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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

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.