today, Weymouth offers superb conditions for all types of racing machine. Central to the south coast of England, it attracts many classes of dinghy for their national championships, as well as other important events - like Olympic selection trials. Recently Weymouth was nominated as one of the nine national sailing academies, with a view to it being the preferred site for the Olympic yachting regatta - if the games come to Great Britain in 2012. During April 2000, the new centre was opened in time for the British Olympic trials. It is based at the old Royal Naval helicopter base in Portland, and now offers good shore side facilities that will be constantly improved. There are sheds large enough to take the majority of dinghies and small yachts with their rigs left up, safe over-night storage and a dry area to work on the boats during the rainy season! The clubhouse offers a bar and excellent ferret fodder, good changing rooms and showers, and superb hospitality offered by both Phil and Sandra Gollop, who manage the site. Launching facilities are excellent, with two wide concrete ramps into the harbour, accessible at all states of the tide. There is also plenty of car parking space, on site, next to the boat park and clubhouse. Accommodation in the area is plentiful, either in Portland itself, or in Weymouth. Book early for the summer months though, as it is very popular, being steeped in both character and history. On Portland Bill, there is an excellent youth hostel that’s good value for money. There are numerous excellent pubs and restaurants in both Portland and Weymouth, many of them frequented by the majority of sailors. Phil and Sandra will also advise you where to acquire the best