The Racing History of WMBRC

Windermere has 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.

Increasing interest in motorboat racing, led to even more informal races being held in-between the official regattas. So it was, that a small group of friends competed against each other ever more regularly, and in 1924, to add interest to the proceedings, Harold Pattinson donated the “E.H. Pattinson October Cup”.

It was a small number of these friends, who in 1925, met for the explicit purpose of forming a motorboat-racing club. They produced a prospective, which proposed, “To provide a pleasant waterside club house, facilities for boats and cars, and the finest stretch of water for motor boat racing in the country”. This invitation for members met with great approval, as over 40 enthusiastic gentlemen joined that first year. In the first year the club held 13 races, with the scratch race, for the MMA Cup, being won by Miss Betty Carstairs in her boat “Nweg”.

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 1927, it was also resolved that ladies be admitted to membership of the club and several ladies soon took up the challenge.

In 1951 WMBRC acquired the famous Broad leys house as their headquarters and raced Powerboats from its foreshore from that date until the LDPB imposed a speed limit of 10mph on the Lake in 2005. Since then the Club has continued a full racing programme in Barrow Docks.



For the latest news and photos. Please visit:


Photo courtesy of
Malcolm Casson Photography