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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

Welcome to our new Rear Commodore Sailing!

Steve Gray was voted in as Rear Commodore Sailing at the AGM 2 weeks ago. The Rear Commodore Sailing is responsible for all of the racing and ‘water side’ activities at the club (excluding Training), and Chairs the Sailing Committee. For those that don’t know Steve, he’s provided the below introduction:

I am not really a dynasty sailor, but I have sailed for most of my life. It all started when Dad bought Mirror 5988 from Exchange and Mart when I was 12 - a slightly random move as none of our family could sail and there were few sailing clubs in the Thames valley in the early 70’s. After an inauspicious first sail in the Mirror, which narrowly avoided being swept over weir on the Thames, I became an extremely keen and reasonably proficient Mirror racer to Championship level. We joined a small sailing club on a gravel pit near Maidenhead and as teens my brother and I couldn’t get on the water enough, backed by the start of a lifetime study of Yachts and Yachting every two weeks (Clubs and Classes mostly). Laser 10343 came next but at 9.5 stone was far too light so drifted into Miracles where I did a few Championships with some success.

An important step was to become an instructor which led to summer jobs from senior school days through university at commercial sailing schools on the south coast - taught me lots about tide! I didn’t get on with team racing at Uni so joined Midland SC and went back to a Laser (45034) travelling the open circuit and doing a couple of nationals. Sadly, the Laser was traded for a washing machine (same value in those days), and I had a period not sailing when my kids were young. 

A divorce brought a move to Whitstable so I could join a proper, historic, and famous sea club - and another Laser (750??). There have been a few more Lasers over the years, together with 29er 056 (best customer ever for the rescue crew) and Tasar 366 (the Orange one) in which I fulfilled my ambition of racing a Nationals with one of my daughters. I had a spell on the General Committee in the naughties but found travelling away to work and the GC did not work well. Last year I took semi-retirement, bought a Solo (kept the latest Laser), and rashly said I had the time to put something back into the club which has been a big part of my life for the last 20 years. I look forward to serving the club in developing its sailing and racing heritage.