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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News


The 2024 WYC Club Programme is currently being compiled. If you or anyone you know would like to advertise their business within the programme, please contact Sally for more details:

Jon Blunt

We regret to report that Jon Blunt, father of cadets Tom and George and wife to Naomi, has passed away following a severe illness, which he bore with immense inner fortitude while continuing to take as active an interest as possible in club and cadet activity.
Jon was an ever helpful contributor to WYC cadets, supporting Tom and George in sailing their 420, at the club and away at 420 class events, volunteering to drive and crew safety boats for cadets and club races. Even when terribly ill he took pleasure supporting the Topper Nationals in May.

Congratulations to WYC members Max Hunt and Finn Crockatt for winning major events during September.

Max was crowned European Champion in the Great Grand Masters age group at the ILCA (Laser) Masters European Championship held in Douarnenez, France. Max posted a remarkably consistent set of results to beat world champion Vanessa Dudley from Australia by a single point.
WYC hosted the Kent Schools Sailing Association annual regatta on September 16th with a turnout of over 50 youngsters racing in tricky light conditions that tested competitors and race organisers alike. The day was won overall by Finn Crockatt from WYC who won the last race and ended with just 3 points to beat the Topper of Sam Macnamara from Chipstead and 420 of Jacob Websdale and Winter IIhan from Margate. WYC claimed 8 of the top 20 places with 15 cadet members taking part. Thanks also to all the WYC members who helped out in making this event a success.

Membership renewals due in October

The Whitstable Yacht Club membership year runs from 1st October, so subscriptions are due in October. For more details on the membership fees for the new membership year starting on 1st October 2023, and for the new online subscription form for new and renewing members, see

Wanderer National Championship at Whitstable Yacht Club

Ten Wanderers gathered at Whitstable during the last week of August and the first weekend of September. Wanderer East, a series of cruises up the Swale and over to the island of Sheppey was held during the week. On Saturday and Sunday the boats competed for the Ian Proctor Wanderer Nationals and Gavin Barr trophies over four races.
For the full report on the event go to

Susan Barnes

We regret to report that Susan Barnes passed away on 29th August at home.
She was a long-standing member of WYC and wife of the late Brian Barnes (ex commodore).
The funeral will take place at All Saints Church Whitstable on Friday 22nd September at 1.30 pm to celebrate a much loved lady.

Whitstable Week 2023 - Report

Whitstable Yacht Club’s biggest event of the year is Whitstable Week, which this year ran from Wednesday Aug 2nd to Sunday Aug 6th. The format for the event is a ten-race series with two races per day and socials each evening which included a cadet night, a quiz night, an evening that started with commodore’s cocktails followed by the amazing WYC music group, and a Summer Ball with canapes and fizz supported by a further band ‘Betty and the Swingtones’. Whitstable Week was sponsored by who have kindly supported WYC’s major events in 2023 and WYC’s growing cadet fleet.
Returning to WYC from his recent emigration to the USA was Race Officer John Boorman, who ran an excellent race series when the weather allowed. Such dedication to Whitstable Week earned John the ‘Spirit of Whitstable Week’ trophy.
Wednesday was forecasted to be wet and windy which sadly proved to be correct with 25mph gusts resulting in racing been abandoned for the day, but fortunately the bar opened early so all wasn’t lost!
The fleet were keen to make up the lost ground on Thursday with a light northerly wind as they launched. The wind then went southerly, south easterly, and just as the RO was considering binning the day, a NE force 4 sprung up under a dark raincloud. The first race was won by Rick and Sarah Perkins from WYC in their Tasar followed by Paul and Bronwyn Ridgeway from Australia and also in a Tasar. Chris Marsh who is a WYC member but sails his Laser/ILCA for Thailand finished third to set a somewhat international tone to the results for the week. Chris won the second race of the day from Rick and Sarah and Millie Lewis from Medway YC in her Laser/ILCA radial.
There were medium breezes on Friday, but rain made for a rather cold and unwelcoming racecourse. The one race held was won by Chris Marsh, with Millie second and the Ridgeway’s third.
Saturday saw more wind and rain which failed to diminish the fleet’s enthusiasm. The 1-2-3 was the same in both races with Paul and Bronwyn finishing ahead of Rick and Sarah and Chris Marsh on corrected time. Most notable were Adam Whitehouse and Mike Hanson who borrowed Adam’s Dads Fireball for the event, capsized with the kite up in race 1 putting Mike through the mainsail, but with the split taped up took 4th place in the 2nd race – not too shabby for a scratch crew!
So, coming into Sunday the points were tight between the leading Tasars and Chris’s Laser/ILCA, however Chris had departed to compete in the Under 21 ILCA Open Europeans which left the Tasars to tough things out. Conditions were described as ‘a proper foam up’ with a brisk northerly onshore wind giving some big waves which made launch and recovery something of a challenge. A single race was held which resulted in a further win for the Ridgeway Tasar followed by the Laser/ILCA of Harry Newton and the Laser/ILCA Radial of Max Hunt both from WYC.
Overall, Paul and Bronwyn took the week and the Tasar prize by just two points from Rick and Sarah with Chris Marsh third overall also taking the Laser and first cadet trophies. Millie Lewis came 4th overall and took the Laser Radial trophy, the Fireball of Adam and Mike the General Handicap class and 10th overall (and submarine trophy for most spectacular capsize), and cadet Joe Barton took the Topper and slow handicap prizes at 14th overall.
It was a tough week of racing supported by some amazing parties which stretched the brain with a challenging Quiz, showcased the depth of talent in the club’s music group and showed that WYC members can scrub up well for Saturday’s Summer Ball!
Thanks must go to John Boorman the PRO and his team of volunteers, especially the safety boat crews who braved the worst of the weather whilst keeping an eye on the fleet. Thanks also to our sponsors who supported Commodore’s Cocktails and the live band, and Laser supplier Sail and Sport who provided the fizz at the Summer Ball, and perhaps just the odd fuzzy head the next morning!

Christopher Marsh at the ILCA 6 Youth Europeans 2023

Congratulations to WYC youth member Christopher Marsh, who made it into the Gold Fleet and got a very credible 30th place at the ILCA 6 Youth Europeans 2023 at Gdynia, Poland last week. Great to see our young sailors making a name for themselves in the global sailing circuit, a remarkable achievement and a testament to his talent and hard work in sailing!

LaserFest 2023 Report!

Whitstable Yacht Club has been running Laserfest since 2017 as its Laser focused weekend of racing and socialising with the objective of getting as many WYC Lasers racing as possible and sharing the fun with other local clubs. For 2023 Laserfest was rebranded as a sprint event and generously sponsored by and local Laser agent Sail and Sport. There was a target of five races of day of 20-minute duration, with quick turnover between races to keep the Laser racers focused! For the full report, see

Discover Sailing 2023 Report

Whitstable Yacht Club were delighted to host their annual RYA Discover Sailing Day on Saturday June 17th. The objective was to share club members enthusiasm for water sports and sailing with the town opening the club facilities to visitors and providing 30 minute free of charge sailing or powerboat sessions for those willing to get their feet wet. Many had booked their sailing space online in advance, but we were blessed with a light to moderate breezes and a bright, mostly sunny day which encouraged curious passers-by to also find out what the club has to offer.
The sailing sessions ran throughout the day using a variety of boats to suit the ambition of our customers, from Topaz to Wanderer to a Dart 18, whilst powerboat trips were provided in one of the club’s ribs. A total of 87 newcomers took to the water, most having booked via social media or the WYC website. It was also great that 20 memberships were sold on the day bringing 48 new members to WYC, with many more taking club membership packs home.
Whitstable Yacht Club RYA Principal Jo Wyles and Chief Instructor Ruth Oliver led over 50 club volunteers to make the Discover Sailing Day such a success. Club Commodore Andy Jackson had the pleasure of welcoming Lord Mayor Councillor Jean Butcher and the Lady Mayoress Di Baldock to the event who also took a short trip on a rib.
Andy Jackson commented ‘It’s been great to give so many visitors their first taste of water sports Whitstable Yacht Club style and having the pleasure to see the smiling faces on their return to shore. Discover Sailing is our annual outreach to the town, and it gives our members a great opportunity to share the sport they are passionate about’.
Whitstable Yacht Club Discover Sailing Day was supported by, who have provided financial assistance to WYC outreach and cadet events throughout 2023.

Well done to Simon Reynolds - 5th veteran at the windsurfing Raceboard Championships in Germany!

Well done to WYC member Simon Reynolds who survived his first World Championships last week on a windsurf Raceboard ~33 years after he last sailed it competitively. 5th Veteran overall, 16th in the Silver fleet. Many friends made, and a fantastic time had!
The event, Raceboard World Championships, was held at Steinhuder Meer, 30km NW of Hanover, Germany. A total of 167 competitors from Argentina to Australia including all European Countries took part.

Julie Puckett

We regret to report that Julie Puckett has passed away. Julie was an active sailing member for many years, most recently crewing Tasar dinghies.
She had fought illness and depression for a long time with great courage.
Her family will let us know when her funeral will take place.

Summer Series and updates to club racing

Believe it or not we are approaching summer, at least according to the WYC racing schedule! The Spring Series finishes this weekend (June 10/11) and current forecasts suggest an end to the relentless strong north easterlies and a change to lighter winds and warmer temperatures – fingers crossed…
The following minor changes are planned to encourage participation of cadets and catamarans in the summer series:
1) All-in handicap and Laser starts for all races.
2) Additional 3rd Cadet start for June 24th, July 15th, Whitstable Week and Sept 2nd.
3) Shorter lap races for all classes, targeting 4 laps in 45 minutes for Lasers/All-in handicap (fewer laps for cadets, more for fast cats).
4) Lasers to sail triangle/sausage courses.
5) All-in handicap to sail triangle courses on Saturdays and windward/leeward courses on Sundays.
WYC major events (Whitstable Week, Town regatta and the August regatta) will have a single start per race, with the addition of a cadet start in Whitstable Week, to make racing as fair as possible.
The sailing committee hope that these changes will encourage members to join our summer racing programme.
Finally, can we remind you that our Discover Sailing day, WYC’s shop window to the world is on June 17th. Volunteers are still needed, so if you can help, please contact Jo Wylie or myself.
Good sailing!
Rear Commodore Sailing.

Topper GJW Direct Costal Championship and NS4 at WYC Report

Fantastic waves, fantastic sailing, fantastic volunteers, fantastic oysters, fantastic venue! Yes you have guessed it, Topper NS4 was held at Whitstable Yacht Club and Tankerton Bay Sailing Clubs. There were over 100 competitors, many submersed and only visible on a crest of a wave. It was amazing fun! Full report now available on Yachts And Yachting at Photo by Nick Champion.

Club Championships Prize Giving

Due to strengthening winds from the north east only 4 of the scheduled 5 Club Championships races were sailed over the Bank Holiday, with Monday's racing and prize giving having to be cancelled. However, racing over the weekend was competitive and those who braved the conditions enjoyed their sailing. Amongst the sailors it was good to see a number of younger club members battling it out on the racecourse! Prizes will now be awarded at the Annual Prize Giving on Sunday 22nd October. Results can be viewed here:

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