Dutch fleet 2 arrives

Now that the warships and tall ships have gone, a fleet of nearly a hundred Dutch yachts were led up the Medway past Upnor Castle this afternoon by the SS George Stephenson blowing her steam whistle. The MSBA has coordinated the task of finding temporary moorings for the vessels.

Battle of Chatham / Medway in Flames – Latest Update

The Dutch are well underway with the registration of the 200 or so yachts and ships coming to the Medway for the historic event. The really good news is that the bulk of the Dutch visitors will be split into two fleets.

Fleet 1, consisting of; tall ships, including the HNLMS Urania, the brigs; Merganster and Aphrodite; many yachts from  the Royal Maas Yacht Club from Rotterdam, and; historic steam and motor vessels, will gather at Queenborough on Wednesday. 7 June 2017 and sail, in company, up the Medway, on the morning of Thursday, 8 June 2017, with the Dutch royal prince taking the salute at Upnor castle. Fleet 1 will leave the Medway on 12 / 13 June 2017.

Fleet 2, up to 90 yachts, largely from the Dutch Offshore Sailing Club, will gather at Stangate Creek and sail up the Medway on 14 June 2017, leaving on 18 June 2017.

Many of the historic ships will be open to the public as well as the visiting Dutch and British naval vessel, which will be berthed in Chatham Docks, Basin 2.

The event grand finale takes place on Saturday, 17 June 2017. The day includes entertainment on the river; a parade of sail with Dutch and local yachts and ships, including a modern steam vessel and many of the Fleet 2 yachts. The day culminates with the ‘Medway in Flames’, a son-et-lumiere and firework display with Upnor Castle as the backdrop, with magnificent views from MYC.

The Medway and Swale Boating Association (MSBA) and member clubs and marinas, including Medway YC and  Upnor SC, are providing moorings for our  Dutch visitors and arranging river activities.

Our Medway and Upnor clubs are working together to provide breakfast and evening meal galley facilities, and; to arrange Hog Roast evenings with a sea shanty band, at MYC, on Saturday 10 June and Friday 16 June 2017. There will also be a ‘Pub Night’ meal,  served from the counter, with Upnor SC running a Quiz, on Thursday 15 June.

Hoo Ness YC, together with Medway Cruising Club and Segas SC are providing moorings and hospitality for a small fleet of ‘Gaffers’ from Holland and the east coast.

Websites providing further information can be found at www.deruyter.org and www.visitmedway.org

Brian Corbett, MSBA Chairman

Gathering of Boats at Maidstone, 25 July

Maidstone River FestivalThe Gathering of Boats, which has replaced the Maidstone River Festival, will take place on Saturday, 25 July. Some 150 boats are expected to arrive in Maidstone town centre. Read more…

The Medway River Users Association, which represents boaters on the non-tidal Medway, is a partner of the MSBA.

Westerly Owners Rally to Medway, 1-3 August 2014

Westerly Owners (and there are quite a few of us) are invited to join the rally, mustering at Harty Ferry on Friday 1 August then proceeding to Medway YC for dinner on Saturday. Contact John Elliot (Water Gypsy) at johnrelliot (at) btinternet.com

More details at http://www.westerly-owners.co.uk/ev_thames_events.php

Finesse Rally visits Chatham

Report and photo by Nick Ardley
The second Finesse Rally took place, as advertised on the Medway & Swale Boating Association web site some time ago, over the late May Bank Holiday weekend, with boats either collecting at Queenborough, for own convenience, or in Stangate where I anchored my Whimbrel, a Finesse 24, around  noon on Friday to await the hordes.
Later two other boats arrived. One was seen to go on up to Chatham during the day and a phone message said, “…there’s two of us in Queenborough…” things were looking good: two were due to come over from Leigh-on-Sea on Saturday.
A pre-supper drinks and nibbles get together was held aboard Whimbrel for the crews of boats in Stangate. I have to say I had a glorious sail in my tender later as the evening ran on towards sunset… It had to be done. Another owner also went for a row along the marsh edges … its one of the area’s joys.
Saturday saw us moving off a little behind the two Queenborough craft and we sailed up river, in a line, to the lock at Chatham’s comfortable marina … one of the earlier boats had waited and we all locked in together. Chatham Marina loves this and several staff appeared to view clinker painted hulls and bright varnish … Bob Cox especially appreciates the sight. There was a feast of wood in Chatham: the Dunkirk Little Ships were meeting too!
A BBQ was enjoyed on the Saturday evening. With crews from eight craft and around seven others who travelled by road we were a bit of a crowd, but not rowdy I hasten to add… People had travelled from afar as Poole, Littlehampton and Leicester – River Soar area. I was greatly pleased with the enthusiasm of all.
On Sunday we enjoyed a visit from the yard manager of Robertsons of Woodbridge, who with ‘our own’ Alan Staley of Faversham, are reasonably well versed with these craft. There was also the Little Ships to visit and in the middle basin there was dragon boat racing. It all made for a good rally and gave people options other than the Old Dockyard Museum to keep them amused. Some just lazed in the sunshine, nattering and drinking tea(?).
The day was rounded off with drinks hosted by a member who has a ‘big’ boat based at the marina and a buffet at a Chinese within the complex.
As dawn came trundling along the first of our crowd were away, and others from the washes that slapped our sides. At a little before six, poked a head out of our fore hatch and watched another leave … then it was just us! We left late morning for a sail round to the South Deep … a quiet night with light drizzle, ahh but it was grand.

Dunkirk Little Ships come to Chatham, 24-26 May 2014

Association of Dunkirk Little ShipsThe 2014 Commemorative Cruise will see the Little Ships visiting Chatham on the River Medway. Over 20 Little Ships are expected to attend from the Medway, Thames, South and East Coast.

Little Ships will be mooring on the Home & Communities agency (HCA) pontoon which is located in Basin 1 by the HMS Chatham Bridge, access to the pontoon will be through MDL Chatham Maritime Marina lock on River Medway.

For more information see http://www.adls.org.uk/t1/content/commemorative-cruise-2014-chatham-kent