This is the ‘flagship’ charity event for the Medway Sunlight Rotary Club and one that everybody involved in really enjoys. It is held on the Whitsun Bank Holiday Sunday in May and races run throughout the day over a short course of 250 Metres of Basin No 2 in Chatham Maritime. More information…
The festival is open to any boat, large or small, designed or built before 1970 – wood, steel, aluminium, fibreglass, ferro cement, sail, power, steam or other, the bigger the variety of boats the better the show. If in doubt as to whether your boat qualifies please email a photo and a short description.
Without classic boats, we will not have a festival, so we are delighted to offer free berthing for up to 5 nights for qualifying vessels that register with us before 31 August.
You must register by email and have received a confirmation email to attend. To register your Classic Boat please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Visitors (by foot)
Entry is FREE, the harbour will be open to the public to view the boats and meet the skippers. In addition, we plan to run passenger trips around the harbour and visit classic boats on their moorings. Last year almost 1000 people attended and the atmosphere was terrific.
Friday 28th Most of the Classic Boats arrive in harbour
Sat 29th Festival open 10am to 5pm
Sun 30th Festival open 10am to 2pm
We hope you can join us in making this 3rd festival even better than last year and a regular feature in the boating calendar.
SE Tugs have booked the 1948 motor tug Kent into the Maritime Festival in Ipswich on the weekend of 18-19 August. The Ipswich Maritime Festival features heritage vessels, tugs, tall ships etc and takes place on Ipswich Waterfront. Activities include Pirate & Sailor theme, Programmed stage of live entertainment (fully programmed all day both days), Street entertainers, Food market, Craft stalls, Bar, Vessels, Re-enactment activities and displays, Face painting, glitter tattoos, Funfair rides, Fireworks on Saturday night at 9:45pm
On Sat 15 July and Fri 21 July Medway Council will be using Rochester Pier for fireworks: 15 July for Castle Concert Proms, 21 July for Medway Mile. For safety reasons access will not be allowed from 10am each morning for a 24hr period.
Medway Council’s spectacular finale to the Battle of Medway commemoration will take place on Saturday evening. During the fireworks display, a section of the river from the Upnor Pier to Whitewall Creek will be cleared from 21.40 to 22.40 hrs, see Peel Ports’ Notice to Mariners. Controversially, boats on the RNSA and REYC moorings are required to move out of the exclusion zone.
UPDATE: At 17.30 a sail past will start in the vicinity of Chatham Ness / Sun Pier and “parade” to Upnor Castle. MT Kent will lead the fleet, followed by the steam ships SS George Stephenson, flanked by VIC 56 and VIC 96 (3 steam ships together on the Medway, probably the first time in 50 years). These will be followed by other classic/historic vessels.
Also on Saturday, Queenborough will be celebrating Independence Day with a flotilla, music and other events. The Medway Queen Preservation Society will have a Fun, Food and Craft Day at Gillingham Pier.
The offshore patrol vessel HNLMS Holland arrived today in Basin 2, along with the type 23 frigate HMS Richmond just to keep an eye on what they get up to. You can find out more and book a visit to the two ships at http://new.medway.gov.uk/news-and-events/bom
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 and sail in company up the Medway on the morning of Thursday 8 June with the Dutch royal prince taking the salute at Upnor castle at 11.45. Fleet 1 will leave the Medway on 12/13 June.
Friday to Sunday: Dutch and Royal Navy ships open to public
Saturday 10 June: Dutch retired Marines Rowing Challenge, MSBA members Queenborough Rowing Club have accepted the challenge. The course is Upnor to Rochester Bridge then back to Thunderbolt Pier to “break the chain”!
Sunday 10 June: MSBA members Medway Towns Rowing Club are hosting a regatta from 10.00 to 12.00 in their reach of the river but with a race between Dutch and British rowers from Rochester to Upnor about midday in an 8 or 4.
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.
Many of the historic ships will be open to the public as well as the visiting Dutch and British naval vessels which are now berthed in Basin 2 of Chatham Docks.
The event grand finale takes place on Saturday 17 June. The programme includes entertainment on the river, a parade of sail with local historic yachts and ships including a modern Dutch steam vessel at 17.30 from Sun Pier to Upnor Castle . The day culminates with the ‘Medway in Flames’, a son-et-lumière and firework display with Upnor Castle as the backdrop.
The Medway and Swale Boating Association (MSBA) and member clubs and marinas are providing moorings for our Dutch visitors and arranging river activities. Medway Yacht Club and Upnor Sailing Club 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. 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.
Chatham Maritime Food and Drink Festival will take place over the bank holiday weekend on 27-29 May. It’s a free-to-enter three-day event featuring local artisan food and drink producers, live music in the bandstand, Dragon Boat racing, a funfair, watersports and a charity fun run. We’re going to be joined by 15 of the original Dunkirk Little Ships as part of their commemorative cruise. They’re all members of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, and will be moored in Old Royal Dockyard Basin 1 in Chatham Maritime – a beautiful and inspiring sight. Owners will be on hand to chat to visitors about their very special boats during the festival. Everyone is welcome to a memorial service by the Ship and Trades pub on Sunday 28 May at 11am. We’ll also be joined by 20 Dutch barges from The Barge Association with members of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra doing some concerts on one of them on Saturday 27 May.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the official handing back of Queenborough by the Dutch. A ceremony was performed at Queenborough on 17 June 1967. The town will be holding a celebration of this on 17th June 2017 and it is hoped to make it an annual event. There will be a boat flotilla with changing of flags at midday plus events throughout Queenborough: Live bands, Treasure hunt, Stalls, Magic, Bouncy Castle, Fancy dress and Re-enactments. All are invited – please help to make this a memorable day! All proceeds will go to the local lifeboat station.
For more information, visit the Queenborough Independence Day website.
On the evening of 17 June from 21.40 to 22.40, a Temporary Exclusion Zone will be established from a line drawn perpendicularly across the river from Upnor Jetty (51°24.56´N 000°31.80´E) to a line drawn perpendicularly across the river at Whitewall Creek (51°23.90´N 000°31.40´E) as shown on the chartlet (left).
Between these times no vessel shall navigate, anchor or be secured to a mooring buoy, within the area, without the express permission of the Harbour Master.
The Temporary Exclusion Zone will be in place to facilitate the safe conduct of a firework and water screen display (“Medway In Flames”). Six barges will be positioned in the following locations:
- 51° 24.22´ N 000° 31.82´ E
- 51° 24.38´ N 000° 31.88´ E
- 51° 24.06´ N 000° 31.72´ E
- 51° 24.08´ N 000° 31.59´ E
- 51° 24.20´ N 000° 31.64´ E
- 51° 24.32´ N 000° 31.68´ E
Pontoons will run between the barges positioned on the west side of the river. Medway VTS will broadcast the start and completion of the exclusion zone on VHF 74. Mariners are reminded that no vessel shall navigate at a speed above 6 knots through the water Westwards of Folly Point.