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Remembering Fergus

It is with great sadness that Ardleigh SC has to announce the passing of Fergus O’Sullivan after a long illness he had fought with bravery and courage. Anyone who was lucky enough to spend time with Fergus will also know what a terrible loss his demise is to all of us.

Fergus was a great friend, mentor and mediator. Always there to help someone rig their new boat, others how to improve their sailing, or helping fellow sailors with racing rules and disputes.

He helped out on the committee for many years before becoming Commodore. Fergus was instrumental in Ardleigh SC acquiring our 3 Argo sail training boats via a grant, and helping with sail training over many years. For many years he was also responsible for keeping safety boats and race marks up to standard.

Fergus was an accomplished sailor who competed at Club, Regional and National level, becoming National and Inland champion in the Comet Versa class with his great friend Mick Balaam. Although mainly known for Solo class sailing, he had over the years competed in Larks with his daughter Laura, and Laser 2s, RS400s, LASER 2000s with other crew mates. In recent years he could often be seen sailing his Mirror and Gull dinghies teaching his 2 granddaughters… passing his enthusiasm and the baton on to a new generation.

We will all sorely miss his smiling, cheerful personality, but be thankful that we were privileged to have known him and spent time with him while he was with us.

Our thoughts go out to his family at this very sad time.


My first meeting with Fergus was when I was trying to rig an old Wanderer when he was on his way home and stopped and helped me, I new nothing about mast rake then.

From then on our friendship grew.

We both shared a passion for classic racing cars and spent many enjoyable days together at Silverstone.

I crewed for him in the Versa and the 2000 and realised what an outstanding sailor he was.

Fergus was a man of many talents and interests outside of sailing, motorcycling, wildlife and not forgetting part of the ASC guitar trio that entertained us at Christmas parties.

I looked forward to our Wednesday maintenance work and our chat over a coffee.

Fergus became my advisor, my inspiration, my confidante but most of all my mate.

I will miss him terribly.

Mick Balaam


Anyone who was lucky enough to spend time with Fergus will also know what a terrible loss his demise is for us all.

Ever kind, ever gentle but also ever assured; he exuded a calm air of reassuring confidence in everything and everyone he had dealings with.

An accomplished sailor who competed at both National and Regional level, he was always willing, indeed keen, to help anyone improve their knowledge or technique relating to sailing, and in fact if you allowed him to, quite a few other subjects as well!!

Fergus served for years on the Sailing Club Committee in a variety of roles, including a period as Commodore; he was instrumental in numerous projects ranging from acquiring the Argo’s by way of a Grant to ensuring the Safety boats were maintained, buoys correctly laid… in fact it is hard to think of a facet of Club life that Fergus did not aid or enhance at some stage in one way or another.

We will all sorely miss his smiling, cheerful personality, but as well perhaps just seek in our minds to recall the fact that we were privileged to have spent time with him while he was with us.

Welcome to the Ardleigh Sailing Club website!

We’re a very friendly club near Colchester in Essex and have the use of a pretty reservoir.  We sail and race throughout the year, generally on Sunday mornings, plus Wednesday evenings in the summer. Check the club calendar  for all the details.

Due to recent demand, we have recently introduced Kayak/Windsurf/SUP membership to allow kayakers, windsurfers and paddle-boarders to access the water by joining our club. As we are a members club, we are unable to offer day or temporary membership. Please see our membership page for full details of membership.

We are currently able to welcome ‘able sailors’ but unfortunately are not in a position in 2021 to provide any training to new sailors.  We have club dinghies members can hire from just a few pounds, changing rooms, life jackets and a large club room. Drop us an email to find out more or to arrange a visit on a Sunday morning to take a look around and have a chat in person.

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