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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

Tea bar hatch - Update

Unfortunately the planned opening of the Tea Bar Hatch to serve members with drink and food orders that was planned for this weekend will not be possible due to a delay on replacement parts for the coffee machine. Instead Keith will be operating a separate queue from the Coffee Hut to serve members and reduce wait times. We’ll provide a further update when the Tea Bar Hatch can be opened.

Reminder: Notes for Race Duties and Upper Rigdens Shed door

Reminder: If you are scheduled for a duty, please review the Notes for Race Duties on the website at There’s a checklist to prep for an RO or ARO duty, a detailed guide to running a race, guidance notes for Safety Boat crews, and other important information. It’s especially important to review this in advance given the need for social distancing on the day of your duty. Most members are scheduled for at least one duty per year (with the exception of Social members), so please review schedule at to check if/when your duty is this year. If you can’t make the allocated date, please contact your Class Captain or the Sailing and Membership Secretary with as much notice as possible.
Members are also reminded that the door to Upper Rigdens Shed and other storage areas should be kept closed. Please make sure you close the door behind you after accessing your equipment. If you don’t have the key code to access your equipment, contact your Class Captain or the Sailing and Membership Secretary.

WYC - Back on the water, and next steps in reopening

WYC sailors were back racing over the Easter weekend, with 29 members taking to the water for the 3 out of 4 scheduled races sailed. It was great to see the organised racing restart, and to have such a good turnout despite the cold and windy conditions on Friday and Saturday, and then warm but very light winds on Monday! Thanks to all the members who helped make the racing happen, including the rostered Race Officers, Assistant Race Officers, Safety Boat Drivers & Crews, and those members who’ve worked hard over the last few weeks and months to prep the club to open for the new season.
In line with the lifting of government restrictions, the club’s changing rooms will be opened from Monday 12th April. Both will be accessible from the external doors only, and maximum capacity will be 6 people and only 1 shower in each. We recommend that you continue to the club changed or change on the beach if at all possible, and only use the changing rooms and showers if essential. Please note that there are still some ongoing maintenance works in the men’s changing rooms, so please take care and do not move any of the barriers.
Following feedback from members, the queuing system for Keith’s Coffee is being revised, and the club’s external tea bar hatch will be opened during busy times on weekends from 17th April to serve club members with drink and food orders, which should reduce some of wait times for members. The club’s bar will also be opening from Saturday 17th April for outdoor table service for members, (see for full opening hours).
Masks must continue to be worn when inside the race hut, changing rooms or toilets, and the Race Office and Recorders should limit their use of the inside of the club to for collecting and returning the Race Hut key only. The toilets on the internal stairs should not be used. Only the designated toilets with external access are currently open for member’s use.

WYC Bar open from 17th April

Based on the current timeline to roll back Coronavirus restrictions, we’re planning to open the WYC Bar from Saturday 17th April! In line with the regulations, it will be outdoor table service, cashless sales only, and we’ll be running limited hours:
Saturday & Sunday: 12 - 6pm.
Wednesday & Friday: 5 - 8pm.
(Monday Tuesday and Thursday: Closed).
We’re looking forward to welcoming our members back to the bar.

Successful online AGM

Thank you to everyone who attended the first online WYC AGM on Saturday 27th March. Over 45 members attended via a Zoom meeting, more than enough to be quorate, and heard the reports from the Commodore, Rear Commodore Sailing, Rear Commodore House and Treasurer. We voted on key proceedings, including election of the Officers and General Committee, and ensured that the club is in a good position to ease out of lockdown, return to full operations, and face the challenges ahead of us in 2021. The draft minutes will be available shortly.
The AGM is an essential activity in the WYC calendar, and it was great to be able to make use of technology to continue operating in these unsettled times. We’ve received lots of positive feedback about the meeting, so thanks again for all the members who attended, to our Treasurer Martin who set up and managed the Zoom meeting, and the members of the General Committee for organising the meeting.

Toilet for members open from Tuesday

To support the restart of organised sports at WYC, limited toilet facilities for members will be opening from Tuesday 30th March. The unisex toilet will be accessible from the outside entrance only for one person at a time, and will be open while Keith’s Coffee Hut is open (usually 8am to mid afternoon). Please wear a facemask and use hand sanitiser when accessing the facilities.
We are hoping to be able to open changing rooms after the next scheduled lockdown easement on 12th April, and are awaiting confirmation of the updated guidelines on changing facilities from the RYA.

Organised sailing restarts from 2nd April!

In line with the change in Coronavirus restrictions, and aligned with RYA advice, organised sport activities including sailing and racing can restart from 29th March. This means that the WYC Sailing Programme will now start from Friday 2nd April for the scheduled Easter Nip, and we plan to run club racing as scheduled from this point forward!
For the scheduled racing we will stick to the rostered members for Race Officer and Assistant, however please let us know ASAP if you are down to cover a race but can no longer attend. We will draw Support Boat Drivers and Crews from the Safety Boat Team for the Easter Nip, and review Safety Boat crewing on a rolling basis. Anyone scheduled for Safety Boat crew duties for the Easter Weekend can stand down, and we will review further duties as they go.
The changing rooms and club house remain closed, so members should come to the club dressed to sail or change on the beach. The Upper Rigden’s Shed and other storage areas should not be used as a changing room.
Caution should continue to be taken when making decisions to sail to prevent on the water risk, and we ask everyone to continue to act responsibly on or off the water, following Coronavirus guidelines such as social distancing, mask wearing and hand sanitiser. We would also recommend that everyone visiting the club should be symptom-free tested regularly to protect yourselves and others.
See you at the club soon!

2021 Topper SE Regional, B14 Open and Forts Race Weekend cancelled

Following a review of the current and expected changes in Covid-19 restrictions, and our ability to put on quality and safe events to the standard we pride ourselves on whilst meeting those restrictions, the decision has been made to cancel the Topper SE Regional Squad training and Open on 10th and 11th May, the B14 Open on 8th and 9th May, and the Forts Race Weekend on 29th and 20th May. Whilst restrictions are planned to gradually lift over April and May, even if the current timeline is met we would still not be able to host full social programmes for these events and travel and accommodation would have been severely restricted for at least the Topper and B14 events. There’s also a significant amount of volunteer time and effort leading up to and during the Forts Race Weekend in particular, which would be much harder to achieve safely under the current and expected restrictions. Instead, we want to focus the club’s efforts on sailing and social activities for our members in April and May, and more details on the club events that will replace the Forts Race Weekend programme will be announced shortly.
We look forward to being able to run these events again in 2022, and look forward to welcoming our friends from the Topper, B14 and long distance sailing fleets back to the club again soon.

WYC Cadet cooks on TV!

Turn on CBBC tomorrow at 5pm and you may see a familiar face! Whitstable Yacht Club cadet sailor Anya Goodman is taking part in the Children’s BBC show Step Up to the Plate, in which eight young contestants battle it out to see if they’ve got the skills to run their own restaurant, no matter what obstacles are put in their way. Anya, who can often be seen sailing Toppers and Aeros off Whitstable and taking part in Cadet activities was crowned 2019 Kent Young Cooks Champion, and was then invited to cook her dishes at a VIP lunch at The Dog at Wingham. There were apparently 1000 applicants for Step Up to the Plate, and filming took place just before lockdown 2. Tune in on Tuesdays at 5pm to see her progress, or catch up on the BBC iPlayer. Good luck Anya!

2021 Information and Programme, and AGM papers dispatched

All members who have joined or renewed for the 2021 year should now have received the paper copy of the WYC 2021 Information and Programme in the post, and the AGM papers by email. If you have renewed, but not yet received either, please contact Sally or Maureen in the club office to confirm we have the correct postal and email address on record for you. It’s important that we have an up to date email address on file as the AGM will take place by Zoom this year, and the invitation to the AGM will be sent out by email nearer the time.

RYA Virtual Dinghy Show - We were there!

RYA Dinghy Show 2021Did you make it to the Virtual Dinghy Show this year? The club was there, and we had a great time! Thank you to the RYA for stepping up and making it happen despite the impact of the pandemic and the current Coronavirus restrictions.
If you missed it this weekend, you can still log in and view the show, although the live events have ended.
Thanks also to Andrew Guerin who worked hard to put the WYC stand together and make it happen!

WYC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response - Update Tuesday 23rd February

Based on the latest government announcements on Monday regarding the lifting of Coronavirus restrictions, the working party and races scheduled for March will be cancelled and the AGM on 27th March will be run virtually. We’re awaiting detailed guidance from the RYA, but we expect that organised sailing and racing will start at the earliest on 2nd April for the Easter Nip and sailing to continue from that point as scheduled. We’d expect the bar to be able to open for outside service on the decking from 12th April at the earliest, and we look forward to further restrictions being lifted, being able to open up further from 17th May, and then fully open from 21st June in line with the projected government roadmap.
Under current restrictions, non-organised water sport and sailing activities are allowed, however members should take notice and follow current government advice and restrictions when using club facilities or going on the water, and follow Safety Advice for Free Sailing and Water Sports.

2021 schedule now available on the website

WYC PresentsThe 2021 Sailing Schedule has now been uploaded to the website at, and the Google Calendar has been updated with the dates. The printed Programme is in final draft, and is expected to be posted out to members in early March. 
The 2021 sailing schedule assumes a ‘normal year’, but we expect it to change as the local Covid-19 restrictions are updated. As with our 2020 activities, we aim to provide a 3 stages of sailing: unsupported Free Sailing -> Supported Sailing (support boat on the water) -> Club Racing. Keep an eye on the website and social media feeds for the latest updates as we approach the start of the season.

Lights, camera, action! Club members report on their part filming the Whitstable Pearl Mystery crime drama

Between October 2020 and January 2021 Whitstable Yacht Club was transformed into a film set to be the Whitstable Pearl Restaurant and the JL Sailing Club for the TV crime drama based on Whitstable author Julie Wassmer’s novels The Whitstable Pearl Mystery and Disappearance at Oare. As well as transforming the club, a number of our members were part of the filming, from technical support, safety support and advice, to appearing in the show as stunt doubles and extras! Below is a report from Phillipa Bloice on her and Donna Hender’s experience.

Imagine being asked If we’d like to be boat doubles in The Whitstable Pearl Mystery crime drama. Donna and myself just about contained our excitement as we arrived for a day’s filming. We knew nothing more than we would be actor doubles going out on a boat.
Covid tests were mandatory for everyone. Then we were whisked off to makeup. Donna had a wig moulded onto her head that looked identical to the cast lady she was doubling for. I had a long blond hair piece attached to a pink bobble hat the same as my actor. We were introduced to the leading actress Kerry Godliman who was having her hair curled for a party scene later that day. Everyone was very chatty and friendly.
Wardrobe next and we were given the identical clothing and foot ware that our actors were wearing. We were then introduced to the actors we were doubling so ultimately, we were 2 sets of twins Donner and myself just slightly older, that wasn’t a problem as we were being filmed by a drone capturing film from the top of our heads.
We walked down to the harbour where the film crew with a huge support team were waiting. A marine rescue team looked after us   making sure we were safe. Everything was very organised and professional. It felt bitterly cold, the sky was a clear blue but the sea looked grey and lumpy. We were given hand warmers to keep us cosy, our clothes and hair were checked.
The boat we were filming on was a small old green wooden vessel with a ships wheel and tiny cabin. We were asked to watch while our actors acted out our parts. They then stayed on land while we copied their acting as shown, adding untying the boat and driving it out of the harbour to sea. The director briefed us on a radio. We repeated the take 5 times so different angle shots could be taken with the drone. 5 times Donna got to drive the little boat beaming every time while I sat behind her. “All done” radioed the director.
We then chatted to other cast members in a heated gazebo on the harbour while we waited for our part to get signed off. We were offered a choice of hot food for lunch with plenty of warm drinks before we returned to make up to have our wigs removed and our hair brushed out and blow dried, back to reality. That was our little insight into film making.
We would like to thank all the production team for making our day fabulous. Everyone was so friendly and inclusive and looked after us so well.

We’re looking forward to the finished product when it hits screens later this year, and wonder if some of our members will be putting their new skills to use with a new career in the movie industry! Roll out the red carpet for the premier…

Margaret Winn bequest

Many of us will remember Margaret Winn, who passed away just over a year ago. 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.
Her family have again told us just how much the club meant to her throughout her many years in Whitstable, and we are very grateful to announce that she has left the club a bequest as a measure of her gratitude for so many years of friendship.

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