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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

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.

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:

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