News at Whitstable Yacht Club
Dart 18 GP7 at WYC – Report
Posted: Monday, 03 October, 2016
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 wyc.org.uk/on-the-water/results.
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
Posted: Wednesday, 28 September, 2016
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
Posted: Friday, 23 September, 2016
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
Posted: Tuesday, 13 September, 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 Bake Off!
Posted: Sunday, 11 September, 2016
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
Posted: Tuesday, 06 September, 2016
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.
Topaz Uno Nationals report - a wild ride!
Posted: Wednesday, 24 August, 2016
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.
Cadets Cruise to Seasalter and back - Report
Posted: Monday, 22 August, 2016
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
Posted: Saturday, 20 August, 2016
The 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!
Posted: Wednesday, 17 August, 2016
Inspired 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
Posted: Monday, 15 August, 2016
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
Posted: Saturday, 06 August, 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!
West Quay - moving boats back
Posted: Saturday, 06 August, 2016
The Oyster Festival 'Shuck' venue has now been dismantled and the West Quay has been returned to our use. We now need to move boats from the middle compound to the end of the West Quay. If you have a boat there, please move it as soon as possible. The gates for the middle compound will be unlocked from 8am to 4pm daily, but please keep the gates closed. If you need access outside those times, please contact the Harbour Master.
Whitstable Week, days 2 & 3
Posted: Wednesday, 03 August, 2016
After a relatively light start to the week, Tuesday and Wednesday saw stronger winds kick in, increasing the excitement on the water and pushing the sailors to work harder! Both Tuesdays scheduled races were sailed, with close racing across the fleets, and some very tight finishes between boats. The BYO BBQ was held on Tuesday evening, and Andrea Oliver kept everyone in check on the BBQ, showing us how it was done... just don't mention the beans!
Wednesday bought even stronger winds to the Whitstable Bay, with a gusty Force 6 blowing across the course from the South West, and creating some angry waves! The Race team, lead by RO John Boorman pushed ahead with the race, and the brave, hardy or foolish sailors (depending on the various points of view from the beach!) took to the water to race. Unfortunately the winds drove a number of casualties in the form of broken masts, and the combination of high winds, big waves and a strong ebbing tide caused some of the race marks to drift, ending in the abandonment of the race and sailing for the day. Even so, most of the sailors came in with big grins after an exciting sail!
Due to the abandoned races on Wednesday, an additional race will be sailed on Thursday. Race start will be at 2pm as scheduled, but the Race Officer will run three shorter races. As the forecast is for fairly strong winds on Thursday, the Fancy Dress Sailing may be postponed to Friday. A decision will be made and posted on the race board by 1230.
Don't forget to dress in your best loud summer shirts for the closing night of Whitstable Week on Friday. Roots/Reggae Band Ben Russell and the Charmers will be playing out the week, supported by a posh barbecue.
Whitstable Week - Day 1!
Posted: Monday, 01 August, 2016
Monday saw a great afternoon of sailing for the first 2 races of Whitstable Week. Almost 50 boats have registered and were on the water with close racing throughout the fleets! With a F2-3 wind from the south west, and fairly flat waters, Monday produced a fairly gentle start to the week. The forecast for Tuesday is looking slightly stronger, with racing again starting at 2pm. Tuesday evening sees a Bring Your Own BBQ, with the club BBQs lit from late afternoon for you to cook your own food.
Don't forget to get your team together for the Wednesday evening quiz night, and to plan your outfit for Fancy Dress sailing on Thursday!
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