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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

Try our new Wine menu!

Come along on Friday 25th August from 7pm to try our new wine menu. We have new white Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Sancerre, rose Casal Mendes and Grenache, and red Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Valpolucella Montresor. Free cheese and biscuits will be served!

Programme for WYC Cadets this week and how parents can help with Cadetfest

This week we are running the fifth Cadets Training Week of the season with courses for 16 cadets Monday to Wednesday. A Cadets and Families session is scheduled for Friday evening. Next week is Cadetfest week.

Cadets can still sign up and parents are asked to look at the notice below.

Cadets and Families Session:  Friday 18 Aug Start 18.00   LW 16.25 HW 22.33
If you are coming this week please reply by email to by 9 pm on Thursday 17 Aug with the following details:
•      Your name.
•      Can you sail independently or are you a Learner ?
•      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.
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.

Cadetfest, Monday 21st - Friday 25th August, 10am – 4.30pm.
Please use the attached joining form to sign up. Parents, please let us know or confirm if you can help on or off the water with the activities shown on the plan.

Date/ Time Plan A Activities and how parents can help Venue ?
Please be aware that the schedule for the five days is subject to weather conditions.
Monday 21 August leaving 10.00- retune by 16.00; all changed and boats ready by 10.00 for briefing Day Cruise to Seasalter SC. Parents, please help with Signing Out /In, launching and landing boats; taking lunches to Seasalter SC; parents are welcome to join us at SSC about midday; helming, crewing or driving a powerboat. Cruise to Seasalter SC
Tuesday 22 August 10-16.00 Sailing activities: activities will include sailing games, training and recreation; a chance to develop skills at all levels.  Parents, Signing Out / In etc., and your help with the day will be welcome. WYC
Wednesday 23 August 10.00- 16.00. Welcome Herne Bay cadets to WYC and afternoon races in matched boats – calling all cadet helms to lead the WYC team! Home Day with Herne Bay SC Cadets for sailing activities with WYC and HB cadets mixed in the morning; races in the afternoon using matched club boats (420s, Fevas, Topazes, toppers, mirrors, teras). Parents please help with reception and hospitality for HBSC cadets and their parents, Signing Out / In, setting up and running the Bar-B-Q , on and off the water to ensure a really enjoyable day. WYC
Thursday 24 August 10.00-16.00 Day Cruise to Wild Cat Island. Destination to be announced nearer the day. Arrangements similar to Monday’s cruise with reciprocal parents’ help again please. (Flags are to taken to reclaim Wild Cat Island for Queen and country.) Secret harbour
Friday 25 August 10.00- 16.00 Sailing activities and Finish with Prize giving. Much as for Tuesday – games, training, recreational sailing, with Prize Giving at 4 pm. Prizes have been donated by Barton Marine our sponsors for the week.  All Welcome. WYC
ANY DAY PLAN B - FOUL WEATHER ACTIVITIES In the event of adverse conditions any land activities will depend on parent help and support. A visit to our sponsors, Barton’s, ten pin bowling, swimming, a visit to the RNLI could be arranged – with parents’ support. Various

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.

Calling all catamaran sailors - It’s just over a month to go until the Forts Race Weekend!

Forts Race 2017It's just over a month until the 2017 Forts Race Weekend on 9th and 10th September!
We're pleased to announce our primary sponsor as NeilPryde Sailing for the 2017 WYC Forts Race Weekend. NeilPryde Sailing will be providing some great additions to the entry packs and prize pot, making this year's event well worth entering! This year, we're also being supported by Whitstable Marine, the chandlery next door to Whitstable Yacht Club, and the best place to buy your NeilPryde Sailing kit!
After consultation with the visiting sailors, and a review of our procedures, we've decided to schedule the Forts Race itself on the Sunday. Saturday will be a more relaxed affair, starting at 2pm to allow more time to prep boats, with a medium-distance shake down race to make sure the boats are ready for the long distance on Sunday. The full Forts Race will start on Sunday at around midday (to allow for recovery from the Saturday night party!).
The NOR and SIs have been confirmed and posted to the Whitstable Yacht Club website at Have a look to make sure you're familiar with the unique requirements for this long distance race. It's particularly important that you carry the appropriate safety equipment.
See you in September!

Change to the Chair of the Bar, Social and Catering Committee

Alex Grantham has informed me that he is stepping down as Chair of the Bar, Social and Catering Committee. Alex has achieved during his term as Chair, including organising and managing a complete turnaround in bar and catering finances. He has worked constantly behind the scenes, and behind the bar, to create a better bar environment and a livelier atmosphere. He has now decided to take a well-deserved break, and he leaves with the gratitude and appreciation of the Flag Officers and General Committee. Laura Jean Carney has agreed to take over as Chair of the Bar, Social and Catering Committee, and she is currently recruiting new members for that Committee. You will be hearing more from Laura over the coming weeks.
Richard Bradburn

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
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

WYC Bake Off!

Thank you for all the delicious cakes entered for the WYC Cadet Bake Off on Saturday. After a lot of cake and deliberation by our guest judges Cllr Tom Gates and Marion Gates, the winners were -
Parent category, Rachel Watson for her scrumptious Courgette, Lemon & Poppy Seed Cake.
Cadet category, William & Madeline Olivier for their fabulous very light cupcakes adorned with sea butter icing and wonderful sails.
There were no soggy bottoms in the tea bar at at least!! Thank you again for your contributions which were sold to raise funds for the Cadet sailing!

Forts Race 2016 Report

The Forts Race was sailed on Saturday 3rd September, and once again produced proved why it's the UK's premier catamaran long distance race, with top national helms showing up to prove themselves and their boats over the course around the Thames Estuary. 18 boats took part this year, from the extreme end of the catamaran racing scene of Will Sunnocks' Vampire Project foiling custom build, to the 40-year-old class Dart 18 catamarans! Will Sunnucks and Mark Smith on the Vampire Project took line honours, despite gear failure reducing it's ability to foil to a single tack, and the overall winner on handicap was Simon Northrop and Aaron Reynolds on an F18. In the Short Course results, Whitstable Yacht Club's Mark Holweger and Max Sellar took first place on their Dart 18. For the full report, see, and check out the Forts Race Facebook Page for more photos.

Topaz Uno Nationals report - a wild ride!

Topaz Uno Nationals
Whitstable Yacht Club hosted the Topaz Uno Nationals last weekend (20th and 21st August). 15 boats entered, with sailors travelling from as far as the Noukhada Adventure Company in Abu Dhabi!
Saturday saw very high winds, gusting up to a force 7 or 8! Needless to say, racing was cancelled and only the hardiest of windsurfers got on the water for the day! On Sunday, the winds were still on the high side, but sailable, so the Race Officer scheduled 3 races close to shore. In the gusty conditions, the Topaz Unos proved a fast and exciting ride, with a kick on the downwind legs! 14 of the boats made it onto the water, but a third didn't manage to finish the first race, with lots of spectacular capsizes, especially on the downwind legs. 6 boats managed to finish all 3 races, with exciting racing throughout. In 6 place, lightweight WYC cadet Tom Oliver did well to finish all three races with a forth place in the second race, battling places with experienced sailor Mark Freeman from the Noukhada Adventure Company. Top placed double handed boat, sailed by Aaron and Mark Middleton from Lee & Solent SC came in forth, narrowly beaten by Jonathan Drake from Sandwich Bay Sailing & Waterski Club. At the front of the fleet, last year's National Champion and WYC cadet Max Sellar, battled with Morgan Archer, a cadet from Blue Circle Sailing Club. After using his local knowledge to get a first in race one, Max couldn't manage to maintain the lead, falling into second behind Morgan for the second and third races, with Morgan winning overall by one point. Both Max and Morgan did very well to sail into the top two positions in such challenging conditions, and against a strong adult field! Full results are on the website at
As this year's National Champion, Morgan Archer won a Topaz Uno Mylar Race Main provided by Topper International, worth £400, as well as other prizes including a sailing watch from event sponsor Ronstan.
Thanks to event sponsors Topper International and Ronstan, and to Topper and the Whitstable Watersports Centre for providing loan boats to the competitors. In addition, thanks to WYC volunteers Patty Baker and Tony Clements who put a lot of work in to organise the event, Race Officer John Boorman for getting a quality event sailed despite the weather, and all of the Safety Boat drivers & crew, recorders, Committee Boat drivers and onshore support volunteers who worked together to make this happen.
Topaz prep onshore

Cadets Cruise to Seasalter and back - Report

Force: 3-5
North-East wind

On Thursday the 18th of August, the Whitstable Yacht Club Cadets went on a cruise to Seasalter Sailing Club and back! We had twenty-two sailors in total and twenty-seven people including those on the safety boats.
We launched around eleven o clock on a beautiful sunny day and headed halfway to Sheppey so we could sail down to Seasalter.

As we got further out it got rougher because of the sea breeze, we tacked or gybed and were surfing the waves all the way down! Unluckily some of the toppers nosedived and a lot of boats capsized, but luckily nothing too major!
After about forty-five minutes of sailing of exhilarating sailing we got there! We beached extremely quickly and had a bit of trouble getting in because of the rough waves and strong wind.
Everyone at Seasalter Sailing Club were very welcoming and we were very grateful for them helping us get the boats in. We all warmed up and ate our picnic lunches!

After saying our thankyou’s to the Seasalter crew, and as high tide turned we set off back to Whitstable. We had a few changes in boat crews and couple of tows as the seabreeze made the journey back a bit more challenging. Smurf kindly appeared with another safety boat to make it safer for us on the way back.
Everyone made it back to Whitstable, happy and safe and all had a jolly good sail in Swallows and Amazons style!

Many thanks to Richard Maltby, Wendy, Ian Embry, Paul Mcnally, and Andy and Fiona Clarke in Smurf for their support and organisation. Thanks to our friends of Seasalter SC for their warm reception, hospitality and support in landing and launching our boats! It was a great time and everyone enjoyed it. We can’t wait for the next cadet cruise!
Finally a special thank you to all the cadets who sailed on Friday the 19th August during the RYA inspection and to Richard Maltby for his dedicated work in contributing hugely to gaining our RYA certificate, which we passed with flying colours!
Report by Toby Sellar, photos by Wendy Fitzpatrick.

Whitstable Yacht Club passes inspection as a RYA Recognised Training Centre

RYA Tick Mark LogoThe RYA Inspection of WYC's application to become a Recognised Training Centre, as distinct from but complementary to our linked Whitstable Watersports Centre, took place on Friday 19th August and the club passed with flying colours.
It means that the club has passed the high RYA standards set for sail and powerboat tuition, including all requirements for ensuring the maintenance and repair of club boats, equipment, first aid and safety. The club is now approved to offer RYA national training schemes for adults and youth and has direct access to RYA training services.
Recognition as a RYA training centre brings WYC into line with other major sailing clubs which offer training to their members on a volunteer, part time basis, as well as housing a linked training centre, such as our Whitstable Watersports Centre, offering full time courses.
The Inspection took account of the club's facilities, sail and power boat maintenance, operational procedures and the tuition of two cadet groups, racing and improvers, on the water. We passed in all respects with just one action point to be followed up - that the club should now proceed to put its courses in place.
A lot of work has gone into this by quite a few people, but the vast majority was done by Richard Maltby, who has done an enormous amount of paper work and preparation to get us to this stage. The review and update of the club paperwork and documentation alone was a very large task! Thank you Richard!

Topaz Uno Nationals - Exclusive Offer from Topper to buy a boat!

Topper Topaz Uno OfferInspired by the Olympics to take up sailing? Want to be the next Topaz Uno National Champion? In the market for a new boat? Then this offer is for you! Once again, Topper Sailboats are offering an amazing saving of £989 off the price of an ex-demo Topaz Uno Plus or Race Plus. The boats include cover, trolley and come with 1 year of WYC membership! To take advantage of this offer, talk to Jeff in the club office, or call Topper sales on 01233 629186. See you on the water!


Glorious sunshine, a brisk westerly wind and four Wanderers accompanied by a safety boat set off from Whitstable on a somewhat ambitious cruise to Minnis Bay. With picnics packed, radios issued (along with instructions) the intrepid sailors raced East. Of course we listened carefully to the briefing, of course we all knew to look for the yellow buoy and the red and green ones but oh how wonderful to hear a message from Andy Clarke “I’m sitting right by the buoy” and then reminding us which way to go! We positively flew along the coast, a surfing Wanderer is so much fun!
Met on arrival by friendly locals (thank you Jason, Vice Commodore) of Minnis Bay Sailing Club. Great advice to anchor up rather than have to drag a heavy boat, left high and dry by an ebbing tide, across the somewhat slimy seaweed.
Out with picnics, great tea provided by our hosts, interesting discussion over lunch –oh and the honey cake – simply gorgeous and a fantastic reason to join the next cruise. Thank you Kate!
Home run and a stiffening breeze. Ian had repaired a tiller extension during lunch, Fef not so lucky losing a rudder pintle so motored home missing what became a challenging sail, tacking into a head wind and choppy sea. Nick Hawkins and John Hope led the way, Shelagh and Ed took in a trip to the wind farm on a long tack north. Kate and Ian bought up the rear of the fleet. All safely back on shore by 6pm, 9 hours after setting out.
A great day out for all of us. A great big THANK YOU to Andy and Fiona in their Rib for making this ambitious cruise a safe possibility, and ensuring Richard’s and Ian’s plans came to fruition.
Let’s do it again!!
Report by Fef Griffin

Whitstable Week 2016

Thanks to everyone who took part in Whitstable Week this year, we had almost 60 boats taking part this year! It’s been another great week of sailing, with the seemingly traditional weather extremes, providing challenges to all and close racing throughout the fleets. Results are on the website at
On the social side, we danced to two great bands, and had our knowledge tested by Ian and Phil on quiz night (raising over £100 for the RNLI!). On Friday Pirates Day went down a storm, with a great deal of creativity demonstrated by the members dressing up themselves and their boats.
There’s a lot of effort that goes into putting on the week, with volunteers driving and crewing safety boats, driving committee boats, recording, and helping out ashore. We couldn’t put on an event like this without them, so we’d like to thank (in no particular order)
Coral France, Glen Cook, Helen Spaughton, Josh Clarke, Willie Spratling, Jill Fagg, David Lowes, Lorraine Sabourin, Andrea Oliver, Brian Bogard, Monica Farrow, Sean O'Leary, Steve Wall, Jocelyn Page, Theresa Page, Stephen Gerlis, John Crickmere, Laura Carney, Sam, Paul Fincham, Ian Embry, Andy Clarke and Allan Barnes. We also need to thank the bar staff, the coffee hut staff, and Alex Grantham who did a great job making sure the social side has gone smoothly. Off the water, Sally Gostelow the results and the admin for the event, and finally our Race Officer John Boorman did a great job given the challenging conditions. It’s not easy to run an event like this, a combination of a National Championships and a fun family week of sailing, and I think we’d all agree that John got the balance right.
See you next year for Whitstable Week 2017!
Whitstable Week Prize Winners

West Quay - moving boats back

The Oyster Festival 'Shuck' venue has now been dismantled and the West Quay has been returned to our use. We now need to move boats from the middle compound to the end of the West Quay. If you have a boat there, please move it as soon as possible. The gates for the middle compound will be unlocked from 8am to 4pm daily, but please keep the gates closed. If you need access outside those times, please contact the Harbour Master.

Whitstable Week, days 2 & 3

After a relatively light start to the week, Tuesday and Wednesday saw stronger winds kick in, increasing the excitement on the water and pushing the sailors to work harder! Both Tuesdays scheduled races were sailed, with close racing across the fleets, and some very tight finishes between boats. The BYO BBQ was held on Tuesday evening, and Andrea Oliver kept everyone in check on the BBQ, showing us how it was done... just don't mention the beans!
Wednesday bought even stronger winds to the Whitstable Bay, with a gusty Force 6 blowing across the course from the South West, and creating some angry waves! The Race team, lead by RO John Boorman pushed ahead with the race, and the brave, hardy or foolish sailors (depending on the various points of view from the beach!) took to the water to race. Unfortunately the winds drove a number of casualties in the form of broken masts, and the combination of high winds, big waves and a strong ebbing tide caused some of the race marks to drift, ending in the abandonment of the race and sailing for the day. Even so, most of the sailors came in with big grins after an exciting sail!
Due to the abandoned races on Wednesday, an additional race will be sailed on Thursday. Race start will be at 2pm as scheduled, but the Race Officer will run three shorter races. As the forecast is for fairly strong winds on Thursday, the Fancy Dress Sailing may be postponed to Friday. A decision will be made and posted on the race board by 1230.
Don't forget to dress in your best loud summer shirts for the closing night of Whitstable Week on Friday. Roots/Reggae Band Ben Russell and the Charmers will be playing out the week, supported by a posh barbecue.
Whitstable Week 2016

Whitstable Week - Day 1!

Monday saw a great afternoon of sailing for the first 2 races of Whitstable Week. Almost 50 boats have registered and were on the water with close racing throughout the fleets! With a F2-3 wind from the south west, and fairly flat waters, Monday produced a fairly gentle start to the week. The forecast for Tuesday is looking slightly stronger, with racing again starting at 2pm. Tuesday evening sees a Bring Your Own BBQ, with the club BBQs lit from late afternoon for you to cook your own food.
Don't forget to get your team together for the Wednesday evening quiz night, and to plan your outfit for Fancy Dress sailing on Thursday!

Open bar 23rd July

Alex worked hard, for days, setting up and organising the open bar last Saturday. Thank you to Alex and all that helped him. The bar made significant profit that goes towards the club and raised money for the RNLI & cadets.

Whitstable Week - One week to go!

Whitstable Week is only one week away! Get set for a great week of sailing and social. This year we have racing scheduled for every day, bands on Monday and Friday evening, and the return of Ian and Phil's Laid Back Quiz Night on Wednesday evening. Thursday is Pirate Day, with fancy dress sailing for the main races (prizes for the best dressed boat and sailors!), and a a Cadet fast boat fest from 5pm!
For more information, see

Tasar National Championships at Whitstable Yacht Club report

Tasar Prize Winners 2016
Strong winds and gusts of up to 35 knots proved challenging for the 52 sailors who braved the water for the 2016 Tasar National at Whitstable Yacht Club last weekend (8-10 July). However, a little determination and a lot of impromptu on the water repairs saw 26 boats battle it out in a fast and furious 3 day weekend of sailing.
The event was won by Rod & Maureen Porteous from Hayling Island Sailing Club, and the first Whitstable boat was Stephen Nation and Julie Puckett in 5th place. See the full write up on Yachts & Yachting at Thanks to all the volunteers at Whitstable Yacht Club for helping to make the event run smoothly, especially Race Officer Tom Bruton, organisers Andy and Fee Clarke, and the WYC Safety Boat Team!

Save the date: Whitstable Yacht Club’s Summer Ball on 24th September!

Save the date for the highlight of your social calendar: the Whitstable Yacht Club Summer Ball on Saturday 24th September! More details will be released soon, but we can announce that Whitstable's famous Soul, Blues and RocknRoll band Squeeze Gut Alley will be playing!

Help Needed to set up for the Oyster Festival Open Day

The club will be open to the public for the first day of the Oyster Festival on Saturday 23rd July. We will be raising funds for the club by selling refreshments to the public from the decking on the busiest day of the year, and need a small working party in the morning to help set up the bar and club for the day. If you can help out on 23rd July at 8am, please contact Alex Grantham on 07958439941 or

Reminder: Safety Advice For Free Sailing

Members are reminded to review the Safety Advice For Free Sailing, particularly when sailing outside of club organised sailing activities. The advice can be found on the website, in the back of the club programme, or click more to read.

Safety Advice For Free Sailing
The club is open every day of the week for the use of members. Expert advice and support boats are only available during club organised sailing activities. Members are responsible for their own safety at all times. In the case of children and youths, parents or guardians are expected to exercise appropriate supervision.
The following suggestions are for guidance only:-
- Arrange to go out with another similar boat and watch out for each other.
- Check the weather forecast – ideally Inshore Waters special forecasts.
- Check times and heights of tides in your chosen area.
- Avoid sailing in a dying wind on an ebb tide
- Check your boat’s buoyancy and fixings
- Realistically assess yourself, your crew and your boat’s ability to cope.
- Ask experienced sailing people for a second opinion if possible.
- Dress warmly for the conditions – it is easier to take off a layer than put it on.
- Wear personal buoyancy, properly done up, at all times afloat.
- Sail within your ‘comfort zone’. Don’t take risks.
- Watch the sky upwind for black clouds, fog, rain or wind direction changes.
- Go ashore if you have doubts or get cold or tired – there’s always another day.
- Always sail in an area to the west of the harbour.
- If you capsize and can’t right it, stay with the boat. Never try to swim to shore.
- Carry a mobile phone in a plastic bag or waterproof container.
- Carry a compass and a waterproof watch. Practice sailing a compass course so you can cope with poor visibility.
- Tell a reliable person ashore where you are going and give them your mobile telephone number(s).
- Arrange a time for your shore mate either to contact you or to raise the alarm.
- Avoid shipping routes and fishing grounds if possible.
- Watch all around for shipping, other boats and obstacles.
- Tell your shore mate to stand down when you come ashore.
- Don’t stay out alone after your sailing partner comes in.
Additional advice for Dinghy Cruising
- Take drinking water, food or trail bars, extra clothing, paddles or oars, an anchor and warp, towrope, small flare kit, first aid kit and a small toolkit including; knife, pliers, wire cutter, shackles, cord, gaffer tape.
- Also consider; a marine radio, waterproof charts, waterproof torch, outboard motor with extra fuel and spare shear pin
- Ensure that you have the ability to reef or lower sails whilst afloat.

Ramp back in use

A big thanks to Ricky & his team for getting the ramp back in action. Ricky & family are relatively new members and their enthusiasm and willingness to help is what the club is all about. A more permanent fix will take place after the main sailing season. The ramp has not been jet washed yet so please take care.

Tasar Nationals

Wiz is back in the Teabar for breakfasts Saturday 08.30-11.00 & Sunday 08.00-11.00. The bar will be open Friday 12.00-23.00, Saturday 11.00-24.00, Sunday 12.00-21.00.

First Aiders.

Could anyone with a valid 1st Aid certificate please let Jeff, in the office, know the expiry day. We are compiling a list of all members & staff who are 1st Aiders. If possible could you provide a copy of your certificate, feel free to use the office photocopier.

Ladies who Launch

To all women interested in sailing and windsurfing, Please come along to the inaugural meeting for Whitstable Yacht Club's Ladies who Launch Sailing and Windsurfing group on Saturday 16 July 2016 at 15:00 (after the morning races) . The aim of the group is to promote women's sailing and windsurfing through training, racing, and social events. The meeting is for welcoming members and discussing ideas. A new Facebook group has also been created to promote events. The group is called "Ladies Who Launch Whitstable Yacht Club". Please contact Patty Baker if you have any questions or suggestions:

Whitstable Week 2016 - 7 weeks to go!

Whitstable Week 2016
Whitstable Week 2016 is seven weeks away! This year will see 10 races over 5 days, and 5 nights of great social events. Our Friday Night Band, Ben Russell and the Charmers play their 'warm up' gig at the Glastonbury festival at the end of June!
Entry fee is only £60 for the week, with a 50% discount for young persons (18-25), and cadets (under 18s) can race for only £5 for the whole week! The Notice Of Race and Draft Sailing Instructions can now be downloaded from the website.

No Parking on the Beach

There is strictly no parking on the beach, unless unloading or on club business (which you must inform & get permission from the office). As we are now in to the busy time of year the barrier must be closed at all times. Parking on the beach encourages the general public to do so which can restrict emergency services access. Don't do it otherwise you may be locked in!

Wanderer Nationals 2016 at Whitstable Yacht Club

Wanderer Nationals 2016
Whitstable Yacht Club hosted the Wanderer Nationals on the weekend of the 4th and 5th of June. 3 of 4 races were sailed, and 2 visiting boats competed with 9 club boats. The event was won by Philip Meadowcroft and Adam Wickenden from Salcombe Sailing Club, with Ian Simpson and Dave Bardwell from Tudor Sailing Club in second, and our very own Gavin Barr and Mark Skipper in third. Click more for a full write up of the event by Shelagh O'Riordan, and check out the photos by Laura Jean Carney on the Facebook page.
Wanderer Nationals 2016

The weather in the previous week had been so horrible it was with relief for those of us obsessing with online weather predictions that the freezing windy weather was leaving us and there even seemed some chance of sunshine!

Saturday dawned cloudy with a cool northerly so it didn’t look too good but 2 visiting boats (Tudor SC and Salcombe SC) arrived and the 9 WYC boats all rigged (Gavin had been very insistent) and there was a degree of excitement. Race 1 started and it was really rather clear after the first upwind leg who were the best sailors as the boats who shared the top 3 final places went round first and were rarely glimpsed by the rest of us for the rest of the race. As the race continued, the wind dropped and finally the tide turned. Ed and I were definitely having a lucky day as we managed to keep a fourth place all the way round, even when all the boats behind raised their spinnakers. In the end, only 5 boats finished as the combined flat calm with a strong tide made it impossible. Philip Meadowcroft and Adam Wickenden were first over the line, followed by Ian Simpson and Dave Bardwell and then our very own Gavin and Mark. Luckily it was decided that places could be awarded and the rescue boat went round the course counting us all in order. There was huge sigh of relief when race 2 was cancelled and we headed ashore under paddle steam rather than sail!

The evening was lovely as the weather warmed up and due to a wedding at the club, the team de-camped to the pub over the road and Wiz cooked an excellent meal. As tradition has it, Gavin got his guitar out and there was even singing!

Day 2 dawned grey but with a much better wind and racing commenced. Two boats thought they would try a port flier for the start of race 3 (note to self- don’t try it again!) but all other sensible boats took the usual course. The usual 3 headed off but this time accompanied by Peter Hayes and Jo Philips who had left their Laser 3000 ashore for the weekend. The battle for the next 3 places were very tightly contested with Jonathan Musgrove and Nia Crockford pipping Richard Maltby and John Hope who pipped Ed and I (very annoying). John Boorman and Paul Fincham were sailing really well with their spinnaker when they took a death roll followed by a swim and a tow in!

Race 3 was started quickly and the wind really had got up by then so the boats flew round the course. In higher winds, a well filled spinnaker really does help (I’m not convinced in lighter winds) so Jonathan and Nia did really well (they had ripped theirs in the previous race) to get a 4th and those of us who had declared “no spinnaker” crossed the line in the last 4 places. The first place was taken by Ian and Dave but Philip and Adam got a second.
Prizes for the most consistent sailors went to Gavin and Mark who got 3 3rds, Paul and Amanda who got 3 9ths and Ian and Kate who got 3 10ths! When prize giving came, Ian and Kate also got 2 bottles of wine for perseverance and endeavour! Thanks also to Hartley Boats for sponsoring the event.

The full results are on the website, but I would like to make some observations.
1. Richard Maltby should stop teaching Jonny and Nia all he knows- they already know too much!
2. Gavin clearly has good powers of recovery as at the end of last year he broke his leg, but still managed to thrash all the Whitstable boats (as usual).
3. Sailing a wanderer is great fun and we should all do it more often!
Shelagh O’Riordan

First Aid Course

We are looking to organise a RYA recognised First Aid course for members. This would take place on a week day in September or October subject to there being sufficient interest. It would be a one day RYA Stormforce Coaching course, 9 am to 4 pm, led by Penny Davies, who is a retired nurse and sailor, and is particularly relevant for First Aid in sailing and water sports. On the basis of a group of twelve, the charge would be £45 per person, inclusive of the FA Manual (which must be purchased for the course to be valid) and RYA approved certificate valid for three years. Penny Davies has been recommended to us having recently provided a course at Herne Bay Sailing Club.
If you are interested in attending, please contact and please indicate any dates in September or October (week days) that you can NOT do. We will endeavour to accommodate preferences.

Club Champions - 2016!

Four races were sailed on Saturday and Sunday for this years' Club Championships, and as ever there was competitive racing throughout, with 37 boats taking part. This years' Champions were Tudor Owen and Tom Bruton in the 505 with a first place in all four races, beating Phil Emery and Dave Hawkins into a consistent second place. Max Sellar narrowly missed the top six but took the prize for the highest place Cadet, with a seventh overall in his Laser 4.7, and cadet Tom Oliver took the prize for the Slow Handicap in his Topper. Ruth Wilkinson also deserves a mention for winning the Ladies Cup as the highest placed female helm, and the Laser Radial prize, despite racing for the first time in a Laser!
The full results are posted here, and click more for the full list of prize winners.

1st place and the Dawes Trophy – for the overall club champion was won by Tudor Owen and Tom Bruton in a 505
2nd placed boat was Phil Emery and Dave Hawkins in a Merlin Rocket
3rd placed boat was John Cooper and Liz North in a Merlin Rocket
4th placed boat was Kevin Hall in a Laser
5th placed boat was Jon Bloice and Philipa Bloice in a Merlin Rocket
6th placed boat was Mark Grinter in a Laser
Ladies Cup – for first Lady helm overall was won by Ruth Wilkinson in a Laser Radial
Tom Bourne Trophy – for first cadet (u 18) overall was won by Max Sellar in a Laser 4.7
WYC Racing Shield – for first Big Cat was won by Robert Govier and David Figgis in a F18 Capricorn
Sales Trophy – for first Small Cat was won by Roy Davies and Mike Swain in a Dart 18
Castle Cup – for first Asymmetric Skiff was won by Alistair Gould in a Musto Skiff
Johnson Cup – for first Merlin Rocket was won by Phil Emery and Dave Hawkins in a Merlin Rocket
Tasar Trophy – for first Tasar was won by Richard Ledger and Rob Spaugthton in a Tasar
General Handicap Prize – for first General Handicap boat was won by Richard Maltby and John Hope in a Wanderer
Laser Prize – for first Laser was won by Kevin Hall in a Laser
Laser Radial Prize – for first Laser Radial was won by Ruth Wilkinson in a Laser Radial
Slow Handicap Dinghy prize – for first Slow Handicap dinghy was won by Tom Oliver in a Toper 4.2

Peter Raymer

Peter Raymer in his Laser
We've recently heard from the daughter of Peter Raymer, and it is with great sadness that we pass on the news that he passed away in his sleep yesterday afternoon. He was a great character and friend to many of us and will be greatly missed.
Steve Gray has kindly written a few words below:
We all knew Peter as the father of the Laser fleet and club legend, and will miss his cheery advice and general chat over a half of cider.
Pete was a lifelong sailor with experience of a wide range of dinghies which he raced to a high level. Whilst he never won the Laser Masters Worlds he came close several times in locations around the world, and would proudly tell you of the race he led by so far the race committee didn’t finish him thinking he was a back marker! He made friends everywhere he went and would keep in touch with them from around the world.
His other passions were his family and cars, spending his career in the aftersales and technical departments of several brands - but his soft spot was always for Alfa Romeo. Whilst he spent a fair proportion of his career abroad in Africa (where he built his own Hornet) it was Peter who saw Alfa through the difficult days of the 80’s when Italian cars were just a little less than reliable. He was always resourceful and dependable – two of the most important assets for his career.
Peter retired relatively early and was also a widower for much of that time. That gave him the opportunity to sail and travel the world following the Laser Masters circuit with the success previously mentioned. He raced actively at WYC well into his 80’s and with success until about 5 years ago - but remained a keen member of the Laser fleet attending socials until just a few weeks ago. He was always the go-to guy when a member of the fleet needed help, ever patient he would explain a carefully thought through solution to your problem.
We will all miss him helping out the Laser fleet and many others around the club – at 89 he contributed so much to many in the fleet and was a friend and example to all. Above all Peter was a gentleman who was respected and loved by us all.

A weekend of two extremes: The B14 and 505 Opens at WYC!

505s505s30 teams from the high performance B14 and 505 classes visited Whitstable Yacht Club on 21st and 22nd May for a combined Open event. The weather for the weekend provided the two extremes that Whitstable has to offer, with high wind and big waves on the Saturday, and very light winds on the Sunday. Whitstable Yacht Club also provided it's signature warm welcome to the visiting sailors with a great onshore experience over the weekend!
Well done to Nathan Batchelor and Sam Pascoe from Tynemouth SC who won the 505s, and to Mark Watts and Chris Bishop from Weston SC who won the B14s. Also, well done to top Whitstable Yacht Club teams of Tudor Owen and Tom Bruton in their 505 and Mark Barnes and Charlotte Jones in their B14, both of whom came 3rd in their classes.
Full reports for the weekend are on Yachts&Yachting, here for the 505s and here for the B14s, and the results are on the WYC website.
Thanks to Mark Barnes for organising the event, and all of the WYC volunteers who supported the event, both on and off the water. Photos by Nick Champion and Stuart France.
B14 and 505 Prize Winners

Team WYC win the KSSA Topper Team Racing event at Redoubt SC!

Team WYC with their prizes
WYC cadets Caitie, Max, Tom and Iggy, some of whom had never sailed a Topper before, won the Kent Schools Sailing Association's Topper Team Racing event at Redoubt Sailing Club on Saturday with an unprecedented 1st and 2nd in every race! The win qualifies them for the Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Team Racing event at Oxford Sailing Club in October!
Caitie provided the following report on the event:
We arrived at Redoubt Sailing Club to find a very patchy wind varying between about 10 and 20+ knots. Our first race was against the 3rd New Beacon team and we decided that, out of our team of four, Max, Tom and Iggy would race this race. Our tactic for the team racing was initially to have one person attempting to win the race, and the other two defending. With the gusty wind, our three boats managed to stay upright to get ahead of the other team and we came away with a win of a 1st and a 2nd. Our second race was against New Beacon two and this time Max, Iggy and I were racing. This race was also very gusty making the conditions tricky, but we again managed to come away with a 1st and a 2nd. The third race of the day for us was against the Downs two team. At the start Tom, Max and I managed to hold the other team off from the start line and ended up in a good position to cover them. Tom was unfortunately over the line but Max and I managed to again end up in 1st and 2nd with Tom defending our win. We also won our race against New Beacon One which put us in a great position going into our last race against Downs One. At the start of the last race we decided to each mark a member of the other team so we would have the best chance of winning this race. We managed to time our start very well and having covered the port and starboard side of the course, came to the top mark with a good lead of first and second. We successfully defended this lead which resulted in a win of the event, followed by Downs Two in second and Downs One in third place.
We would like to thank Redoubt Sailing club for hosting the event, all the helpers who helped make the event happen, KSSA, all the parents and staff, and the competitors for making it a great event.

Well done team WYC!
Photos by Susan Sellar
Toppers racing at Redoubt

WYC Pushed the Boat Out

Whitstable Yacht Club held an RYA Push The Boat Out event on Sunday, to give people new to the sport a sailing taster and encourage them to take up the sport. We had over 50 people through the door and out onto the water, with people setting sail in a Wanderer, Topaz, Dart 18 or Xenon for the first time! Everyone had a great time, and at least seven new members joined on the spot, with lots more taking away the membership forms with the intention of joining at a later date.
Thanks to all of the members volunteered today, talking to the visitors, helping them get the right kit, and getting them afloat, but special thanks must go to Patty Baker who organised the event and kept it running smoothly. Thanks also to the new Whitstable Watersports Centre and the University of Kent Sailing and Windsurfing Club for lending out wetsuits, boots and buoyancy aids to the new sailors.

WYC Development - Funding Update

At the October Special General Meeting, the club decided to apply for Sport England grants to redevelop parts of the club. Two grants were applied for, with several hundred hours of effort from WYC Committee members and subject matter experts put into the development of the applications.
We were told in January that we had been unsuccessful for the larger Sport England 'Improvement Fund', and disappointingly this week we have received notice that we have also been unsuccessful with the smaller Sport England 'Inspired Facilities Fund'. Although a lot of work went into putting together a strong bid for the work, Sport England received over 600 applications seeking £42m of investment against an available lottery budget of only £10m for 'Inspired Facilities', and ultimately our project goals did not align as closely to Sport England's as some of our competition for this funding.
There has been a lot of work done on these funding bids, which has been very helpful in clarifying the club's objectives and needs, especially around its facilities. Whilst we do not want to loose the momentum that we've built up, the General Committee will now need to spend some time re-assessing funding options and our priorities in any changes needed.

Report on the cruise to Shipwright’s Arms, Faversham Creek, on Sat 6th May

Lunch on the shoreSeals on The Swale
Light winds and bright sunshine set the tone for Saturday's cruise to Hollow Shore with four Wanderers, a Stratos and Topaz taking part with 14 club members aboard the boats.
In fact, winds were so light that not long after setting sail, we could hear the postponement signal for our colleagues back at WYC.
We made toward Shell Ness on smooth waters, on a rising tide in ideal cruising conditions, and were thrilled to spot seals basking in the mouth of The Swale. Blessed with natural curiosity and sociability, several of them swam close by our little fleet as we passed by to moor to the bank near the Shipwright's Arms.
Birdsong, distant church bells and long awaited warm sunshine provided the perfect backdrop for a picnic lunch and a pint.
The flooding tide saw our boats rise quickly in the water - or in one case, some considerable bailing effort to stay above the water - and we set off for home in contrasting conditions with increased wind and quite a swell. Those of us that had peeled off layers at the Shipwrights were glad of them on the way back as we all got a good sea spray. The Topaz capsized and although righted quickly and crew safely aboard, it was a useful reminder of the importance of keeping in sight of each other and ready to help if needed.
A bumpy but exhilarating sail home after a delightful day that certainly seemed to meet with the seals' approval.
Many thanks to Richard Maltby for organising, briefing and preparation, Jo Phillips for this report, and Susan Seller for the photo.
If you'd like to take part in the next cruise, this time around the Isle of Sheppey, on the weekend of 16th July, details will be posted here nearer the time, or contact Richard Maltby at!

Advice for Race Officer and Assistant Race Officer duties

If you have a Race Officer or Assistant Race Officer duty coming on the Committee Boat (all races in the schedule that show (CB) after the race name), please ensure that you bring appropriate clothing. You may need to wade into the water to get into the Safety Boat to take you out to the boat, so should wear wetsuit boots (or shoes you don't mind getting wet!) and appropriate trousers/shorts. You should also wear your buoyancy aid or life jacket, and dress for the weather - it's usually colder on the Committee Boat than on shore, and there's not much shade from the sun or rain. You should also allow for extra time to get out to the Committee Boat.
But, don't let this put you off. Doing a duty from the Committee Boat should be a fun experience, and gives you a unique view of Whitstable and the race! For more information and guidance about doing your Race Officer or Assistant Race Officer duty, see the 'Notes for ROD' at

Cadets Programme for Friday May 6th 18.00 - 20.00

Please note as from this week Cadet sessions are now scheduled for Fridays at 6.00 pm. Unfortunately this Friday the session time coincides with low water which precludes organised sailing with RIB support. With the forecast of pleasant weather the committee has decided instead to hold a Bar-B-Q with beach activities for cadets, parents and all the family.
Congratulations to the 17 Cadets and Instructors who did so well to sail in the challenging conditions last Saturday afternoon after the club race.

• 18.00 Evening Session starts. 19.20 Low Water.
• No organised sailing possible due to operational difficulties of launch and recovery around low tide.
• All Cadets, parents, family and friends are welcome to a beach Bar-B-Q: please bring your own meal for the bbq.
• Games on the beach: football, frisbee, cricket, etc. - bring games equipment.
• Parents v Cadets Mud Tug of War (volunteer parents please contact Paul McNally )
• Parents and cadets are welcome to join in the general fleet cruise to Faversham Creek on Saturday 7th May.
For all queries with regard to Cadets this week please contact Hazel Green, email:

Reminder - No parking on the Beach or West Quay

No Parking Sign Reminder - 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 or other vehicles, and stay with or near your vehicle at all times.

Reminder: Topaz for sale

Topaz Uno - Photo by Nick Champion Do you want a new boat for the new sailing season? The Topaz Uno demonstration boats that Wild Times have been using are now 2 years old, and Topper are selling them off at a very good discount. There are 5 boats to sell, all of which have been well maintained by Topper and Wild Times, and so are in excellent condition. The selling price represents a discount of almost half the price of a similar spec'ed new boat, so these are a very good deal! The details and pricing can be downloaded here, and if you're interested please contact Russ at Topper at or 07775 923655.