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Club History

History of SFSC

In the Autumn of 1949 with the coming of winter and the holiday trade stopping for the year three residents of Potter Heighams’s bank wondered what to do over the winter and decided to set up a winter sailing club. Their club was later to become known as Snowflake Sailing Club. Eric Smith was made the first commodore, as he was the oldest, his wife Norma was made the “member” as she was the prettiest and Jolyon Byerely was the “Hon. sec.” as he was the only one left.

They decided to put an advertisement in the “Yachts, Boats and Moorings” section of the Eastern Daily Press saying a winter club had been formed at Potter Heigham. They gained three replies and the number of members reached six. Their first race was on a windy day in early December. It blew so hard that out of the three starters, Jol capsized, Eric split his jib and Alec Simpon developed Lumbago.

After that meeting a group of new members joined. They cycled from Gt.Yarmouth to sail their little dinghy “Tremor”, and “Pop” Hick brought a sailing cruiser to add to the fun. The third meeting saw Major Byerley take over the line. He did this for three winters and the club owes a lot to him in those early days.

The 1950-1951 season saw the club find its feet with the Horse Fen Mill as its clubhouse and the Horning Firefly contingent, headed by George Southgate join the club.

To enliven the proceedings a pursuit race was added and it was called “Chinese” by the Major. It became very popular and the name has stuck.

The membership was now thirty plus and was increasing with amazing speed. The club had a “happy” reputation tempting many “summer only sailors”. With the 1952-1953 season came Jill Lane as “Hon. sec” and a host of National 12 people from Wroxham Broad everyone joined in the Snowflakes spirit. In the 1954 one of the keenest racing fleets was thoroughly enjoying its Sunday racing.

The club moved to Thurne before in 1955 accepting Horning Sailing Club’s invitation to sail at Horning. This move marked the beginning of a remarkable period of expansion that spanned an impressive 68 years. We are deeply grateful for the warm support we received during our time at Horning, which undoubtedly played a crucial role in shaping the rich history and cherished memories of the club.

In 2023, the club embarked on yet another exciting chapter as we made the decision to move to the base of Norfolk Broads Yacht Club, nestled beautifully on the picturesque Wroxham Broad.

The club has gone from strength to strength with many members enjoying their Sunday winter racing. As one member of the club was asked several years ago “are you one of the famous Snowflakes!”

The left-hand picture is of Nationals and Fireflies at SFSC in about 1955 and the picture on the right is a Norfolk and pre-war International 12 at SFSC in about 1955.