THE coming weekend marks a very special event in the 100-year history of Weymouth Sailing Club.

Saturday, July 27 sees the re-introduction of the club’s Bussell Cup. Originally offered by W L Bussell in 1926 it is a silver Challenge Cup for inter-port races and was last contested in 1985. The current holder, Parkstone Yacht Club, has been challenged by Weymouth Sailing Club as part of that club’s Centenary programme. First contested in one design dinghies such as the XOD and Weymouth’s own Falcon (designed by Bussell in 1927), this year it will be competed for in fast and technical Merlin Rocket dinghies. Three boats represent each club.

Starting at midday on Saturday, three races of around 40 minutes’ duration are planned to be held on the ‘Olympic’ Nothe course which can be readily viewed from the seaward bank of the Nothe Gardens. Club spokesman Jez Rees said: “While there may not be the big screens of last year, you’ll be pleased to know that you can watch for free and there may be even someone around to tell you what’s going on.

“WL Bussell is still the name above the door of our friendly local chandlers in Hope Street and WSC are proud to receive sponsorship for the event.”

Bussell was a young sailmaker when the first Weymouth Sailing Club, the Corinthian Sailing Club, was formed at a meeting in the Guildhall in 1882. Becoming a boat builder, with his cutter May, he would triumph in many of the Wednesday afternoon races from the club.

On the dissolution of the Weymouth Corinthian club in 1910, he was involved in setting up the Franklin Sailing Club in 1913, a club which changed its name to Weymouth Sailing Club in 1920.

A prolific competitor in two yachts named Yvette, a Fifi and a dinghy, Sonia, it was Bussell who in 1924 bought the premises of the first clubhouse – the same building that Weymouth Sailing Club still owns.