East Preston Dinghy club left homeless after contract is terminated

ks16000587-1 LG Open Dinghy Club  phot kate

George Schlich, Commodore of the Open Dinghy Club in East Preston, hoping the club can find a new home.ks16000587-1 SUS-160425-171938008
ks16000587-1 LG Open Dinghy Club phot kate George Schlich, Commodore of the Open Dinghy Club in East Preston, hoping the club can find a new home.ks16000587-1 SUS-160425-171938008

It has been a familiar sight on East Preston’s shoreline for more than four decades.

But now members of the Open Dinghy Club in East Preston are searching for a new home after their lease was terminated.

The club was based opposite the Coastal Caravan Park in Sea Road, East Preston, for 40 years, but the landowners have decided to use the site for other ventures.

Zoe Steel from East Preston is one of the landowners. She said: “We have been associated with them for a long time, but it was purely a business decision.

“We hope they will find somewhere else to stay.”

George Schlich, commodore of the dinghy club, said: “We have families in the village who have loved sailing over three generations. We simply must find a new site so the sailing can continue.”

Four months ago, members of the club found out their contract wouldn’t be renewed at the end of the year.

Since then they have been working with East Preston Parish Council to find a new home.

A spokesperson from the council said: “It would be a loss to East Preston if the Open Dinghy Club was to cease being based in the village.

“Over the past 40 years, the club has built up a much-appreciated sporting facility unavailable elsewhere in the village. The council is working closely with the club as it considers new locations and is helping where it can.

“The council has made Arun District Council aware of the situation in the hope it may be able to help too.”

Until now, the club has hosted sailing every weekend in the summer, with races and annual competitions, and helped to train new sailors.

Safety boats run by the club also deal with incidents involving all public users of the beach.

If you have any suggestions for a new site, contact the club via its website, opendinghy.co.uk.

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