Bournville Yacht Racing

   Radio Control and Free Sailing yacht Racing

                           A part of the Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club

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The club was founded originally in 1923 at Rowheath Park.

In 1926 George Cadbury obtained an area of marsh land on the now famous Bournville Village Trust. The marshy land was reclaimed and a concrete pool of even depth was constructed by men without jobs, who were  not eligible for unemployment benefit at that time. They also learnt new trades to help with their future well being.

The pool was dug out by hand, and the spoil was carried to an area to the side of the pool to provide a pitch for rugby and football. The odd circular shape of the lake was for the racing of tethered hydro planes, popular during this period. The completed park was known as Valley Parkway and included a boathouse and miniature railway, and in those days it was for the use of Cadbury Bros. employees.

The clubhouse was opened in 1932 and in 2007 members celebrated its 75th. year and were delighted that Jane and Robin Cadbury were able to re-enact its original opening and that Lord Mayor Randal Brew and his wife were present.

Birmingham City Council who now look after the boathouse have re roofed the building and provided us with new toilets. The club is now ready for another 75 years! It owes a great debt of thanks to the City Council and Parks Department for all of their hard work. In recent years the members of the club have undertaken a key role in the maintenance of the grounds around the lake to ensure the facility is kept in good order and can still host major events.

Bournville Model Yacht Club has been active and a driving force in the design and racing of yachts for over 75 years. The an active and extremely competitive membership, this however doesn’t take away from the friendly and helpful attitude of the members, always willing to help new or experienced members when ever requested.

The club has many successes at national level and competes in vane and radio sailing on regular basis at club, national and where possible at European and world championships. The club also has active role within the governing body – MYA UK and Ireland, with current members holding positions such as Secretary to Council, Racing Secretary, Trustees, District Senior Measurer and registrars for the A, 10r, Marblehead, 6m and 36R classes.

We can also boast an amazing history of Key players within our sport being member of our club

John Lewis – A major influence in both model yacht and full size sailing yacht design with a career spanning 81 years!

CW (Bill) Sykes – not only a builder of amazing quality yachts but again an incredibly successful designer in particular his A class designs Syan and Syanco still wining major events some 30 years after there initial launch  

Dennis Lippett – An accomplished skipper, builder and sailmaker with his sails being used across the world during the 60s 70s and 80’s

Don Hardwick – An extremely innovative designer of both hulls and fittings and his application of cutting edge building techniques spurned many of the techniques we use today

Mike Harris – Arguably one of the top vane skipper of all time and still the current World champion. What more can you say!

Chris Harris – Mike’s  son who has taken over from his father winning most national and district events in both vane and radio sailing – with all classes to boot! Chris has many successes at European and World events to his name and is always willing to pass on his incredible knowledge of the art of sailing.

Bryan Jones – Bryan is probably best know as being the best Mate any skipper could wish for being part of two significant teams with Chris Dicks of the Clapham club and Mike Harris – without his commitment this duo would have not been so successful over the years.  This said Bryan is also an extremely competitive skipper

Graham Reeves – A keen skipper particularly in the classic yacht sections now but again a national champion and keen historian of our sport, again promotes the world of vane sailing and has been instrumental in developing a Anglo / American challenge event for 36R yachts which has attracted many top skippers from both side of the pond!

Harold Dovey – An extremely successful skipper &  multiple national champion, sailmaker and keen designer in more recent years possibly better known for his building of high quality glass and carbon fibre hulls

Martin Dovey – A prodigy of John Lewis, designing yachts since he was 9 years old! With many successful and championship winning designs to his name. also a keen builder, sailmaker & skipper winning the coveted Yachting Monthly Cup in 2012, not unlike Bryan Jones spent many years learning his skills by mating skippers from all over the country – at one time earning him the “golden pole” award

Clem Edwards – Best know across the world for his vane gears – indeed engineering masterpieces.

Bill Green, as mentioned earlier a key player in MYA council and an extremely active promoter of Bournville ensuring we get all the help possible from the Birmingham council. Bill again a national champion and keen competitor in both vane and radio sailing.

Vic Bellerson – A competitive skipper with many national championships to his name, builder of boats but best known in the club for his efforts in promoting fair play and camaraderie

Peter Moore – An extremely proficient radio sailor, always willing to help, but always difficult too beat!


I realise this doesn’t cover all our members and apologies to any missed

Club History