This film is part of Free

Compass Trophy Race 1968

As the crew members of four small sailing boats battle against the wind and against each other on the River Ouse, the race judge awaits the victor, bell in hand.

Non-Fiction 1968 7 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


This is a film of the York Railway Institute Sailing Club Compass Trophy Race of 1968, taking place on the River Ouse near Bishopthorpe. A clock marks the time, the crews line up and a female member rings the bell for the four boats to set off on their round trip, with yellow sail 131 apparently coming in last.

It is believed the film was taken by Sheila Korczack, wife of possible race participant Leonard Korczak, and preserved by York Railway Institute member Peter Monahan. It isn’t known for sure, but the race may be related to the Watkins Trophy, which was a competition supported by British Rail between the three British Transport Yacht Clubs in the country: Saddington, near Leicester, Welsh Harp, near the North Circular in London, and York taking it in turns to host it. Leonard, a wartime member of the Free Polish Paras, started the BR sailing club in Leicester. The York Railway Institute was established in 1889 and is still going running a host of sport and leisure clubs. Neither of the trophies any longer exist.