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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

POSTPONED - Meeting of Sailors

Due to unforeseen circumstances the 2016 Meeting Of Sailors has had to be postponed by 2 weeks to Sunday 27th November, at 1pm or as soon as possible after the day's race (whichever is later). Please update your diaries!
This is your chance to come along and influence the direction that sailing takes in 2017 and future years, and also comment on the 2016 sailing season so far. The agenda for the meeting will be:
1. Welcome
2. WYC Club Racing Programme 2016 and 2017
3. Events Policy and 2017 Events
4. Sailing Development and Cadet Sailing
5. Encouraging new members and sailors
6. Volunteering and Duties
7. Any Other Business
If you have anything you'd like to be added to the agenda, or any questions or comments prior to the meeting, please contact
The notes from the 2015 meeting can be downloaded at

Cadet Laying Up Party 19th November 2016, 5pm

After a wonderful sailing year the Cadet Committee thought it would be lovely to celebrate with a Laying Up Party on Saturday 19th November at 5pm. Tickets will be £5 each (adult or child!) for a Cottage Pie or Mac 'n' Cheese followed by pud and music. There will be a few prizes to give out too. All funds raised will go towards a much needed additional small rib and training as our numbers have grown so much.
Cadets will have their own large table and adults on another! Tickets can be bought from the club bar, and buying in advance is essential.
If you can help out with the cooking or serving it would be gratefully appreciated - please contact Hazel at The more the merrier so we look forward to seeing all the Cadets and Families there!


Please contact Sally Gostelow at if you are interested in supporting the club by advertising your business in next year's club programme. Cost to place a full page advert, £120 and £72 for a half page (inc VAT). Sailing/Membership Sec.


Membership fees are due for 2016/17 by the end of this month and an email including renewal information was sent to all members on 4 October. If you have not received the email please contact Sally Gostelow at

Meeting of Sailors 2016

The 2016 Whitstable Yacht Club Meeting Of Sailors will be held on Sunday 13th November, at 1pm or as soon as possible after the day's race (whichever is later). This is your chance to come along and influence the direction that sailing takes in 2017 and future years, and also comment on the 2016 sailing season so far. The agenda for the meeting will be:
1. Welcome
2. WYC Club Racing Programme 2016 and 2017
3. Events Policy and 2017 Events
4. Sailing Development and Cadet Sailing
5. Encouraging new members and sailors
6. Volunteering and Duties
7. Any Other Business
If you have anything you'd like to be added to the agenda, or any questions or comments prior to the meeting, please contact
The notes from the 2015 meeting can be downloaded at


WYC Exhibition dates: Saturdays and Sundays 15th/16th, 22nd/23rd October, 29th/30th OCTOBER 2016 - from 11 am to 5pm
Come in and view over 45 different pieces of original pieces of art available to buy, from as little as £20. The WYC open house exhibition is open to everyone including the general public and is held in association with East Kent Artists' Open Houses and Canterbury Festival.

2016 Prize Giving and Laying Up Supper

Prize Giving and Laying Up Supper
Tickets now on sale at the bar for the 2016 Laying Up Supper, only £12. Limited number available, so buy your ticket before it's too late!

German Exchange Opportunity

Would a local sailing family be interested in an exchange with a German sailing family, with the aim of helping two girls (ages around 11) to improve their English pronunciation? Father is a boat designer and expert sailor and the girls are very keen sailors, too. The family lives in Blankenese, Hamburg, and would like to spend time in the UK over Christmas either en famille or in a B & B. Or the introduction could be the other way round: in Blankenese. Or perhaps during the Easter school holiday. Flexible! Please contact Wendy Fitzpatrick via the club if interested.

Dart 18 GP7 at WYC – Report

Dart 18 Prize Winners
40 boats entered the sold out Dart 18 GP7 event at Whitstable Yacht Club on 1st and 2nd October, taking part in the last Dart 18 event in the 40th year of Dart 18 sailing. Travelling sailors came to Whitstable from as far as Royal Tay Yacht Club in Dundee! Boats started arriving early on Friday, and in the tradition of the Dart 18 fleet, got the party started early, with a very busy Friday night at the WYC bar!
On Saturday, the forecast of lightning storms caused a delay of over an hour to the start of the event, but in the end failed to fully materialise, and the racing got underway soon after 2pm. Rain and shifty SW winds produced tricky sailing conditions, with a drop and large shift in the wind 90 seconds before the start coupled with a strong tide causing difficulty for many of the boats trying to cross the start line, and turned the Olympic style course into a near reach/reach, favouring the boats who were able to read the tide conditions and make the marks. Rob Garcka and Abbey Jump from Worthing Sailing Club made the best of the conditions to get around in the lead, followed by single hander Paul Chatfield, recording his best result of the weekend in 2nd.
With a move of the marks, the second race ran according to plan, and bringing with it a significant change in the leader board, with Will Thompson and Lucy Mayhew from Dee Sailing Club, and James and Howard Head from Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club recording their best results in 1st and 2nd respectively. The third race started with ominous clouds building to the east, which dropped hail and high winds on the fleet as they made their way to the first mark, taking out a few boats in the fleet with capsizes. The majority of the fleet hung on, and made it round, to finish after 2 laps, with Rob Garcka and Abbey Jupp taking their second 1st place of the event, and Dan Norman and Alysha Monkman from Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club showing their promise of high wind performance with a 2nd place.
After racing, the sailors put on their posh frocks and dinner jackets to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Dart 18, and the end of the 2016 event programme, in style. Whitstable Yacht Club put on an end of season party to remember, with fine food, drinks, speeches, prizes and dancing until the early hours! Perhaps not early enough by the look of some of the sailors come Sunday morning, and the early start!
The weather on Sunday did its best to wake the competitors up, with a strong northerly wind and large waves, but the racing started on time and the Dart 18s showed they can cope with the worst of it, providing an exciting ride! Dan Normal and Alysha Monkman again showed their prowess in the strong winds, with consistent 1st places in all three Sunday races. Competition was tight throughout the rest of the fleet, with the big seas, wind and tide creating a tactical challenge. Will Thompson and Lucy Mayhew managed a 2nd in race four, and Rod Winrow and Sarah Gee from Worthing Sailing Club took second in the fifth and sixth races. At one point, just before the 5-minute gun was due to sound for the fifth race, the fleet were nearly joined by a large Thames Barge, who sailed through the course and causing a short postponement!
The full weekend’s results ended up with Dan Norman and Alysha Monkman from Isle Of Sheppey Sailing Club in first place, Rob Garcka and Abbey Jupp from Worthing Sailing Club in second, Will Thompson and Lucy Mayhew from Dee Sailing Club in third, Rob Winrow and Sarah Gee from Worthing Sailing Club in Forth, and David Lloyd and Mel Rogers from Stokes Bay Sailing Club in fifth. The First Whitstable Yacht Club entry was Richard Ledger and Louisa Clifford in a respectable tenth place overall. For the full results, see
Overall the weekend went very well, both on and off the water and was a fine finish to the 2016 season for the Dart 18 fleet. The Dart 18 class demonstrated why it’s still very strong after 40 years, with a large fleet of sailors of all ages from 12 to 60+, male and female helms, and both double and single handed boats. The sailors and class association also again proved to be one of the friendliest and most welcoming, encouraging youngsters and beginners to take part, whilst providing highly competitive racing at the front, and bringing with them the travelling support of Cookie and Brian Phipps with the Windsport International spares trailer!
Whitstable Yacht Club proved themselves once again as a top sailing venue, with many of the members volunteering to help out with the weekend, in particular the Race Officer Tom Bruton. Thanks to all those who gave up their time to make the weekend what it was!

Bar price increases

Prices at the bar will be increased slightly from Friday 30th September, 1st increase since 2012. Increases will be on draught Lagers, Cider & Wines. Spirits, bitter & soft drinks have not changed.

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.

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.

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
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

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, and check out the Forts Race Facebook Page for more photos.

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
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

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