Please note: you are view an unstyled version of Either you have CSS (cascading style sheets) switched off or you browser is not capable of viewing CSS.

News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

Bar Prices

The Bar committee are sorry to announce a few further price increases, mainly in soft drinks and snacks, as of midnight Monday 18 Oct.

Caroline Barr

We’re sorry to pass on the news that Caroline Barr, long-standing club member and wife of the late Gavin Barr, passed away on Tuesday.

Margaret Winn final farewell

Many of us will remember Margaret Winn, who passed away in early 2020. She was a long term member of the Yacht Club and was made an Honorary Member in 2010.  For many years she was the Minutes Secretary to the Sailing Committee, but she will best be remembered for her invaluable help in the Race Hut where she could be found most weekends recording the race results.
On Saturday a small group of Margaret’s relatives and friends visited the club to spread Margaret’s ashes at sea as she had requested. After her ashes were spread near to ‘Slotty’, the group visited the race hut to see where Margaret had spent so many weekends as race recorder. An emotional moment for all.
A big thank you to John Crickmere for driving the support boat and Alex Grantham for using his vehicle to get it launched as well as others who arrived to help.

Tornado and F18 UK National Championships - Report and thank you!

WYC hosted the Tornado and Formula 18 catamaran UK National Championships on 18th and 19th September. The club, members and staff were universally praised by the competitors for allowing them to come and sail at the club, and for putting on such a great and well run event. Thank you to everyone who helped out over the weekend, and to everyone who’s sailing may have been disrupted. It’s events like these that keep our club on the map! 
There’s a report on the event over on Yachts&Yachting Online at, and credit for the photos above, below and on the report goes to Nicky Whatley.

Congratulations to the club champions!

The Club Championships was raced over the August Bank Holiday weekend in testing conditions of big waves and some strong shifty winds. Over 65 sailors in 49 boats took part, across the full range of classes sailed at WYC. The winner of the very competitive racing was up and coming 15 year old Laser Radial sailor Chris Marsh, narrowly beating experienced sailors and Tasar National Champions Rick and Sarah Perkins into 2nd place by only 2 points. Another young sailor, 18 year old Harry Newton in his Laser took third place, beating veteran Merlin Rocket sailor Phil Emery by only a point.
Honourable mention goes to Tom Oliver who suffered gear failure on his Laser in the first lap of the first race, sailed to shore, swapped his rig to a new hull, then finished the race, albeit several laps behind the rest of the sailors, to avoid a DNF. It’s rare that anyone outside the catamaran fleet finishes a race on two hulls!
Great to see another example at Whitstable Yacht Club of how sailing and the Portsmouth Number handicap system creates a level playing field across age, experience and physical ability to allow young and old, male and female to compete with one another, whilst enjoying interacting with nature and the great outdoors!

Bar opening hour changes in September

From 1st September there will be some minor changes to opening hours based on a review of the usage over the last month. The updated opening times can be viewed at
Times can always be amended for parties or organised gatherings - please discuss your requirement’s with a member of the Bar committee.

The Pool League is restarting

The Pool League is restarting from 15th September and both WYC teams need new members! If you want to join a team come along on a Wednesday evening from 7pm and ask Chris for an intro!

Mike Fitzpatrick

Sadly, we must report that a long-standing member of the club, Mike Fitzpatrick, passed away at the weekend after a long illness. Mike, (pictured above sailing in the 2008 Merlin Rocket National Championships) is well known for his sailing skills and achievements, his humour and willingness to help others and his contribution to the running of the club.
There will be a private cremation, and a celebration of Mike’s life will be held from 5pm on Saturday 28th August at Whitstable Yacht Club.
Born 30 June 1942, son of a fisherman at Leigh on Sea.  One of his early boating experiences was when his father’s fishing boat was requisitioned by the navy to rescue residents of Canvey Island trapped by the 1953 floods.  He was all set to go as his dad’s boat boy but was taken off the boat on the orders of the RN officer as being too young!  He used to dine out on the story that as a teenager a young girl crewed for him at Leigh - Helen Mirren!
He went to Loughborough College where he founded, on a shoestring, the college sailing team.  In the 1960’s and early 70’s he built and sailed OK dinghies, campaigned one of the early Contenders, then moved on to Flying Dutchmen and then the Finn. He crewed for John Oakeley and Bob Fisher in their Soling campaign to be selected for the 1976 Olympics. They were favourites to win the trials but John O fell off his boat on the dock and broke his arm, had to sail with his arm in a cast and they didn’t win. During this time he also crewed the winning GP14 at the National Championships in 1964 and the Soling at the National Championships in 1977 and 1978.
Mike stayed involved with the Finn and became an international class measurer.  At the time the fastest Finns were being built by Bungy Taylor in UK so a steady stream of boats passed through Mike’s living room in Dunkirk to be measured on their way to customers in Europe.
In the 1980’s he commissioned his first new Merlin, customised for him and Wendy to sail but he did not stay in the class long and moved on to Tasers and later Lasers.  When his two boys were young, he built Optimist dinghies for them and an embryo fleet was formed for the cadets at Whitstable Yacht Club and Westbere Lake. In the early 1990’s he was heavily involved in activities at WYC organising major events including, in one year, 6 national championships.  The “volunteer burnout” that followed led to the club’s open meeting policy being written!
During the 1990’s he became involved with the International Canoe and sailed the World Championships in San Francisco. His boat remained in the roof of his garage until very recently.  He loved building, modifying and mending boats and was an inveterate boat bimbler and innovator.
He worked for Lloyds in London “in IT” then for a paper manufacturing company near Canterbury.  On leaving that he was employed part time by WYC in the office as sailing administrator before finally retiring in 2006. 
He moved back into Merlin Rockets with Julie crewing at a very windy Abersoch championships in 1998.  He fitted out a new Winder hull in his inimitable alternative style which never really worked so Julie bought a new complete boat in 2006 and he was ordered not to change anything without the say so of the class captain!  As a result, they were pretty successful in club racing.  His love of the Finn dinghy never diminished even though he was too light to be competitive and most recently in 2009 he sailed in the Finn Masters World Championship in France.
He and Wendy cowrote wrote the Sailing: Techniques of Seamanship (a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award guide) and Dinghy Racing.  He was very chuffed that the first friend he made when he moved to Bradbury Grange Nursing Home had read the book!
He will be missed and fondly remembered by everyone who knew him.

WYC memory from Tony Hays

We recently received the following message from Tony Hays, one of our members in the 50s and 60s:
“In 2020 you posted an interesting video of the 1967 Admiral’s Cup series.  You might be interested to know that a WYC member was on the UK team (at least, I think I was still a member in 1967, having moved to Bristol in 1962 for university and work). My parents, Philip and Joan Hays, were members of WYC in the 1940s to 1960s.  I vaguely remember my mother saying that she was the first woman member, although I don’t know if that is actually true.  My father had an Essex One Design and originally raced out of Herne Bay Yacht Club, but moved to Whitstable around 1939.  He then transitioned to an 18 ft National, then a Flying Dutchman and Merlin-Rocket. I joined as a junior member in about 1956, sailing Cadets, and was probably a member for about 12 years or so, before emigrating to the United States.
I started to crew in offshore races when I was 17, and worked my way up to race for Ron Amey, owner of the Noryema series of ocean racers (the name of the boat is Ron Amey spelled backwards). Some of the races, or race series, that I competed in were: 
1966 Transatlantic Race (Bermuda-Copenhagen) (Noryema IV), 
1967 Admiral’s Cup Team (Noryema V), 
1968 Onion Patch Trophy Team (which included the Newport-Bermuda Race) (Noryema VI), 
1972 Onion Patch Trophy Team.  (Noryema, a stock Sparkman & Stephens design, was the overall winner of the Bermuda Race, thanks to brilliant navigation on the part of the skipper and navigator, Ted Hicks.  She is the only non-American yacht to win the Bermuda Race ( The photo is the crew photo for Noryema, I’m the second from the right, Ted Hicks is third from the right.
I’ve also raced both the Fastnet and Bermuda Races on other boats.  In 1969 I emigrated to the United States, and have raced fairly extensively on the US East Coast, Great Lakes and West Coast, including several races from the US to Mexico. Currently I crew on a Beneteau 32 out of Dana Point, in Southern California.”
You can see the full 1967 Admiral’s Cup series on our youtube channel at Thanks to Tony for getting in touch. If you have any memories of Whitstable Yacht Club, we’d love to hear them!

Reminder - Safety Guidance

Following a “near miss” incident at the club on Saturday caused by a sudden change in weather conditions, we would like to remind members of the following guidance, designed to reduce risk and speed up the response to any safety issues at sea: 
• We have a Safety Advice for Free Sailing and Water Sports section on the website ( and in the club programme, and we strongly recommend all members going sailing should read and follow this advice. In particular, always dress warmly for the conditions – it is easier to take off a layer than put it on, and it’s often colder at sea than on land, especially if you get wet. Carrying a waterproof layer will significantly reduce the effect of sea spray, rain and wind chill. 
• The WYC Boat Parking, Equipment and Windsurf Board Storage Policy, on our website ( and in our programme states that Trolleys, trailers, covers and any other equipment left on the beach when you go sailing must also be clearly labelled with your sail number and name. This is to aid identification in the event of an incident. The quickest way to see who’s returned to the club (for example when free sailing, if a boat has been stolen or put to sea without owner’s permission, or in the event that there’s an error on the race sign on sheet) is to check the beach for trolleys. If your trolley is not labelled, it makes it harder to check that you’re safe. 
• Please familiarise yourself with the position of the Oyster Trestle area marked by the yellow hazard buoys. You are strongly recommended not to go within the area marked by the yellow Hazard Buoys. During racing, the area between the yellow Hazard Buoys and the shore is a prohibited area. Sailing within this area will result in disqualification (Rule 10.2). If you see someone in trouble in this area, please call 999 and ask for the coastguard, or alert the Race Team (do not enter the hazard area). Please report any incidents or ‘near misses’ to the club. Please email incident or near-miss reports to

Whitstable Week 2021 Wrap Up

Wow - what a Whitstable Week! A great week was had by all, and a return to normal, or at least as close as is possible at the moment! The weather did it’s best to disrupt us in this rather unseasonable end of July, but our Race Officer and the team still managed 3 full days of racing, getting in 6 races. We also hosted 5 evenings of social events - Vinyl Night, Pool Competition, Ian and Phil’s Lazy Quiz, Cocktails with the Commodore, and the Friday Night Finale Party! Despite the RNLI Pursuit Race getting blown off on Friday we still raised over £200 for the RNLI from all the Whitstable Week entries.
Congratulations to Max Hunt who won Whitstable Week overall in his Laser Radial, narrowly beating Rick an Sarah Perkins in their Tasar and Charlie Campion in his Laser. The full results can be found at Also, congratulations to our special Whitstable Week Prize Winners: Submariner Award to Veronica and John Moore for their capsize at the beginning of Tuesday’s racing, the Loudest Competitor to Andrew Jackson for his ‘feedback’ to the Race Officer on the line bias for one of the races, the Oldest Competitor to Geoff Bush, still Laser Racing at 77, and finally the Spirit of Whitstable Week to the Support Boat Team, who were kept busy in the windy conditions!
Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped make Whitstable Week 2021 happen: 
Rescue boat drivers and their crews Jo, Sam, Dave, Georgie, Glenn, Miriam, Joe and Ian. 
Andy for driving the committee boat. 
Georgia and Miriam for their photography.
The volunteer recorders Jill, David, Ian and Richard. 
Sally for results and prize coordination. 
The Race Officer John and his Assistants Paul and Chris. 
The social team, including Mike, Dickie, Ian and Phil, Tizzie and the cocktail team, Magda and the bar staff, Keith and the coffee hut team.
The Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress for presenting the prizes at Prize Giving! 
We’re looking forward to next year already!

Update to WYC Bar opening hours and prices

Thank you to our Bar Manager Magda for all the extra hours she has put in recently to get our new staff trained up. This has enabled us to extend the bar’s hours from the end of this week. We’ll be open every day from 11 to 11 during Whitstable Week, and open every lunch time and later evenings Wednesday to Sunday from the beginning of August. The updated opening hours are on the website at
Our new bar top is being fitted this week, and should be in place by Wednesday evening. We are planning to open as usual on Wednesday, but please be aware that there may be some minor disruption to service and product availability depending on how quickly it dries!
Unfortunately our suppliers have increased some of their prices, so we have had to make some minor changes. The amendments are highlighted in red in the price list available on the website.
Just a reminder that, while we are relaxing some Covid-19 related measures in line with Government guidelines, cashless is still preferred but not mandatory, and once served members will be asked to leave the bar serving area. Table service will continue to be available on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and preventative measures such as increased ventilation and protective screens will remain in place.  Members and visitors are requested to wear face masks when moving around inside the club buildings, unless exempt.
Thanks again to Magda, and also Dickie Ledger, for all their hard work organising the bar during this particularly tricky time!

WYC Book Club

The WYC Book Club is now up and running and meets on the second Wednesday of the month. We currently have 12 members and it’s a lovely way to meet new members, whether you’re a sailor or a social member.
If you’re interested in joining the WYC Book Club please get in touch with Kellie Gray on 07966046693!

WYC Coronavirus Update - 14th July

Following the government announcement regarding the easing of the Covid restrictions from July 19th, the WYC Covid sub group have reviewed how the club will be affected. WYC will broadly adopt the approach to the lifting of restrictions regarding social distancing and gatherings. Members and visitors are requested to wear face masks when moving around the club buildings, unless exempt. The QR Test and Trace registration requirement will also continue.
Showers and changing rooms will no longer have capacity limits but members are requested to come changed for sailing where possible. Members are asked to use their judgement as to whether it is necessary to use the showers or changing rooms and access should always be via the external doors, not through the sea room.
All toilet facilities will reopen.
The bar will be open for service (cashless is still preferred but not mandatory). Once served members will be asked to leave the bar serving area. Table service will continue to be available on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Preventative measures such as increased ventilation and protective screens will remain in place.
As previously, members and visitors are requested not to visit the club if they have any Covid symptoms or have been advised to isolate. Members are also reminded to follow any ongoing government advice and also take personal responsibility for doing so when using the club facilities or when going on the water.

Tri Hard!

It’s not all about sailing… WYC and Canterbury Harriers team-up to lead field in returning local Oysterman Triathlon.
Whitstable’s now firm Triathlon favourite returned last weekend and provided the opportunity for the Yacht Club to join with Canterbury Harriers to take on all-comers in the Oysterman Team Relay event.  Luke Swain (WYC) led the team out with a fantastic sea swim in near-perfect conditions, but with a Covid-proofed staggered start that made placing on the course hard to track.  Neither Luke’s late-placed start - nor his previous day’s massive splosh around the Solent in Bournemouth’s two piers swim – delayed him in dispatching his 500m swim in a remarkable 7 minutes 47 seconds.  He handed over to Paul Moore (WYC and Harriers) to pick up pace on the bike leg, time-trialling the new 20K Herne/Greenhill course in 33 minutes 12 seconds.  On return to Tankerton Slopes, the baton handed on to Alex Horsley (Harriers) who gave his all – confidently reeling in remaining Relay Team runners on the 5K course, despite the staggered start, in just 19 minutes 44 seconds. 
With transitions, the combined WYC and Harriers team completed the course in 1 hour 03 minutes and 09 seconds – earning first place honours for both local clubs in the Team Relay by a clear 06 minutes!
Coming off the bike, Moore was heard to quote the redoubtable Dickie Ledger after his massive three-sail reach back from the Forts in the 2019 distance race …. ‘if they want to go faster than that then they’re welcome to it!’. 
Selection trials for next year’s team are planned to begin in January 2022.

Page 2 of 66 pages  < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›

Have some news?

Contact the office if you have some news. Email