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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

WYC Laid Back Quiz Night, 7.30pm on Saturday 24th February

Laid Back Quiz Night at WYC
Back by popular demand, it's the WYC Laid Back Quiz Night, hosted by Phil The Foot! Cheese and biscuits will be provided, but teams are welcome to bring extra food and nibbles. Max 8 competitors per team, be ready for 7.30pm on Saturday 24th February!

Your Club Needs You

Following John Boorman’s decision to stand down on health grounds, the Club is currently without a Vice Commodore. In addition we have lost key members of the General and Bar Committees.
There is much to be done in the next two years if we are to have a happy and healthy club with the prospect of a good future. We can only achieve thus with a full complement of Flag Officers and strong Committees.
If you are a Full member and have previously served on the General Committee, I urge you to consider standing for the position of Vice Commodore at the forthcoming AGM. Please contact me if you are willing to do so.
I also urge everyone to consider volunteering for the General, House, Bar, Catering and Social Committees. Full Members will be elected to the Committees, while all other Members can be co-opted on a non-voting basis.
This is your Club. If you want it to be here in five years’ time, it’s time to stand up.

Richard J Bradburn,

Jeff Emerson, Club Manager - Resignation

Jeff EmersonIt is with great regret that I must announce the departure of Jeff Emerson, our Club Manager, on Friday 16th February after four years of excellent service to Whitstable Yacht Club. We owe Jeff much gratitude for his constant and committed service, and he will be greatly missed in the Club and the local community.
Jeff is moving back to Dorset, to be closer to his family, although we hope he will call in and see us whenever he returns to this area. He is here this week, and next Thursday and Friday, so please take the opportunity to visit the Club or contact him at to thank him for all he has done, say goodbye and wish him well.
Following his departure, the office email, phone and procedures will be monitored and processed by volunteers from the membership and other staff. More details of a longer term plan for Jeff's replacement will be communicated later.
Richard J Bradburn
Commodore, Whitstable Yacht Club

2018 Sailing Schedule now available on the WYC website

WYC Presents the 2018 Sailing Season
Check out this year's sailing schedule at (and take note of your duty!).
Key dates:

  • Working Party - Saturday 10th March;
  • First race of the season - Saturday 17th March;
  • Annual General Meeting - Saturday 24th March;
  • First Cadets & Families session of the year - Saturday 31st March;
  • Whitstable Week - 30th July to 3rd August; and
  • Annual Prize Giving and Laying Up Supper - Saturday 10th November.
We look forward to seeing you on the water for another great season of sailing!

Ramp repair - update

The design and implementation plan for the restoration of the ramp have been finalised, the club now awaits completion of the loan and the release of funds. As the money is not yet available it does mean the planned completion date of early March will not now be achieved. As soon as the club has received the necessary funds we will provide a further update on a planned start and completion date.

Bar price rises - a message from the Commodore

I am writing to inform you that we will shortly be increasing bar prices. We have to do this, reluctantly, in order to cover cost increases in both supplies and bar operations. We are spreading the increases evenly across all categories and brands, so that no one group of Bar users is disadvantaged in comparison to another.

The staff and the ad hoc Bar Committee (of which I am a member) are reviewing all our options to ensure that the Club continues to provide the best possible value for money for our bar users. If anyone has suggestions for improvement, please raise these with Laurette, Jeff or Alex


The following list of windsurfing equipment is to be auctioned in accordance with RYA guidelines on the disposal of abandoned equipment. To view the equipment please contact Sally Gostelow and to place a bid email by close on Friday 23 February 2018 clearly indicating which board and Lot Number you are bidding on.
Winning bidders will be notified by email from Tuesday 27 February 2018 and will be required to remove the board from WYC or arrange to pay for storage by 10 March 2018. Sailing Secretary


General Committee nominations

We need new Flag Officers and General Committee Members - an urgent message from the Commodore.

The Annual General Meeting of the Club will take place this year on Saturday 24 March at 5.30pm. At this meeting one essential item of business will be the election of Flag Officers and General Committee Members

The General Committee is made up of voting members of the Club (voting members are Full, including Family, Members of the Club, excluding Social members). Non-voting members can also be co-opted onto the General Committee, but do not have a vote. The Officers of the Club (Commodore, Vice-Commodore, and Rear Commodore for House and Sailing) must be adult Full or Family voting members of the Club who have previously served for at least one year on the General Committee. For more information, see the WYC Rules.

The Club currently has great opportunities, while facing some significant challenges. We have a rapidly expanding sail training capability, which will draw in more adult and cadet members. We have an enviable beach location. We have a strong core of experienced members at all levels who work as a team to deliver a comprehensive programme of sailing and land-based activities and events. We have a thriving town which should be capable of providing significantly more social members utilising the bar and other onshore facilities.

We are however not making the most of our opportunities. We need a membership drive for new sailing and social members. We need to build closer relations with Canterbury City Council and other local public organisations. We need to sharpen up the bar and Sea Room and the meeting room upstairs. We need to improve our boat storage facilities on the beach and under cover. We need to “sell” the Club facilities to the wider community as somewhere to hold meetings and events. All this while negotiating some complex and time-consuming strategic and financial issues. Right now we do not have enough people to take on all these tasks. The more people willing to do so, the easier it will be for everyone.

The Officers and the General Committee members are essential to the successful operation of the Club, and we are running short of people. John Boorman, our excellent Vice Commodore, has to stand down for personal reasons. We have several General Committee members who have already stood down or will do so at the AGM. Other key individuals will want to change roles or stand down at some point during the next three years, and we need people ready to take their place.

I need more Members to stand up and actively support the continued operation of the Club. Without volunteers to take on these roles and responsibilities, there will not be a Club. Therefore, if you are a Full Member, please urgently consider standing for the General Committee. If you are a Social Member, please volunteer to be coopted onto the General Committee after the AGM. Better still, put yourself forward to stand for one of the Flag Officer positions. We would benefit from some contested elections (many sailing clubs have contested elections for Flag Officer positions as a matter of course). And the Club will need a new Commodore in 2019, although do not let me put off anyone who wants to run for the position this year !

Nomination forms are available from the Office and behind the bar. Do not wait to be asked, just put yourself forward.

Richard J Bradburn

Mike Scott funeral arrangements

Mike Scott's funeral will take place at Barham Crematorium at midday on Monday 19th February with a wake held at Whitstable Yacht Club. Flowers from family only and in place for anyone who wishes donations to Cancer Research or Alzheimer's Society.

Mike Scott

It is with great regret that we pass on the news to members that Mike Scott died on Monday, peacefully. Our deepest condolences go out to his wife Heather, their children and all Mike’s friends. Further details will be posted once dates are known, but the wake will be held at the yacht club.

Boats - strong winds

After the very strong winds some boats have been damaged, boat No 433 & 133, please ensure your boat is secure and all masts are taken down.


We are looking for more race recorders to join our dedicated team. The season is fast approaching and we would like to recruit more recorders to help support club racing. It’s a great way to get involved with your club and to get to know other members and see club racing and events close up. Please contact Sally Gostelow ( if you are interested. Free social membership is offered to those who are willing to commit to 10 duties or more. Sailing Sec.

Training and Sailing Development Programme

Did you know that WYC has an in house RYA recognised training centre to help with you and your family's sail training and development needs? Formal tuition is available for adult and youth sailing, as well as windsurfing, and there's a programme of adult improver sessions from late spring to early autumn. For children there's also a programme of Cadet and Family sessions, Cadet Races, and the annual CadetFest to keep them safe and entertained on the water, whilst helping hem develop their sailing abilities.
The 2018 schedule of adult and youth sailing courses has now been published, along with more information on the available courses and events at More information on the full programme of Cadet and Family sessions will be published in the 2018 Programme due out shortly.

Workparty 28th January & clearance of changing room.

The new fire proof ceiling is been fitted in February. We need a number of people to help in dismantling the cages around boilers and take down some lockers to prepare the space for the contractors to start in February.
Please contact the office if you are able to help on Sunday 28th January. Also all personal items, need to be removed by Monday 22nd January from the changing area, including all hanging up wetsuits. The shower area can still be used and everything in lockers can be left, unless you have been contacted by the office.

Draft WYC 2018 Sailing Schedule

The 2018 Sailing Programme will be going to press in the new year, and will be delivered to members before the start of the sailing season. Key dates for member's new diaries are:
First race: April Showers 1 on Saturday 17th March
• 505 Nationals – 26-29th April
• B14 Open – 19th & 20th May
• Wanderer Open – 2nd & 3rd June
• Merlin Rocket Open – 23rd & 24th June
• Laser Fest – 14th & 15th July
Whitstable Week - 30th July to 3rd August
CadetFest - 20th August to 24th August
• Forts Race – 9th September
• Dart 18 Open – 20th & 21st October
Last race: Winter Series 7
Download a full copy of the draft sailing schedule by clicking Read More. Any comments on the schedule to before 1st Jan.


First Aid Course at WYC

Oyster Coast Water Sports have offered members of WYC a good deal on a First Aid Course. There are three possible dates, 25th Feb, 25th March or 21st April - perfect timing to get your First Aid skills reviewed and up to date before the summer! The price will be £50 per member if more than 8 members join the course, which is a significant discount on what you'd pay if you went elsewhere! If you're interested, please contact Ruth Oliver at, and let her know your preferred date.

Flood Gates

There will be instructions posted next to large blue flood gate, next to Rigden Shed, on how the gate should be opened and closed.
The gate has been left open with the cable not wound in and is left loose on the floor and the opening wire still connected. The covers also need to be put on the winches to keep the weather/salt off them.
Remember if you open it you must close it over the winter. Also ensure the track is swept so the wheels are not obstructed by the stones etc.

Abandoned equipment stored in the rafters of Rigden’s Shed

There is a significant amount of sailing and windsurfing equipment stored, and likely abandoned, above the rafters of Rigden's Shed. This is not an approved storage area, and should not be used for equipment storage. At the Autumn Working Party Simon Reynolds compiled a comprehensive list, which can be downloaded at Rigden_Rafters_List_2017_v2.docx. If you recognise any of your equipment, please remove it before Christmas. Any remaining equipment will be disposed of in the new year. Thank you to Simon for doing this difficult job identifying this equipment!

Notes from the 2017 Meeting of Sailors

The notes from this year's Meeting of Sailors can now be downloaded from If you have any comments or feedback related to the meeting or the notes, please contact the Rear Commodore Sailing or your Class Captain.
As discussed at the meeting, the main WYC Open and Club events in 2018 will be:
• First club race: 17th March 2018
• 505 Nationals – 26-29th April
• B14 Open – 19th & 20th May
• Wanderer Open – 2nd & 3rd June (sailed alongside club racing)
• Merlin Rocket Open – 23rd & 24th June
• Laser Fest – 14th & 15th July
• Whitstable Week - 30th July to 3rd August
• Forts Race – 9th September
• Dart 18 Open – 20th & 21st October
• Last club race: 9th December 2018

New wines available from the WYC bar

Starting Friday 17th November, we'll be serving two new wines: Les Oliviers Merlot and a very nice Australian Malbec called Soldier's block.

5* Very Good Food Hygiene Rating for WYC and Quayside Coffee

Food Hygiene Rating of 5 - Very GoodWe're pleased to announce that the WYC kitchen and bar, and Quayside Coffee (Keith's coffee hut in the club's forecourt) were recently inspected and given the maximum rating of 5 for food hygiene by the Food Standards Agency!
Thanks to Wiz for her work in ensuring the WYC facilities meet these high standards, and well done to Keith for running a high quality operation for our members and the public!

Are you thinking of upgrading to an even bigger TV?

The club's TV in the Sea Room has unfortunately died. If you're thinking of upgrading to a bigger and better model in time for Christmas, would you consider donating your old one to the club?
We need a TV of 51+inch, with at least two HDMI ports, and ideally full HD!
If you have something that might be suitable, please contact Jeff in the office (


Thank you to all those members who have renewed their memberships for 2017/18. However, the deadline of 31st October has passed and there are still a number outstanding. I would be grateful if you could forward your completed forms and payment to me as soon as possible. Please note that the General Committee have advised that any renewals received after 30 November 2017 will be subject to a £25 late payment charge. I attach the renewal form.Renewal_Form_2017-2018.doc . Please contact me at or telephone me on Mondays or Tuesdays on 01227 272942 if you have any membership queries. Sally Gostelow, Membership Secretary.


Please contact Sally Gostelow ( if you would like to support WYC's 2018 programme by advertising your business within it.

£120 whole page/£72 half a page including VAT.

Boat, trolley and cover markings

A few recent incidents have highlighted the importance of being able to identify boats and equipment, especially covers and trolleys. This aids identification of boats at sea (for example in the event that a boat does not return as expected), and can aid in recovery of boats and equipment if they are stolen or damaged. Covers and trolleys should be labelled with a sail number, surname and boat class. This does not need to be visible when the boat is put away, so can be on the underside of the cover or trolley. Boats should also have their WYC parking sticker clearly displayed, and readable when the boat is parked and covered.
The WYC Storage and Boat Parking policy has been updated to include “Trolleys, trailers, covers and any other equipment left on the beach when you go sailing must also be clearly labelled with your sail number and name to aid identification in the event of an incident.”

New lock on Upper Rigden’s Shed

The lock has a new code. Members who need access should contact the Office, Club Bar or a member of the General or Sailing Committees.


Membership renewals were sent by email (and a small number by post) to members on Monday 18 September. If you have not received your renewal documents, please contact the Membership Secretary, Sally Gostelow at Alternatively, you can call me on 01227 272942 on Mondays or Tuesdays if you have any queries regarding your membership. Please note that renewals are due by 31st October 2017. Many thanks.

Bart’s Bash Bosh! #sailonbart #bartsbash

Bart's Bash 2017 at WYC
WYC sailed the annual Bart's Bash race on Sunday 17th September. 25 boats took part, and over £80 was raised on the day for the great causes that the Andrew Simpson Foundation supports (plus donations by members online prior to the race)! The results have been submitted to the Bart's Bash website, so should appear soon. Photos of the racing were taken from the Committee Boat, and can be seen on the club's Facebook Page.

Cadet fundraising sweets

The Cadet Committee has a basket of sweets on the corner of the bar to raise funds for Cadet sailing. If you take a bag of sweets, can you please make sure that you put at least the minimum donation of £1 per bag in the money box!

Photos of Whitstable Week, August Regatta & Forts Race

Photos taken by Nick Champion at Whitstable Week, the August Regatta and the Forts Race are now available for view and purchase at

Forts Race Weekend 2017 report on Yachts&Yachting

Photo by John BoormanThe 22nd Forts Race Weekend was held on 9th and 10th September at Whitstable Yacht Club. The long-distance catamaran race, sponsored this year by NeilPryde Sailing and Whitstable Marine, was a weekend of two weather extremes! Read the full report the Yachts&Yachting website at
Thanks again to all of the volunteers at Whitstable Yacht Club who made the event possible
Prize Winners

Committee Boat

The team of volunteers who maintain and drive the WYC Committee Boat have discovered an issue with the boat's mooring in front of the club. An attempt was made to wade out and resolve the problem on Saturday morning at low tide, but the anchor was still too far underwater to be able to fix it. The next set of very low tides, which should allow enough access to the mooring, are in March next year, so the decision has been made to move the boat to her winter moorings at Conyer, rather than risk loosing her. This means that racing will be sailed off the club line from the race hut, rather than Committee Boat starts for the remainder of the season, with the exceptions of Bart's Bash (including Autumn Series 5) this Sunday (17th September), and the Laser European Qualifier event on 21st and 22nd October.
Thanks to the Committee Boat team for doing what they could to try and resolve the issue, and for their continuing support in maintaining and driving the boat.

WYC are now offering Windsurfing lessons!

We are now able to offer windsurfing at Whitstable yacht club! We have some dates in mind, 30th September 12:30 - 3:30 or the 1st of October 1:30 - 4:30. We can offer an afternoon as a taster session then if you want to progress to a level then we will go from there.
The price for one afternoon taster session is £65 for three hours, however not all if this time is spend on the water. There is some theory before you get on the water. If there is time left over at the end your instructor will go over tides or more theory. This taster then will make up the first session out of 4 for a start windsurfing course, if you wish to continue.
We can provide wetsuits, shoes and buoyancy aids.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me,
Kind regards, Ruth
WYC Training Administrator.

Free WiFi at WYC

The free WiFi in the club has been upgraded to provide more speed and better coverage. You may need to re-add your device to continue using it: search and connect to "WYCFree" and accept the T&Cs when they pop up.

Francis John Rigden.

I respectfully make this contact with you to inform you and your members of the following facts:
My partners late father was Mr Francis John Rigden, who was born on 30th December 1930. Sadly I inform you of his death, following the third of three strokes, at the Royal Sussex County Hospital on 24th August 2017, aged 86 years.
Mr Rigden was born in Whitstable and was formally an apprentice and then shipwright at Anderson Rigden and Perkins Boatyard, of Island Wall, Whitstable. He retired to Peacehaven in Sussex, with his wife Pamela, his widow who still lives there. He had three sons and a daughter as well as an extended family.
His funeral will take place at All Saints Church, Whitstable, at 1130am on Tuesday 19th September 2017. Former friends and acquaintances would be most welcome to attend. Donations in Mr Rigden's memory to the Whitstable Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
I respectfully ask you to publish this information in any club newsletter and on your bulletin board.
Kind regards, Lysa Jephcott (daughter)

WYC CadetFest 2017 Report!

CadetFest 2017Some 30 WYC cadets, led by Alex Harwood, Ruth Oliver and a brilliant team of young instructors and parent helpers, took part each day in the Cadetfest week, August 21-25, sailing a range of 20 dinghies, with two day sails to Seasalter SC and Shellness, a mini Olympics series, a friendly with Herne Bay SC cadets, and lots of fun activities. The reports attached, two from cadets and one by a parent, capture the achievement and fun.
Thanks to Barton Marine Equipment for generously supporting the event!
Download the report here.

Report from the Wanderer Open at Whitstable Yacht Club, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August

Wander Open 2017This was a weekend of two contrasting days. The first day, scheduled for races, was blown out by a horrible SW near gale. The second, scheduled for a cruise, provided near perfect conditions for a combined race and cruise day. Saturday saw ten Wanderers (8 WYC boats, and 2 visitors) confronted by a fierce wind, steep, angry waves and a general consensus not to race. Paul and Liz entered the club race to be the only double hander to finish, despite the committee boat dragging its anchor and the leeward mark fast disappearing towards the wind farm. The Wanderers however are a happy band and 23 Wandering brothers and sisters later reconvened at the club for a greatly appreciated barbecue. Saturday evening was excellent with Richard, Gavin and Ian providing the entertainment. We had poems, funny nautical songs, especially Gavin’s Saga one, and Ian told a shaggy cod story.
Conditions on Sunday could not have been better from everyone’s perspective...

...The day went brilliantly. It was great having ten Wanderers out and everyone being so helpful and encouraging to each other. Two boats decided to follow the course but not to race. Nick and Keith expecting Storm Gert conditions came with a reduced mainsail. Sailing upwind in lighter airs was a challenge, but they covered Tankerton as well as Whitstable Bay and, despite missing the reception party at the Shipwright’s, returned safely despite the diversion - not long after the RNLI had checked their wellbeing. Richard’s pedagogic predisposition took over as he gave visiting crewmen, Joanathan Jefferies, who has recently become a Wanderer owner and John Renouf, chairman of the Wanderer Class Owners Association, a Wanderer Swale sailing taster session in “Giggle”. Apart from the welcome sight of the Shipwright’s, the run back with the rest of the fleet, spinnakers flying, completed the champagne sailing experience for our guests.
The race itself produced one of the most thrilling finishes of Wanderer long distance sailing. After six and a half miles - Shelagh made it ten miles with all the tacking - the front three boats were sailing brilliantly and it was any man’s or woman’s race to win.  Gavin and Mark sailing “Thistle” (1282) had made a great port tack start at the pin end, kept as far to windward on the first leg, rounded ahead the Pollard Spit, and mid Swale led the fleet past Sand End buoy.  Nick and Mike in “Too late the Hero” (1604) had “Thistle” and “Surprise” (1626) sailed by Paul and Liz in their sights. But in the very shifting and gusty conditions of the narrowing Swale, “Thistle” and “Surprise” (1626) closed on the finish while “Too late the Hero”, having tacked to take a shorter course, lost out to a header. “Surprise” (Paul and Liz) now began to overhaul “Thistle” (Gavin and Mark). Paul got to windward of Gavin and was able to tack first for the line. It was a photo finish (thanks to Laurna Carney) with Paul and Liz a superb first, and everyone a winner.
This was a race of many notable firsts. Shelagh and Ed (4th) won the battle of tactical skill and endurance in the middle order. David (5th) showed that two women, Lucinda and Jo, and one man in a boat can do a lot better than I did with three men in a boat. Kate and Ian get better and better. Kate helmed “The Honourable 33rd” to finish with first class honours - 27 positions above their boat’s name. Meanwhile Ian and Glenda were the first boat carrying an outboard engine, not that they used it but carried the extra weight in case any boat were to need the assistance of their seamanship. Fef and Angelyna were the first double generation winning boat, with granddaughter Angelyna, 11, doing much of the helming and winning first Wanderer helmed by a cadet. For all of this, a big Thank You to everyone who made the success and fun of the weekend possible: John Boorman, our Race Officer and with Laura Carney, our photographer, also our RIB cruise escort, to Andrea for registration, to Wizz and Jo for the superb Bar-B-Q and everyone involved at WYC. 
Well done everyone. You all did amazingly well.
Richard Maltby
(WYC Wanderer cruise organiser)
3rd ed. 25 Aug 2017


  • 1: 1626, Paul Yeadon & Liz North
  • 2: 1282, Gavin Barr & Mark Skipper
  • 3: 1604, Nick Hawkins & Mike Judson
  • 4: 1566, Shelagh O Riordan & Ed Lamb
  • 5: 1351, David Golding & Lucinda Golding Jo Phillips
  • 6: 593, Kate Ahern & Ian Hay
  • 7: 1098, Ian Nevill & Glenda Nevil
  • 8: 890, Fef Griffin & Angelyna Gheur
    • Photo by Laura Jean Carney. More photos can be seen on the WhitstableYC Facebook Page.

      Missing RS Tera boom, mainsheet and kicker

      One of the booms, kicker and mainsheet for the club's RS Teras has gone missing. Have you seen it? Please check on your racks and on your boats in case you've packed it away by mistake. If anyone know's it's whereabouts, please contact Richard or Ruth.

      Cadetfest Week 2017 - Supported by Barton Marine

      Cadetfest Week 2017 starts on Monday 21st August, and runs for 5 days with the aim of providing safe and fun sailing activities for Whitstable Yacht Club cadets. The week will include a cruise to Seasalter Sailing Club, a get together day with Herne Bay Sailing Club cadets for sailing activities and races, and a behind the scenes tour of the Barton Marine Factory! All this for only £55 for the week or £15 per day! To take part, please complete and return the joining form ASAP.
      Barton MarineTo help Whitstable Yacht Club put on such an exciting cadet week, we're being generously supported by Barton Marine. If you don't already know, Barton Marine are a Whitstable based company, who've had a world wide reputation for marine equipment for almost 80 years, supplying everything from blocks and cleats to replica Laser kits and carbon tiller extensions. Suzanne Blaustone, Chief Executive of Barton Marine, commented “Barton Marine has a keen interest in encouraging young people to get out on the water and try sailing. By supporting initiatives like the Whitstable Yacht Club Cadetfest, we hope that more people will enjoy and take up the sport. Here’s to a great week of sailing and fun for everyone involved!”
      To find out more about Barton Marine, go to their website at, or pop into Whitstable Marine!

      Alex Holliday

      Members may have read of the tragic death of Alex Holliday while on a school visit to Cuba. Alex was the son of WYC members Mike Phipps and Sarah Holliday and brother to Ellie, to whom we send our deepest sympathies.
      Alex died peacefully in his sleep while on a school trip to Cuba to study marine ecology. It is understood he suffered what was described as “a medical episode”. He was a year 10 student at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Faversham, and lived in Tankerton. Sarah described him as “the gentlest, kindest boy” who had touched so many people’s lives. He was adored by his sister Ellie and by all who knew him.

      Whitstable Week 2017

      Whitstable Week 2017 - The year of all or nothing with the weather! Little wind on Monday, no wind on Tuesday, strong northerly winds and large waves for Wednesday and Thursday, then one good day of fairly flat water and F3-4 South Westerly on Friday to round the week off. Seems like August has let us down! But, we did get 7 of the 10 races in, and Tom Bruton did a great job as Race Officer to get sailing in when he could. Almost 50 boats took part, with some good close racing across all classes when we were able to sail. Thanks to the Race team, Safety team, Social team and everyone who helped out to make the week a success. Full results are available on, but the summary and special prize winners were:

      • 1st Overall - Christian Brewer (Laser Standard).
      • 1st Under 18 - Tom Oliver.
      • Laser - 1st Christian Brewer, 2nd Mark Grinter.
      • Laser Radial - 1st Ruth Oliver, 2nd Tom Oliver.
      • Merlin - 1st James Goodfellow/Julie Nuttall, 2nd Rien Zilvold/Liz North.
      • Tasar - 1st Stephen Nation/Julie Puckett, 2nd Tessa Lancaster/Nick Lancaster.
      • General Handicap - 1st David Connor (Lightning), 2nd Peter Heyes (Streaker).
      • General Classification (Wanderer) - 1st Richard Maltby/John Hope.
      • Slow Handicap - 1st Alex Wilson/Harry Wilson (RS Feva).
      • Catamarans - 1st Tony & Julie Dod (Dart 18), 2nd Robert Govier (Dart 18).
      • Loudest competitor - Tom Oliver.
      • Spirit of Whitstable Week - Martin Akers & John Gibbons (Merlin).
      Photo by Samuel Turner.

      B14 National Championships Report

      Read the reports from the B14 Nationals at Yachts and Yachting:
      Day 1&2
      Day 3
      Day 4
      And see the results in detail at
      Photo credit: Tom Bradley.


      The next round of Cadet activities resumes after Whitstable Week on Monday 14th August with the fifth and last Cadets' training course of the season, followed by a Cadets and Families session on Friday 18th, and the Cadetfest week Monday 21st to Friday 25th August. The course is fully booked but places are available for Cadetfest - a great opportunity to practice and develop all the skills learned from the courses. A Joining Form is attached.

      Despite the windy conditions of last week 24 cadets succeeded in training at different levels of the RYA sailing scheme, from stage one up to stage four and Start Racing. Congratulations to everyone and huge thanks to the instructors. We also enjoyed a windy day on Friday 4th at Herne Bay SC when 19 WYC Cadets got together with HBSC cadets for a great day of sailing, barbecue lunch and races. We are delighted that our first meeting went so well, with thanks to hospitality and excellent organisation of Ben Gardner and the HBSC Cadets section. The HBSC sailors are pretty good and we will need to be at our best for the return day on August 23rd.

      Found in the archive - Film of ‘Black Thursday’ in 1961

      One of several reels of film recently found in the club archives, this short video shows footage of the Prince of Wales Cup race held on the Thursday of the International 14ft Dinghy Class championships held at Whitstable Yacht Club in July 1961. It became known as “Black Thursday” as the fleet was decimated by high winds. Ian Wild, who was 17 at the time, was there: “If I remember it correctly I was helping on the committee boat which was “Cod” Kelsey’s shrimping trawler from the harbour. I jumped into one boat we were rescuing to help bail it out as the crew were exhausted.”

      The Prince of Wales Cup, which was first run in 1927, was regarded as one of the premier dinghy events in the world and it was a great honour for Whitstable Yacht Club to host it. It attracted over seventy entries including three from America. From the sail numbers we can identify 667 Bolero sailed by M Birkett, 702 Pyewackett sailed by T Carol, 746 Hilarity sailed by H Binyon and 760 Full Cry sailed by C Bennion. As can be seen, the International 14s carried very little buoyancy at the time.

      Jack Knights, one of the leading yachting journalists of the time, described it in the Daily Express as follows:
      “Rescuers were just in time to save Margaret Griffiths, crewing for her husband John when the Griffith’s boat Wagga Wagga capsized during the Prince of Wales Cup race at Whitstable yesterday. The race for the championship of the international 14ft dinghy class began in a howling gale. There were 50 starters but only six finished. Many boats capsized just after the start and many more on the first round. And at the end of it all it turned out that the race committee had abandoned the contest two-thirds of the way through. But nobody saw the small signal flag through the spray and the rain. Before long, one boat began to stand out – Audacity, sailed by her designer David Miles of Clevedon. Audacity, with a lot of freeboard, looked all the time a certain winner so long as she could stay upright which she did. Second at the end was Hilarity, sailed by Hugh Binyon, with Stuart Morris in Gossip third. The race will be re- sailed today.”

      From the International 14 website:
      Another new design of 1960 was Audacity (732). David Miles and Gerald Durbin developed her from their successful one-design decked 14ft. Mercury class. She was constructed in a novel manner, being made in sheet ply but with moulded sections where the sheets joined at the turn of the bilge, giving the appearance of a moulded hull. She was somewhat lower priced than the Proctor boats and boasted one of the first successful Wykeham-Martin roller furler jibs. Her deep hull was to prove of great benefit at Whitstable in 1961. In some of the wildest conditions in which an attempt has ever been made to sail the P.O.W. she was leading the survivors of the fleet, 7 out of 50, by a leg and a half, when in the fourth lap, the race was stopped. During the race, the seas were reported as being 6ft. and 7ft. from crest to hollow. At least one boat broke its plate on the bottom between waves. The wind was recorded at 35 knots, stronger in the gusts. After the race, the seven who were left were awarded special prizes, including Mrs. M. Birkett who was helming Bolero. The re-sail of the P.O.W. which was held on the Saturday was won by Stewart Morris in Gossip (767).

      SGM Sunday - Thank you

      Thank you for all those who attended the meeting and those that sent in their postal votes. It was an amazing turnout with over 150 members in attendance and the vote was as follows, including postal votes.
      Yes 163
      No 1
      Abstain 3
      The motion was carried and further details will follow shortly.

      Volvo RS Feva Grand Prix at WYC - Report

      The fourth and final RS Feva Grand Prix took place at Whitstable Yacht Club on 8th and 9th July. The report is now available at, and photos from the event are at
      Thanks to all the volunteers from WYC who helped out with this event!

      Whitstable Yacht Club LaserFest 17 Report

      LaserFest was conceived as a weekend of tight Laser racing and great socials with the objective of getting as many WYC Lasers on the water as possible. Looking back on a great weekend of racing, an amazing BBQ and some amusing banter its mission was accomplished – and in some style.
      With a turnout of 38 boats over the two days, we welcomed 6 visitors to add to 32 WYC boats – the envy of some of our other club fleets. PRO Mark Barnes ran a tight ship, with long accurate courses to take on Saturday’s brisk conditions and shorter challenge to match Sunday’s softer breeze.
      We were privileged to recently receive a legacy from long time WYC and international Laser sailor Peter Raymer, and his trophy was awarded to the best WYC boat by his son John. When the sums were done it was apparent that youth had triumphed with James Goodfellow the most consistent in both strong and lighter conditions to become overall winner and 1st WYC boat – well done Baby Spice!
      Runner up was Niall Martin thanks to his 4,1 on day 2 pushing Nigel Brown down to 3rd with radial Jeff Loosemore taking 4th – we are glad he’s joining WYC so we can learn just a few of his secrets (and get trashed again).
      Prizes were awarded throughout the fleet with special awards for first lady, Ruth Oliver, first cadet radial Tom Oliver and especially for 10 year old Christopher Marsh from Thailand who finished every race in his 4.7.
      For the event report on Yachts&Yachting, see
      Laserfest 17 was a successful event on every level – 38 boats was above expectations, and so great to see WYC Lasers who’ve struggled to race this year due to family commitments having a go at big fleet racing. Let’s hope it stimulates even better turnouts for the rest of the season and encourages the rest of WYC to do the same.
      Thanks to the WYC Laser Fleet for organising the event, Race Office Mark Barnes and the rest of the Safety and Support team, Steve Gray for the report, and Katerina Kelly for the photos!

      New Appointment - Training Administrator

      Ruth OliverThe club has created a new part-time post of Training Administrator and I am sure everyone will be delighted that Ruth Oliver has been appointed to the post. Ruth has been sailing at Whitstable since she was 8, and won the RYA Regional Young Sailor of the Year Award for the South East region in 2012. She has been helping people learn to sail since she was 14, and has experience at training centres both in the UK and abroad.
      Her role marks a significant extension of the training team in line with the increasing volume and variety of training and course activities that we have recently taken on for both children and adults. This week for instance between Monday 10th July and Sunday 16th we are running three courses for cadets and two courses for adults, with requests coming in every day. If as a cadet or adult you would like to book a RYA course or individual tuition or for any other sail training activity please contact Ruth at

      SGM Sunday 23rd July at 1pm

      The Flag Officers and General Committee have called a Special General Meeting for Sunday 23 July. I am writing to you to give you some further information about the purpose of this meeting and the resolution on which you will be asked to vote. Please remember only full adult members can vote, but all are welcome to attend.

      Firstly, I want to dispense with some rumours which have been circulating around the town and further afield. The Club is financially very healthy. We currently make a small operating profit each year, we have significant property holdings, and our current total borrowings are approximately £17000.

      We do however need to raise capital or borrowings from time to time to finance significant expenditure. We are therefore asking Members to give the General Committee authority to increase borrowings to £100000. The additional funds are required for the following purposes:

      1. Number 2 Sea Wall, which has recently become vacant, needs refurbishment so that it can be let out on the short-term or long-term rental market for a considerably increased return. We anticipate that the refurbishment work will cost between £30,000 and £35,000, and our calculations show that we will fully recover that cost through increased rental income within three years.

      2. Our Ramp is one of the iconic features of the Whitstable seafront, both practical and a pleasure for Members. Following storm damage, we have initiated a project to refurbish the Ramp to a standard which should give it a further twenty years or more of life. We will be financially supported in this work by an agreed insurance claim, but the proposed work goes beyond the recent storm damage and we anticipate an additional £10,000 to £12,000 costs to complete the project. Some Members have suggested that we could operate without a ramp permanently, but we have informally sounded Members and it is clear that the majority want it retained and rebuilt.

      3. We need to replace the three big RIB engines. We are running these engines well beyond their economic life, and are consequently paying out far more money in repairs than we would be doing if we replaced them on a three to five-year cycle. In order to implement this cost-saving plan, we do however need to fund the purchase of three new Mercury engines from Whitstable Marine, and undertake some ancillary work. Yes, before you ask, we looked into various buying options and Whitstable Marine offered us the best deal. The upfront cost, including some reengineering of control lines and hull refurbishment, will be between £19,000 and £21,000.

      4. We want to refurbish some space upstairs to create two or three double bedrooms for visiting sailors that we can let at a decent rate of return. Estimated cost £5,000 and some volunteer labour, recoverable from increased letting income within three years.

      5. We want to create a larger meeting room on the first floor, combining the current Committee Room and part of the old Stewards Flat. We will install a move-able room divider and smarten up both rooms. They will be a more flexible space, useful for training, events and meetings, and we may advertise them as rent-able business meeting space during the week. Estimated cost c.£10,000, recoverable from net room hire income, training and better use of other club space within three years.

      6. There are other less significant building works in the Club which are must also be done soon, and which will be funded out of our increased borrowing.

      You will note that £50,000 of the proposed borrowing will pay for itself within three years, including the cost of mortgage interest, and then will contribute significant profit into the Club finances. The new RIB engines will save us money in the medium term. While these are separate works, the package taken as a whole should pay for itself within a fifteen year span.

      More detail will be provided at the Meeting. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on 23 July. If you cannot attend, please send in your postal vote or proxy form.

      Richard J Bradburn
      6 July, 2017

      It’s under a week to go until the RS Feva Volvo GP4 and RS Tera Open at WYC

      RS Feva and RS Tera OpenWhitstable Yacht Club are hosting the RS Feva Volvo GP4 alongside an RS Tera Open on 8th and 9th July. The event is a 6 race series over the 2 days, and we're looking forward to welcoming lots of keen young sailors and their families to the club for the weekend! There's still time to enter online, and you can download the race documents from our website:
      RS Tera: RS Tera Notice of Race, details on the RS Tera website, and online entry at
      RS Feva:RS Feva Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions & Event Specific SI Appendix. Event details and online entry on the RS Feva website

      Event Report: 2017 Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller Open at Whitstable Yacht Club

      Photo by Stuart France
      Whitstable Yacht Club hosted its annual Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller event sponsored by Craftinsure over the weekend of 24th-25th June. The event report accompanied by photos is on the Yachts&Yachting website, and the full results are posted on the club results page.

      Cadets and Families Session, Friday 30 June

      Cadets and Families Session, Friday 30 June, and Bookings for Summer holiday Courses July 31 - August 2 and Cadet fest August 21-25

      Please see the attached Information Sheet and Form for booking Summer holiday courses (for all abilities, RYA Stages 1-4 and Start Racing) and for Cadet fest (August 21-25) as well as the “Awayday” to sail with Herne Bay SC cadets (August 4th).     

      This week’s Programme:  Friday 30 June Start 18.00   HW 18.15

      The main group is for cadets and parents who can sail a triangular course. If you are a beginner or not yet able to sail a triangular course the learner group is for you.

      If you are coming this week please reply by email to by 9 pm on Thursday 29nd June with the following details:

      •      Your name.
      •      Will you be sailing with the Main Group or Learner Group?
      •      Sailing your own boat? Please state type of dinghy.
      •      Or request use of a club boat?
      •      Sailing single handed or double handed (as helm or crew)?
      •      Any other comments.

      Club boats will be allocated with every endeavour to accommodate preferences. Participants should arrive 45 minutes in advance to check the information on the white board posted in the forecourt, rig boats, and be changed ready to launch for the general briefing at 6 pm. Cadets must be accompanied by a parent.

      Any queries about the sailing programme, please email Richard Maltby, .


      West Quay boat parking - new fence and lock

      To help improve the security of the West Quay boat parking area the club has installed fencing with a locked gate. The gate is secured with a combination lock, so if you need access, please contact the club office or bar for the code. Thanks to Dickie, Kelvin, Ian, Dave, Robert and Alex for installing the fencing on Saturday morning, and Kelvin for organising.

      EYKA Man of Kent 2017 Photos

      Close starts!
      The photos (over 100!) from the Man of Kent 2017 are now available to view and buy at Thanks to Nick Champion for coming out on a rough and windy day to take such great shots!
      For more information, report and results for the event, see

      Well done to WYC Cadet Thea!

      WYC cadet Thea Eaton-Baudains put in a blistering performance in the KSSA New Racers event at Redoubt Sailing Club on 10th June and came in 4th after 4 races in the Topper fleet! A great result for her first event. Full results are at

      EYKA Man of Kent 2017 report

      Close starts!
      The 2017 Man of Kent regatta was held on Saturday 10th June, hosted this year by Whitstable Yacht Club. Tom Coley from Hythe & Saltwood SC won the event and the Man of Kent trophy with two firsts and a second. That pushed Peter Noble from Broadstairs SC into second with two seconds and a first. Nigel Brown from Whitstable YC in his Laser maintained consistent throughout the racing to take third overall with three third places. Alex Head from Downs SC in his Topper took the Junior trophy in 9th place overall, and junior sailors Hanna Mumford and Tara Head from Downs SC took the Ladies trophy in their RS200 with 13th place overall. The Team trophy was handed to Broadstairs Sailing Club, with Whitstable Yacht Club coming in second. For the full report and more photos, see
      Photos by Nick Champion at

      Yacht Club Yoga

      WYC Yoga
      The first Yacht Club Yoga session took place this week on a beautiful Whitstable evening, and all the participants felt supple and relaxed after their class. This will now be a regular Tuesday evening session at the club, from 6.30 - 7.45, and costs £6 per class (payable on the night). The session is suitable for beginners and is run by Yacht Club member Yvo Meredith, who is a British Wheel of Yoga qualified teacher. Places are limited, so if you would like to join the class please email Yvo on: to book your place.

      RYA RTC inspection

      Our RYA recognised training centre inspection took place Wednesday evening. After careful inspection of our procedures/paperwork the inspector looked at our equipment and activities on the water, including instruction. There was no action required and we passed with flying colours!
      A very special thanks must be made to our Principal, Richard Maltby. Thanks also to our chief instructor and to all the instructors and volunteers who help with training. Richard is a true professional and he has a great team supporting him.

      Bar product increase

      Due to price increases a couple of products have gone up.
      Guinness Surger now £3.20
      Hendricks Gin now £2.10

      All other prices are unchanged.

      New engine for WYC Patrol Boat

      A WYC Patrol Boat in action
      The General Committee have approved the purchase of a new engine for one of the club patrol boats, to replace the engine that is beyond economic repair. The engine is expected to be delivered and installed before the Man of Kent regatta on 10th June, and will be funded by the generous bequests provided by the estates of Peter Raymer and Dianne Lamberton. The club would like to thank Peter and Dianne's families for providing such generous support for the club.
      In addition, the General Committee have approved in principle the purchase of two more engines to replace the other two patrol boat engines, both of which have reached the end of their expected working life. This is subject to funds being raised, more details of which will follow shortly.

      Martin Newton funeral arrangements

      Martin’s funeral will take place at Barham Crematorium, Canterbury Road, Barham, Kent CT4 6QU on Thursday 22nd June at 13.20. Afterwards we will go to the Whitstable & Seasalter Golf Club, Collingwood Road, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1EB.
      No flowers. Donations to The Pilgrims Hospice, Canterbury via C W Lyons funeral directors, 51 – 53 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1DB.
      Could anyone who plans to attend let me know on my contact details below.
      Kind regards.
      Patrick McDonnell
      51 Albert Street
      Whitstable, Kent
      CT5 1HS
      Tel: 01227 261422
      Mob: 07780 683925
      Em Home:

      Wanderer Nationals

      Wanderer Nationals
      Paul Yeadon and Liz North of WYC won the Wanderer Nationals in testing conditions at Tudor SC, Langstone Harbour on 27/28 May, sailing W1626 "Surprise". Only two races were sailed, on the Saturday, and on Sunday racing was cancelled due to lack of wind. Paul and Liz won on count back from Philip Meadowcroft and Adam Wickenden. Their spinnaker work and downwind speed ensured their victory.

      Martin Newton

      It is with great regret that we pass on the news to members that Martin Newton died today, peacefully. He has been a member since the 70's and will be greatly missed. He volunteered on the rescue boats and worked behind the bar. He moved from London to Whitstable to enjoy his golf, sailing and a slower pace of life. We will post his funeral arrangements when we know them.

      Cadets far from Alone on a Wide, Wide Sea

      WYC CadetsCaptured in this photo taken from the Rigden balcony, ten of 19 cadet boats on the water last Friday (May 19) sailing in light airs. Congratulations to Margot Ali and Clara Taylor who successfully completed their RYA Stage two certificates, and to all 21 cadets and the four cadet instructors (out of view but in close support) on a very good session.

      WYC Cadets go Topper Team Racing!

      8 Whitstable Yacht Club cadets had a great time on Saturday 13th May, taking part in the KSSA Topper Team Racing at Redoubt Sailing Club. George Grove provided the following report on the action:
      On Saturday we went to a Topper Team Racing competition. It was the windiest sail I have ever had! We all capsized (including the other teams) except Seb, who did really well simply keeping his boat upright! They thought that they may have to call it off as it was so windy. My Dad said it's not often you see waves of that size on a lake. Unfortunately, we did not win but it was a good sail!
      The plucky sailors were:
      Whitstable YC(A)
      Seb Bamford (13), Hugo Eaton-Baudains (15), Iggy McNally (capt) (11) and Wilf Taylor (12)
      Whitstable YC (B)
      Thea Eaton-Baudains (11), Francesca Edler-Maidment (8), George Groves (12) and Lucas Groves (13)
      WYC Cadet Team
      For more photos, see the club's Facebook page

      John Day

      It is with great regret that we pass on the news to members that John Day died on Saturday 13th May. Most recently a keen Laser sailor (shown in the photos below sailing his Laser, and receiving the WYC Laser Sailor of the year award in 2016), he has a history with the club going back to the 1960's. He will be greatly missed. Below is a personal reflection on John's sailing career by Charlie Campion.
      John Day
      John first visited Whitstable Yacht Club in the 1960’s. He had gone for a ride on his Triumph motorcycle, a marque he owned all his adult life in preference to the Japanese offerings, & almost by chance ended up in Whitstable. As he was walking past Whitstable Yacht Club he spotted a notice advertising for crews which he enquired into. I am not quite sure of the ensuing conversation but later that day John was on the water with Derick Emery in a National 12 competing in a club race in quite windy weather. Derick was an accomplished National 12 sailor in pre Laser days when there were a limited number of dinghy classes & WYC was pretty much all National 12’s & Merlin Rockets. Derick & John won the race but what really impressed John was Derrick’s boat handling when coming ashore. Anyway, soon after...

      ...John purchased a National 12 & joined Maidstone Sailing Club (a club that no longer exists) where he met a young lad with a Heron. John persevered with the National 12 effectively teaching himself to sail in a tricky boat in tricky conditions. Maidstone SC sailed on Mote Park lake which had a length restriction of 14’ except for Fireballs & there was one of those there (owned by another young lad, Terry Davis) which John saw as the next step.
      It turned out that Mote Park Lake was not really suitable for Fireballs but there was a competitive & growing fleet at Hooness SC a club he joined whilst maintaining his links with Maidstone SC. Now thoroughly “hooked” & having taught himself to sail a Fireball in the more demanding conditions of the river Medway John felt a new boat was in order but not liking anything available decide to build one himself. Whilst building the Fireball he swapped building notes with the young lad who previously had the Heron but who was now building International Moths. When the Fireball was finished the young lad (who wasn’t quite so young anymore) was invited for a sail & we just kept sailing, travelling & competing together in many open meetings & National Championships. John had great feel for the boat coupled with a practical ability together with an ability to extract information from books which enabled him to put the jig-saw puzzle of sailing together. I remember he had one particular book, written by a Frenchman, which he read repeatedly & referred to as “the bible”! John won several Fireball open meetings & his name is on several Fireball trophy’s but I think his favourite moment came at the Flying Dutchman 21st Anniversary Regatta held at WYC. Rodney Pattisson won the Flying Dutchman Class & John won the Fireball Class so he shared the prize giving ceremony with Rodney Pattisson. Pity there is no photo (that I know of) of that moment…
      Circumstances, family, work etc. meant we stopped sailing together although I often wonder what might have resulted if we had kept going but we both simply stopped sailing for a while, however, we always remained in touch & John occasionally sailed a Fireball at Whitstable. We went on holiday together a number of times including one when we took a windsurfer to the south of France, before they were common place, where we kept the whole beach amused with our antics whilst we learnt. Then sometime later we both got Lasers & spent ages off Whitstable practicing together. John was really quick in a Laser especially downwind but somehow never seemed to do it in the races but I was always expecting him to spring a surprise on us all.
      John had many interest other than sailing. He was a good friend, was always kind, thoughtful of others & a gentleman.
      It now seems improbable that John & I were out cycling together in January.
      Johns wife Mary died a few years ago but Jonnie his son & Sally his daughter, who a number of people have met at the club, survive him together with grandchildren & great-grandchildren.
      So, I have known John 45+ years, possibly closer to 50, he has been my friend & I will miss him a great deal.

      Charlie Campion

      Push The Boat Out Success - Thank you!

      PTBO at WYCOur Push the Boat Out event on Saturday 13th May was a big success, despite the strong winds which kept all our visitors safely on the shore. We met some delightful new friends and look forward to welcoming them back to the club for a taster sail in more benign conditions. A very big thank you to everyone who helped, in whatever capacity. Your enthusiasm was impressive and we needed every one of you!

      Updated bar opening hours

      Updated bar opening times from this week, with later opening until 10pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. For the full bar opening times see

      David Johnson

      We regret to report that David Johnson passed away on Tuesday 11th April. He was for a long time a member of the club having joined in the mid 60s. He initially sailed a National 12 and then had a Merlin 691 Tease (at one time this was owned by Phil Emery's father Len - it had been designed and built by Roy Rigden in the mid 50s). David then built from scratch together with Robin Wilson Merlin 2991 Teasmade. For a time he was the Sailing Secretary at the club. In very recent years he has lived in Devon. He suffered from cancer for the last few weeks. His funeral will be held on 25th April at 10.30am at Meavy Church, and the funeral directors are Morris Brothers of Tavistock.

      Please close the barrier onto the beach from the harbour

      The RNLI have reported a few incidents recently of people driving onto the beach and parking in the area in front of the RNLI station, potentially blocking their ability to launch. They've requested that the barrier onto the beach is kept down at all times to discourage people parking on the beach. If you're moving equipment or boats onto the beach from the harbour area, please close the barrier behind you, and if you see the barrier open, please close it.

      Message from the Commodore.

      "It is with great regret that I pass on the news to members that Allan Barnes has died. Allan has suffered for the last eighteen months with cancer, and passed away peacefully at his home in Canterbury last week. Allan was an immensely skilled and popular member of the Safety Boat team, with strong links to the Merlin Class at Wembley Sailing Club. He had driven safety boats during Merlin Week in Salcombe for many years. It was there that John Cooper recognised him as a newly joined member of the WYC Laser fleet and suggested he should join the team at Whitstable. In the few years that he was with us, Allan endeared himself to sailors and safety boat team members alike for his good humour, quiet competence and great skills afloat and onshore. He had a mischievous sense of fun, and was one of the principal players in some legendary evenings on the WYC deck during the Merlin Nationals and other events. Last year he donated his Laser to the club. He will be greatly missed."
      Update: The funeral will take place on Friday 21st April at Barham Crematorium. The service will start at 13.20pm. Rather than flowers, Alan's family will be taking donations for the Pilgrim’s Hospice and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. If you would like to donate then they will have a collection and can take cash or cheques. Both are worthy causes and they are obviously close to the family's hearts so please be generous.

      Asymmetric and Catamaran Fleet Racing

      After consultation with the members of the classes, and confirmation at the March Sailing Committee meeting we will be trialing the combination of the Asymmetric, Small and Big Catamaran classes into a single fleet, with one start, and average lap racing on a windward/leeward course. This will mean that the Asymmetric class will start with on the third start with the Catamarans, and the Small Catamarans will race windward/leeward courses. Where there are no boats racing from the Asymmetric and Big Cat fleets, the Small Cats may choose to race a triangle course with the agreement of the Race Officer. This change will start from the beginning of the Easter Nip series. Any questions or comments on this change, please contact your Class Captain, or the Rear Commodore Sailing.

      Ramp repairs and hazard awareness

      The first phase of work on the club ramp following the storm damage has now been completed. It has been necessary to remove much of the lower section of the ramp leaving the sub-structure exposed until the rebuilding activity takes place. Members are reminded to keep well clear of the line of the ramp when leaving and returning to the beach. As the plans for rebuilding the ramp are finalised a further update will be provided regarding the expected return to use.

      Reminder - No parking on the Beach or West Quay

      No Parking SignAs we start the new sailing season at Whitstable Yacht Club members and visitors are reminded that car parking is not permitted on the Beach or West Quay without the express permission from the Club Manager. If you need to drive onto the Beach or West Quay areas for drop off or pick up, please drive carefully, do not block any boats, and stay with or near your vehicle at all times.

      Cadets’ appeal: Boat trolley for small training power boat

      We have been offered a small power boat for use with cadets sessions. This would be very useful for inshore training and cadet sessions. We just need one thing to put it into service - a boat trolley. Does anyone, please, have a boat trolley that they would be willing to donate or lend? We should be able to adapt almost any trolley to take the 6hp boat. Any offers please to

      Whitstable Town Regatta - Racing still to take place!

      Whitstable Town RegattaYou may have seen reports in the press over the last few weeks about the cancelling of this year's Town Regatta event on Tankerton Slopes by the Whitstable and Herne Bay Lions Club. Contrary to some of those reports, the 224 year old Regatta will still live on, in the original form of a sailing competition on the water between the town's best sailors! Whitstable Yacht Club will once again run the 2 days of racing on the 12th and 13th August this year, inviting sailors from Tankerton Bay Sailing Club and Seasalter Sailing Club to compete in the event, and continuing on in the spirit of the first ever event on Tuesday 7th August 1792!
      We would like to thank the Whitstable and Herne Bay Lions Club for all the hard work they have put in organising the Regatta festivities over the last 40 years, and for all of the money they have raised for local charities.

      WYC Club Safety Manual and Sailing Instructions - Updated for 2017

      As the new sailing season is about to begin, we'd like to draw all members attention to two important documents which have been updated for the new season:

      The Club Safety Manual covers Safety across the club, both on and off the water, and should be read by all members. It covers member's responsibility and the processes which need to be followed to enjoy safe use of the club, and what should be done in the event of an incident. This document has been fully reviewed and updated for the new season following an incident on the water during the Forts Race in 2016. This document is on the club website, on the club notice board, available from the Office, and in the WYC Race Box and Committee Boat.

      The WYC Sailing Instructions have been updated for the 2017 season. We will be racing under the new Racing Rules of Sailing 2017-2020 going forward, and some additional changes have been made which are specific to WYC:
      - Minimum Insurance Cover for all craft increased to £3million in line with the club rules.
      - Addition of rule 10.2 to make the area around the oyster beds to the West of the club a prohibited area
      - Update to rule 14.2 to correct the colour of the finishing flag on the Committee Boat
      - Addition of rule 17.2 to clarify the position on redress for a member performing a rostered duty.
      In addition, members should note two corrections to the SIs issued in the 2017 WYC Programme:
      - Correction to rule 1.1 to change the RRS to 2017-2020
      - Correction to rule 8.1.4 and 8.2 to include the Cadets warning signal and flag

      Both these, and other important documents, such as the Club Rules, the Notes for the Race Officer, and links to the Racing Rules of Sailing and the Canterbury City Council foreshore department can be found at

      Bar price increases

      As from Tuesday 7th February there will be a small increase in some products due to increase costs in bar operation.

      TV Donation

      Larry has kindly bought the Club a new TV for the bar area for all the support he has received since his beloved wife passed away recently.

      Bob Long (updated)

      We regret to report that Bob Long passed away on Wednesday. Bob was a very active member of the Merlin Rocket Class, particularly in the early days of the class in the 50s and 60s, although he was actively sailing them at Whitstable until around 2007. Our deepest condolences to his friends and family. His funeral will be on Friday 10th February at 12 noon at Charing Crematorium. Donations to the British Heart Foundation or via John Kemp Funeral Directors, 26 Harbour Street, Whitstable, CT5 1AH.

      Diane Lamberton

      We regret to report that Diane Lamberton passed away last Wednesday. Our deepest condolences. A very great loss not only for Larry and for Diane's family, but also for the RNLI and Whitstable communities, who she loved and who loved her in return. She will be greatly missed by all of us at WYC. Diane’s funeral will be at Barham Crematorium on Tuesday 31st January at 3.20pm.

      Storm damage to the club ramp

      Ramp damage
      Many members will already have seen, either in person or from the photos on social media, that the WYC club ramp has suffered significant damage in the storms on Friday. A group of club members, including those with experience in construction and marine engineering, have been working to enact repairs and maintenance on the ramp. However as the phrase goes, "no plan survives contact with the enemy", and unfortunately the sea has acted quicker to destruct the ramp, than we could apply the fixes to strengthen the ramp! A small team, (thanks David, Phil, Ian and Robert!) spent Saturday morning recovering a large section of the ramp and ensuring that it is not lost, and can't do further damage, but more of the ramp is loose and will need further repair.
      We will be assessing the ramp over the coming week, and doing further work to dismantle the section covered by water to understand how much of the structure is sound, and how much will need to be replaced. We will provide further information when we know more.
      Please do not use or walk on the section of the ramp covered by the tide at this time as it is dangerous.

      Birds eye view - Drone video footage of Winter Series Race 5

      Great footage shot by B14 sailor Mark Barnes and edited by Laser sailor Paul Kelly showing highlights from the Winter Series Race 5 on 27th November last year. Seeing the racing from this angle really brings a new dimension to the sport, thanks Mark and Paul!

      Laser by Drone from Paul Kelly on Vimeo.

      Club Race Officer Training

      RYAThis one day course run by RYA National Race Officer Ted Temple will be held at WYC for members on 25th February starting at 10am. The course is free, and ideal for individuals with little or no Race Officer experience. Additionally it would be a good refresher for those who find the annual duty a little bit daunting or would like to brush up on the above skills.
      1. To provide a basic syllabus for club race management courses that can be adapted to a club’s needs.
      2. To achieve a minimum standard of race management within a club.
      3. To teach basic signalling, course laying, the basic routines of starting, managing and finishing races and safety.
      Please email Peter Gowing to book a place:

      DRAFT WYC 2017 WYC Sailing Programme

      The 2017 Programme will be going to print early in the new year, and will be sent out to members with the AGM papers in February. This year we've managed to schedule even more races and events, and we're looking forward to another excellent year of sailing. The season kicks off with the first race on Saturday 11th March, and concludes with the end of the Winter Series on 17th December. Between those dates we have 75 club races, 34 club cups and special races, 6 cruises and 7 Open and Nationals events! Highlights of the programme include an RS Feva/Terra Open on 8&9th July, the B14 Nationals between 3rd and 6th August, Whitstable Week from 7th to 11th August, and a Laser European Qualifier event on 21st&22nd October . You can download the full draft list of events here. Any comments or questions, please contact the

      Winter Series Results and full list of 2016 winners

      Congratulations to Phil Emery in his Merlin Rocket, Steve Grey in his Laser and John Gibbons in his Laser Radial who came first in their classes in the 2016 Winter Series. Prizes were awarded after the final race on Sunday 11th December. For all of the Prizes awarded in 2016, including this years Special Awards, download the list here, or checkout the detail results at

      Notes from the 2016 Meeting of Sailors

      Click below to download the notes taken at the Meeting of Sailors held on 27th November 2016. Thanks to everyone who attended.

      “You haven’t won the race, if in winning the race you have lost the respect of your competitors”*

      Older members and followers of Olympic sailing will be sad to hear that Paul Elvstrom died at his home in Hellerup, Denmark, yesterday (7th December) at the age of 88. Not unreasonably dubbed The Great Dane by far too many journalists, Elvstrom was one of the Great Names in sailing history.
      He won four consecutive Olympic gold medals: Firefly in 1948 (the London Olympics, sailing in Torbay); Finn in 1952 (Helsinki), 1956 (Melbourne) and 1960 (Rome). Apocryphal or not, the story is told that he would train in his Finn during a snowstorm so that he could learn to read the windshifts. He was reserve for the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 (where Keith Musto and Tony Morgan won Silver in the FD) and competed in the Star and Soling fleets in the next two Games without winning a medal. In 1984 and 1988 he competed in the Tornado class with his daughter Trine on the wire.
      But if Olympic medals eluded him after those four wins, other victories were plentiful. He won eleven world championships - 505 (2), Finn (2), Snipe (1), Flying Dutchman (1), 5.5 Metre (1), Star (2), and Soling (2) and two Tornado European championships with Trine.
      His books are still among the best sailing literature ever written, he founded the eponymous sail and boat building companies and he was a thoroughly nice guy.
      *famous quote by Paul Elvstrom.

      Digital Jukebox

      The bar is trialing a new state of the art digital Jukebox. With millions of songs available at 50p a play or 3 for £1.00, or 7 for £2.00. It also show the latest news and sport results at no cost. Background music will also be provided at no cost.

      Super Cadet Supper!

      Cadet Supper
      53 dinners were served by the volunteers at the Cadet Laying Up Supper last weekend, and everyone had a great time, whilst raising over £200 towards the Cadet training, events and equipment for next year's season! Thank you to all the volunteers who helped organise and cater for the evening!


      WYC Cadet, Caitie Atkin finished 1st overall, 1st Youth and 1st Lady at the 2016 Magic Marine RS Aero UK Northern Circuit. Congratulations Caitie. Sailing Sec.

      RYA SE Youth Training Fund Coaching Bursary Awarded to WYC Member

      Alex Harwood
      Congratulations to Whitstable Yacht Club member Alex Harwood (pictured here sailing a Tasar during Whitstable Week), who has been awarded a Coaching Bursary to fund a Racing Coach Level 2 (RCL2) course by the trustees of the RYA South East Youth Training Fund. 18 year old Alex Harwood, who has been sailing at WYC almost since he could walk, has recently been an active coach on the Cadet and Family sessions, as well as working for the Whitstable Watersports Centre as an instructor. He was nominated for the Bursary by WYC RYA Training Centre Principal Richard Maltby, and plans to use the qualification to help the club's cadets improve their racing and get more into national fleets, as well as encourage sailing at a grass-roots level. He's expecting to take the training early in the new year.

      2016 so far in photos

      As the weather is getting colder and the nights are drawing in, why not look back on the 2016 sailing year in photos! We had cameras on the water for many of the events - are there any of you?
      Boxing Day sail: Facebook
      B14 & 505 Open: Champion Marine Photography
      Wanderer Nationals: Facebook
      Tasar Nationals: Champion Marine Photography
      Whitstable Week: Facebook & Champion Marine Photography
      Topaz Uno Nationals: Champion Marine Photography
      Forts Race: Facebook
      Dart 18 Open: Champion Marine Photography
      Bart's Bash: Facebook & Champion Marine Photography


      Please note all subscriptions were due 31st October. Thank you for those that have paid on time. If you have not paid you can pay by bank transfer, cheque or cash. Please remember to fill out the forms you were sent. If you require new forms please contact the office.


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

      German Exchange Opportunity

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

      Dart 18 GP7 at WYC – Report

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

      Bar price increases

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

      The Magnificent Seven – Wanderer Cruise to Conyer on Sunday 18th September

      Saturday’s gales had meant a day’s postponement but we were blessed with perfect conditions for Sunday’s cruise to Conyer. The Swale sail had been advertised to the Wanderer Class Association and two visiting boats joined the hard core WYC Wanderers, making seven who set off about 11.00 on a flooding tide with favourable winds towards the mouth of the Swale, Gavin Barr and Mark Skipper leading the fleet.
      Making steady passage and mindful of the many oyster beds, obstructions and wrecks of the Pollard Spit we beat offshore until assembling for a broad reach to sail up the Swale channel. Avoiding the shallows of Horse Sands, we resisted the temptation of The Shipwrights at Hollow Shore and continued towards Conyer Creek, past Fowley Island and into the marked channel. Seals were spotted and there were seabirds flocking around the island. Only the sound of the sea, the birds and nature all bathed in that wonderful autumn light.

      Cruising like this always raises the question of whether or not to bring outboard engines – there are obvious pros and cons. The two people stuck on a speed boat initially with its engine stuck in astern, then becoming a very dead engine, must have been mightily relieved that we’d plumped for taking outboards as the fleet circled and made a rescue plan. Ian started the tow before Richard downed sails and took over, delivering the stranded pair and their noisome craft safely to Swale Marina. Having – as we were later told - also raised the alarm with the Coastguard, our rescued speedboat friend forgot to cancel his emergency. The staff and guests at Swale Marina were soon joined by Whitstable RNLI inshore lifeboat, who were less-than-pleased that their search was in vain.
      By this stage other Wanderer crews had gathered to enjoy their packed lunches and most wonderful cake produced by Kate in the pretty surroundings of Swale Marina. By now, the wind had decreased but with some spinnakers flying we were greeted by Allan and Laura on the WYC RIB. A couple of boats touched ground on the Horse Sands opposite Faversham Creek, where they were entertained by feeding time for a pod of grey seals.

      All enjoyed a pleasant, if slightly slower than ideal, passage home. Returning to the beach after a fine day of Bart’s Bash sailing, the Wanderers felt that we had put up a good effort for the wider sailing community. With a falling tide, the efforts of Mick and Ian using the dumper to drag boats up the beach were much appreciated.
      Probably the last Wanderer cruise of this year but another great success and a perfect way to spend a warm autumn Sunday.

      Report by Jo Phillips and Wanderer visitor Tim Last, photos by Laura Carney and Kate Ahern.

      KSSA Regatta 2016 Report

      WYC KSSA Regatta 2016WYC KSSA Regatta 2016 Last Saturday (10th September), Whitstable Yacht Club hosted the Kent Schools Sailing Association Regatta. The windy conditions ranging around force 4 made it a challenging yet great experience! The number of cadets from around Kent who came to our club made the sea front bustle with excitement. KSSA arranged four races, the fourth of which was cancelled due to the high wind strength. When we returned to shore, the KSSA organisation and the food provided by Cadet committee was excellent.
      Our cadets achieved some impressive results, taking three of the prizes:
      Max Sellar - Laser - Royal Temple YC trophy, 1st overall and 1st singlehanded.
      Alexander Wilson and Madeleine Byran - WYC RS Feva - Cranbrook trophy for 1st school or club owned boat.
      Emily Blaxhill - Topaz - Prelude Plaque for first sailor in the competition of entrants sailing in the Regatta for the first time.
      Altogether ten WYC cadet sailors sailing nine boats were placed in the finishing order of 26 boats. All sailed well, raced well and showed great spirit and determination in the strengthening wind. The full results can be seen at
      I personally learnt a lot from the day and would recommend more cadets from Whitstable try the regatta next year.
      Report by WYC Cadet Emily Blaxill, Photos by Nick Champion of Champion Marine Photography.
      WYC KSSA Regatta 2016 WYC KSSA Regatta 2016