Marathon History

A long time ago, when dinghies had just been invented, the Secretary of the club owned White Cross Bay, and his wife sailed a GP. Adopting Fireflies and GPs had attracted a number of local people to join the club.

They enjoyed sailing their dinghies so much that one day in the 1950’s they decided to invite dinghy sailors from other clubs to join them for a day’s sailing on the lake. They raced all morning, and went ashore at White Cross Bay, where the Secretary had built a large café in his
caravan park.

After lunch they raced again and went ashore for tea at Waterhead, where the Secretary owned Polly’s Café next to the steamer pier. After tea they raced back to the club. Everybody enjoyed the day so much they decided to make it an annual event, to be held in September after the racing season had finished. As they had sailed all the way to the head of the lake and back, someone described it as a ‘Marathon’, and the name stuck.

The event became a 3-race open meeting and attracted sailors from all over the north west. Its popularity continued through the 1960’s into the 70’s. Eventually White Cross Bay was sold, and the club was invited to use the harbour at Brathay instead.

The popularity of the event as an open meeting declined, and the club decided to continue it as a fun day, not just for dinghies, but for all members in their yachts, dinghies, steam boats and motor launches.