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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Forts Race Weekend 2017

The UK's premier catamaran long distance race, now in it's 22nd year

Over the last 22 years, our Long Distance catamaran race has evolved into a well-balanced test of catamaran racing skills, attracting top national helms as well as experienced club racers and international entries. Laid out in hub and spoke format, with each leg returning through a gate near the club, the full course covers 85 kilometres in estuary, coastal and open sea conditions, and provides racing at all points of sailing. The flexibility of this format differentiates the Forts Race from other marathon events.

  • It can be shortened for all competitors if winds are light.
  • It can be shortened for smaller cats, to provide similar duration of racing.
  • The course can be changed if conditions change.
  • The risk of cancellation is reduced as it is easier to manage.
  • Competitors can retire on passing through the gate each round.
  • Support craft can be rapidly re-deployed where needed in emergency.

As different conditions favour different types of catamaran, there are separate categories of prizes for modern fast three sail cats with spinnakers, smaller two-handed cats and qualifying classes. There's also a Short Race prize. Only boats that select the Short Race will be competing for this prize, allowing boats that want to be out on the water for less time, but also experience this exciting event, be in with a chance of the prizes. The list of eligible classes has been revised down to and including Dart 18 Two-Up but nothing slower. Faster single-handers may now take part, but must contact Whitstable Yacht Club in advance to confirm eligibility.

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Registration will take place in the Whitstable YC between 09.30 & 11.00 hrs on 9th September. The Forts Race Weekend is open to two-handed and sports catamarans rated at 1.217 or faster under the SCHRS measurement system. Entry fee is £[TBC] for the weekend.

Key Statistics

The most popular classes are Dart 18, Formula 18, Hurricane 5.9, Spitfire and Tornado. Typically the race attracts 25+ entries, with a maximum of 40 entries. Nine times out of ten, the race can be run on the Saturday, with Sunday for round the cans races. Tidal flow is generally less than three knots, and even then only out to sea at the Forts


  • Registration on Saturday 9th will be between 1000 and midday.
  • Briefing on Saturday at midday
  • The shakedown race will start at 2pm on Saturday.
  • The Forts Race will start at 11.30am on Sunday
  • Prize Giving will take place as soon as possible after the Forts Race on Sunday.

Accommodation and Campervan parking

There are a large number of accommodation options within walking distance of the club (see the WYC accommodation pages), and WYC has a limited number of bunk rooms available. Booking early is recommended! Parking in the Whitstable town centre, close to the club, is cheap at £2.50/day. We have a limited number of campervan/motorhome spots available this year. They need to be pre-booked and cost £20 for the weekend. For more information and to book a spot, email us.

Forts Race Course

The long distance race will be sailed in the area of Whitstable with up to FIVE radiating "legs". The Race Officer reserves the right to shorten the course for all OR individual competitors OR all competitors of specific classes. Click here (updated 22nd August 2016) to download a provisional list of marks which can be used for the long distance racing.

Important Documents

  • TBC - Check back nearer the event


The 2016 Forts Race was held on Saturday 3rd September.


The 2015 Forts Race was held on Saturday 12th September.


The 2014 Forts Race was held on Saturday 13th September.


The 2013 Forts Race was held on Saturday 21st September.


The 2012 Forts Race was held on Saturday 15th September, with three Round the Cans races on Sunday 16th September.



For more information call (01227 272942) or email the WYC Office. Like us on Facebook at


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