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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

Row your boat!

It’s also not all about sailing… the Lower Thames Rowing Club visited WYC on Saturday on their annual row across the Thames Estuary from Canvey Island to Whitstable and back. The intrepid rowers did the 27 miles to Whitstable in 6 hours, hard work from the Forts in with the wind on the nose! They stayed over in the club’s bunk rooms on Saturday night, then did the return trip in much milder conditions on the Sunday via Queensborough for lunch, putting in another 33 miles! Great to see the team at WYC again, and look forward to their return next year!

This weekend - Laserfest!

This weekend is the highly anticipated LaserFest 2021. We’re expecting 50+ Lasers on the water for one of the biggest WYC events of the year. There’ll be competitive racing across the fleet, from beginners to some of the best Laser sailors in the country, so don’t hesitate to come along if you’re a Laser Sailor! If you haven’t already, please register online (to minimise contact on-the-day) at
First race is Saturday at 2pm.
More information at

Report on the Wanderer Open at WYC

The Wanderer Open was sailed at WYC on Saturday 26th June, with 8 boats competing for the Gavin Barr Trophy. A day forecast for a gentle breeze gave us more than three hours of 10-15 knots, higher than expected with wind against tide. By the time of the first race at 2 pm the morning’s gentle breeze had freshened to a north-easterly F4 gusting F5. It stayed that way for much of the afternoon. Races were a blast around the buoys, pretty well on the brink of sailing, though helped by surfing the rollers downwind and by the flow of the outgoing tide for the beats. The morning’s calm did not return until the boats came ashore. 
On the water the Wanderers were honoured by the club’s award of first race signal to the W class flag. Just a shame, as Race Officer John Boorman later commented, that no photos could be taken to show some impressive fleet starts. The strengthening wind did not deter use of spinnakers by the leading boats, others sailing the run as two broad reaches. Fast recovery from capsize was also demonstrated sequentially by each of the front three boats, while just two boats managed all three races without a swim. Conditions certainly made the Whitstable Open a challenge, quite exhausting by the finish, but also an experience that was enjoyed. Not least by a gallant Chipstead SC WCOA member on first visit to Whitstable who had never encountered f5 conditions on the lake let alone at sea before. A big “Well done” to Maria, WCOA membership secretary. Six of the eight Wanderers powered through all races. 
Prizegiving by WYC Commodore Kelvin Tolson was followed by a perfect evening’s entertainment. Nicky of Keith’s café provided a fabulous barbecue, which really did the event and the club proud, not only in sheer quality of the food, but also in presentational style. The wonderful music by WYC fleet captain Jeremy Scott and his accompanist, played with a mandolin, guitar and violin, was pure jouissance for the (socially distanced) Wanderer gathering of 29, and hugely appreciated. This year’s winners Tim Barr and Mark Skipper (W 1282) and runners-up Stephen Nation and Liz North (W1626) sailed Gavin Barr’s old boats “Thistle” and “Surprise”. As the evening sun descended across the Swale we could all sense the smile on Gavin’s face.
Many thanks to Safety Boat drivers Neil and Jo and their crews, who were also busy on stand-by for the diminishing number of club racers, to recorders, Sarah and Michelle, and to Committee Boat skipper Andy Clark. And thank you to Richard Maltby for coordinating the organisation of the event and for this report! 
See for the results.

Team of Kent!

Thank you to Tankerton Bay Sailing Club for hosting the Man of Kent Regatta on Saturday. Thirty WYC boats sailed down to the course laid off Tankerton for the afternoon, and Whitstable Yacht Club came away with the Team of Kent trophy thanks to the skilled sailing by Harry Newton and Charlie Campion in their Lasers and Phil Emery & Phoebe Payne in their Merlin Rocket! Harry Newton also tool the Youth of Kent prize, with WYC’s Thomas Oliver nipping at his heels in second. Charlie Campion took Second Master of Kent and WYC’s Jack Quinney-Martin was Third Rookie of Kent! Thanks also to the WYC members who supported the event, manning two Support Boats and the WYC Committee Boat which we leant to TBSC for the day… all three came in handy towing WYC sailors back after the wind died away! For the full results, see

Reports from the weekend’s sailing events

The reports from last weekend’s sailing events are now up on Yachts&Yachting. The report on the Tasar UK National Championships is at, and the report on the Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller Round 1 is at

Slotty is back!

It’s great to see the WYC Committee Boat, Slotty, back on the mooring in front of the club. Thanks to the team who brought her down from her winter berth this morning. We look forward to making use of her this weekend, providing the support to the Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller Open Event and Taser National Championships, and next next weekend we’ll will be taking her to support Tankerton Bay Sailing Club in hosting the Man of Kent.

New Committee Boat Mooring laid

We’re pleased to announce that our new Committee Boat mooring was laid today, and we expect to have the WYC Committee Boat back on the mooring next week in time for up and coming events including the Merlin Open, Tasar Nationals, LaserFest and the Man of Kent.

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West Quay compound - new padlock code

There’s a new code for the padlock on the West Quay. If you need access, please contact the Club Manager or Rear Commodore Sailing -

Report from the KSSA Topper Team Racing event on Saturday 15th May

This weekend was another busy one for WYC’s youth sailors. 2 teams of 4 young sailors took the trip to Westbere Lake to sail in the KSSA Topper Team Racing event, defending the trophy that we won in 2019! The forecast was very light and those of you that have sailed at Westbere before will understand that this caused some very challenging racing conditions in judging the shifts and gusts. With 14 teams taking part from all over Kent, over 40 sailors, it was a very tough competition.
Both Whitstable teams won 3 and lost 3 races in their flight, and so unfortunately didn’t make it into the semi-final, but they had fun competing and talking to other young sailors from different clubs. Team racing is a challenging concept to understand for regular club racers, and for some of our sailors this was their first chance at it, so they did very well and had great fun trying something new!
A huge credit goes to all the organisers from KSSA as well as the parents and taxi drivers from WYC that all help make these events possible for the our up and coming sailors. Photos can be seen on the KSSA website or on the WYC facebook page.
Report by Tom Oliver.
Note from the Rear Commodore Sailing: “A special thanks must go to Tom Oliver, for being a really great Team Captain and WYC Cadet Class Captain, and for also providing this report!”

Bar staff still needed!

We’re still searching for more staff for the WYC bar. We need over 18s, preferably with some experience. If that’s you, or you know someone, please please send details to or pop them in the club letterbox!

Bar indoor table service from next week

From next week (Wednesday 19th May), in line with further lifting of Covid restrictions, the club bar will start indoor table service. All members of a party must register via the NHS App or sign in to provide track & trace details. Bar opening hours can be found on the website here:

Membership card reminder

A reminder that membership cards have been issued for all adults across all types of membership. Families have a card issued for each of the two adults on the membership. For those members that have not yet collected their cards they are available from the bar team.
A 10% discount will be given on bar purchases made with funds pre-loaded onto the card. You can pre-load your car at the bar using cash or debit/credit card. The card is then used in lieu of cash or debit/credit card, and mini statements can be provided to show how much remains after a purchase.
A purchase can still be made using cash or debit/credit card but the discount will not be applied, although you may be asked for your membership card to prove that you’re a member of WYC. The card can also be used to prove membership at Keith’s Coffee to access club member discounts on food and drink.
The discount on purchases is the initial benefit of introducing the cards. As we are now emerging from a year where the opportunities for further development have been limited, the options for expanding the use will be considered over the coming months. Further updates will follow.

WYC installs life saving Defibrillator

WYC is pleased to announce that our new Defibrillator is now installed and working. This potentially life saving device is accessible 24/7 to anyone who calls 999, so whilst we hope it will never be needed, we’re glad to be providing reassurance for our members, as well as local residents and the public in the area around the club, including the RNLI and the busy beach, harbour and town centre areas. The unit is semi automatic, so can be used by anyone, and works for both children and adults.
To access call 999, who will provide location information and the access code. CALL 999 -> START CPR -> SWITCH ON DEFIBRILLATOR -> FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS
Thank you to all the Whitstable Yacht Club members who contributed time and money towards the purchase and installation, and especially Terry Davis who made this happen!

WYC Bar Staff Required

We are unfortunately unable to extend bar opening hours until we have more staff. If you know anyone over 17 who is able to do a couple of shifts a week please ask them to email or pop their details through the Club letterbox 3-4 Sea Wall. Full training given.

Youth sailors represent WYC at the KSSA Opening Splash event

On Saturday 9 Cadets from WYC took a trip to Downs Sailing Club in Deal for the Kent Schools Sailing Association Opening Splash. This the first event that KSSA has held since the beginning of the pandemic so it was great to see so many youth sailors from Kent on the water. There was a light breeze which was perfect for a few of our sailors who are new to racing. WYC had a large presence at the event and it just shows how much the junior section of the club has grown over the past couple years to produce some really good sailors.
We had some good results from our sailors: Harry Newton came second overall and first Laser, Tom Oliver and Harry Wilson were 2nd double hander in their RS500, and Tom Blunt and George Blunt were 3rd double hander in their 420. In a fleet of 32 I think we can agree they did a great job.
Overall WYC cadets represented WYC well across the field and it was a great start to the season for all.  In 2 weeks time, 3 teams from WYC will be racing in the KSSA Topper team racing event at Westbere Lakes so wish them all the best. The full event results can be found at
Report by the Cadet Class Captain, Tom Oliver.

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