Orford Sailing Club Orford Sailing Club

About Orford Sailing Club

Orford Sailing Club is a friendly open club for sailors of all abilities, with a membership of about 500. We are based on the Suffolk Coast, in the picturesque village of Orford within sight of the famous medieval castle. The club offers good facilities and an active dinghy and cruiser sailing programme.

The local waters are the attractive tidal Alde/Ore estuary, and most sailing takes place there, with some sea races for added spice. Membership is made up of all ages with a strong junior presence and many families. The club is run for its members by its members and during the busy summer season of racing, members participate in a variety of roles from Officer of the Day through Rescue Crew to making the teas.


The club is situated on the foreshore of the River Ore close to Orford Quay. The River Ore-Alde is a tidal estuary providing over 15 miles of sheltered sailing water, and it is accessible at Orford in all states of the tide. It is possible to sail up the Alde past Aldeburgh (5 miles by river, 12 miles by road) as far as Snape Maltings (a further 5 miles by river beyond Aldeburgh). Down river, the Ore runs parallel to the coast for 5 miles, passing both sides of Havergate Island (the bird sanctuary) entering the North Sea at Shingle Street. Butley River with its oyster beds leads off the Ore inland.

What We’re About

It is a family-oriented, friendly club which conducts its business with a minimum of formality. Most of the work of running it is done by its members. Tasks such as helping with the maintenance of the Clubhouse and dinghy park, administration of races, manning the rescue boat and catering for race day teas and club parties are carried out by members on a rota basis. Training for rescue boat manning and race officer duties is provided. Great emphasis is placed upon safety and seamanship and the Club is a RYA Training Centre, running regular dinghy and powerboat courses.

Types of Activity

The Club’s activities centre around weekend racing from May to mid-November, with mid-week racing in July and August. The main racing dinghies are Wayfarers, Mirrors and Fevas, plus general handicap and fast handicap classes. Youth racing, in Fevas and Toppers, takes place during the summer holidays. There are also sea races and cruises in company, and occasional races for 10 Footers, Dayboats and Cruisers.