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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

2020 Race and Series winners

Despite a very different year of sailing compared to what we expected at the beginning of the year, we’ve done everything we can to maximise the amount of safe and secure sailing, racing and training available to our members. We sailed 20 races (weather allowing we would have raced more!), and the club facilities and Support Boats were available for Supported Sailing and Free Sailing sessions whenever possible. Thank you to all the volunteers who made this happen.
Unfortunately there won’t be a Prize Giving this year, but congratulations need to to the series and race winners. Trophies will be available to collect from the club when it’s safe to do so. If you’re a winner who’d like to collect their trophy, please contact Sally, our Sailing and Membership Secretary, who’ll arrange the collection.
Click through to see the full list of prize winners.

More ›

Mike Jackson

We’re sorry to announce that Mike Jackson has passed away. A message from his family:
“Sadly I have to report the death this week of Mike Jackson, husband of Ann, brother of Barry, all long standing members of WYC, all now retired. Some of the older members will remember his parents and brother and Ann’s parents being enthusiastic members in the past. Mike started sailing as a cadet at an early age and went on the sail until health problems a year ago when he and Ann had to sell their last boat. I’m sure the older members would like to send their sympathy to Ann and to Barry.
Pam Porter.”

Barton Marine Rising Star Winner Announced

We’re pleased to announce that Seventeen year old Harry Newton, a member of Whitstable Yacht Club and Westbere Frostbite Sailing Association is the winner of the Barton Rising Star Competition and will become a Barton Marine brand ambassador in 2021.
Harry has been sailing Toppers since he was nine years old and after joining Kent Sailing School Association in 2016 has taken part in multiple race series including the Traveller, National and World Topper championships.  Winning a place on the RYA Topper London and South East Zone Squad in 2017/18 followed by the ITCA National 5.3 Topper Squad in 2018/19, Harry raced at the 5.3 Topper Worlds in Medemblick, Netherlands in August 2019.  Upon returning from the Worlds Harry switched class and began racing in the UKLA Laser Series with a goal of achieving a place on the national squad and winning a gold medal at the Olympics.
Harry Newton said, “I was so pleased to hear that I had won the Barton Rising Star Competition.  Sailing is a big part of my life and to have the support of Barton is great.  Despite the Covid restrictions, I still managed to get in some sailing and training this year and entered a few Laser National competitions before the second lockdown.  I really look forward to being the Barton brand ambassador in 2021 and hope for a full season of racing.”
As well as his racing accomplishments, Harry has a host of RYA qualifications including RYA Race Coach Level 2 to help train his peers at Whitstable Yacht Club and is planning to carry out Dinghy Instructor training with the cadets and scouts over the next year.
Christian Brewer, Barton Marine Sales Manager said, “We are delighted to have selected our first Rising Star and look forward to working with Harry throughout 2021 to support his sailing ambitions, help develop and test the Barton range as well as inspire other young people to get involved with sailing.”
Alongside the title of Barton Rising Star, Harry will have access to a full complement of Barton equipment to kit out his Laser, Barton branded clothing and accessories, a GoPro camera to record his experiences out on the water and a Barton mentorship to help him achieve his personal goals and objectives.  Harry will become very much a part of the Barton team.

End of year message from the Commodore

Here we are at the end of another season and this year more than ever it’s time to thank the many people who in different ways enable the club to operate, from the behind the scenes administration and maintenance work through to those providing the operational support for our on the water activities. Responding to the challenges of this year demonstrated the tremendous commitment of employees, volunteers and participants alike. I extend my personal thanks to you all.
Although our planned racing and training programmes were significantly reduced this year we were able to start reopening the clubhouse, hold over 20 races, introduce supported social sailing and hold the annual Whitstable Week event with really good turn outs. Windsurfers were able to take to the water and pleasingly the Cadets were able to hold their annual CadetFest where tremendous fun was had by all. We have benefited from the Royal Yachting Association’s guidance on Covid restrictions and, with the advantage of wonderful summer weather, managed to support people of all ages and abilities to get afloat and enjoy our watersports safely.
Going into next year we have planned for a full programme of activities although some may be subject to change depending on any government restrictions applied during the year. We also plan to hold the AGM in March, further details of the format will be published nearer the time.
The impact of the pandemic has meant that some of the changes we were planning for this year have been delayed. However there have been some successes. Online booking for training completed a successful trial, work has started on setting up the Dutyman application for next season making it easier for members to review and manage their duties, and we have introduced membership cards, the first benefit of these being a discount on purchases when produced at the bar.  We also had the unplanned benefit of being chosen as one of the locations for the Whitstable Pearl filming.
So whilst the year has been somewhat unpredictable there have been some positive outcomes and we look forward to next year when things will gradually return to the new normal.
Finally, on behalf of the General Committee I would like to thank everyone for their continuing support for the club and wish you all a Happy Christmas and a healthy and safe New Year.

Masts to be taken down over winter

Members are reminded that, in line with WYC Boat Parking and Equipment Storage Policy, masts must be taken down at the end of the Winter Series, which finished on Sunday 13th December. If members are planning to keep their mast up over winter to allow them to continue free sailing, they should let their Class Captain or the Sailing Secretary know, and ensure that their boat is tied down securely and checked regularly. If members are unable to get to the club due to Coronavirus restrictions, please contact your class captain so they can arrange for your boat to be checked and/or the mast lowered.

Coronavirus update - Toilets & Changing Rooms open from 5th December

Based on the latest guidance from Sport England and the RYA, Sailing Clubs in all tiers are able to open their changing rooms and toilets. Given the time of year and availability of cleaning staff, from Saturday 5th December WYC will provisionally be opening our changing rooms and toilets on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, during daylight hours, accessed through the external doors. 
Whilst these facilities will be open, the maximum capacity will remain at 6 people, and members are strongly encouraged to change at home and not use the changing rooms where possible. Showers should only be used if essential, and then only used for rinsing (no soap, shower gel, etc). All members should take notice and follow current government advice and restrictions, including use of the NHS QR code for Test and Trace purposes.

Coronavirus update - Changes from Wednesday 2nd December

Whitstable Yacht Club is in the Kent and Medway Tier 3 area as defined by the Government. Under the revised regulations water sport and organised outdoor sports activities are allowed, therefore WYC plan to run the last two races in the Winter Series on Sunday 6th and Sunday 13th December (weather permitting!). The RYA is providing us with updates as it continues to receive and interpret the implication of the Government rules on clubs, and the Covid sub group will update the News and Social Media channels with updates as we receive them from the RYA.
As of Wednesday December 2nd, the club house will remain closed, (apart from those who require access to work within the premises). We are waiting on further guidance on the use of the changing facilities and showers. All members should take notice and follow current government advice and restrictions, including the NHS QR code for Test and Trace purposes, which is displayed on club building entrances including the Rigden and Stroud sheds.
Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation in ensuring WYC remains a safe place to enjoy.

Draft 2021 Sailing Schedule

In our original 2020 schedule we had the annual Meeting of Sailors planned for this weekend. Sadly, with Lockdown 2, and the Coronavirus restrictions before and likely continuing after, we won’t be able to hold the meeting this year. However, as is traditional for this time of year, the DRAFT 2021 sailing schedule is now available to view here: 2021_Programme_Draft_v4.pdf
We’re planning a full schedule of club and open events for the 2021 season, starting in early March, and running until December. This will allow a level of flexibility based on the availability of a vaccine and/or continued Coronavirus related restrictions. I’m optimistic and hopeful that we’ll be able to run something resembling a ‘normal’ sailing schedule for next year! 
If you have any suggestions or comments that you would have raised at the Meeting of Sailors, or about the draft schedule, please contact me or your Class Captain. Stay safe, and I hope to see you at the club or on the water soon! 
Robert Govier - Rear Commodore Sailing.

Whitstable Yacht Club will feature in upcoming TV Drama

WYC is pleased to announce that we will be supporting the filming of the new TV crime drama based on Whitstable author Julie Wassmer’s books! Julie’s novels The Whitstable Pearl Mystery and Disappearance at Oare have been commissioned to become a new British crime drama. Work on building the set will commence this week and will involve some cosmetic changes to the Rigden Shed.
Sailing and windsurfing activities are not expected to be disrupted however access to equipment in the shed will be limited when the set is being built and while filming takes place. Details have been emailed to members.
You can find out more about the books that the TV drama will be based on here: and you can read more about the filming at

Visitors to WYC

The temporary limitation of one visitor per member per day has been withdrawn and the usual criteria for visitors apply. Members are reminded that all visitors must also either scan in the covid QR or register their details with the bar team in addition to being signed in.

Bar discount cards

Some good news - Bar discount cards are now available to all who have paid their membership renewal!
Your card gives a 10% discount on all bar purchases if preloaded with sufficient funds to cover your purchase or 5% if insufficient funds on your card. You can load your card with any amount with your debit/credit card or cash at the bar.
If you renew your membership by the end of October, your card will have £10 preloaded on it as a small thank you for your patience in these very trying times (one £10 credit per membership. Additional adults on a family membership will be provided with a card without the pre-load). Your card(s) can be collected/used during bar opening hours.
Thanks to Barton Marine and Whitstable Marine for sponsoring the cards.
Looking forward to seeing you at the club.
Magda - Bar Manager, and the bar elves.

Brian Barnes

We are sorry to announce that Brian Barnes passed away on Monday morning, peacefully in his sleep. Brian started sailing at Whitstable Yacht Club in the Flying Dutchmen in the late 1950s and moved on to Merlin Rockets in the 1960s and fireball in the early 1970s. He worked within the ship conference system ending his career running the Europe Indonesia Freight Conference, and travelled extensively throughout the Far East, being known for always being well dressed in bespoke suits made in Hong Kong. When the Berlin wall came down and reunification, he was involved in sorting the East German shipping for the commercial world. By the 1980s he was a prominent member of the cruiser class and had his much loved Eruption at the Club. In later life he was heavily involved in the administration of All Saints church and Swalecliffe school, where the school named the new library in his honour shortly before his retirement. He held the position of Commodore from 1981 to 1983.

WYC changing rooms opening from this Saturday

The WYC changing rooms will be available from this Saturday October 3rd, however members are encouraged to follow government guidance and arrive ready for their activity and shower at home afterwards.
There will be a one way system in place for each of the male and female changing rooms, entry will be via the Sea Room. There should be no more than 6 in the male changing rooms at any time and no more than 6 in the female changing rooms. Only one shower will be available in each of the male and female facilities, and members are again encouraged to follow government advice and only use the showers if absolutely necessary, for example if suffering from cold or if there are special needs.
If using the changing room please do not leave anything out when you leave to take part in your activity. Belongings should be placed in lockers, if you do not have a locker then items should be placed in a bag and the bag left on hooks or taken out of the changing rooms. Nothing should be left in the changing rooms overnight unless it’s stored in a closed locker. The drying rail facility will not be available and items should not be left to dry in the changing rooms. Cleaning will take place daily and any articles found in the changing rooms will be placed in the respective scran bins.

Bar hours for October

The bar hours have been updated for October. This is based on the usage patterns that we have been seeing, government Covid-19 restrictions, and the need to manage our cost while the bar is not busy. We’ll monitor usage and feedback and amend the hours in the future accordingly.
From today, the bar will be open from midday to 8pm on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and from 2pm to 7pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Whitstable Yacht Club press coverage

It was great to host Bianca London from Glamour Magazine at the club recently as part of her visit to Whitstable and the surrounding area. She wrote:
“Whitstable Yacht Club - a welcoming venue filled with people who are really passionate about sailing and windsurfing… the place is thriving with burgeoning sailors and windsurfers, including an active cadet and junior sections with over 140 young people at various levels of experience taught by the best team in the business. It also has a brilliant ‘club house’, which we can’t wait to visit when social distancing is a thing of the past”
You can read the full article here:

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