THERE was a record attendance at Castle Cove Sailing Club’s weekly “Ladies’ Sailing” event, with 37 people out on the water.

It was also a special day with excellent sailing weather and a trip out of Portland Harbour and around the Black Pearl anchored in Weymouth Bay, to take a closer look.

The “Ladies’ Sailing” Group was formed about 25 years ago following a request from three female club members for some sailing instruction without the pressures of partners or children present.

The group was subsequently established and met every Friday morning. It grew slowly, with men accepted as honorary members soon after its inception.

Sara Lloyd helped with tuition at the very start and is still actively involved with the group.

She said: “On several occasions there has been pressure to change the name from ladies’ sailing. But we have resisted this as it is primarily for ladies and the name endorses the ethos of friendly, relaxed sailing”

Over the years the group has developed a notable social dimension by raising significant amounts of money for various charities and with its members volunteering for a range of tasks in the running of the club.

The ladies’ sailing Christmas party is a particular feature of the club’s calendar.