Hoylake Sailing Club


It was in 1899 that the decision was first made to adopt a new class of boat for Hoylake Sailing Club.  The gaff rigged, 16 foot clinker boats were developed from a design by Captain Winchester, a club member, and built by Alex Latta, also a club member and owner of a busy boat building yard.  ‘Opera’ class racing commenced at Hoylake in June 1902.  The fleet grew quickly to 17 and has raced regularly since then.  In 1909 ‘Orchid’ sailed from Hoylake to Ardrossan and on to Ballycastle in Northern Ireland.  14 boats of the ‘Opera’ class remain today in Hoylake with another ‘La Poupee’ on display in the Merseyside Maritime Museum.  The class has therefore stood the test of time although some boats have been inevitably been lost over intervening years.  John Hale, Owner of ‘Country Girl’ comments “They need a great deal of care and attention but thanks to enthusiastic owners, remain in good condition.”

Opera Class History


1: Fidelio

2: Aida

4: Valkyrie

5: Country Girl

6: La Poupee

7: Princess Ida

8: Geisha

9: Carmen

10: Orchid

11: La Boheme

12: Betty

13: La Tosca

14: Silvana

16: Iolanthe

17: La Gioconda