If you’ve seen the big yellow jack-up rig in the Medway at Kingsnorth you may have wondered what’s going on. The rig is for probing the river bed prior to laying of a massive electrical cable. The GridLink Interconnector Project is a 1,400 MW high voltage electricity cable that will provide a link between the national grids of the UK and France.
The cable connects the National Grid 400 kV sub-station at Kingsnorth to the RTE 400 kV sub-station near Dunkerque, France. The converter stations change the high voltage direct current to alternating current and adjust the voltage to 400 kV for the connection to the sub -stations. The cable route passes through the Medway Estuary and Thames Estuary, before turning south-east to cross the southern North Sea to the French coast.
Sadly we’ve had another case of someone choosing to end his life by jumping off the M2 bridge on Wednesday night and you may have seen the police helicopter and rescue services searching yesterday morning. We are asked to keep a look-out for a body and call the police (101) or coastguard (01304 210008, or VHF16) if we see anything, which may not be for some time.
UPDATE Wed 7 Aug: A body, confirmed to be that of 32 year old Billy Angell, was recovered today from the river near Medway Bridge Marina, just yards from where he entered the water a week ago.
Mick Nolan of the Thames Sailing Barge Trust has written an excellent account of a practice session with the MSBA’s rescue dummy “BOB”. Click below to read or download the article. Contact the MSBA via firstname.lastname@example.org if your club or organisation wants to borrow BOB.
Would your club like more youngsters on the water for race training, regattas and fun weekends? Contact the YTF (Youth Training Fund) which manages 6 Fevas, 6 Teras and 12 Optibats for the RYA London and South East region. Start off in the Oppies, move on to a Tera or just get straight into a Feva which is a high performance, double handed dinghy with spinnaker. The Fevas come with training sails as well as mylar racing mains. All boats are fully equipped to be ‘rigged, launched and sailed’ and come on stacker road trailers. If the Fevas are too racy, try the Tera which is gaining popularity. Otherwise you have the fantastically reliable Optibat, the real starter boat which leads on to the Optimist and other classes which can be seen all over the world.
RYA L&SE Hire Fleet Charges 2019 5 days 2 days Optibats (1 trailers with 6 boats) £300 £180 Teras (1 trailer with 6 boats) £390 £230 Fevas (1 trailer with 3 boats) £300 £180
The burgeoning membership of Benfleet Yacht Club are benefitting from new £9,500 pontoon funded by the Port of London Authority. Rowers, kayakers and paddle-boarders appreciate the low level pontoon which makes acess to the water easier. Miles Featherstone, the PLA’s assistant harbour master for the lower tidal Thames, said “That’s why we are investing in practical improvements like this pontoon … to make it more accessible for people to enjoy.” John Hancock, Vice Commodore at BYC, said “We are a self-help club, not a commercial organisation, so greatly appreciate the PLA’s generosity in supporting this new pontoon. It not only widens our offering, but is fundamental to our ability to keep up with growing demand. Above all it underpins our absolute commitment to doing things safely.” In June, BYC hosted the annual 18-mile Nore Race, started in the 1920s, in which many Medway and Swale yachts take part. Read more…
Thanks to sponsorship by Weston Homes, the Maidstone River Festival is back after a pause of a few years and we are planning a day all the family can enjoy. The River Festival started 40 years ago and people of all ages in Maidstone have great affection for what was the county town’s biggest annual event. We’ll have dressed up boats, raft races, fun and games for all the family. There will be illuminated boats in the evening and it will all end with a big bang as an award-winning fireworks display will go off from the top of Fremlin Walk in the town centre.
There’s nowhere better to be than at sea to watch the 50-odd traditional vessels that are expected to attend. But for those not afloat there are good vantage points at the point at Harty Ferry, on Tankerton slopes and down at Herne Bay where competitors round the outer mark just off the pier. The first start is at 10.30 from Sand End in the East Swale and you can expect vessels to heading back into the Swale around 2pm onwards. More info at www.kentishsail.org
The cylindrical yellow buoy on the south side of Saltpan Reach has again been removed by Peel Ports without notice, this time permanently. The Blackstakes buoy was a racing mark, located to keep boats well away from the LNG Terminal, as we are constantly exhorted to do by Peel Ports. As in 2016, the unexpected removal of the buoy has caused unnecessary inconvenience to clubs which race in the Medway estuary. Enquiries by Medway YC and the MSBA elicited the response from Peel Ports that the buoy was considered “not commercially viable” and today a notice to mariners was belatedly issued. The two adjacent commercial mooring buoys (Saltpan Nos. 8 and 9) have been given a fresh coat of yellow paint (see photo) but this does not mean they are a replacement for Blackstakes. There has been no explanation of why the clubs were not notified in advance of the buoy’s removal.