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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News - October


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.

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!