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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Forts Race Weekend

The Whitstable Forts Race Weekend

Forts Race Weekend 2021 CANCELLED
Following a review of the current and expected changes in Covid-19 restrictions, and our ability to put on quality and safe events to the standard we pride ourselves on at Whitstable Yacht Club whilst meeting those restrictions, the decision has been made to cancel open events in April and May 2021, including the Forts Race Weekend on 29th and 20th May. Whilst restrictions are planned to gradually lift over April and May, even if the current timeline is met we would still not be able to host full social programmes for these events, and there's also a significant amount of volunteer time and effort leading up to and during the Forts Race Weekend in particular, which would be much harder to achieve safely under the current and expected restrictions. Instead, we want to focus the club's efforts on sailing and social activities for our members in April and May. We look forward to being able to the Forts Race again in 2022, and look forward to welcoming our friends from long distance sailing fleets back to the club again soon. We'd also like to thank our friends and supporters for this event, particularly Allen Sailing, sponsors of the Allen Endurance Series.

The UK's premier catamaran focused long distance race! Part of the Allen Endurance Series!

Over the last 25 years, our long-distance race has evolved into a well-balanced test of sailing and racing skills, attracting top national helms as well as experienced club racers and international entries. Now part of the Allen Endurance Series, the Forts Race has been opened to a wider range of boats and sailors, including catamarans and monohulls. Laid out in hub and spoke format, with each leg returning through a gate near the club, the full course covers up to 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 boats, 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.

2021 Format:

SATURDAY - THE FORTS RACE The long-distance race will be sailed in the area off Whitstable Yacht Club with a single leg to the Red Sands Forts and back. The Red Sands Forts are approximately 13km north of Whitstable Yacht Club. Course details will be provided at registration on Saturday. The Forts Race is open to all dinghies and sports catamarans with a PY rating of 1000 and lower.

SATURDAY – THE BAY RACE The Bay Race will be raced round buoys off Whitstable Yacht Club. The courses and format of the race will be published by 12:00 depending on weather conditions. The Bay Race is an alternative race for all boats not eligible for, or not wishing to take part in, The Forts Race.

SUNDAY – THE WHITSTABLE BAY ENDURANCE The long-distance race will be sailed in the area off Whitstable Yacht Club radiating “legs”, East to Herne Bay Pier, North to channel markers off Whitstable, Northwest along the coast of Sheppey, and West up the Swale Estuary. Course details for each Class will be provided at registration on Saturday. The Race Officer reserves the right to shorten the course for all OR individual competitors OR all competitors of specific classes. The results from the Endurance Race shall count towards the 2021 Allen Endurance Series.

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The Forts Race is open to all dinghies and sports catamarans with a PY rating of 1000 and lower. The Bay Short Race is open to all dinghies and sports catamarans. The Endurance race is open to all dinghies and sports catamarans with a PY rating of 1270 and lower. Kayaks, paddle boards, windsurf and Kite surf entry not permitted. If in doubt about eligibility, please contact Whitstable Yacht Club.
Entries limited to 80 boats in total.
Entries before 10th May: Single Handed £40, Double Handed £60
Entries after 10th May: Single Handed £50, Double Handed £70
The first 30 entries from Whitstable Yacht Club members: £20
(Entries for the Bay Short Race ONLY – A suggested donation of £5 to the RNLI - to be paid on the day at Whitstable Yacht Club)
Note: There will be no additional discounts for boats entering only the Forts Race or the Endurance Race.
A limited number of entries may be available on the day.

Key Statistics

The most popular classes have been Dart 18, Formula 18, Hurricane 5.9, Spitfire and Tornado. Typically the race attracts 25+ catamaran entries. Tidal flow is generally less than three knots, and even then only out to sea at the Forts The race usually lasts between 3 and 5 hours, depending on the conditions and the speed of your boat.


2021 schedule:
Saturday 29th May

  • (High Water – 1534)
  • 10:00 to 13:00 – Registration
  • 12:30 – Race Briefing
  • 13:55 – Warning Signal for the Forts Race
  • 14:00 – Warning Signal for the Bay Short Race
  • 19:00 – The Forts Party
Sunday 30th May
  • (High Water – 1622)
  • 09:00 to 11:00 – Registration
  • 10:30 – Race Briefing
  • 11:55 – Warning signal for the Endurance Race
  • 18:00 - Finishing period time limit
  • Prize Giving will be held as soon as possible after the end of racing.


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! There's plenty of parking in the Whitstable town centre, close to the club.

We also have a limited amount of Campervan/Motorhome parking available about 5 minutes walk from the club. Please contact us in advance at if you're planning to bring a van to ensure we can book your space.

Forts Race Course

Click here (updated 26th August 2018) to download a provisional list of marks which can be used for the long distance racing.

Important Documents


    The 2020 Forts Race was cancelled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.


The 2019 Forts Race was held on Sunday 19th May.


The 2018 Forts Race was held on Sunday 9th September.


The 2017 Forts Race was held on Sunday 10th September.


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