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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

2023 season roundup

Go to to read the report.

The 2023 season was a year of considerable growth in youth sailing and racing. The cadet programme ran to capacity, Cadetfest was fully booked and the ‘On Board’ schools programme saw children from St Mary’s and Whitstable Junior school experiencing sailing for the first time. The Topper Coastal Championships in May saw 107 youngsters racing, including 14 from WYC. A cadet racing series took place with 14 starters and there was a huge increase in Toppers competing in summer series racing. The autumn series all-in-handicap fleet was won by Joe Barton in his Topper, with Freya Crockatt also winning a race against the adults (and Joe!). We have seen the growth of the WYC cadet programme over the last few years, but it is great to see the more experienced taking part and winning in the club racing series.

Turning to the racing programme, 86 series races were planned with 71% completed despite some pretty challenging weather. The number of starts for the all-in-handicap fleet grew slightly, due in part to the increased Topper numbers in the summer. Laser starts fell back slightly but total starts for all classes in series racing were about the same as 2022 at just under 1,000.

WYC has a number of feature races and regattas which were closely fought at all levels. The August regatta was won by Chris Marsh in a Laser, visitors Paul and Bronwyn Ridgeway won Whitstable week in a Tasar and the 2023 club champions are Rick and Sarah Perkins in their Tasar. In total there were 718 starts in the feature races, a slight increase over 2022.

It takes more than numbers to highlight the memorable social events that made Whitstable week and other major events such a success this year. Thanks are due to the club band for some epic entertainment and to those who organised the masked ball at the Marine Hotel with over 100 attending.

We hosted 143 boats at our open events, dominated by the Topper Coastal championships. However, it was good to hear the positive comments following the Wanderer National Championships, and the B14 and Dart open, proving once again that Whitstable remains one of the great venues to sail and to hold a big open event.

The club has benefited from sponsorship by across many of its activities this year – the adult and cadet bursaries, Cadetfest, Whitstable week and Laserfest have all been supported – many thanks guys!

WYC has an extensive racing, training and cadet programme which depends on members taking their turn in race management. In addition, our activities are very dependent on the safety boat team, recorder team and committee boat drivers to deliver the programme. We are hugely grateful to those who volunteer to support our racing, but we are badly in need of more help to spread the responsibility wider – so if you fancy driving a safety boat, the committee boat or becoming a recorder please contact Ruth, Sally or Steve.

No of race starts: 2023 2022Change
Series races Handicap: 481 413 +16.5%
Series races Laser: 492 548 -10.1%
Feature races All: 718 705 +1.8%
Total race starts 1,691 1,666 +0.2%

Hope you’re looking forward to the new 2024 season – the schedule will be added to the website early in the new year and includes your favourite events and some new directions.

WYC Sailing Committee