Sailing club looks to Olympics

A SUFFOLK sailing club has launched a fundraising effort to push itself forward as a possible base for 2012 Olympic competitors.Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club hopes to raise £180,000 in a bid to attract world-ranked competitors taking part in the London games.

A SUFFOLK sailing club has launched a fundraising effort to push itself forward as a possible base for 2012 Olympic competitors.

Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club hopes to raise £180,000 in a bid to attract world-ranked competitors taking part in the London games.

The club hopes the investment will tempt sailors to train in east coast waters, while using it as a base.

Gina Cooper, of the club, said: “It's always a possibility that we could attract Olympics competitors.


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“I would imagine a certain amount will go down to the south coast but we do attract a lot of international sailors to this area. The sailing waters off the east coast are very different to the south coast.

“I would imagine all the sports clubs in the area will have one eye on the Olympics with the hope of attracting competitors to practise at their facilities.

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“We're now starting to get ours up to scratch so we can make ourselves as attractive as possible.”

As well as providing extra storage for boats, the club hopes the money will help pay for the expensive running of rescue boats needed to host major competitions.

Improving safety and offering the most up-to-date training methods are other aims of the investment, the majority of which is likely to be funded by members.

Mrs Cooper said the club hopes to reach its target within the next two years.

She said: “The major part of the expenditure is the improving the facilities for dinghy sailors.

“We're very limited in terms of space so we have to take advantage of every inch we can.”

The club, based at the mouth of the River Deben, attracts thousands of visitors every weekend during the sailing season.

During its 80-year history, it has helped many sailors learn the sport and go on to compete at the highest level.

Last year it hosted the Firefly National Championships, an event which attracted international stars of the sport.

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