Sailing - How It All Began
Albeit an item regarding the start of our national dinghy event appeared in the 2008 PSUK Dinghy Sailing programme, found in the 1987 programme was an article on "PAA Sailing - How It All Began". If you are interested in a brief history of how our national dinghy event started, this item may suffice..
PAA Sailing - How It All Began
In 1974, following upon the success of two national events organised by the Metropolitan Police, a Provisional Sailing Sectional Committee was appointed to draw up rules and arrange a National Sailing Competition for 1975 under the auspices of the P.A.A. The National Competition was arranged at Hayling Island on 11th/12th June, 1975 by the Hampshire Constabulary. Three members of that Committee still serving on the Committee are Supt. A. Kirton, Surrey, Supt. C. Lewis, Hampshire and D/Sgt. A. Gimes, Kent.
The 1975 Competition attracted 68 entries and the winner of this and many subsequent Nationals was Chief Insp. D. Glenn from the Met in his Albacore. He has subsequently been National Champion on five occasions before retiring as a serving member, a record which will be hard to beat. Chief Insp. S. Clough from West Yorks. was second in an Enterprise and Dc. C. Cooper, West Midlands, was third in a Merlin Rocket. Thus there was good nationwide representation in a variety of class dinghies.
As a result, sailing was approved by the Council as a P.A.A. activity and Northumbria elected to organise the event as a National Championship at Sunderland in 1976. That is how Sir Stanley Bailey, Chief Constable of Northumbria, came to present the premier trophy, The Sunderland Trophy -a magnificent silver trophy depicting a dinghy. Mention should also be made of the organiser of that event, Insp. M. Dodds, who tragically had a heart attack whilst sailing in 1980 - appropriately a trophy awarded to the highest placed new arrival to P.A.A. sailing now commemorates his contribution to police sailing.
Kent organised the Second National Championships and ever since then the venue has alternated north and south each year. The Nationals have always attracted a wide variety of dinghies — even a Flying Fifteen which caused the Committee to examine the rules! In recent years the Laser has become the most popular class, probably because it is a single hander. Whatever the class or ability there is no doubt that sailing is now a firmly established P.A.A. sport, enabling keen and enjoyable competition afloat for serving police officers.
(Item extracted from the 1987 PAA National Sailing Championships programme)