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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

Whitstable Yacht Club Discover Sailing Day - Report on Y&Y

Whitstable Yacht Club held its annual open day under the RYA’s Discover Sailing banner on Saturday May 21st. The weather was warm and sunny with light winds making conditions ideal for the 96 guests who had signed up online to experience sailing and WYC, many for the first time… To read more go to
If you weren’t able to attend, but still want to try out sailing check out out Training page at, or to join go to

Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller Open at WYC - Report on Y&Y

28 Merlin Rockets arrived at Whitstable Yacht Club to bright sunshine but very little wind on the morning of Saturday 14th May for the next round of the Craftinsure Silver Tiller. However, as forecast the wind filled in nicely, meaning just a short delay to the start time. Race 1 began in 12 kts, with the tide just beginning to build, pushing you upwind. Will & Alex Warren started well & led early on, before Christian Birrell & Sam Breary took the lead…
To read more, go to

Forts Race Weekend - Call for volunteers

Its the Forts Race in less than 2 weeks time on 28th & 29th May and we still need a few more Safety Boat volunteers (Drivers and Crews). There’s no experience needed to be a Safety Boat crew, you just need to be physically able and willing! We need people for both days (Saturday afternoon from midday, and Sunday from 9am to mid-afternoon). If you can help, please contact Sam Turner at

Tasar Open at WYC - Report on Y&Y

On the 14th & 15th May the Tasar fleet gathered for their first Open Meeting of the year at Whitstable Yacht Club hosted in conjunction with the Merlin Rocket class. Arrivals on Saturday were greeted with warm sunshine and little wind; but whilst rigging the sea breeze filled in and a great day’s sailing was ahead…
To read more, go to

Updated guide to doing a Race Officer duty

The club’s guide for doing a Race Officer Duty (or assisting as an Assistant Race Officer) has been updated to make doing your duty even easier! As well as the RO guide, the page has information for Safety Boat crews, as well as links to the Sailing Instructions, Racing Rules of Sailing and other useful information. It’s well worth a read, even if you don’t have a duty this year, as there’s lots of useful information on courses and start sequences that can help improve your understanding of club racing. Go to to download the documents.

Derek Emery

We regret to report that Derek Emery passed away on 6th May.
Derek was a keen competitive National 12 sailor from 1960 to 1980, and a member of the club for 40 years. He was the centre of the clubs wilder social activities during this era and loved to party. In his later years he built a cruiser in his back garden called Mystere and afterwards bought his yacht called Minx and sailed with his beloved wife Barbara. He and enjoyed competitive racing and cruising in company. Derek like nothing better than anchoring or mooring up after a long day’s cruising, opening the wine box and inviting fellow cruising members over for an evening of laughter and fun.
Our thoughts are with his family Ian, Philip, and Alison.

Why not try something different at the bar this weekend?

The Bar now has on draught Strongbow cloudy apple cider (ABV 4%), and from Saturday 14th Gadd’s Seasider Amber Ale (ABV 4.3%).

WYC Pool Nights are Changing!

Wednesday Nights - Pool League Games: From 8pm - Pool league games played by WYC pool teams. Feel free to come and support, or enquire at the bar to join a team!
Thursday Night - Open Pool Nights: From 7pm - open pool night. All over 16’s welcome. Free table, winner stays on unless players present want to change.

Dinghy Cruise Report - Saturday April 30th, or “How Fef got back to sailing and won the day”

David Blakey (Hartley 15, 1539), Fef and Dave Marsh (Wanderer 890, Oops-a-Daisy), Richard and Sarah Heap (Wanderer 1561, Giggle) had a lovely day sailing around the bay. We met at 10 am. It was a cold, grey, almost windless morning. Not at all promising, but we planned bravely, if unwisely, to sail across to Pollard Spit, run with the NE breeze and incoming tide to Faversham creek, tie up on the bank for lunch at the Shipwrights, and then sail back on the ebb. This never happened… for the rest of the report, download it here:

The Committee Boat is back!

Slotty, WYC’s Colne Cat Committee Boat, is back on her summer mooring off the club, and ready to go for this weekend’s long weekend of racing. Thanks to the Committee Boat team who’ve worked over the winter doing all the regular maintenance jobs to keep her running well. Welcome home Slotty, we look forward to racing from you again this year.

Forts Race Weekend - NoR, SIs and Booking Link published

Its the Forts Race Weekend in just under 5 weeks. NoR, SIs and booking link is now available at There is a limit on visitor spaces, but no limit on the number of WYC entries. Its open to all dinghies and sports catamarans with a PY rating of 1270 and lower (Kayaks, paddle boards, windsurf and Kite surf entry not permitted), so if your boat is under 1270 and you fancy trying something a bit different, why not enter?!

WYC Bar news

From 22nd April the Friday night bar hours are extended to 10pm for the summer. For the full bar hours, see
Members are reminded that the club drinking license area only extends to the sea wall. Drinks purchased from the bar should not be taken on the beach. Thank you

Club Racing change on May 14th & 15th

Unfortunately the currently published club race start times are not compatible with an open meeting the size of the Merlin and Tasar event over May 14th/15th. Sadly there will be no race on Sun May 15th, however as we are keen to provide a race for club members over that weekend, Sat May 14th will have an amended start time of 11.00. The sailing schedule and google calendar have been updated.

Thank you to everyone who completed our members survey

Thank you to everyone who completed our members survey. We received 220 responses, representing 59% of the membership, a really good response rate that gives us a strongly representative sample of your views. We’ll share more about the results and any actions we plan to take following analysis of the results. And congratulations to the winner of the £50 Dinghy Store voucher, they have been notified!

Welcome to our new Rear Commodore Sailing!

Steve Gray was voted in as Rear Commodore Sailing at the AGM 2 weeks ago. The Rear Commodore Sailing is responsible for all of the racing and ‘water side’ activities at the club (excluding Training), and Chairs the Sailing Committee. For those that don’t know Steve, he’s provided the below introduction:

I am not really a dynasty sailor, but I have sailed for most of my life. It all started when Dad bought Mirror 5988 from Exchange and Mart when I was 12 - a slightly random move as none of our family could sail and there were few sailing clubs in the Thames valley in the early 70’s. After an inauspicious first sail in the Mirror, which narrowly avoided being swept over weir on the Thames, I became an extremely keen and reasonably proficient Mirror racer to Championship level. We joined a small sailing club on a gravel pit near Maidenhead and as teens my brother and I couldn’t get on the water enough, backed by the start of a lifetime study of Yachts and Yachting every two weeks (Clubs and Classes mostly). Laser 10343 came next but at 9.5 stone was far too light so drifted into Miracles where I did a few Championships with some success.

An important step was to become an instructor which led to summer jobs from senior school days through university at commercial sailing schools on the south coast - taught me lots about tide! I didn’t get on with team racing at Uni so joined Midland SC and went back to a Laser (45034) travelling the open circuit and doing a couple of nationals. Sadly, the Laser was traded for a washing machine (same value in those days), and I had a period not sailing when my kids were young. 

A divorce brought a move to Whitstable so I could join a proper, historic, and famous sea club - and another Laser (750??). There have been a few more Lasers over the years, together with 29er 056 (best customer ever for the rescue crew) and Tasar 366 (the Orange one) in which I fulfilled my ambition of racing a Nationals with one of my daughters. I had a spell on the General Committee in the naughties but found travelling away to work and the GC did not work well. Last year I took semi-retirement, bought a Solo (kept the latest Laser), and rashly said I had the time to put something back into the club which has been a big part of my life for the last 20 years. I look forward to serving the club in developing its sailing and racing heritage.

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