WINDERMERE MOTOR BOAT RACING CLUB
Windermere has always been synonymous with speed on water, since the end of the 19th century, when races were held between high-speed steam launches. So it was only natural that as the new petrol engines began to appear, they should be employed by several local sporting gentlemen to power their boats to even higher speeds.
Motorboat racing on Windermere had been taking place informally for several years, when in 1923, the Ambleside Water Carnival held the first organised races for Motor Boats and Hydroplanes. With the success of these races the previous year, entries for 1924 were up to 34 craft, which raced for several new trophies, many of which were subsequently presented to the club and are still competed for today.
It was a small number of these friends, who in 1925, met for the explicit purpose of forming a motorboat-racing club. By 1927 the members had financed and built a new clubhouse and pier on land in Parsonage Bay and the club was in business.
In the early days, boats raced were substantial inboards with some single step Hydroplanes, with the fastest achieving perhaps 35mph. Yet within a few years, Betty Carstairs carrying the club colours, had prepared a boat designed to achieve128mph, to challenge for the Harmsworth Trophy in the USA. Members have from the earliest years, involved themselves with waterspeed records, so that today one can look back at an impressive list of names such as, Sir Henry Segrave, Sir Malcolm Campbell, Donald Campbell, John Cobb and Norman Buckley, all with close links to the WMBRC.
In 1951 WMBRC acquired the famous Broad Leys house a Grade 1 listed building as their headquarters. Races took place from its foreshore from that date until the LDNPA imposed a speed limit of 10mph on the Lake in 2005. This meant that racing moved entirely into Barrow docks until in 2013 an exemption from the Lake District National Park Authority was granted to bring some of our key race days back to our home water Windermere.
The Club continues a full racing programme in Barrow Docks and Windermere with several of our club members racing in National & World series..
- Earl Howe – Lord Wakefield of Hythe
- Sir Henry Segrave – WG Dixon
- RB Stephens – EH Pattinson
- AB Peck – Donald Campbell
- EJ Whitehead – HB Wakefield
- RG Hornby – A Roby Jones
- I Wood – Sir John Fisher
- His Honour Judge R Lambert – AA Brown
- GE Lewthwaite – TH Weir
- SR Boots – E Ashworth
- V Humpage – RG Brown
- RM Solomon – PM White – SS Lewis