To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Commissioning of Hayling Island SC for COPP HQ a White Ensign was raised at HISC on Saturday 4th February 2023.
A week after the 1939 HISC Regatta, 26 August, following the invasion of Poland by Germany. France and Britain declared war on Germany, beginning World War II.
All racing at HISC ceased, the club building was requsitioned and all dinghies removed from the site.
Hayling Island Sailing Club was an ideal base for the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties (COPP) as it was close to naval bases in Portsmouth and was fairly secluded with only one way on and off the island!
HISC was officially commissioned as COPP HQ on 4th February 1943.
Small teams of sailors and soldiers trained as frogmen and canoeists for covert beach reconnaissance and other essential clandestine operations prior to the Allied landings on enemy occupied territory.
The sailing club had an assault course built for training during its time as COPP HQ, and Hayling Island even hosted a Normandy D-Day Training event.
Following derequisition, the Club restarted peacetime activities with members bringing their boats back and the first Regatta held on Saturday 10th August 1946.
One of the first classes to hold their National Championship at the Club after the war was the Merlin Class in July 1946 . . . Won by Jack Holt and Beecher Moore.
More information about the history of Hayling Island SC and the COPP can be found on the COPP Survey website.