About Us

The Club is a small, friendly, sailing club located between Rotherham and Sheffield catering for both racing and casual sailing.   Families are especially welcome and the emphasis is on enjoyment and not just out and out racing.

For Novices or Beginners or for those with a just a casual interest in dinghy sailing, our club has several RYA registered Training Instructors with a commitment to training both adults and young members.  The Instructors can be on hand to help get you started and training sessions can be arranged covering the various aspects of dinghy sailing.  Saturdays are usually devoted to casual sailing, with coaching or training sessions available on request. 

For Racers sailing takes place on Sundays and also on Wednesday evenings from spring to autumn.  The racing normally consists of a handicap fleet with a couple of class events thrown in for good competitive measure.  The Enterprise, Laser, Comet, Lightning 368 and Streaker dinghy classes are well represented at the club and there are several club boats available for hire by club members.

The sailing calendar is vast and varied, and normally includes social events.  Ulley Sailing Club is active throughout the year with the main sailing season starting on the first weekend in April and continuing until the end of October.  The normal weekly sailing programme consists of casual sailing and training each Saturday, three races each Sunday and one or two races each Wednesday evening. 

A sailing series – known as “The Frostbite” – is organised each Sunday during November and December for the hardy.

How To Find Us – Located in attractive surroundings at Ulley Country Park  just outside Rotherham and close to junctions 31 and 33 on the M1.

In Ulley Country Park there are beautiful walks, plenty of wildlife and good fishing, as well as excellent sailing opportunities.

If you’ve thought about sailing but never quite got round to it, come and see us.  You will always find someone willing to chat and tell you all about the club and how to get started.  

Ulley is very proud that one of its members is Paul Goodison MBE – the 2008 Olympic champion in the Laser dinghy class.  When Paul is not busy competing around the world he still visits the club.

A Brief Early History of Ulley Sailing Club

Rotherham Borough Council initiated the possibility of the formation of a sailing club in the Rotherham area in response to a nationwide initiative to promote water-sports on suitable areas of under-utilised water.  Although Ulley reservoir is only a little over 20 acres, it was thought that this would be suitable, situated as it is, only a couple of miles outside the town of Rotherham with easy access to the main population areas and on a bus route.

In 1971 applications were invited for membership of the proposed sailing club by Rotherham Council and by December a total of 120 applications were received.  It was decided to limit the number to 60 applicants to be drawn out of the hat!  These lucky few were then offered the opportunity to take up membership.  Nomination forms for the election of a sailing committee were made available on request from the Waterworks Manager.

An Inaugural Meeting took place on Thursday 6th of January 1972 at which the club was formed.

Rotherham Borough Council provided a new clubhouse, car park and ramp access at a total cost of £35000! Due to the size of the water it was decided to set a maximum 12 ft limit to the length of dinghies used on Ulley.  The boats members used at the time were mainly National 12s, Cherubs, Gulls, Mirrors and a couple of Fireflys.

When the length limit was increased to 14ft, this allowed other popular classes of boat to sail; i.e. Lasers, Enterprises, Streakers etc.  The joining fee was £5, single membership £5 and family membership £7.  These charges have increased somewhat but still represent excellent value for money – check out the latest fees on this website and grab yourself and family a bargain!

The club was officially opened in early May 1972 by Lord Riverdale, himself a keen sailor and boat designer.  He was introduced by Mr Dennis Hatfield, rear commodore of the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club.  Lord Riverdale was most impressed by the club facilities and ”the foresight, initiative and hard work” which had gone into the club.  He went on to say  “one day some youngsters who learned to sail here may be in the Olympic team”.  How prophetic this turned out to be with our own Paul Goodison winning the gold medal in his Laser in the 2008 Olympics.  The first commodore, Mr Bernard Roberts, emphasised the importance of youth sailing and safety which is just as relevant today as it was then.

The Mayor of Rotherham Council, Alderman Stan Crowther said that he was glad the opening ceremony had come in his term of office because Rotherham was very proud of the Ulley project.

The facilities were shared with the Sea Scouts who now had their own water for the first time in 23 years.  Rotherham Schools used the facility on a daily basis teaching children from local schools and adults sailing and water sports.  Classroom tuition was also available in the evenings for courses in navigation and open water sailing.

If you would like to be a part of our history, and more importantly our future, then download the application form and come along.