Keep Racing (Virtually)

Free offer for RYA affiliated sailing clubs: keep your members engaged whilst following government guidelines on social distancing.

Virtual Regatta (eSailing) Inshore provides players with an opportunity to race against friends, fellow sailors and real-world Olympic champions. All UK players will automatically be entered into the exclusive GBR eSailing National Championship, racing the same challenges, seasons and playoffs as the eSailing World Championship and ranking both nationally and globally.

For a free 12 month VIP pass for for your club, send the following information to celia.edgington@rya.org.uk :

  1. Name of Sailing Club
  2. One sailing club email address with the name of the club in it. They will not accept a private email account

Kingsferry Bridge – is your club intending to pass before end of May?

The bridge continues to be non-operational for leisure traffic due to the failure of Network Rail to replace the ancient motors. A temporary generator is only being used to lift for commercial traffic. Network Rail have told the MSBA that Kingsferry Bridge may not be fully operational until 25 April or potentially the middle of May.

Please advise Peter Norris (peter@msba.org.uk), of any rallies or events that are scheduled to take place between now and the end of May, which require passage through Kingsferry bridge, as he is working with Network Rail to find a solution so that the bridge can be navigated at weekends and Bank Holidays.

Royal Naval Sailing Association to be evicted from Chatham

RNSA members at the historic slipway. Photo Kent Online.

Despite the Royal Navy’s proud 400-year association with Chatham, the RNSA has been given its marching orders from its modest base at the Historic Dockyard to make way for yet another housing development. The Sea Cadets and Sea Scouts who share the slipway and shore facilities will also have to go.

Read more of this shocking story at Kent Online…

Kingsferry Bridge update

Network Rail have told us that, while work is being carried out to reinstate the power at Kingsferry Bridge, the bridge can only be lifted when there is a fitter on site, which is usually from 6am to 6pm Monday to Friday.  Outside these hours, leisure craft will only be allowed through with commercial vessels. Because of the compromised state of the equipment at the bridge, the risk of failure is higher than normal. Failure would result in the closure of the bridge to trains, road vehicles and prevent it being lifted.  If a fitter is on site, it can be reinstated quicker than if an on-call fitter must be called in.

Effectively then, Kingsferry Bridge will be out of action for the next three weekends and only available from 06:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday.

Kingsferry Bridge: more problems

Following a recent report of the bridge operator refusing to lift for a yacht returning from Conyer to the Medway, the MSBA has sought clarification from Peel Ports. The bridge still has a problem with the main switch gear requiring a generator to be stationed on the A249 to enable lifts. Railtrack say they are “working hard” to source new parts to fix it, which is proving difficult. They have reduced the number of lifts to a minimum and are only allowing yachts through when there are shipping movements. We are told that commercial shipping takes priority.

UPDATE 6.2.2020: Network Rail expect to have the replacement switch gear in place within six weeks, possibly even sooner, so the emergency generator will no longer be needed. In the meantime boaters should check with the bridge operator on VHF channel 10, or Medway VTS on Channel 74, when the next bridge lift is expected to take place.

CA Winter Warmer talk: Border Force, 13 Feb

With small inflatable boats making their way across the English Channel we will get an insight as to how the UK Border Force deal with this problem and how we can help them.

CA Kent Section Winter Warmer talks are popular.

We are all invited to these excellent Kent Cruising Association talks, which are held at 8pm at the Dog and Bear, Lenham, near Maidstone. It’s a good idea to book a meal (by 5pm please) on 01622 858219 for 7pm, before the talk. A special CA menu is available.

RYA OnBoard Development Day 2020, Bewl, 28 March

RYA London & South East OnBoard Development Day 2020
Date     – Saturday 28th March 2020, 0930-1630
Venue  – Bewl Water Outdoor Centre, TN3 8JH
Cost      – Free

This is aimed at clubs/centres with RYA OnBoard recognition, or those likely to achieve recognition this year, with up to 3 participants able to attend per club/centre. More information and booking…

Sign up now for RYA Discover Sailing (was PTBO) 2020

The RYA has renamed its excellent annual Push The Boat Out campaign to “Discover Sailing” even though it encompasses all kinds of boating. To encourage newcomers into boating, the RYA puts a lot of resources into supporting clubs’ Open Days. To benefit from the RYA’s marketing support, your club must sign up by 7 February (midday) for April and May taster sessions, and by 27 April (midday) for June to September sessions.

The Discover Sailing activator sign up page can be found at www.rya.org.uk/go/discoversailing The form will take you through the process of both ordering your resources and filling in your details for the Discover Sailing Map. For further information please contact discoversailing@rya.org.uk .

You may also wish to attend a webinar on Thursday 23 January at 1900, which will give you insights into planning and running a successful event and will pull together our collective knowledge from running different types of open day events over the last six years. Members of the RDO team will be on hand to give us their thoughts and experience on what makes a successful event. To sign up for the webinar, follow https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1815800976546211587. If you are unable to attend please register anyway as a recording will then be sent to you.

Medway YC joins RYA OnBoard

Medway Yacht Club is on course to inspire the next generation of sailors after joining RYA OnBoard, the national grassroots scheme making it easier and cheaper to get more young people on the water. Since 2005 OnBoard has helped over 900,000 young people try sailing and windsurfing and learn an activity that often stays with them for life. Discover how you can get OnBoard at Medway Yacht Club or find your nearest OnBoard club