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.
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.
Brian Corbett, MSBA Chairman
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
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