What are the attractions of having a DB at Oldbury on Severn?
Despite its proximity to open water the Oldbury Pill (creek to the uninitiated) provides sheltered moorings with a floating jetty to provide access by tender to the moored DB over 5 hours of tide. There is a large concrete slip which allows dry sailing for almost as long but is certainly one of the steeper ones!
Regular handicap racing is available from April to December. With a reasonable breeze and an Officer of the Day with nouse the racing fleets (fast and slow handicap) can experience splendid windward legs with absolutely clear wind. Four or five long distance races over the Spring and Summer seasons give variety to going round the cans.
The DB really excels in a cruising role with its, basic stability, roominess, carrying capcity and ability to cope with extreme conditions.
Given the right forecast wind and tidal conditions it is possible to embark on a day long cruise going downstream with the first of the ebb and returning on the next flood.
This way it is possible to reach Flatholm which is on a line between between Weston s Mare and Cardiff covering over 60 nm over the ground in doing so.
Cruising over the top of one tide by setting off upstream opens up a variety of interesting
and attractive destinations. You can get an idea of the variety here
What the Club has to offer
As mentioned above regular weekend series for fast handicap and slow handicap run from April to December as the tides permit. The round the cans racing is varied with half a dozen long distance races. Midweek evening racing takes place fortnightly during the Summer.
Heavier dinghies including the DB can be kept on a club dinghy trot with access from a floating jetty. Alternatively DB can be dry-sailed form the dinghy compound.
TSC is an RYA accredited training establishment and runs beginner and intermediate level courses in the Spring and early Summer. And the two safety ribs are manned for every race by volunteers who receive the necessary training.
With well over 200 members Thornbury Sailing Club (TSC) has no paid staff being run entirely by the members who are encouraged to volunteer for duties during the sailing year. A benefit of this is that TSC membership and boat fees are well below that of most South Coast clubs.
The club has a well equipped galley and bar for the upstairs clubroom which is used for a large variety of social functions and talks in addition to regular monthly general meetings
History of the DB in the Club and how members have contributed to the success of the Class
Thornbury Sailing Club sailing out of Oldbury Pill adopted the DB as its ‘intermediate’ class in 1950 if the only history of the club is correct. The Yachting World plans for the boat were published in 1949 and there certainly were a number a of early DB in the club during the early 50’s. The Association handbook for 1958 records 11 DB registered to Thornbury SC members.
Club DB numbers increased steadily during the 60’s and were given a further boost when Cliff Russell, a club member, launched Golden Arrow Mouldings to produce the smooth grp hulls in 1967. By 1973 there were 27 DB in the Club. The club history records a maximum of 40 in the late 70’s.
The attractions of modern lightweight / high speed designs of dinghy began a decline in numbers to 24 in 1982. Although club member Barry Leat implemented the production of grp clinker hulls in 1980 during his time as chair of the the YWDB Association and bought one himself, only two others were brought into the club in the next two decades.
By 2020 the decline in boat numbers has been reversed and in 2020 there were ten DB on the club list with 6 or 7 potentially active though Covid-19 made things difficult.