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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

20 days to go!

Bart's Bash 2015Wow, it's now just 20 days until Bart's Bash on 20th September 2015!! There are already 1112 sailors signed up from 377 clubs in over 48 countries, covering all inhabited continents, but by the time you read this, the figures will be out of date because each day the numbers signing up are increasing! Sign up for the race at Whitstable Yacht Club at to tell everyone you're going to be sailing, and come down to the club on 20th September to be part of the World's Largest Sailing Race! For more information, see

Reminder: 3pm race starts this weekend

The Autumn Series starts this weekend (5th & 6th September), and due to the late tides, the start time for both races is 3pm.

Merlin Rocket Nationals 2015 - Final Day #MerlinRocket

Merlin Rocket National Championships 2015 Friday saw the final day of racing in the 70th Merlin Rocket National Championships at Whitstable Yacht Club, and Whitstable turned on the glamour, with bright sunshine and a breeze building to force four providing champagne sailing conditions! Congratulations to Ben Saxton and George Yeoman from Grafham Water Sailing Club who came in first position overall for the week, with a strong 12 point lead over the second place. Tom Pygall was the first WYC sailor, crewing with Stuart Bithell from Hollingworth Lake in 15th place overall, and Mark Barnes and Phillippa Daniels were the first WYC boat at 27th overall. Thanks to all 71 boats who took part in the week, and to all the WYC staff and volunteers who made the week a success! You can see the full write up from today at Yachts&Yachting, and the photos from today here. Day 6

A bit of Merlin Rocket history at Whitstable Yacht Club

Ian Wild and Richard Davis It's the 70th Merlin Rocket National Championships at Whitstable Yacht Club this week, and there's a strong history of the Merlin Rocket dinghy at the club. Ian Wild and Richard Davis sailed together in the first ever "Champagne Race" at the Merlin Rocket Championships in 1967. Here they are together again launching for this year's Ranelagh Trophy on Thursday. They are sailing Richard's 33 year old "Herbie" (3315) which he has had since new. Both Ian and Richard have been Commodores of Whitstable Yacht Club, and Richard was one of the top Merlin Rocket sailors in the 1970s, taking 3rd place twice in the days of racing in 150 boat fleets.

Merlin Rocket Nationals 2015 - Day 4&5

Merlin Rocket Nats Day 5. Photo by Alex Cheshire
After racing was abandoned on Wednesday in 30 knot winds, the competitors were presented with a full day of sailing on Thursday. Two races were sailing, including the 'long distance' champagne race sponsored by Winder Boats. Conditions were perfect with a SW Force 3-5 with sufficient shifts to ensure it was not a one-way track. Yachts&Yachting have the full reports for Day 4 and Day 5, and photos from Thursday can be viewed here.

Special General Meeting at Whitstable Yacht Club on Saturday 10th October

The General Committee will be holding a Special General Meeting at Whitstable Yacht Club on Saturday 10th October at 2.30pm. The purpose of the meeting is to ask the membership to vote on a resolution to move forward with funding for the club's development plans. All voting members of the club are encouraged to attend this meeting to be part of this important decision. More details of the resolution, and the impact of a vote for or against will be distributed to the membership before the meeting.

Congratulations to the Yacht Club B Pool team

Congratulations to the Yacht Club B Pool team who have just won the Division 2 Whitstable Pool League to gain promotion to Division 1 next season with a game to spare. The last game of the season is this evening, Wednesday, against the Yacht Club A team so come along and have a drink, a sing on the Karaoke with the Merlins and enjoy some exhibition Pool! Well done to Robin and the team.

Merlin Rocket Nationals 2015 - Day 3

Merlin Rocket Nationals Day 3
Another great day on the water for the Merlin Rockets at Whitstable Yacht Club, and this time they even got some sun! See the full write up on Yachts&Yachting, and check out the photos from today here.

Merlin Rocket Nationals 2015 - Days 1&2

Day 1
It's been an eventful start to the Merlin Rocket National Championships 2015 at Whitstable Yacht Club, but the competitors have taken it in their stride, and the 144 sailors from 72 boats entered are having a great time on and off the water, despite the unseasonable weather! Yachts&Yachting have all the details and latest results in the reports from day 1 and day 2, and you can see the photos taken by Alex Cheshire on the course on day 1 and day 2.
Day 2

Forts Race Weekend - Only three weeks to go

Forts Race 2015 It's only three weeks to go until the 2015 Forts Race weekend (12&13th September), and there's only 10 days left to take advantage of the early bird entry offer to save £20, thanks to our sponsors at Vattenfall. Once the discounted entries are gone, or after 31st August, the full price entries will be at a (still very well priced!) £60. We're looking forward to our best Forts Race ever, so make sure you're there. See the Forts Race web page for full details at

Topaz Uno Nationals - New photos!

We had photographer Nick Champion from Champion Marine Photography out with us on the Sunday of the Topaz Uno Nationals, and he took some great shots. See the full set at

BBQ Monday 31st cancelled

Due to lack of volunteers the BBQ on Monday is cancelled. Sorry

Show off your Art at WYC’s 2015 Artists’ Open House Exhibition

Artists' Open Houses 2015 at Whitstable Yacht Club
WYC is thrilled to announce that more than 16 local artists have so far signed up for the 2015 Artists’ Open Houses exhibition at the WYC clubhouse in the autumn. Last year over 1000 visitors attended our first show with many artists selling their works during the exhibition.
We still have space for few more artists to join in this year’s exhibition and welcome submissions from Club members, families and friends (including non-members). Works of art can be submitted in many different mediums and formats.
The exhibition is held in association with The Canterbury Festival, and takes place over the last 3 weekends in October -17/18th October, 24/25thOctober and 31st October/1st November 2015.
There is a small entry cost, plus a commission going to WYC on work sold during the exhibition.
If you wish to take part please contact Jeff Emerson, Club Manager, as soon as you (deadline is Sunday 13th September 2015) as space will be on a first come, first serve basis. 01227 272942
Artists' Open Houses 2015 at Whitstable Yacht Club

Whitstable Town Regatta and the Topaz Uno Nationals

Town Regatta and Topaz Nationals
Prize Winners
What a great weekend at Whitstable Yacht Club, Well done to everyone who took part in the Town Regatta and the inaugural Topper Topaz Nationals! Although it was a weekend of light wind sailing, there was enough to hold four good races, two on Saturday off Tankerton slopes and two on Sunday off Whitstable.
In the Town Regatta fleet there was some close racing between the top boats. Olly Turner and Hamish Kilburn in a Merlin Rocket won the event overall with four firsts, but the fight for second place was very close with only one point separating the second, third and forth place. Mark Barnes and Philippa Daniels took the second place in their Merlin Rocket, with Steve Gray and Mark Holweger taking third and forth respectively in their Lasers. Christopher Jarrett came in fifth place in his Laser, and in six was Bill Edmondson, also in a Laser. Top placed cadet was Tom Oliver in his Topper. Full results here
Racing was equally competitive in the Topaz Uno Nationals, with . With a mix of rigs (Race or White sail, with or without a Jib), and a mix of regular Topaz sailors and racers from other classes, there was a good spread of ages, abilities and boats. At the front of the fleet there was a consistent battle between 13 year old Max Sellar and WYC Vice Commodore Andrew Jackson, both with Race rigs, regularly swapping positions and chasing each other around the course. In the end, Max won the event with a very decisive three first places and a second, whilst Andrew Jackson could only manage a first, two seconds and a third place to come in second overall. Max also took the prize for the first placed cadet, and first Race rig. In another close battle, Abby Zambinski beat Ali Nicholson to third place by one point, and also won the prize for the first White Sail rig. Despite a spectacular capsize just a few metres from the finishing line at the end of the third race, Ali managed to beat Mark Fagg into fifth place by just one point. A special mention should also go to Mark Freeman, who runs the Topper dealership in Abu Dhabi, and flew all the way from the United Arab Emirates to take part! Full results for the weekend can be found here.
The event was very generously supported by Topper and Wild Times, for providing a fleet of loan boats, and by Ronstan and Musto Clothing for providing prizes. We also could not have run the event without the volunteers who gave up their time to support the event, including our Race Officer John Boorman, Recorders Coral France and Fiona Clarke, Committee Boat Drivers Ian Wild, Howard Patterson and Peter King, Ian Embry and the Safety Boat Team, Jill Fagg and Sally Gostelow for the Results, and finally Dick Ledger and Robin South for organising and coordinating the event!
Topaz from a kite

Beach clearance for Merlin Rocket national championship

We are expecting over 70 entries for the Merlin championships from 22 - 28 August so we will need to clear more space than usual to make way for visitors. We therefore need to clear the Laser, Tasar, Merlin and General Handicap/Cadet rows up to the first groyne. We also need to move the two rows of Big cats nearest the ramp. Dick Ledger will make arrangements for this to be done with the Big Cats concerned. Will owners of boats on the other beach please move their boats after sailing this weekend. If you are planning to sail on Wednesday evening that's fine, please move them after that as we need to mark out the beach on Thursday afternoon and visitors will start arriving on Friday. A working party has been arranged to clear any remaining boats on Thursday. The way the boats were moved before the Merlin open in June was fantastic, and it would be much appreciated if you could do the same again. Thank you very much. John Cooper Event Organiser

Whitstable Week Photos Now Available!

General Class Start
Photos from Whitstable Week are now available to view. Photos from Mondays sailing are available on, and photos from Friday will be available shortly. Photos from the Cadets and Families session on Wednesday are also available here.

Return of boats temporarily moved from West Quay

Thank you again to those members of the club who have had their boats moved to accommodate the Oyster Festival marquee. Boats can be returned to the quay from August 29th onwards (when the Merlin Rocket Nationals have finished). It is not planned to have working parties to move the boats, except for those boats parked in the Chalet Park where a group will be arranged, but if you need assistance in moving your boat please contact your class captain or the beach master. The rows and bays on the quay are being re-marked to help with managing the available capacity and bays will be allocated by the relevant class captains, so before you return your boat please contact them.

Reminder - Notify the race team if you retire from a race

Please remember that if you retire from a race, especially one run from the Committee Boat, you should always try and let the team on the Committee Boat or Safety Boats know that you are retiring. If that is not possible, please make it a priority to sign in on the sheet when you come ashore.

Topaz Nationals - Exclusive ex-demo Topaz Uno offer

Topaz OfferAlongside the first ever Topaz Uno Nationals, to be held at Whitstable Yacht Club, next weekend, Topper have launched an exclusive offer for WYC friends and members on demo boats. If you want a nearly new Topaz Uno Plus, or Topaz Uno Race Plus, you can save up to £989, and get discounted or free 2016 membership and boat parking (terms and conditions apply). The Topaz Uno is a great boat for families and beginners, and there's a growing fleet at Whitstable, but don't leave it too late as there are limited numbers of boats at these great prices. Talk to Jeff in the WYC office, or contact Topper sales to place your order.

Whitstable Week - Day 5

Prize Winners
Friday was the final day of this year's Whitstable Week at Whitstable Yacht Club, and it was a great final day. Two races were held on the water, in slightly stronger winds than predicted, but at a Force 2-3 it made a nice change from the wind earlier in the week, and also gave the younger cadets (and some of the parents!) an opportunity to go for a sail close to shore. The sailors came back to shore to a BBQ, and prize giving was held at 7pm, followed by the closing band The Nagasaki 3.
This year's Whitstable Week saw 54 boats entering the racing, and 83 sailors taking part. On the Wednesday, we had 14 cadet boats on the water, with 22 cadets taking part. The overall winner of the week was Charles Campion, sailing his Laser in a very competitive fleet.
The week couldn't have happened without a large number of volunteers coming forward to help out. Click through the link below for a full list of the prize winners and thanks, or see the detailed results at

Big Thank You to:
John Boorman (Race Officer), John Cooper & Howard Paterson (Committee boat drivers), Ian Embry (Hon bosun – safety), John Crickmere & Laura Carney & Brian Bogard & Peter Griffin & Martyn Barr & David Boyce & Andrea Oliver(Safety Boat Drivers and Crew), Mark Fagg (Land bridge), Suzanne Stuart-Smith & Sally Gostelow & Jill Fag (Results), Katie Burgess & Paul Fincham & Julie Puckett (Race Recorders), Nia Crockford (Cadet Coordinator), Conor Lamb & Alex Harwood (Cadet Day organisers), Susan Sellar (Cadet beach and race helper), Dinghy Store (Cadet prizes).

Prize Winners:
1st Laser: Charles Campion - Kingsborough trophy
2nd Laser:  Dave Adams (Broadstairs SC)
3rd Laser:  Steve Gray

1st Laser Radial: Max Hunt

1st Asymmetric: Timothy Kift & Jo Wicken (Wilsonian)

1st General Handicap: Tudor Owen & Tom Bruton jnr Medway Bowl

1st Tasar: Stephen Nation & Yvonne Parrott - Frank Bethwaite Trophy
2nd Tasar: Tessa & Nick Lancaster (Hayling Island)

1st Merlin: Jon Bloice & crews - Len Emery Trophy

1st Slow Handicap: Tony Clements (Topaz) - WYC challenge Cup

1st Mixed Cats:  Tony & Julie Dod - Westminster Bank Cup
2nd Mixed Cat:  Robert Govier

1st Big Cat: Richard Ledger & Ton Bruton snr - WYC Sheppey Cup

1st Cadet (Cadet series): Max Sellar -  Dinghy Store Voucher

1st Placed Cadet (in adult racing): Issie Bruton - Dinghy Store voucher
Cadet Fun Race: Max Sellar - Slotty Hooter Prize

Most Enthusiastic cadet: Iggy McNally – Muzzle Trophy

Spirit of Whitstable Week: Conor Lamb/Alex Harwood

1st Overall:  Charles Campion - Oyster Trophy

Whitstable Week - Day 3 & 4

Wednesday was cadets and families day, with a pirate theme. We had a great turn out of cadets, who got on the water for a fun race in a wide range of boats, from RS Fevas and Topper Topaz Unos, to Dart 18s and a Wanderer! In the light but gusty winds everyone had a great time sailing, then returned to shore for some fun and games at the waters edge. Thanks to Connor and Alex for organising the racing, and Nia for the briefing and shore games.
In the evening we had the regular Wednesday Evening Series racing, and despite the wind dropping to almost nothing, most of the fleet managed to get around the course, with the race ending as the sun set.
Wednesday evening sunset
Thursday saw a return to the strong winds seen at the beginning of the week. Three races were held round a short course to catch up in the series, but the high wind resulted in a large number of retirements. Jon Bloice deserves a mention for capsize of the day after doing a full 360 spin then capsize on the line after a starboard call, much to the amusement of the other sailors!
Quiz night on Thursday evening saw 4 teams compete for glory, in a close test of knowledge, raising £60 for the RNLI. Thanks to Sarah and Richard for compering, and Suzanne and Andrew for putting the questions together. Friday sees the final two races of Whitstable Week, followed by a BBQ, Prize Giving at 7pm and The Nagasaki 3 on from 8pm.

Whitstable Week - Day 2

Tuesday started very windy, with a great showing from the Windsurf members of the club in the morning, who had a great time on the water. Unfortunately the wind didn't let up, and racing was reluctantly cancelled after an hours postponement, although a few Lasers got out for a blast. This means an extra race on Thursday to catch up in the series. The evening saw a lot of wine tasted and cheese eaten!
Wednesday is Pirate day, with a Cadet race at 1400, and general fun on the water for all the family. Don't forget there's also a Wednesday Evening race at 1900. Make sure you order your Fish and Chip supper before the race, as it will be ready and waiting when you come ashore!

Club Development - Additional Document

In addition to the plans in the post yesterday, you can view some background information on the plans here

Whitstable Week - Day 1

What a great first day for this year's Whitstable Week! We had 35 boats take part in the racing, and there was great competition across all classes. The windy conditions proved a challenge, but the race team did a great job with both races. We also had cadets out practising close to shore in the RS Fevas, and the smaller children had a fun time on the bouncy castle! Day 2 on Tuesday sees the bouncy castle back on shore, more cadet sailing along the beach, and races 3 and 4 for the competitors. In the evening, the club will be hosting a Wine Tasting with Durrants Fine Wines. On Wednesday, get into the Pirate state of mind, with plenty of family fun on and off the water during the day, and the regular club Wednesday Evening race in the evening.
For more information, see

Wine Tasting Tuesday 7pm.

Come along and help choose the new wines to be sold behind the bar. The wine is free and there are plates of nibbles at £2.50/plate (limited numbers). See website for all events during Whitstable Week.

Two great band nights planned for Whitstable Week

General Recall and Nagasaki 3 We have two great band nights planned for Whitstable Week this year. On Monday evening, club band General Recall will take the stage from 7pm, and on Friday evening we're welcoming back popular band The Nagasaki 3 to close the week from 8pm. Don't miss out on this year's Whitstable Week, which is planned to be bigger and better than ever!

Event report: B14 Open at Whitstable Yacht Club

B14s by Alex Cheshire
Event report by Mark Barnes:
The 4th installment of the B14 National TT circuit took place at WYC on the weekend of the 18 - 19th July. Local favourites going into the event were Seavolution North Sails (Mark Barnes/Charlotte Jones).
Saturday was a testing day for both the fleet and Race Officer Richard Ledger (with Assistant R/O Abby Ledger), as the wind seemed to come from every direction in varying strength. Overnight leaders were Flying Donkey (Mark Watts/Clare Stubbs).
Sunday dawned and a rip raring south-westerly force 5 - 6 greeted the fleet after a night of Turbo Pimms and beer. Through the fog of recovery, a sober fleet hit the water and headed out to do battle. Some of these high powered skiffs headed for the shore as the breeze built, but the contenders had a gladiatorial battle over 3 races with little to chose from Flying Donkey and Seavolution North Sails. with a 1, 2 a piece it all came down to the last race. With the lead changing several times on the first beat, then into the downwind whilst holding a slight lead, Flying Donkey gybed in a monster gust and was flattened so ending their challenge assuming nothing happened to the new leader, Seavolution North Sails put the peddle down and never looked back, taking out the event with a win, captured on video by the committee boat:
Richard and Abby did a great job running their first event, just wish we had more time between races to refuel (joke). Bruised and battered the conditions on Sunday were perfect. Thanks to all the support crew, and to Alex Cheshire, who photographed the event (see her pictures here and here). Full results can be found at
Next event for the B14s is the Europeans at Rock Sailing Club in Cornwall on the 5th - 8th September. There should be 3 WYC teams attending the event with daily reports on Y&Y.


There are a number of windsurf boards for which fees have not been paid and the original owners cannot be traced. It is the intention of the Sailing Committee to dispose of this equipment no sooner than 3 months from the date of this notice, in accordance with the procedures laid down by the Royal Yachting Association. If you think that you are the owner of any of these pieces of equipment, please contact Sally Gostelow as soon as possible via the office, on email ( or phone on 01227272942.
The boards are as follows (see here for details and photographs):
1. NAISH 115L Freestyle Board (Formerly Upper Rigdens 8)
2. FANATIC 145L Shark (Formerly Upper Rigdens 13)
3. STARBOARD 111L Carve (Formerly Lower Stroud)
4. FANATIC 105L Gecko (Formerly Upper Rigdens 12)
5. F2 188L Phoenix (Formerly Upper Rigdens 9)
6. F2 133L Xantos (Formerly Lower Stroud)

Two weeks to go until Whitstable Week 2015!

Whitstable Week 2015 Programme Get all the information at

Whitstable Oyster Festival: Thursday 23rd July - Sunday 2nd August

The Whitstable Oyster Festival starts on 23rd July. This is a popular event in the town, with a growing profile! The town can get very busy, so we recommend that members allow extra time to travel to the club, and avoid travelling by car where possible (the roads around town and carparks will be very busy). We will also be checking people's membership when they use the club to ensure that our facilities remain open and available to members. You will still be able to sign guests in through the guest book, but please do not be offended if your name is checked against a membership list when you visit. Please also need to take extra care when moving boats and equipment around the beach, and when launching and recovering! The club's space on the West Quay will also not be available during the Oyster Festival.
Saturday 25th July - This is traditionally the busiest day of the festival. Based on lessons learned from previous years, there is no club racing scheduled. The club premises will be open as usual for members, but access will only be available from the West side of the decking area. The club will also be selling food and providing club/membership information to the public through the Sea Wall entrance to maximise the benefit to WYC from the day. map of access Sunday 26th July - Club racing as usual, but beware that this is a 10am race start. Monday 27th July to Friday 31st July - Club open as usual to members. Saturday 1st August - Cadet and General Sailing from 10am. Club Long Distance Race starting at 1pm. Evening BBQ at WYC (weather dependant), watch the Frestival fireworks from the comfort of the club. Sunday 2nd August - Dawes Cup, starting at 2pm. Monday 3rd August - Whitstable Week starts!

Club Development

Club Development A month ago we held our first consultation sessions for members to comment on, and contribute to the evolving design of the proposed improvements to the club's facilities. Many thanks to everyone for your inputs which were overwhelmingly constructive and positive. The next opportunity for members to view and contribute to these evolving plans will be during Whitstable Week so please come along and give us your comments and continue to help us take the club forward.

Beer Quality Audit passed with flying Colours

Shepherd Neame carried out a random Beer Quality Audit which we passed in all areas. Congratulations to all the bar staff ensuring everything is correct and running well, keep up the good work.

Report from the Oysterman Triathlon on 28th June.

Oysterman, photo from Wild Times On Sunday 28th June, Whitstable Yacht Club and the Wild Times Sailing School hosted the registration and the swimming section of the Activelife Whitstable Oysterman Triathlon. Over 100 competitors took part, including some members of Whitstable Yacht Club. Thanks to all the volunteers from the club and school who came together to support the event on and off the water, and keep everyone safe. Below is a report from Paul Moore (competitor #051).

As I claw at the slime-greasy boat ramp by the West Quay, two thoughts momentarily distract me from the gasping physical pain.  The first is that I’m not a Triathlete - so what am I doing here..? At best, I’m really a Duathlete (run, bike, run) - who swims occasionally. So my race has only just started.  The second is to appreciate each breath - now that it’s returning to something approaching normal, by which I mean it doesn’t contain at least 50% salt water.  At this point it doesn’t matter that I’m in 88th position, it’s just enough to be back on dry-land, breathing, and not having donated any limbs to Crabzilla – that dark, sinister monster that lurks off the shore and also deep in the psyche of most open water swimmers.
First, let’s just say what an outstanding success Oysterman 2015 was from a participant’s perspective.  Putting a ‘simple’ one-leg race together in a bustling town centre would be enough of a challenge, let alone the complexity of organising 100 hyped-up competitors through a complex multisport format - 750m swim, 20k ride and a 5k tab.  So a big thanks to Richard Oliver and his team for having the courage to take on the challenge of a complex multisport event and the tenacity to see it through.  As ever, there are too many people to thank - but friends at Whitstable Yacht Club helped with a great race reception and sterling work in laying a good swim course and shepherding their sometimes wayward ‘paddling sheep’. Friends at Whitstable Parkrun/Canterbury Harriers were also clearly the backbone of marshalling, out in full force on the rest of the course and gave great encouragement to all participants, as well as keeping us on route.
As for the race, the swim conditions were good, with relatively flat water for Whitstable - at least for those who avoided the ‘washing machine’ at the start line.  The ‘onto the ramp’ finish to the swim gave a great Triathlon feel and made a nice change to clawing up a muddy bank.  Although not hugely technical, the bike course required focus and concentration.  The hill past Chestfield into the woods required a bit of determined effort to knock it off, if momentum was to be maintained, but not so much effort to ‘blow-up’.  Once past that hill, the course opened into a glorious back-section of fast, sweeping country lanes and slingshot bends.  Rewards were there for those with the commitment and resolve to stay down on the aero bars, as the chevrons screamed at the brain to back-off.  The bike course was a great choice and is now a firm favourite for a Sunday morning time-trial.  The run was kind of a Parkrun-in-reverse course, which became a drag-race along the prom, once past the ‘Parkrun turn’.
Some Oystermen/women will have been concerned for one of our number who had a unfortunate entanglement with a car at Chestfield.  Thankfully, although battered, and after a trip to Margate hospital for further treatment - no stitches were needed - so a very lucky man!
My race ..?. 88th out of the water, 8th quickest on the bike – says it all. Overall 27th.  Out and back in 1.17.01 - and yes Mr Figgis, that is under 1.20.  If anyone knows a good swim coach please do let me know.  A special thanks from me to two members of the medical profession (also Parkrunners and one a WYC sailor) -  who put me back together after a collapsed lung four years ago and to whom I continue to be grateful for those first few breaths coming out of the water.
As for next year - same again please Richard.  Just maybe a Crabzilla or two on the T-shirt ...?  I’m sure that there are plenty of ‘Arty’ people in Whitstable who could help with that.  That would go down well with nieces and nephews - especially as their Mum was first woman home - great work Kate.
Parkrun is open to all - is free - and is a fantastically informal and supportive route to start - or maintain - a bit of activity/running/jogging.  Parkrunners gather every saturday morning on Tankerton slopes at 9am. It’s really worth it.
A final thought is to reflect on whether the turnout for Oysterman suggests that there is now sufficient critical mass for a Tri-club in Whitstable…. Maybe as an offshoot of Canterbury Harriers ...? And wouldn’t the Whitstable Yacht Club provide a great training base… ?  Oysterman has surely proved that We have got a great training ground on our doorstep – so I wonder if there is enough support for a local club that can offer encouragement and support.  There are so many great events across Kent – Kentish Killer, Chilham Castle Duathlon, Leeds Castle Triathlon, and Parkrun’s New Year’s day Whitstable/Margate Duathlon – and you will know of others. Do let me know if you think there is any mileage in a local club that could help keep us all going through the winter months.  At least we could have a Tri-suit emblazoned with ‘Whi-Tri..?’ and dotted with Crabzillas - which, brings me full-circle to that scramble up the ramp.
Thanks again to Richard Oliver, the Whitstable Yacht Club and Parkrunners for making a great day happen.
Keep racing people - and have a great season.
Paul Moore (051)

Photo courtesy of Wild Times Sailing & Windsurfing School

West Quay clearance - kayak and trailer

The West Quay is being cleared for use by the Oyster Festival. Thanks to the volunteers who turned out yesterday afternoon to move a significant amount of the large boats and trailers to Reeves Beach and the Chalet Park.
There is a trailer and a yellow kayak secured to railings on the quay, if you own either item please can you move them by the end of this weekend at the latest as any item left on the quay will be removed.

Topaz Nationals at WYC - Early Bird entry off extended!

Topaz Nationals The inaugural Topaz Nationals are being held at Whitstable Yacht Club on 15th and 16th August. Topper are offering a free jib to all Topaz owners who compete, and there will some great prizes from the event sponsors.
The discounted pre-entry offer of only £35 per boat has now been extended to the end of July, so now's a great time to enter. For more information, and to enter, all the details are at
Topper and WildTimes are also making a limited number of Topaz dinghies available to WYC club members who want to take part. If you're interested, contact Peter Gowing.

Missing keys

A set of keys has gone missing from the Race Officer Cupboard in the Committee Room. If you have been part of the race team over the last few weeks (used the race tower or Committee Boat) and may have moved them, can you please check pockets and bags, or cast your mind back to see if you remember leaving them anywhere. If you have the keys, or any knowledge of where they may be, please contact

Quiz & Chips Friday 19th June.

Fish & Chip supper with a quiz! Order your food from the bar by Thursday 18th June, Fish & Chips from 7pm on Friday 19th. Proceeds to Support Dan Parson and his Atlantic challenge.

Merlin Rocket Open 2015 - Report, photos and results

photo by Alex Cheshire There's a report from last weekend's Merlin Rocket Open at Whitstable Yacht Club on Yachts&Yachting, photos from the event taken by Alex Cheshire here, and all the results at!

Thank you from the Merlin Rocket class

A big thank you from the Merlin fleet to all the club members and staff who helped make the weekend such a success. Thanks also to the Laser and Tasar fleet for putting up with the inconvenience of having to move their boats. Thank you all very much indeed John Cooper - Merlin Class Captain

WYC and the Whitstable Oyster Festival

In support of the Whitstable Oyster Festival WYC has agreed with the organisers to make West Quay available for their use. Whilst this will mean disruption to the West Quay storage facility there will be a financial contribution and significant benefits to the club.
The festival organisers will require access to the quay before, during and after the festival. All boats and kit stored on the quay will be moved on or before July 11th, after which it will not be available for approximately 4 weeks. Planning is currently under way to allocate space for the affected boats and other equipment (trailers for example) on the club’s estate, owners will be contacted separately to advise them of the expected allocations.
Whilst the boats and equipment mainly affected will be in the CAT and General classes there is an overall benefit to the club, and the Sailing Committee representatives will be seeking volunteers to provide support in moving equipment. The majority of the equipment is expected to be moved after the day’s racing on July 11th (11am. start). If you can be available on that day please contact your class captain and let them know. Tasks to be completed will include moving equipment and securing it in the temporarily allocated spaces.
Thank you for your support.

Beach clearance for the Merlin Open next weekend

We need to clear the Laser and Tasar beaches to accommodate the visiting Merlins next weekend. Would owners please move their boats after the evening race on Wednesday. A working party has been arranged to move those boats that are still there on Friday evening. Many thanks for your help with this.

Extra club race on Saturday 4th July, before Summer Saturday 5

Following the positive feedback on the additional races held after the club races on 30th and 31st May, the Sailing Committee has decided to run an additional club race on Saturday 4th July at 1pm. The race will be an Average Lap race, and will be held before the normal scheduled race (Summer Saturdays 5 at 2pm). The additional race will not count against any of the existing club series.

WYC B14 Crew success at the UK Nationals

Whitstable Yacht Club member Tom Pygall crewed on the winning B14 at the Seavolution B14 Nationals last weekend. Crewing on B14 Whitstable Marine, for help Nick Craig, they came in first in some very testing conditions. WYC boat Seavolution North Sails, sailed by Mark Barnes and Ruth Oliver came in 6th overall, and WYC boat Team Harken, sailed by Simon ad Nikki Hadley came in 15th.

The Seavolution B14 Nationals 2015 took part at Stokes Bay SC from Friday 29th to Sunday 31st May. It was windy from the SW, so there was some big full on sailing on Friday, where WYC member Tom Pygall crewing for Nick Craig in Whitstable Marine won the single race, with WYC boat Seavolution North Sails (Mark Barnes/Ruth Oliver) 3rd and WYC boat Team Harken (Simon Hadley/Nikki Hadley) splitting their mainsail and retiring. First girl by a distance was Ruth.
Saturday was averaging 16 - 20 knots with holes. With all the fleet sailing it was snakes and ladders, but Whitstable Marine came out on top to lead on 1, 3, 2, 2, 1. Seavolution North Sails was not so lucky and lost 2 top 5 positions to get 8th both times in holes downwind giving them 3, 8, 8, 5, 5. Team Harken had a good day until Simon had a hand issue and retired from the last race DNF, 7, 6, 11, DNF.
Day 3 started very windy again. However, the breeze eased to 20 - 25 knots, and provided full on sailing. Whitstable Marine and Seavolution North Sails revelled in it, both in the top 5, with Whitstable Marine getting second, Seavolution North Sails having been 4th pulling out with a destroyed kite, and Team Harken unable to sail. Second race and with many helpers holding the boat afloat in the surf, Seavolution North Sails made the start with new kite with less than 4 minutes to the start. The same top 5 roared off the front with only 40 m. separation at the windward mark. The slay ride downwind was great, over the next 2 laps the wind increased with Seavolution North Sails being flattened to 80 degrees at the last windward mark, but somehow the boat spun out as the wing net sent the boat into the wind and rig righted itself. The other 4 meantime hurtled downwind with Whitstable Marine in the mix in the first 3. As the wind increased their leeward shroud mount exploded post mid leg gybe, and with 3 sails up they made the gate and drop to finish 4th. Seavolution North Sails came down in the biggest breeze full bore on a white knuckle ride (one Ruth enjoyed and will not forget) gybing full bore on top of a wave coming through in 5th.
Whitstable Marine won the hard fought nationals, with Seavolution North Sails 6th on count back with Ruth first under 21 and Team Harken ending up in 15th.

Photos from Saturday’s race

Were you out on Saturday 30th May for the Wanderer Open or Spring Series 9? If so, you may be in one of Alex Cheshire's photos! Check out the full set here Line of Wanderers Bosun Ian Embry Ian Hender and Mark Fagg sailing a Wanderer

Club Champions!

Club Championships 2015 Well done to everyone who sailed in the Club Championships this weekend. Almost 60 boats took part, and the racing was very close throughout the fleet, from the A-Class catamaran to the Topper 4.2s! Thanks as ever to Race Officer John Boorman and his recording and results team, Ian Embry and the Safety Boat team, and the bar and catering staff, all of whom helped put together a great weekend of sailing. The Trophy winners were:

  • Dawes Trophy – for the overall club champion - Mark Barnes & Ruth Oliver sailing a B14
  • 2nd Place overall - John Cooper & Hilary Bradshaw sailing a Merlin Rocket
  • 3rd place overall - Rein Zilvold & Phil Scott sailing a Merlin Rocket
  • 4th place overall - Phil Emery & Karen Emery sailing a Merlin Rocket
  • 5th place overall - Charles Campion sailing a Laser
  • 6th place overall - Kevin Hall sailing a Laser
  • Ladies Cup – for first Lady helm overall - Sarah Hodges sailing a Laser Radial
  • Tom Bourne Trophy – for first cadet (u 18) overall - Conor Lamb sailing a Laser Radial
  • WYC Racing Shield – for first Big Cat - Steve Pimblet & Francesca Delacey sailing a Hurricane
  • Sales Trophy – for first Small Cat - Robert Govier sailing a Dart 18
  • Castle Cup – for first Asymmetric Skiff - Mark Barnes sailing a B14
  • Johnson Cup – for first Merlin Rocket - John Cooper & Hilary Bradshaw sailing a Merlin Rocket
  • Tasar Trophy – for first Tasar - Paul McNally & Julie Puckett sailing a Tasar
  • General Handicap Prize – for first General Handicap boat - Mali Harnett & crew sailing a 420
  • Yachting & Boating Trophy – for first Laser - Charles Campion sailing a Laser
  • Laser Radial Prize – for first Laser Radial - Conor Lamb sailing a Laser Radial
  • Babbington Hill Trophy – for first Slow Handicap dinghy - Robin South sailing a Topaz Uno
Full results will be posted to the website shortly. Club Championships prizes

Missing Trophies

We're missing two Club Championships Trophies (Club Championships Slow Handicap Trophy, and the Yachting and Boating Laser Trophy) that were issued to members in the last 5 years. The last person who won these trophies does not have them, so can you check your trophy cabinets, mantelpieces, cupboards and under your beds in case you have them, or have been given them in error.

Bar Staff volunteers

We are looking for some bar volunteers to be trained up and cover the occasional shift or help out during busy times. If you have any spare time and would like to help out please contact the office. We are planning a training evening Wednesday 27th May.


Following the recent tidy of the beach and quay, where boats and trailers appear to have been abandoned or where the appropriate storage fees have not been paid, the kit has been labelled with reminders for payment. Most of the labelled kit has now been moved to either Reeves Beach (rows 22 and 22a) or row 1 on West Quay. Where apparently abandoned kit remains unclaimed or where appropriate fees continue to remain unpaid, the recognised RYA disposal process will be initiated, in accordance with the WYC boat parking and equipment storage policy. If you believe you may have kit falling into either category (abandoned or unpaid), please contact either the Sailing Secretary or the Hon Beachmaster. Contact details to be found on this website or in the programme.

WYC Laser success in the French Euro Masters event

Over the weekend of 1st to 3rd May, WYC sailor Charles Campion sailed into 3rd place overall, and 1st in the Grand Master category (full results)! Well done Charles.

WYC Laser Radial success in the Belgium Euro Masters event

In light winds in Nieuwpoort Belgium yesterday, in a closely fought competition, WYC sailor Max Hunt clinched first place overall in the latest Euro Masters series event to become Belgium Laser Radial Masters National Champion! Well done Max. Sailing Sec

Bar Staff Volunteer

We are looking for some bar volunteers to be trained up and cover the occasional shift or help out during busy times. If you have any spare time and would like to help out please contact the office. We are planning a training evening Wednesday 27th May.

Whitstable Week 2015 - Entry Fees announced

Whitstable Week 2015 Whitstable Week is only 3 months away, and we're preparing for another great event! This year the Sailing Committee has been able to fix the full week price to a bargain of only £50, and we've reduced the full week Cadet price to only £5! Great value compared to other Open and National events. The Notice of Race, draft Sailing Instructions and Entry Form have just been released, so check out the details at

Merlin Rocket Open - 13th and 14th June

The Notice Of Race has been published for the Merlin Rocket Open Meeting 13th and 14th June.

£128 raised for the RNLI!

RNLI The RNLI Pursuit Race was sailed on Monday 4th May. 28 boats took part in this race to see who can best sail to their handicap, which was sailed in challengingly gusty conditions! The race was a close one, with a wide mix of boats finishing very close to each other. The top boat was a Merlin Rocket sailed by John Cooper and Phil Emery, closely pursued by a Nacra F18 sailed by Dick Ledger and Tom Bruton, a 505 helmed by Tudor Owen, a Tasar helmed by Stephen Nation, a Laser Radial sailed by Peter Gowing, and in sixth place a Laser sailed by Nigel Brown. Every boat made a donation to the RNLI on entry, which raised over £128 for our local station! Thanks to John Boorman, Race Officer, who coordinated the event and did the complicated math on the Portsmouth Yardstick for each boat competing!

WYC Wanderer success in the Nationals at Langstone Harbour Race Weekend

Congratulations to WYC sailors Paul Yeadon and Liz North, who won the Wanderer Nationals at Langstone Harbour Race Weekend over the early May Bank Holiday weekend, with three firsts, a third and a fifth place in the fleet of 8 boats. Full results can be found here, and photos of the weekend here. The Wanderer class will be visiting Whitstable on 30th and 31st May for the WYC Open

WYC Cadet success at KSSA “Opening Splash” at Medway Yacht Club

Two WYC juniors competed in the KSSA “Opening Splash” at Medway Yacht Club on Saturday in challenging Medway conditions – windy and very shifty. Lots of capsizes and lots of retirements. There was an entry of over 30 Kent youth sailors and Conor Lamb, sailing a Laser Radial was lying 5th after the first two races. Conditions worsened in the afternoon but Conor finished with a very creditable 11th despite having no sailing gloves! Iggy McNally retired unhurt after the 3rd race and was awarded KSSA Race Officer’s Prize For Outstanding Young Sailor.

For more information about Cadet and Family sailing at Whitstable Yacht Club, see

WYC B14 Success at the Stokes Bay TT

B14 Seavolution/North GBR 788 Mark Barnes/Ruth Oliver from Whitstable Yacht Club won the Stokes Bay B14 TT this weekend, their first event since sailing together at the B14 inlands at Queen Mary last October where they finished 3rd. For Ruth this is her first senior race win and to top it off, the first TT win in her sailing career! They raced against some of the top B14 sailors in the country in testing conditions, so this was an especially good result.

The B14 Nationals is next month the week, also at Stokes Bay, where there will be four Whitstable boats (Leaky Pipes, Team Harken, Whitstable Marine and Seavolution North) all with a chance of a podium position. Follow online to see who comes out on top!

Fitting Out Supper - Now 16th May

Fitting Out Supper - 16th May

WYC fitting out supper is finally here! Saturday 16th May.

Starting at 6pm for cocktail happy hour with a WYC special from in-house mixologist Haidee.

From 7pm Bring Your Own vinyl to spin on our vintage record player. 7 or 14 inch options are good to go. Delve into your record collections, bring along some retro tunes from your favourite decade, give it a spin!

Food at 7.30ish from our very own Chef de la Maison, Wiz. Two and a half courses of delicious local food

Book your tickets on eventbrite, or behind the bar by 10th May.

And don't worry. If you bought tickets for the last date, they're still valid!

New WYC Committee Boat named

The new Whitstable Yacht Club Committee Boat was named 'Slotty' on Saturday in a ceremony at the club. The boat was named after legandary club sailor 'Slotty' Dawes, who was largely responsible for Whitstable’s development as an international dinghy centre in the 50s and 60s, and sailed in the Rome Olympics in 1960. The naming was performed by Slotty's Great Granddaughter Eloise Dawes, and blessed by the Reverend Rachel Webley of St Alphege Church. Ruth Oliver was official club photographer for the day, and her pictures can be seen on the WYC Facebook page, and Stephen Gerlis put together a video of the event, which can also be seen on the club's Facebook page. Weather permitting, the Committee Boat should be in use for club racing from next weekend.

Slotty named

Naming ceremony for the new Whitstable Yacht Club Committee Boat

The official naming of our new Committee Boat 'Slotty' is taking place at twelve noon on Saturday 18 April at the Club. Friends and members of Whitstable Yacht Club are invited along to see the new boat and take part in the ceremony.
The naming will be done by Matilda Dawes, great granddaughter of the late 'Slotty' Dawes, and the boat will be blessed by the Reverend Rachel Webbley, vicar of St Alphege Church. For a brief history of Slotty Dawes at Whitstable Yacht Club, click on the link.

Ian Wild remembers Slotty (short for Lancelot):

“I am delighted he is being remembered. He had a huge influence on me and my sailing generation. He was our most distinguished sailor and largely responsible for Whitstable’s development as an international dinghy centre in the 50s and 60s. My earliest recollections of sailing as a small boy are crewing with my father on his 18ft National ‘Spindrift’.  The boat was named after the horse he had ridden in the Grand National.

When the Flying Dutchman was chosen in 1957 to replace the Sharpie at the Rome Olympics he imported the first boat from Holland and a small fleet gradually built at Whitstable. Because there were so few in the UK, Whitstable became the place to sail if you wanted to race.

Slotty Dawes at WYCInitially my father, Ken, crewed for him. Slotty became President of the International Flying Dutchman Association and my father the UK Secretary.

Whitstable had already established a reputation for dinghy racing. The first 18ft National Championships had been held in 1950 and the Club regularly hosted ‘Kent Week’. In 1958 the first FD National Championships were held. However, 1959 was arguably the pinnacle of the Club’s success as not only did we host ‘Kent Week’, the FD Nationals but also the Merlin Rocket Nationals and most important of all, the FD World Championships and FD Week. The FD Worlds were a rehearsal for the Rome Olympics and attracted Olympic sailors from not only Europe but South Africa and, for the first time, from Russia and other Iron Curtain countries.

Slotty went on to sail in the Rome Olympics where he finished 7th. He actually won the second race. At 56 he was one of the oldest competitors. Keith Musto and Rodney Pattison who sailed FDs in later Olympics both have fond memories of him and racing at Whitstable.

Having established an international reputation, Whitstable went on to host the Finn Gold Cup and Prince of Wales Cup – two of the most prestigious dinghy events in the world.
Slotty was the son of Sandy Dawes of Mount Ephraim, one of the Club’s first members. Slotty was a wealthy man who had made his money from shipping. Looking back I remember him as one of the last of the ruling classes. He wasn’t a committee man and didn’t suffer fools. He certainly wasn’t ostentatious but, when the Club ran out of parking spaces for the growing fleet of FDs, he went out and bought the old Hoy Yard (now part of Keam’s Yard Car Park) which he then let to the Club. When one of the days was blown off during a championship he invited the entire fleet back to his house at Pluckley where he entertained them for the day. He was a bit of an inventor and made many of the fittings for his boats himself. I particularly remember a wheel and pulley system he invented to get over having a long tiller and extension on his Dutchman (UJs hadn’t been invented then!).”

He remained Honorary President of the Club until he died in 1985

Fitting Out Supper Saturday 11th April Postponed

Fitting Out Supper Saturday 11th April, Unfortunately due to lack of numbers the Fitting Out Supper is postponed.

University of Kent - SailtoSave fundraising event for RNLI

The University of Kent's Sailing and Windsurfing Club are taking on the challenge to sail from Kent to Poole stopping at six RNLI stations and volunteering at each one. They will be fundraising for the expedition in the upcoming months and any money you can donate will make a difference. If you would like to donate please visit his justgiving page:



Show off your Art at WYC’s Artists’ Open House Exhibition 2015

Art at WYC’s Artists’ Open House Exhibition 2015 Following the success of last year’s Artists’ Open House exhibition held at WYC we will be repeating the event this year. Over 20 pieces of art were sold during the exhibition last year, attracting more than 1000 visitors to the club.
We are now looking for 20 artists or more to exhibit at our Open House Art exhibition and the first 16 artists who sign up the will have the opportunity to have their details and a sample of work featured in the 2015 Artists’ Open House Brochure. Club members, families and friends including non-members can participate and can submit art work in many different mediums.
Art at WYC’s Artists’ Open House Exhibition 2015 The exhibition will be held over the last 3 weekends in October, (17/18th, 24/25thOctober and 31st /1st November 2015). There is a small entry cost, plus a commission going to the Club on work sold during the exhibition.
Space will be on a first come, first serve basis. If you wish to take part please contact Robin South by Tuesday 2nd April 2015:, (M) 07957 248724 Art at WYC’s Artists’ Open House Exhibition 2015

2015 programme available to download

Programme CoverA PDF of the 2015 Club Information and Programme booklet is now available to download from the WYC website. If you've missplaced your paper copy, or want to view it on your phone or tablet, you can now do so from the comfort of your boat/train/car/plane/garden shed or anywhere else that you might have an internet connection! The programme can be downloaded here, or view the schedule and club programme at Thanks to Andy at Oyster Press for printing the Paper and providing the PDF programme again this year.

Friday 24th April - Cherry Bomb and the Rockets followed by General Recall!

General Recal & Cherry Bomb and the Rockets Come down to the club on Friday 24th April and dance to the yacht club's musical membership. Andy Jackson's band Cherry Bomb and the Rockets start the evening (they went down a storm at their gig back in December - find out more about them here: They are followed by General Recall, featuring guitar maestros Jon Bloice and Steve Gerlis. Bring your friends - it will be a good evening of rocking entertainment.


Just a reminder that start times for racing this weekend are Saturday (28th) - 3pm and Sunday (29th) - 10am. Also, don't forget the clocks go forward an hour on Saturday night! Sailing Sec.

WYC Wannabees are heading to the KSSA Spring Training Day at HBSC on 11th April

KSSA LogoA squad of Whitstable Yacht Club cadet sailors are heading to the Kent School Sailing Association training day at Herne Bay SC on Saturday April 11th. The event, open to any Junior who can sail a triangular course in any dinghy class (single or double handers), has excellent coaching and is very close by, so a fantastic opportunity for the WYC Wannabees to sharpen up (or try to remember) their sailing skills early in the sailing season! Paul McNally ( is coordinating the WYC group, and it would be great to see a good turnout from our cadets, so please contact him if your family is thinking of attending. Details on times and signing up are on the KSSA website at

Thanks to everyone who helped out at the Working Party this morning!

Ali working hard! Thanks to everyone who came along this morning to get the club tidied up and ready for the new season. Lots of jobs got done. Special thanks to Jill Fagg, Andy Jackson, Jeff Emerson and Kelvin Tolson who put together the to do list and got everyone organised!

Tea Bar 15th March Opens12.00 & last orders 16.45.

The Tea Bar opens for the season on Sunday 15th March.

Bar & Social Committee new team members wanted & Fitting Out Supper

Wanted – members who care about the club and would like to be part of the growing team who plan, organise and try to increase the events and activities happening at the club. The Bar Social and Catering Committee need you – if you feel you could provide ideas, motivation and energy then please contact Fee Clarke on Also Fitting Out Supper – Saturday 11th April – two course meal – start the season off with fellow sailors from all fleets over a drink and a meal. Places are limited, tickets on sale behind the bar from Saturday 14th March, or you can buy online at Cost £14.00 a head. Fitting Out Supper 2015

Beautiful day for some pre-season training at WYC!

Pre-season sail at WYC The wonderful weekend weather held today, despite the rather dull forecast, and we got in a great day of pre-season training. In the Race Tower, John Boorman finished the Race Officer training with live race starts, and on the water members of the Laser, Topaz and Tasar fleets took part in short races to blow away the winter cobwebs! Thanks to John for the RO training, Peter Gowing for organising the sailors, and Richard Earland and Robert Govier in the training rib laying marks and keeping an eye on the sailors. For more photos, see the club Facebook page

Merlin National Championship - Video operator required

Merlin Rocket National Championships 2015 We are seeking an enthusiast who would be prepared to video all the races at the championships to be held at WYC from 23 - 28 August. We will provide a RIB and driver but need a cameraman/woman with the appropriate kit to video the starts and other aspects of the event. If you have seen the spectacular footage of last years champs you will know what we are after! For more details please contact John Cooper either at the club or on 07973 149037

Forts Race Weekend - Super Early Entry Discount Announced

Forts Race 2015 It's a long way off, but are you planning to enter the Forts Race this year? If so, now's the time to take advantage of our Super Early entry fee discount thanks to our sponsors at Vattenfall. There are ten entries available at only £20. Once those are gone, the standard Early Bird price of £40 applies if booked before the end of June, and for regular entries the full price is £60. So book now, and save £40. See the Forts Race web page for full details at

The UK’s First Topaz Uno National Championship, at Whitstable Yacht Club in 2015!

Topaz Nationals Whitstable Yacht Club will be hosting the first ever Topaz Uno National Championships this year, on 15th and 16th August. The event is being launched this weekend at the |RYA Dinghy Show by Topper International, and will be co-sponsored by Ronstan and Musto Clothing. For all the latest information about the event, see our dedicated Topaz Nationals page at


Artists' Open House Whitstable Yacht Club is pleased to announce that, following last year’s highly successful Artist’s Open House exhibition at the Clubhouse, we are looking to run the exhibition again in Autumn 2015 and we welcome hearing from individual members interested in taking charge of the event. Robin South launched the event last year with the help of many volunteers, and he is happy to assist those who would like to take on the role for 2015. Please contact: The Club Manager at

Boat Parking - update on changes

The proposed changes in boat parking notified in the news item posted in January have now been implemented. Full details are available from the Beachmaster or from your Class Captain but in brief, we have:
- Tidied all areas of the beach and West Quay. Further activity is planned to move and dispose of any unpaid and/or unidentified kit in accordance with the club’s membership conditions and the recognised RYA process.
- Created space for temporary boat parking nearer the clubhouse for WYC boats required to move when the club hosts major events created an area for cadet boat storage nearer the club house.
- Tried to ensure there is space near to the launch/retrieval area for the most regular sailors, and where possible have consolidated class areas on the beach and quay.
As a result a small number of boats and trailers have been moved, most within the existing class areas. If your boat is one of those moved to a different area of the beach or quay your Class Captain will be able to tell you where it is now situated. An updated class allocation diagram will be available later this month. The beach and West Quay utilisation will be monitored and ‘ fine tuned’ if necessary during the season.
Many thanks from the Sailing Committee to those club members who volunteered their help over the last two weekends to implement the changes.
Finally, if you have not yet placed your 2015 sticker on your boat (and/or trailer where appropriate) please can you do so by the end of this month.

2015 sailing schedule now available

The 2015 sailing schedule is now available on the club website and to add to your computer or phone calendar! WYC Presents poster

New WYC e-cigarette byelaw

Whitstable Yacht Club has introduced a new byelaw to extend the ban on smoking in enclosed spaces on club premises to include the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.
UK law states that the use of e-cigarettes in buildings is at the discretion of the management. WYC, as a sporting venue, has decided that in line with guidelines from the WHO and BMA e-cigarettes are now banned in enclosed areas at the Club in line with the restrictions on tobacco based smoking products.
“Smoking” e-cigarettes reinforce the normality of smoking behavior. The industry is unregulated and some products produce levels of toxins in a range of that produced by some cigarettes, others may produce lower levels of exhaled aerosol toxicants, but this does not mean that these levels are acceptable to involuntarily exposed bystanders

Successful Race Officer Course

Thanks to Ted Temple, RYA National Race Officer, 24 WYC club members and 4 from Hampton Pier Yacht Club had an enjoyable day learning about the role of the Race Officer on Saturday 31st January. It was a really informative session and even those that are competent race officers learnt a trick or two! Well done to Peter Gowing for setting this event up!

WYC Wannabees - New Cadets&Families page and programme!

WYC Wannabees - Cadet and Family Sailing at WYC Our updated Cadets and Families page is now live in time for the 2015 season. Check it out for all the latest information about sailing at Whitstable Yacht Club with children, teenagers and families!

B14 Worlds in Austrailia - Report from the WYC boats

After a B14 from Whitstable Yacht Club won the Australian B14 Nationals at the end of December, we had high hopes for the B14 Worlds held a few days later at McCrae Yacht Club near Melbourne. After 10 races of close racing, Whitstable boat GBR761 sailed by Chris Lewns and Tom Pygall missed out on a podium position by only a few points, coming in 4th place. GBR788 sailed by Mark Barnes and Alica Clifford came in 9th, and GBR770 sailed by Simon Hadley and Nikki Hadley came in 12th of the 40 boats competing. A good result for boats sailing over 10,000 miles from home! Click more for a full race report from Mark Barnes.

Team WYC/Hamburg SUD Worlds Report
Well the Worlds finally arrived and Day was to start where the Nats had left off, sunny and temperatures up to the mid 40 Cs.  Schedule was 2 races over 2 laps on a 50 minute course per day. The wind was light and played into Seavolution’s (Mark Barnes/Alicia Clifford) court with they taking the lead on the first beat and holding it till the leaward gate drop where they had extended to 150 m. lead, but a kite halyard malfunction saw them hit a gate buoy, spin and come back up tide to the gate and slip in to 3rd, clawing there way back to the front 2 by the finish. Race 2 and an incident off the start line resulted in Seavolution being at the back. During the race they clawed their way back to 5th, but were played on the last mark with no incident but took a cautionary spin dropping to 11th at the finish. Not to be repeated again in the event but the rabbit was out of the hat and damage done.
Day 2 and no sailing due to high winds and big seas on the beach.
Days 3 – 5 were pretty similar with late starts, which resulted in the big sea breeze filling in and increasing a bit each day to 20+ knots on the last day. A bit like an easterly at WYC with the wind bend round Arthur’s Seat, about 5 times the height of Tankerton Slopes. So it was to be a smorgasbord for the heavy teams (150 kg+) with the lighter teams being cannon fodder (-135 kg). Whitstable Marine did well to start with winning races 3 and 5 on day 3, holding on to the lead at close of play day, but as the breeze ramped up and the heavy artillery came into its own, they slowly lost ground on the front runners and by the end of the event had slipped to 4th. Seavolution in turn had slipped 3 places back to 9th after taking a bit of a battering upwind. Harken (Simon and Nikki Hadley) had been doing well and holding in there, but on day 4 had a dwonwind incident which resulted in damage and a protest which they won, so getting average points for their 2 lost races which enabled them to hold on 12th.
On the whole the WYC team gave a very good account of themselves over the 2 regattas. If the breeze had been lighter, the 3 teams would have been higher with at least 2 of them contesting the podium places. With little between Seavolution and Whitstable Marine, we should see some good racing off the beach at WYC with Harken in the mix and Leaky Pipes (Chris and Gerry Fermor) adding to the spice as well this season. 
Next Worlds are July 2016 at Lake Garda sailing in the Ora breeze. So it’s plenty of pies and beer as the breeze blows there. Lets hope Team Europe can get the Ashes back off the Aussies then.
Mark Barnes, 15th January
For the full results, see

Boat Parking Changes

In response to member feedback regarding boat movement during events, and as part of a general review of the utilisation of the beach and West Quay with respect to the parking of boats and trailers, some changes to the current boat parking arrangements are planned from next season. Broadly the current class allocations will remain the same, however a small number of boats will be moved from current positions in order to:
* provide some space for the temporary parking of WYC boats required to move when the club is host to major events
* create an area for cadet boat storage nearer the club house
* ensure that where practical the most regular sailors, racing and casual, are located nearest to the launch/retrieval areas
* generally tidy the beach and West Quay
* ensure only paid up kit is occupying our valuable storage space

The main changes on the beach will be the area in front of the refreshment hut where positions towards the seaward end of the beach will be allocated for temporary parking during events. Most of the boats currently at the seaward end will remain within the same part of the beach but some boats not regularly used will be moved to other areas within their class. Boats regularly used by cadets will be allocated space on the beach are in front of the club. The beach area towards Reeves will also be tidied to try and keep classes together. The owners of any boats moved will be advised by their respective Class Captain.

Details of the planned changes can be obtained from the Beachmaster or Class Captains and we will be aiming to complete the moves in February, weather conditions permitting. The Sailing Committee will be asking for volunteers to help with the activity as the details are finalised and activity dates are confirmed so if you can help please do come along.

Finally, a reminder to ensure any due membership subscriptions for next year are paid as any unregistered kit will be moved.

Winter Windsurf’n'Turf BBQ and Bonfire, Saturday 10th January

WYC Windsurfing The WYC Windsurfers are a hardy bunch... they don't stop for a Winter break like the dinghy sailors, a few were even out on Christmas Day! To celebrate January, they're planning a BBQ, so come along and join in on Saturday, January 10, 2015 for a beach BBQ in front of the club! Bring your own food to grill, drinks, and, if you like, a side dish to share. We hope to have a bonfire going, so please bring any scrap wood to add to the pile. The BBQs will be ready for cooking around 4pm. Any questions, please contact Boards Class Captain Todd Mei ( And if you want to get involved with the Windsurfing at WYC, check out the Facebook group at

Whitstable boat wins the B14 Austrailian National Championships!

Three Whitstable Yacht Club boats are currently out in Melbourne, Australia, for the B14 World Championships. As a warm up event, they've taken part in the Austrailian National Championships and beaten the locals to the top rankings! Chris Lewns and Tom Pygall came first overall after the four races, with Mark Barnes and Alicia Clifford in third place, and Simon and Nikki Hadley in 17th place, out of a total of 39 boats. The World Championships start on Friday for five days, so lets hope the Whitstable boats do as well in the main event. Click through for a write up from Mark Barnes and a link to the full results.

Mixed bag today with a 4 race Nats. Lead all races at up the first beat. Race 1 (Alicia Clifford and I (Seavolution)) got sailed round in the middle with Chris Tom (Whitstable Marine) winning. Led beat race 2 down the run and into the next beat, then split with Chris/Tom. We slipped to 5 when the breeze went right at held to the finish and Chris/Tom won. Race 3 led up the first beat and down the run had Chris/Tom on our tail. They gybed inside us and we stayed like that to the finish but slipped to 3rd when Richie Reynolds/Lisa McMillian (The Nude) pipped us coming in from the other side. 5 boat lengths separated the 3 on the line. Race 4 lead start to finish, but Chris/Tom did and good job tracking their closest competitor and came home 7 and winners of the open trophy with us 3rd. So though the trophy returns for a second time to WYC (Pete Nicholson/Me 2009 Hobart), we have new winners who sailed a great series. Simon Hadley/Nikki Hadley (Harken) finished 14th.

WORLDS, looks like it could be a very close series as the forecast is for a mixed conditions event. Today was 4 - 8 knots.

Mark Barnes, 31st December 2014

For the full results, click here

Dates for your diary - draft WYC 2015 Programme!

The Whitstable Yacht Club 2015 programme is now having it's final drafts done before being sent to the printers. The final sailing schedule will be posted to the website early in the new year, and the paper copy will be sent out to members with the AGM papers, but to get an early view of the full racing and sailing schedule, download a draft copy here. We have a great programme of events planned in 2015, a sample of which are listed below. WYC 2015 Events

Congratulations to the winners of the Winter Series 2014

The General Handicap had a Merlin top three, with Mark Barnes and Alicia Clifford in first place, John Cooper and crews in second place, and Phil Emery and crews in Third place. In the Laser fleet Nick Stephens was first, with Christian Brewer in second in the full rigs, while John Phelan was the first Laser Radial. For the full results, see

Notes from the 2014 Meeting of Sailors

Click below to download the notes taken at the Meeting of Sailors held on 16th November. Thanks to everyone who attended. Notes_of_meeting_of_Sailors_16_November_2014.pdf

Prize Giving 2014

2014 Prize Giving Congratulations to all the prize winners for the series raced so far in 2014 at Whitstable Yacht Club! For the full list of winners, click here. If you did not make it down to pick up your prize, please contact the Sailing Secretary at The Winter Series prize giving will be held after the last race on Sunday 7th December.

Artists Open Houses - Thank You

A big thank you for everyone who displayed their work and helped to organise and run the Artists' Open Houses Exhibition at Whitstable Yacht Club. It was a wonderful to see such a high turn out of artist’s family, friends and club members at the launch party, and during the 3 week-ends that the show was open, nearly 1000 people visited WYC to view the art on display. The feedback from the public was incredible. We hope to hold the event again next year and we look forward to you joining us in 2015.

Tea Bar Autumn/Winter Opening

The Tea Bar will be open Sunday 2nd Nov from 8.15am-12.45pm. Not open Saturdays.

Halloween Party - 4pm Friday 31st October

WYC's Halloween party starts at 4pm tomorrow aimed at cadets and younger members of the club, but open to anyone who wants to enter into the SPIRIT! If you can, please bring some party food which can be shared and if you have decorated a pumpkin, bring it along to be judged, a small prize will be awarded for the best one. There will be some spooky games and music too. Fancy dress optional. Cadet Committee.

2014/15 Membership Subscriptions due by Friday 31st October

A reminder that if you haven't paid your 2014/15 membership subscription already, please note it is due by the end of this week. Thanks, Membership Sec.

Artists’ Open Houses - Great first weekend

Artists' Open House Thanks to everyone who came along to the launch weekend of the WYC exhibition for Artists' Open Houses. The weekend started when the Sheriff of Canterbury opened the exhibition at the packed launch preview party on Friday night, and was then open to the public for viewing on Saturday and Sunday. If you missed it, the exhibition will again be open for the next two weekends: 25th-26th October & 1st- 2nd November, from 11 am - 5pm. Thanks to Robin South and all the other volunteers who've worked really hard to make this a success, and to all the artists, both members and non-members, for choosing WYC to display their work.

One week to go…

Laying Up Supper poster Book your tickets to the Whitstable Yacht Club 2014 Laying Up Supper now - limited number still available from the club bar. All members welcome!

Dart 18 GP7 Open report

Whitstable Yacht Club hosted the Dart 18 GP7 Open event on 11th and 12th October. The last Grande Prix event in the 2014 Dart 18 calendar, it attracted 29 boats, including 10 local Whitstable boats: One of the highest turn outs for the class all year, with sailors travelling from as far as Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club in Bridlington, despite the forecast rain!

Saturday saw 3 races, starting at 1pm, and was the first time the new Whitstable Yacht Club Committee Boat had been used for a major event. The predicted wind filled in on schedule for the first race, bringing in a steady f2-3 from the South West. The sailors were obviously keen to get going, as there was a General Recall for the first start of the day. The Race Officer made good on his threat, and immediately brought out the black flag for the following start, but even then two boats were over! The rest of the race proceeded without incident, with Dan Norman and Mel Rogers from Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club, and Matt and Jacob Exon from RYYC setting the scene for the rest of the weekend battling it out for first place.

The second race saw a clear start, but with a darkening sky to the West over the Isle of Sheppey as the promised rain threatened. A great crack of thunder greeted the competitors on the first beat, as the cloud quickly progressed to fill the sky, bringing with it a tremendous squall by the end of the second lap. Winds quickly got up to a high force 6-7, swinging round to the East, and turning the final lap into a pair of flying reaches. Amazingly most boats managed to hang on and continue racing, with only two capsizes and 5 retirements. The weather was so localised that whilst the Committee Boat was pelted with hail stones and could barely see the first finishing boats, the Darts at towards the back of the fleet didn’t see a drop of rain! Many of the competitors commented that the race through the squall was the most fun sailing of the weekend!

The wind dropped off again for the third and final race of the day, but remained from the West, giving the sailors a close, but uneventful final run of the day under a brilliant double rainbow! At the end of the Saturday racing, Dan and Mel from IOSCC lead the table, with Matt and Jacob taking a close second from David Lloyd and Mark Stones from Stokes Bay SC.

The evening saw many of the visitors make their way to the pubs and restaurants of Whitstable to sample the great range of food to be had, returning to the club later in the evening to watch the aptly named club band General Recall play out the rest of the night.

Sunday morning saw a few sore heads turn out for a fried breakfast for the WYC canteen before the scheduled 1030 first race, but were unfortunately met with a glassy see and no wind. Luckily for a rare second time in a weekend the forecast came true, and after a two hour postponement the wind got up to a sail-able speed by midday, and the first race started at around 1230. A steadily increasing North West breeze and mild chop on the sea proved a nice change from the previous day’s conditions, but lead to a change at the top of the results with Dan and Mel slipping down the table into second, with Matt and Jakob taking the top spot. Local knowledge also proved useful, as the WYC boats sailed by Richard Ledger and Louisa Clifford, and Abby Zambinski and Polly Bishop took second and forth places after finding the right spot in the beat against the tide.

The second and last race of the day decided the final positions, with close racing throughout the fleet, and a difficult decision to be made on clear wind versus a strong tide. Matt and Jakob again made the right call, taking the first place in the growing wind, and clinching first place overall in the event. Dan and Mel came in forth, using the race as their discard to take second place overall, and David and Mark got a fifth place in the race to get third overall. Forth boat overall in the weekend was sailed by Marco Manganelli and Kate Winter, and the fifth placed overall and first Whitstable Yacht Club boat was sailed by Richard and Louisa. Jakob Exon, sailing on the winning boat was also awarded the prize for the first place cadet, a great achievement as the youngest competitor in the race! Series handicap prices were awarded to Steve Pimblett and Francesca De Lacey from WYC in third, Robert Govier and Ruta Nakrosyte from WYC in second, and Joe and Roger Baker in first place. Results can be seen here.

A great weekend had by all, and some really fine sailing to end the 2014 season on for the Dart 18 class!

As ever, the event could not have happened without the hard work of the members of Whitstable Yacht Club in arranging and manning the event. Thanks to:

Event Organiser: Robert Govier.
Race Officer: John Cooper.
ARO and CB Driver: Ian Wild.
Recorders: Jill Fagg, TJ and Liz North.
Results: Suzanne Stuart-Smith.
Land Bridge: Suzanne Stuart-Smith and Fiona Clarke.
Safety Crew Coordinator: Ian Embry.
Safety Boat Drivers: Ian Locke, Brian Bogard, Richard Bradburn and Paul Clifford.
Safety Boat Crew: Rosie Tribe, Jon Ducker, Nick Runeckles, Peter Griffin and Jason Barnes.


Please contact Sally Gostelow via email at if you would like to help support the club by advertising your business in our 2015 programme. The cost of a half page is £72 and a whole page £120 inc VAT. Deadline, end of November 2014. Sailing Sec.

Social events

There are still places left for the Laying Up Supper on Saturday 25th October. It should be great fun as well as great food. Only £14pp. There is a Quiz organised for Friday 7th November at 8pm, teams and individuals welcome. For you younger members we have a Halloween Party on 31st October at 4pm.

31st October at 4pm Halloween Party.
Kids to decorate the club, decorations already available.  Games will be bobbing apples, marshmallows and doughnuts on strings on the terrace.  Carve a pumpkin, make a mummy.  Fancy dress.  Pool table will be dragged out of the ladies loo and the Wii will be set up for just dance.

Artists’ Open Houses - Your invite to our Launch Party!

Whitstable Yacht Club’s first ARTISTS’ OPEN HOUSE EXHIBITION, part of the Canterbury Festival, kicks off with the launch preview party on Friday 17th October at 6.30pm, hosted by The Commodore and Flag Officers. WYC members and families & friends are invited to attend. VIP’s and local dignitaries have also been invited. Wine and nibbles will be supplied.
Over 50 works of art – nearly all are available to purchase – will be on display in the rooms on the first floor of the clubhouse. This is your chance to personally meet and chat with many of our local artists.
The Artists’ Open House Exhibition at WYC will be open to the general public for three weekends from 11 am - 5pm: 18th-19th October, 25th-26th October & 1st- 2nd November. Launch event invite

Wanderer Inlands/Nationals, Bewl Valley SC, 4th/5th October

The Wanderer Nationals, combined with the Inlands following the cancellation at Whitstable in July, were sailed at Bewl Valley over the weekend 4th/5th October. There were 13 boats in the fleet, 4 of which were from WYC. Saturday ranged from force 5 in the morning to force 1 by the end of the 2nd race, and on Sunday the dreaded lack of wind struck again, so the event was decided on the two races completed on Saturday. The overall winners were Tim Robertson with his daughter Niamh from Sutton Bingham SC. Of the WYC boats, Gavin Barr and Mark Skipper, W1282, won the first race, but could only manage 7th in race 2. This was good enough for 4th overall. Paul Yeadon and Liz North in W1626 suffered cruel luck, capsizing when hit by a vicious gust on the gybe while leading in race 1, and over the line at the start in race 2 (but recovering to claim 3rd). They were 7th overall, but were awarded a special prize for entertaining the fleet with the most spectacular capsize!. Nigel Stevens with Jon Taft in W1684 scored 2 solid 5th places and were 5th overall. They also won the first non-spinnaker boat prize. Paul Cross and Jeff Leyshon in W1099 battled manfully with the conditions but ended in 13th place.

Don Sims

We are sorry to announce that Don Sims passed away on 26th September. Our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen, family and many friends. He will be deeply missed. The wake will be held at the Yacht Club on Friday 10th October, details to follow.


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