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.
MSBA Chairman Brian Corbett was treated to a personal tour of the indescribably weird and wonderful steamship SS George Stephenson. The beautiful vessel is the brainchild of eccentric Dutch owner Vaas Stik who used hundreds of recycled components and materials, some more than a hundred years old, in her construction. The ship has both a steam engine and an eight cylinder 1950s Gardner diesel engine, both wonders to behold in their respective immaculate engine rooms The ship is moored on the waiting pontoon in the river at Chatham Marina and is free to visit this week only, so don’t miss the opportunity!
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.
The course is being held on 1 and 2 July at Medway Yacht Club. Cost is £80. Candidates need to be experienced racers. It is a great way to give back something to your club and to help ensure that racing is carried out to the best of abilities.
The Regional Seminar was previously known as the Regional Race Officer (RRO) Course is being run by RYA Race Management Committee approved Instructors.
Preparation for the seminar includes being familiar with the RYA Race Management Guide (available using the link below). At the end of the Seminar, a 50 question multi-choice exam is set with a 70% pass mark. A pass in this exam gives the candidate, as long as they are an RYA member, an automatic Club Race Officer Plus (CRO+) qualification and certificate. This exam pass is one of the requirements for the RRO qualification.
ALSO PLEASE NOTE, Chris Simon, RYA National Judge, Umpire & Race Officer, will be pleased to give a talk to sailing clubs about the racing rules and recent changes.
Handicap cruiser racing off Southend Pier, starting and finishing from the Leigh Buoy. Entry open to all bona fide cruising yachts. Entry form and race instructions can be downloaded from www.benfleetyachtclub.org
Entries to be received by Wednesday 12 July. Entry Fee £5.
Course: Start at the Leigh Buoy, West Shoebury, Nore Swatch, Mid Swatch, Leigh Buoy, West Shoebury, Leigh Buoy, Mid Swatch, Nore Swatch, West Shoebury, Finish at the Leigh Buoy
For further information please contact Rob Scriven, rscriven(at)btopenworld.com
Peel Ports have issued a list of obsolete or missing navigation marks that are to be deleted from Trinity House’s records. At the end of this list is the Mid Cant beacon, a lit north cardinal beacon marking the end of the submarine barrier off the north coast of Sheppey, to be reclassified as “ruin”. As this is an important aid to navigation for boats, including fishing vessels, using the Four Fathom Channel between the Medway and Ramsgate we have requested that the mark be maintained but otherwise it should be removed entirely so that it does not itself become a hazard.
You are invited to submit comments to Capt. Ian Clark AFRIN AFNI, Manager Marine Operations, by 30 June 2017.
Peel Ports advise that the Traffic Warning Light on top of the Garrison Point Fort is no longer operative. It was a bright white light that flashed every seven seconds by day and night to warn of large (>130 metres LOA) vessels underway in the buoyed channel as follows:
- When such a vessel was inward bound between the Medway Buoy and Darnett Ness the light shone in an upriver direction.
- When such a vessel was outward bound between Darnett Ness and the Medway Buoy the light shone in a seaward direction.