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Wakefield Sailing Club

The 2018 racing programme has been suspended


From 1st April 2018, Wakefield Council have stopped funding all watersports activities at Pugneys Country Park. This has affected all the clubs and individuals who sail or paddle on the lake.

For very many years the Wakefield Sailing Club - and several other clubs and individuals - gained benefit  from the Pugneys-supplied safety boats and RYA qualifield drivers and from the work of other dedicated staff at the lake. For the most part, these staff are no longer present on site and have found work elswhere.

Wakefield Council are reported to be in talks with third parties interested in taking over day-to-day management of the lake but as of 25th April we do not know who may take over, when this might happen, or what their plans are for watersports on the lake.

Because of this uncertainty, most members of the WSC have gone to other sailing clubs in the area, most notably the West Riding Sailing Club at Wintersett resovoir :

Sailing may resume at Pugneys but the date is uncertain.  It does not seem likely during the summer 2018 sailing season.

Richard Taylor, WSC Commodore. (Tel evenings: 01274-872709)


Club location

The Wakefield Sailing Club (WSC) is an independent dinghy sailing club located at Pugneys Country Park, Denby Dale Road (A636) in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF2 7EQ, located between Junction 39 of the M1 motorway and Wakefield town.  Pugney's one-hundred acre lake - overlooked by the ruins of Sandal castle - is the largest lake for dinghy sailing in West Yorkshire. The country park is a multi-activity centre is run by Wakefield Council that hosts windsurfing, canoeing, sailing and other water sports.  Pugneys is a certified Royal Yachting Association (RYA) water sports training center.

The centre has a variety of boats for hire, good launching slips and jetties, modern changing rooms with showers and lockers, a cafe serving hot & cold drinks, snacks, soups and meals, a large car park and a secure all-year dinghy park in which WSC member's boats can be stored.

Pugney's Sport England sport centre
The Pugneys Country Park building hosting the reception desk, cafe and changing rooms.


Dinghy sailing

The WSC has an active year-round dinghy racing programme.  Boats owned by our members include Laser, Enterprise, Wayfarer, Omega and Laser Magno. Traditional boats include a Lune Pilot and two Tideways.  Club boats for use by members include a Wayfarer, a Topper and a Laser.  The WSC uses the RYA dinghy handicap system so that different classes of boats can race against each other on an equal competitive footing.

The WSC happily shares the lake with other water sports users, such as those using windsurfer boards, kayaks, canoes, sailing trainees on RYA courses as well as independent boat owners who bring their boats for the day. Because of it’s large size we have a permanent set of numbered marker buoys laid out over the whole lake that we use for our races.  However, on days with many water sports users on the water, we my only use 2/3 of the lake.



Although we do not run any formal training ourselves, Pugneys are renowned throughout the area for their many and varied RYA courses that run throughout the year.


It has been said that if you don't capsize your dinghy occasionally you aren't really trying hard enough.  Members occasionally go for an unanticipated swim, so we take safety very seriously. The whole of the lake is monitored by Pugneys fully-equipped safety boats manned by experienced crews. We insist that lifejackets/buoyancy aids must be worn at all times when on or near to the water and wet or dry suits are mandatory for the winter sailing series. However, dinghy sailing is a very safe sport, and all boats are required to pass a mandatory safety and buoyancy test at the beginning of each season.

How do I start?

Come and see us on racing days and chat to our members who are happy to offer help and advice.

Updated:  19th March  2017 / RT
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