It is difficult to ascertain exactly when model yacht sailing in Southwold began. There are records in the Minutes of Southwold Town Council of 1892, which refer to the pond in Ferry Road, known as ‘Califomia’. A photograph exists of a regatta on this pond held in 1904. The new pier to the north of the town was officially opened in 1900, so possibly the pond nearby followed as part of the recreational development of the area. Certainly regattas were taking place at this location some ten years later.
In the early days, the offshore fishermen, whose huts lined the foreshore, were model yacht builders. These and other local men became talented craftsmen and did much to enhance the performance of model yacht sailing. Some of these early boats may still be seen.
With the exception of the periods covered by two World Wars, regattas have been held each summer throughout the last century. Further details may be found in David Collett’s Recollections of Model Yacht Sailing at Southwold, published in 1989.