Members Area

Skiing

 

Club History

The Club was founded in 1975 shortly after the Essex County Council had compulsorily purchased land to develop the existing village of South Woodham Ferrers into the riverside town you see today.
In 1975 there was considerable pressure on the then new Crouch Harbour Authority to ban water skiing on the Rriver Crouch.  A number of the skiers who, led by our president Trefor Oldfield-Hodge, had been using the river for many years. They banded together to form a club with the backing of the then known British Water Ski Federation (BWSF), rebranded to Bristish Waterski & Wakeboard in 2009.  This enabled them to negotiate with the Couch Harbour Authority and the result was the Woodham Ferrers Power Boat and Ski Club being established. In 1982 The Clubs' name was changed to Woodham Ferrers Water Ski Club.
Use of an old commercial boatyard compulsorily purchased by the Essex County Council, was obtained in conjunction with the South Woodham Ferrers Yacht Club which had formed at the same time.
Facilities were rather crude back then, comprising of a cold water shower in an old rusting Nissen hut, a mud ramp, by 1985 we had the luxury of a Portacabin and Portaloo.  The concrete launch ramp was constructed in 1984 and believe it or not, the slab of concrete originally cost just over £7,500 to lay, what a bargain!
After some years of negotiations, a 28 year lease was granted to the Ski and Yatch clubs by the County Council and made it clear that any development of the site was to be on a joint basis.  Eventually in 1988 the building of the clubhouse was started with the aid of grants and loans from the Sports Council, Chelmsford Borough Council, and the South Woodham Ferrers Town Council.  Originally costing £85,000 with both clubs contributing £55,000 between them.
The new building was opened in July 1989 we now have the pleasure of toilets, showers, changing rooms, workshops and a kitchen area which are all located on the ground floor. On the upper floor there is a lounge and bar area with another kitchen.  The upper floor also includes a wooden veranda/deck which overlooks the sea wall giving a pleasant outlook over the River. 
By 1994 all the original loans were repaid and both clubs now own the clubhouse.  Some improvements were made around 1994 and these included heating, floor tiling, improved lighting and a completely new ladies toilet and shower facility.
Our club was for some years the largest club affiliated to the British Water Ski Federation and in 1998 we had close to 350 members and 91 boats. In 2010 we once again gained the status of the largest members club belonging to BWSW.
The Club recognises its responsibilities for conservation and the environment and our management committee has a specific responsibility for encouraging activities in these areas.  In 1991 the Club made a donation of £600 to the Essex Wildlife Trust towards the purchase of land in the estuary for a nature reserve.
In order to further its work in this area the Club became a Corporate Member of the Essex Wildlife Trust during 1993.  This has helped establish contacts and has helped to raise awareness about these important matters with members of the Club.  1997 was our fifth year as an Essex Wildlife Trust Corporate Member and was marked by a special presentation. 2010 has seen us into our 18th year of being a corporate member.