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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

Summer Series and updates to club racing

Believe it or not we are approaching summer, at least according to the WYC racing schedule! The Spring Series finishes this weekend (June 10/11) and current forecasts suggest an end to the relentless strong north easterlies and a change to lighter winds and warmer temperatures – fingers crossed… 
The following minor changes are planned to encourage participation of cadets and catamarans in the summer series: 
1) All-in handicap and Laser starts for all races. 
2) Additional 3rd Cadet start for June 24th, July 15th, Whitstable Week and Sept 2nd. 
3) Shorter lap races for all classes, targeting 4 laps in 45 minutes for Lasers/All-in handicap (fewer laps for cadets, more for fast cats). 
4) Lasers to sail triangle/sausage courses. 
5) All-in handicap to sail triangle courses on Saturdays and windward/leeward courses on Sundays. 
WYC major events (Whitstable Week, Town regatta and the August regatta) will have a single start per race, with the addition of a cadet start in Whitstable Week, to make racing as fair as possible. 
The sailing committee hope that these changes will encourage members to join our summer racing programme. 
Finally, can we remind you that our Discover Sailing day, WYC’s shop window to the world is on June 17th. Volunteers are still needed, so if you can help, please contact Jo Wylie or myself. 
Good sailing! 
Rear Commodore Sailing.

Topper GJW Direct Costal Championship and NS4 at WYC Report

Fantastic waves, fantastic sailing, fantastic volunteers, fantastic oysters, fantastic venue! Yes you have guessed it, Topper NS4 was held at Whitstable Yacht Club and Tankerton Bay Sailing Clubs. There were over 100 competitors, many submersed and only visible on a crest of a wave. It was amazing fun! Full report now available on Yachts And Yachting at Photo by Nick Champion.

Club Championships Prize Giving

Due to strengthening winds from the north east only 4 of the scheduled 5 Club Championships races were sailed over the Bank Holiday, with Monday’s racing and prize giving having to be cancelled. However, racing over the weekend was competitive and those who braved the conditions enjoyed their sailing. Amongst the sailors it was good to see a number of younger club members battling it out on the racecourse! Prizes will now be awarded at the Annual Prize Giving on Sunday 22nd October. Results can be viewed here:

Spring Series

In a change to the sailing programme, it has been decided that the Spring Series results will be based on all-in handicap and Lasers, rather than the class based results as was originally indicated.

Christopher Marsh - ILCA 6 RYA Youth National Champion

Congratulations to WYC member Christopher Marsh on winning the RYA Youth National Championships in the men’s ILCA 6 fleet at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy last week. Christopher had a great week, with four firsts, a second and a third over the seven races in the competitive 46 boat fleet!

Extended bar opening hours from Monday 3rd April

The club bar opening times will change from Monday 3rd April. The new opening times will be:
Monday: 17.00-20.00.
Tuesday: 14.00-21.30.
Wednesday: 14.00-23.00.
Thursday: 14.00-20.00.
Friday: 13.00-22.00.
Saturday: 12.00-22:00.
Sunday: 12.00-20:00.
Bank Holidays will see Friday and Sunday opening times changed to Saturday hours, and Mondays changed to Sunday hours. 
The bar may be opened longer if special events or parties are planned (for example Thursday closing times are regularly extended for the Music open mic group). Please discuss your requirement’s with a member of the Bar committee giving at least 2 weeks notice. 
If you have any feedback on the opening hours, please email

WYC Schedule issue with Apple devices

Some members have reported problems importing the iCalendar version of the sailing schedule into Apple devices. In particular, while the calendars load into Calendar on a MacBook, they do not sync properly with iCloud. This appears to be an issue with the use of time zones in the events, and seems to be a problem only for Apple devices (if anyone has had problems with other systems, please let Richard Jones know). Corrected versions of the calendars that use UTC rather than local time are now on the website.

WYC 2023 printed programme in the post!

It’s only a few weeks until the start of the 2023 WYC Sailing Season, with the Working Party on Saturday 11th March and the first race on Sunday 12th March. The full sailing schedule has been on the website for a while at, and the printed Programme is now in the post, so now’s a great time to start planning your 2023 sailing (and don’t forget to check if you have a duty this year)!
You can also download a PDF version of the programme here:

Volunteers needed to help with the smooth running of both sailing and non-sailing activities at the club

Dear members,
As a club we depend on volunteers for the smooth running of both sailing and non-sailing activities, however as it appears to fall to a small group of members when volunteers are required. We would like to increase the proportion of members who volunteer to support our club to avoid the current volunteer group becoming stale – so could you help?
We need help in several positions, some of which require specialist skills but some need little more than enthusiasm, some require more time than others just a couple of hours. We think there will be something that all members can help with. For example,
Treasurer: The club Treasurer position is open since the resignation of Martin Muirhead. Don’t be put off by the title, the financial operation of the club is managed by the office. What is needed is a knowledge of business development to take the club forward. An understanding of numbers and accounts is a requirement and being an accountant whilst being helpful, is not a necessity. Please contact either Maureen or Andy Jackson if you’d like to find out more.

WYC Chief Sailing Instructor qualifies as RNLI Lifeboat Helm!

Congratulations to Ruth Oliver (who has the roles of Chief Instructor, Training Administrator, RYA Onboard Officer and Co-Bosun at WYC), for passing her qualifications to become Whitstable RNLI‘s helm for their Atlantic 85 Lifeboat, the first female helm at the Whitstable station! Ruth joined the Whitstable RNLI crew 5 years ago, and has been on around 100 calls since then, including one which was featured on the BBC’s ‘Saving Lives at Sea’ programme.
Whitstable Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Judge said “Ruth qualifying as helm is the culmination of a considerable amount of effort on her behalf all given in the cause of voluntary service and her new position as helm will enhance this station’s role in the RNLI’s mission of saving lives at sea by providing us will an additional member of the station capable of taking command of the lifeboat at sea”. 
Photo by Andrew Hastings/RNLI. For more information, see

2023 schedule now available on the website

The 2023 Sailing Schedule has now been uploaded to the website at, and the Google Calendar has been updated with the dates. Please note, if you’ve previously added the Google Calendar to your account, you’ll need to do it again as the calendar link has changed.
Now is also a great time to check for your 2023 duty and add it to your diary!

John Kelly

We regret to report that John Kelly passed away on January 11th.
John had been a member for over 40 years, sailing an Enterprise with wife Eve for many decades. More recently John was a Laser sailor known to be friendly and approachable, though not necessarily one for the limelight.
Whilst John didn’t race his Laser regularly, every now and again he would turn up, rig his distinctive black and white Laser and put in an amazing performance which would leave the mid-fleet warriors for dust! He was very supportive to the club and class when he could, helping out at many of the Laser Class events.
More recently John’s son and family have joined the club with a Topper – our thoughts are with them and John’s wife Eve at this time, and we hope to see them at the club during the season.
John’s sailing friends are welcome at his funeral on February 16th at Eltham Crematorium, followed by a Memorial service at St Alfege church in Greenwich. If anyone wishes to attend, please get in touch with Eve via for further details.

Barry Bishop

We regret to report that Barry Bishop passed away on Thursday. He died peacefully in his sleep.
Barry joined WYC in 1977, and was a member until he moved to France in 2012. He became fairly prominent in the Club and was known for being something of a character, being described by the late Dr Dan Davis as the “the youngest old man you are ever likely to meet” as he always looked a lot older than he was! He sailed Condors and Merlins, as well as larger yachts including Colin Grundon’s motor sailer “Louina” and 3/4 tonner “Uforia”, and was active in helping out on the sailing and social side.
His funeral will be in France on Monday.

Prize Giving 2022

The annual end of season prizegiving took place in the Sea Room last Sunday Nov 20th and despite the raw weather reducing the day’s racing fleet to six hardy Lasers there was a fine turnout to see who was taking home the silverware.
First to receive their bursary prizes sponsored by Original Cottages were three extremely enthusiastic cadets: Isabella Topping, Rhys Johns and Oliver Low. The bursaries will cover the cost of their level 2 and 3 courses next year so many thanks to Original Cottages for supporting these young sailors.

Prizes were awarded to winners of the various series and major club events as listed below – most notable multi-trophy winners were Robert Govier and David Figgis in their Tornado (3 x Big Cat series), Charlie Campion (3 x Laser series, Wed evening handicap and highest turnout), Alistair Gould (4 x Asymmetric series), Phil Emery and Pheobe Paine (3 x Merlin series, August regatta handicap, Merlin helm and crew of the year) and John Cooper and Hilary Bradshaw (3 x Merlin series).
You can view the full list of prize winners here: WYC_Prize_Winners_2022.pdf. If you weren’t able to attend to collect your prize, please contact Sally in the club office to arrange collection.
You may be interested to know that there were 91 club races (with 3 winter series races to go) from a possible 115 with 27% abandoned. A total of 1639 boats have started a race this year giving an average start of 18.

WYC Social group updates

Art club - 1st and 3rd Monday of the month starting on the 5th December - It’s a fun get together and learn new skills with others, you will need to supply your own equipment. Meet in the sea room between 10:30 and 1:30pm for more details contact Tizzie on 079 2026 2673. 
Book club - We now have two groups that meet on 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, If you’re interested in joining the WYC Book club get in touch with Kellie Gray on 079 6604 6693, it’s a lovely way meet new members whether you’re a sailor or social member. 
And don’t forget the Coffee club which meets every morning from 10.30 in the sea room, this is open to all WYC members.
For details of the bar opening times and all the social clubs and events at WYC, see

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