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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

Provisional organised sailing schedule for the next month

A provisional schedule for the next month is now on the website at We will continue with 2 hour Supported Sailing sessions on Saturdays and Racing on Sundays. This is to allow time as much time as possible between groups of Recorders, ROs and AROs using the Race Hut and equipment. As previously publicised, we are still planning to run racing for Whitstable Week for club members.
The plan for this coming weekend (25th and 26th July) is Supported Sailing from 2-4pm on Saturday, then a club race on Sunday starting at 3pm.

Keys found

A set of keys has been found in an envelope on top of one of the Tornado catamarans. They’ve been left with Keith’s coffee hut.

Coronavirus update - 14th July

With the good weather bringing more members to the club to sail and socialise we have to ensure that the precautions we have put in place continue to be effective. In order to manage the number of people at the club, members will be limited to signing in a maximum of 1 guest per day per member from this Friday. 
To enable contact tracing all members using the bar must provide their name to the bar team, and full contact details, including name, address and phone number, must be provided for any guests who are signed in.
Can anyone using the bar also please return glasses to the sea room, ensure all rubbish is put in bins, and do not let children into the toilets unaccompanied.
We have had enquiries about the use of changing rooms. In line with current government guidance, these will remain closed for the present, and a further announcement will be made when we are able to reopen them.

Reclaimed WYC ramp wood wins again!

You may remember the news from June 2019 that wood reclaimed from the WYC ramp was used in gold medal-winning Chelsea Flower Show garden designed by Joe Perkins Design. That wood must be lucky, because it’s won another prize! This time artist Dawn Conn created a sculpture using the wood which won an episode of the BBC1 TV show ‘Home is where the art is’. The show (episode 2) was first aired on Tuesday 7th July, and you can now watch it on the BBC iPlayer at Well done Dawn!

Sprint 15 National Championships Cancelled

We’re sorry to announce that the Sprint 15 National Championships scheduled for 22nd to 24th August at WYC has been cancelled. Working with the class association we have agreed that it would not be appropriate to proceed with the Nationals under the current guidance and legislation, and even if further restrictions were lifted in the next few weeks, there would not be enough fair notice to competitors or the club to run a fair event. We hope to see the Sprint 15 class at WYC another year.

Coronavirus update from the General Committee

As the Government restrictions and RYA advice change we are working to re-enable club activities where possible. Updates on progress below:
WYC Training: Ruth has been un-furloughed and training is restarted, outdoors only and with smaller course sizes to enable Social Distancing. For now powerboat training is not feasible, but adult and cadet sailing courses are now available. See the WYC Training pages for more information and available dates:   
Cadet Sessions: Cadet sessions are restarting from 10th July. For now, these are limited to children who are at RYA Stage 3 sailing ability, with restricted numbers to meet government guidelines. Parents should have received an email from Ruth with the details, but if they haven’t, please contact her.       
WYC Bar: From 4th July the club bar will be open for members on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from midday to 4pm and 4.30pm to 8.30pm.  We will be serving bottled/canned produce only to start (NO DRAFT), and we will not yet be able to provide any glassware. Paper straws will be available, and you are welcome to bring your own glasses. Seating/social space will be limited to OUTSIDE ONLY on the decking and forecourt.       
Toilet Facilities: Limited toilet facilities will be available when supported sailing is scheduled, the bar is open, and when training courses are running. This will be a unisex toilet using the external entrance to the female changing rooms. It will be one in, one out, and for members only.       
Supported Sailing: We’ll have a support boat on the water (weather permitting) to support member’s sailing this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to midday. The support boat will provide an additional level of safety cover and support above the free sailing that has taken place since lock-down restrictions were lifted. If this works, the aim will be to move to limited racing from mid-late July.       
Whitstable Week: We’re still aiming to run Whitstable Week on Monday 3rd to Friday 7th August, although the programme will be limited for obvious reasons. Our aim will be to put on two races per afternoon, from the club line. There will be no organised social events, but we hope to open the club bar in the evenings where possible.  More updates on this will be posted nearer the time.       
Covid Safe procedure for accessing WYC: A comprehensive sanitising plan has been developed for the club, following government and industry guidelines. Hand sanitiser dispensers are located at or close to all building entrances, sanitiser sprays around the buildings, anti-bacterial soaps and paper towels at wash basins, and disinfectant for use on the ribs and support/safety/training equipment. For more details, see the doc here.   
Return to Operations Matrix: The club’s Covid-19 Sub-Committee is still meeting weekly to review guidance and update procedures. A summary of the detailed planning matrix can be viewed here. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Commodore.       

Increase in size of the Oyster Trestle site

Water users should be aware that the Oyster Trestle site off Whitstable has been significantly increased in size, out to sea and at the western end. Whilst the area by the club is well buoyed, the seaward and western edges have very wide buoy spacing of up to a quarter mile, so please be careful when on the water in that area that you do not accidentally cross into the hazardous area.

Update: Access to the West Quay

Due to a recent spate of anti-social behaviour on the West Quay, a new gate has been put up on the land end of the access road to prevent cars from driving up the quay. The barrier has a combination lock, so if you need access to get boats and equipment in or out of the club compound, please contact Robert Govier on or 07733 260 879 for the code. Please also note that cars should not be parked on the West Quay, even within the club’s compound for the time being.
If you experience any anti-social behaviour on the West Quay or beach, please report it to the police.

Reminder: No car parking on the beach

Members are reminded that cars should not be parked on the beach.

Virtual Racer - May/June Evening Results and the Cat & Mono Cups

Well done to Kevin Dutch who won the May/June Evening Series of virtual racing with a strong lead. The 10 evening, 30 race series saw some very competitive racing, with Rick Perkins in 2nd place, Tom Oliver in 3rd and Steve Gray in 4th! Next week we start something a little different on Virtual Racer, with Tuesdays being the ‘Cat Cup’ and Thursdays being the ‘Mono Cup’. Both will last for 6 weeks, sailing across the range of catamarans and mono-hulls twice in that period. The third race on each day will be ‘open’ (no code) to give the WYC racers some extra competition.
The full schedule can be seen at and the results spreadsheet at

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LaserFest Postponed

The LaserFest team have taken the decision to postpone this year’s event, which was scheduled for 11th and 12th July. The date for the event will be dependent on how the Government restrictions around Covid-19 change, but we hope to be able to reschedule for September.

Beach Lease and Forge licensing application

The General Committee is aware that an application has been made by the Whitstable Oyster Company Limited for a Variation of Premises Licence at the Forge. WYC will make the relevant representations to the Licensing Panel. Individual club members are also able and encouraged to make their own representations to the Licensing Panel.
The GC has also commenced the legal process of serving Notice to Renew our Lease on the beach. We have received our first formal response to the Notice and there are elements of the response that may align to the License Variation request. As Serving the Notice is part of a legal process we have engaged the club’s solicitors to manage it and represent us, we will take advice from them on the timing and content of our briefings to members in order that we do not prejudice the proceedings.

WYC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response - Update Wednesday 3rd June

Following the recent government announcements on the easing of lockdown restrictions, the GC Covid sub group have revised the Return to Operations Matrix, which can be downloaded from the website. There are no changes to the club’s current status resulting from the announcements.

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Safety Advice for Free Sailing and Water Sports - Reminder

Members and visitors who want to take to the water while there is no organised sailing or club safety cover are reminded that they should always respect and follow Government and RNLI guidelines, and WYC safety advice for free sailing and watersports. Always check the weather forecast before you go out, and make sure that you are prepared for a significant drop in the wind as well as an increase!
As a reminder, the club remains closed, and there are no organised sailing or social activities. The WYC General Committee sub-group are having regular virtual meetings and working on plans to restart organised activities and re-open the club when further restrictions are lifted. We are following the guidance of the RYA, RNLI and the Government. Members now have access to the external storage areas (Upper Rigden’s and Stroud sheds), but should maintain social distancing, minimise time inside, and the surfaces you touch. Please take personal responsibility by using hand sanitiser, wearing disposable gloves and/or wiping down the surfaces you touch where-ever possible.
If you go onto the water, you do so at your own risk.

WYC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response - Update Thursday 21st May

The WYC General Committee sub-group are having regular virtual meetings and working on plans to restart organised activities and re-open the club when further restrictions are lifted. Following guidance from the RYA, we have created a draft Return to Operations Matrix. This is a living document and will be updated as Government advice changes. Some operations may take time to restart once restrictions are lifted, but by using this matrix, and the significant additional level of detail that feeds into it, WYC should be on the front foot when changes come through. The draft matrix can be downloaded from the website here.

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