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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

Dart 18 GP7 Sold Out!

Dart 18 GP7 at Whitstable Yacht Club on 1st and 2nd October is now SOLD OUT! We have reached our maximum capacity of 40 boats.

Chairs - Free to a good home!

WYC Chairs - free to a good homeDo you need some chairs? Want to own a bit of club history? Fond memories of Committee Meetings? Then contact the club office or Wendy Fitzpatrick! We have 8 padded, semi-stacking, meeting room chairs that need to go as soon as possible to free up some space. A little worn, but in good repair.

The Magnificent Seven – Wanderer Cruise to Conyer on Sunday 18th September


Saturday’s gales had meant a day’s postponement but we were blessed with perfect conditions for Sunday’s cruise to Conyer. The Swale sail had been advertised to the Wanderer Class Association and two visiting boats joined the hard core WYC Wanderers, making seven who set off about 11.00 on a flooding tide with favourable winds towards the mouth of the Swale, Gavin Barr and Mark Skipper leading the fleet.
Making steady passage and mindful of the many oyster beds, obstructions and wrecks of the Pollard Spit we beat offshore until assembling for a broad reach to sail up the Swale channel. Avoiding the shallows of Horse Sands, we resisted the temptation of The Shipwrights at Hollow Shore and continued towards Conyer Creek, past Fowley Island and into the marked channel. Seals were spotted and there were seabirds flocking around the island. Only the sound of the sea, the birds and nature all bathed in that wonderful autumn light.

Until.........
Cruising like this always raises the question of whether or not to bring outboard engines – there are obvious pros and cons. The two people stuck on a speed boat initially with its engine stuck in astern, then becoming a very dead engine, must have been mightily relieved that we’d plumped for taking outboards as the fleet circled and made a rescue plan. Ian started the tow before Richard downed sails and took over, delivering the stranded pair and their noisome craft safely to Swale Marina. Having – as we were later told - also raised the alarm with the Coastguard, our rescued speedboat friend forgot to cancel his emergency. The staff and guests at Swale Marina were soon joined by Whitstable RNLI inshore lifeboat, who were less-than-pleased that their search was in vain.
By this stage other Wanderer crews had gathered to enjoy their packed lunches and most wonderful cake produced by Kate in the pretty surroundings of Swale Marina. By now, the wind had decreased but with some spinnakers flying we were greeted by Allan and Laura on the WYC RIB. A couple of boats touched ground on the Horse Sands opposite Faversham Creek, where they were entertained by feeding time for a pod of grey seals.

All enjoyed a pleasant, if slightly slower than ideal, passage home. Returning to the beach after a fine day of Bart’s Bash sailing, the Wanderers felt that we had put up a good effort for the wider sailing community. With a falling tide, the efforts of Mick and Ian using the dumper to drag boats up the beach were much appreciated.
Probably the last Wanderer cruise of this year but another great success and a perfect way to spend a warm autumn Sunday.

Report by Jo Phillips and Wanderer visitor Tim Last, photos by Laura Carney and Kate Ahern.

Dart 18 Open - Safety Boat crews needed!

It's the Dart 18 Open at Whitstable Yacht Club in just over 2 weeks time, and we need some volunteers for crewing the Safety Boats. This is a great opportunity to see these exciting catamarans racing up close, and as we're expecting up to 40 boats to take part, it will be quite the show! If you're interested, you'll be needed from ~11.30am to 5pm on Saturday 1st, and/or from ~9.30am to 4pm on Sunday 2nd October. If you can help, please contact Robert Govier on 07733260879 or rear.comm.sailing@wyc.org.uk

KSSA Regatta 2016 Report

WYC KSSA Regatta 2016WYC KSSA Regatta 2016 Last Saturday (10th September), Whitstable Yacht Club hosted the Kent Schools Sailing Association Regatta. The windy conditions ranging around force 4 made it a challenging yet great experience! The number of cadets from around Kent who came to our club made the sea front bustle with excitement. KSSA arranged four races, the fourth of which was cancelled due to the high wind strength. When we returned to shore, the KSSA organisation and the food provided by Cadet committee was excellent.
Our cadets achieved some impressive results, taking three of the prizes:
Max Sellar - Laser - Royal Temple YC trophy, 1st overall and 1st singlehanded.
Alexander Wilson and Madeleine Byran - WYC RS Feva - Cranbrook trophy for 1st school or club owned boat.
Emily Blaxhill - Topaz - Prelude Plaque for first sailor in the competition of entrants sailing in the Regatta for the first time.
Altogether ten WYC cadet sailors sailing nine boats were placed in the finishing order of 26 boats. All sailed well, raced well and showed great spirit and determination in the strengthening wind. The full results can be seen at kssa.co.uk/91Results/old_results/2016/KssaRegatta2016.htm.
I personally learnt a lot from the day and would recommend more cadets from Whitstable try the regatta next year.
Report by WYC Cadet Emily Blaxill, Photos by Nick Champion of Champion Marine Photography.
WYC KSSA Regatta 2016 WYC KSSA Regatta 2016

Reminder Mid-Season Ball

Be quick and book your place at the Ball, if you wait you may be disappointed as space is limited.
Whitstable Yacht Club is proud to present the Grand Mid-Season Ball on Saturday 24th September 2016. All adults are welcome, so why not get a group of friends together and come down to the club to have a great social evening. Supper is included, and there will be music & dancing courtesy of Whitstable favourite Squeeze Gut Alley. Tickets are available from behind the bar at £17.50, and don't forget to dress in your Black Tie or Best

WYC Bake Off!


Thank you for all the delicious cakes entered for the WYC Cadet Bake Off on Saturday. After a lot of cake and deliberation by our guest judges Cllr Tom Gates and Marion Gates, the winners were -
Parent category, Rachel Watson for her scrumptious Courgette, Lemon & Poppy Seed Cake.
Cadet category, William & Madeline Olivier for their fabulous very light cupcakes adorned with sea butter icing and wonderful sails.
There were no soggy bottoms in the tea bar at at least!! Thank you again for your contributions which were sold to raise funds for the Cadet sailing!

Forts Race 2016 Report


The Forts Race was sailed on Saturday 3rd September, and once again produced proved why it's the UK's premier catamaran long distance race, with top national helms showing up to prove themselves and their boats over the course around the Thames Estuary. 18 boats took part this year, from the extreme end of the catamaran racing scene of Will Sunnocks' Vampire Project foiling custom build, to the 40-year-old class Dart 18 catamarans! Will Sunnucks and Mark Smith on the Vampire Project took line honours, despite gear failure reducing it's ability to foil to a single tack, and the overall winner on handicap was Simon Northrop and Aaron Reynolds on an F18. In the Short Course results, Whitstable Yacht Club's Mark Holweger and Max Sellar took first place on their Dart 18. For the full report, see catsailingnews.com/2016/09/the-forts-race-2016-whitstable-yacht.html, and check out the Forts Race Facebook Page for more photos.

KSSA Annual Regatta at WYC on 10th September

Whitstable Yacht Club will be hosting the Kent School Sailing Association's Annual Regatta on Saturday 10th September. The event is open to any young sailor (up to the age of 18 years), and is a valuable sailing experience for novices through to National standards in a fun, friendly, welcoming, safe environment. The event includes 2 races before lunch and 2 races after lunch, with the first start at 11am. If you or your children are interested in taking part, please pre-register at kssa.co.uk/1entryform/Event07/Event_07.php. Pre-registration is not binding, but it gives the organisers an idea of numbers. If you have any questions, please contact WYC organiser Paul McNally.

Topaz Uno Nationals report - a wild ride!

Topaz Uno Nationals
Whitstable Yacht Club hosted the Topaz Uno Nationals last weekend (20th and 21st August). 15 boats entered, with sailors travelling from as far as the Noukhada Adventure Company in Abu Dhabi!
Saturday saw very high winds, gusting up to a force 7 or 8! Needless to say, racing was cancelled and only the hardiest of windsurfers got on the water for the day! On Sunday, the winds were still on the high side, but sailable, so the Race Officer scheduled 3 races close to shore. In the gusty conditions, the Topaz Unos proved a fast and exciting ride, with a kick on the downwind legs! 14 of the boats made it onto the water, but a third didn't manage to finish the first race, with lots of spectacular capsizes, especially on the downwind legs. 6 boats managed to finish all 3 races, with exciting racing throughout. In 6 place, lightweight WYC cadet Tom Oliver did well to finish all three races with a forth place in the second race, battling places with experienced sailor Mark Freeman from the Noukhada Adventure Company. Top placed double handed boat, sailed by Aaron and Mark Middleton from Lee & Solent SC came in forth, narrowly beaten by Jonathan Drake from Sandwich Bay Sailing & Waterski Club. At the front of the fleet, last year's National Champion and WYC cadet Max Sellar, battled with Morgan Archer, a cadet from Blue Circle Sailing Club. After using his local knowledge to get a first in race one, Max couldn't manage to maintain the lead, falling into second behind Morgan for the second and third races, with Morgan winning overall by one point. Both Max and Morgan did very well to sail into the top two positions in such challenging conditions, and against a strong adult field! Full results are on the website at wyc.org.uk/results/Topaz_Nationals_2016.html
As this year's National Champion, Morgan Archer won a Topaz Uno Mylar Race Main provided by Topper International, worth £400, as well as other prizes including a sailing watch from event sponsor Ronstan.
Thanks to event sponsors Topper International and Ronstan, and to Topper and the Whitstable Watersports Centre for providing loan boats to the competitors. In addition, thanks to WYC volunteers Patty Baker and Tony Clements who put a lot of work in to organise the event, Race Officer John Boorman for getting a quality event sailed despite the weather, and all of the Safety Boat drivers & crew, recorders, Committee Boat drivers and onshore support volunteers who worked together to make this happen.
Topaz prep onshore

Cadets Cruise to Seasalter and back - Report

Force: 3-5
North-East wind

On Thursday the 18th of August, the Whitstable Yacht Club Cadets went on a cruise to Seasalter Sailing Club and back! We had twenty-two sailors in total and twenty-seven people including those on the safety boats.
We launched around eleven o clock on a beautiful sunny day and headed halfway to Sheppey so we could sail down to Seasalter.

As we got further out it got rougher because of the sea breeze, we tacked or gybed and were surfing the waves all the way down! Unluckily some of the toppers nosedived and a lot of boats capsized, but luckily nothing too major!
After about forty-five minutes of sailing of exhilarating sailing we got there! We beached extremely quickly and had a bit of trouble getting in because of the rough waves and strong wind.
Everyone at Seasalter Sailing Club were very welcoming and we were very grateful for them helping us get the boats in. We all warmed up and ate our picnic lunches!

After saying our thankyou’s to the Seasalter crew, and as high tide turned we set off back to Whitstable. We had a few changes in boat crews and couple of tows as the seabreeze made the journey back a bit more challenging. Smurf kindly appeared with another safety boat to make it safer for us on the way back.
Everyone made it back to Whitstable, happy and safe and all had a jolly good sail in Swallows and Amazons style!

Many thanks to Richard Maltby, Wendy, Ian Embry, Paul Mcnally, and Andy and Fiona Clarke in Smurf for their support and organisation. Thanks to our friends of Seasalter SC for their warm reception, hospitality and support in landing and launching our boats! It was a great time and everyone enjoyed it. We can’t wait for the next cadet cruise!
Finally a special thank you to all the cadets who sailed on Friday the 19th August during the RYA inspection and to Richard Maltby for his dedicated work in contributing hugely to gaining our RYA certificate, which we passed with flying colours!
Report by Toby Sellar, photos by Wendy Fitzpatrick.

Whitstable Yacht Club passes inspection as a RYA Recognised Training Centre

RYA Tick Mark LogoThe RYA Inspection of WYC's application to become a Recognised Training Centre, as distinct from but complementary to our linked Whitstable Watersports Centre, took place on Friday 19th August and the club passed with flying colours.
It means that the club has passed the high RYA standards set for sail and powerboat tuition, including all requirements for ensuring the maintenance and repair of club boats, equipment, first aid and safety. The club is now approved to offer RYA national training schemes for adults and youth and has direct access to RYA training services.
Recognition as a RYA training centre brings WYC into line with other major sailing clubs which offer training to their members on a volunteer, part time basis, as well as housing a linked training centre, such as our Whitstable Watersports Centre, offering full time courses.
The Inspection took account of the club's facilities, sail and power boat maintenance, operational procedures and the tuition of two cadet groups, racing and improvers, on the water. We passed in all respects with just one action point to be followed up - that the club should now proceed to put its courses in place.
A lot of work has gone into this by quite a few people, but the vast majority was done by Richard Maltby, who has done an enormous amount of paper work and preparation to get us to this stage. The review and update of the club paperwork and documentation alone was a very large task! Thank you Richard!

Topaz Uno Nationals - Exclusive Offer from Topper to buy a boat!

Topper Topaz Uno OfferInspired by the Olympics to take up sailing? Want to be the next Topaz Uno National Champion? In the market for a new boat? Then this offer is for you! Once again, Topper Sailboats are offering an amazing saving of £989 off the price of an ex-demo Topaz Uno Plus or Race Plus. The boats include cover, trolley and come with 1 year of WYC membership! To take advantage of this offer, talk to Jeff in the club office, or call Topper sales on 01233 629186. See you on the water!

WANDERER CRUISE TO MINNIS BAY (AND BACK) Saturday 13th August


Glorious sunshine, a brisk westerly wind and four Wanderers accompanied by a safety boat set off from Whitstable on a somewhat ambitious cruise to Minnis Bay. With picnics packed, radios issued (along with instructions) the intrepid sailors raced East. Of course we listened carefully to the briefing, of course we all knew to look for the yellow buoy and the red and green ones but oh how wonderful to hear a message from Andy Clarke “I’m sitting right by the buoy” and then reminding us which way to go! We positively flew along the coast, a surfing Wanderer is so much fun!
Met on arrival by friendly locals (thank you Jason, Vice Commodore) of Minnis Bay Sailing Club. Great advice to anchor up rather than have to drag a heavy boat, left high and dry by an ebbing tide, across the somewhat slimy seaweed.
Out with picnics, great tea provided by our hosts, interesting discussion over lunch –oh and the honey cake – simply gorgeous and a fantastic reason to join the next cruise. Thank you Kate!
Home run and a stiffening breeze. Ian had repaired a tiller extension during lunch, Fef not so lucky losing a rudder pintle so motored home missing what became a challenging sail, tacking into a head wind and choppy sea. Nick Hawkins and John Hope led the way, Shelagh and Ed took in a trip to the wind farm on a long tack north. Kate and Ian bought up the rear of the fleet. All safely back on shore by 6pm, 9 hours after setting out.
A great day out for all of us. A great big THANK YOU to Andy and Fiona in their Rib for making this ambitious cruise a safe possibility, and ensuring Richard’s and Ian’s plans came to fruition.
Let’s do it again!!
Report by Fef Griffin

Whitstable Week 2016


Thanks to everyone who took part in Whitstable Week this year, we had almost 60 boats taking part this year! It’s been another great week of sailing, with the seemingly traditional weather extremes, providing challenges to all and close racing throughout the fleets. Results are on the website at wyc.org.uk/on-the-water/results.
On the social side, we danced to two great bands, and had our knowledge tested by Ian and Phil on quiz night (raising over £100 for the RNLI!). On Friday Pirates Day went down a storm, with a great deal of creativity demonstrated by the members dressing up themselves and their boats.
There’s a lot of effort that goes into putting on the week, with volunteers driving and crewing safety boats, driving committee boats, recording, and helping out ashore. We couldn’t put on an event like this without them, so we’d like to thank (in no particular order)
Coral France, Glen Cook, Helen Spaughton, Josh Clarke, Willie Spratling, Jill Fagg, David Lowes, Lorraine Sabourin, Andrea Oliver, Brian Bogard, Monica Farrow, Sean O'Leary, Steve Wall, Jocelyn Page, Theresa Page, Stephen Gerlis, John Crickmere, Laura Carney, Sam, Paul Fincham, Ian Embry, Andy Clarke and Allan Barnes. We also need to thank the bar staff, the coffee hut staff, and Alex Grantham who did a great job making sure the social side has gone smoothly. Off the water, Sally Gostelow the results and the admin for the event, and finally our Race Officer John Boorman did a great job given the challenging conditions. It’s not easy to run an event like this, a combination of a National Championships and a fun family week of sailing, and I think we’d all agree that John got the balance right.
See you next year for Whitstable Week 2017!
Whitstable Week Prize Winners

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