Medway yachtsmen enter Jester Challenge

Two of the five entrants for the famous single-handed transatlantic race are members of local sailing clubs and have similar boats built in Kent. The Jester Challenge was created for skippers of small boats who want to test their skill and self-reliance and is a uniquely successful experiment in single-handed ocean sailing. This year it’s the “full” race to the Azores and on to Newport Rhode Island, starting at Plymouth on Sunday 8 May, 2022.

Bernie Branfield from Hoo Ness Yacht Club has previously competed in the shorter Baltimore Jester Challenge in 2017, across to Ireland. Bernie’s boat is Louisa, an Invicta 26. John Apps is a veteran solo ocean sailor from Medway Cruising Club. John’s boat is called Arelia of Hoo, a 25ft Invicta Mk 1.

John Apps has had to turn back after a massive wave knocked out his electrics. Bernie Branfield from Hoo Ness Yacht Club in Louisa is one of the two skippers still in contention. You can track their progress here: https://jesterchallenge.wordpress.com/jester-challenge-2022/

Dover Marina to close mid-May to end Aug 2022

Boaters planning to cruise to Dover and beyond this summer should be aware of the following notice buried inconspicuously on the Dover Marina website: “Final work is being undertaken to enable our new marina to open along with a wider marina improvement programme that will unlock a number of further benefits, including the opening of our new boat yard. These are exciting times, and we can’t wait for you to be part of it, but to enable us to continue making progress as quickly as possible and be ready to welcome you properly in 2023, we need to deliver other works in 2022, which will require us to temporarily close Dover Marina to new customers including Visitors this summer from 13th of May to the end of August 2022.

CA Brexit webinar now available to non-members

The Cruising Association hosted a Brexit Webinar for members on 22 January 2022, which is now published for public viewing by the wider cruising community. The CA’s Regulations and Technical Services group (RATS) continues to be at the forefront of lobbying on behalf of the cruising community to mitigate the impact of the UK leaving the EU, and there have been some significant changes in the past year which are presented in the webinar.

The webinar covers in detail the latest updates on:

  • People issues – including Schengen immigration and the 90/180 day visa rules
  • VAT issues – the latest on EU and UK VAT and the changes to Returned Goods Relief
  • Recreational Craft Directive/Recreational Craft Rules – compliance and how it will affect you

Here’s the link to the webinar…

HMRC Notice 8 Updated Today

MSBA committee member Peter Norris of Network Yacht Brokers has today been notified that HMRC has updated Notice 8 regarding rules on reporting required from 1 January 2022 for outward journeys to and inward journeys from EU countries. As Chairman of the Association of Brokers and Yacht Agents (ABYA) Peter has assisted HMRC in drafting the notice.

For the Notice including updates see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-8-sailing-your-pleasure-craft-to-and-from-the-uk

Commodore of local club crosses Atlantic TWICE, single-handed

Segas Sailing Club commodore John Molloy has returned safely back into UK waters arriving off Hugh Town in the Scilly Isles late this afternoon. Some time ago John left the UK to sail around the world in his yacht Aronele, a Rival 36. Martin Kuhn, Segas SC vice commodore, and Erica his wife, crewed with him on Aronel for the first leg down to Portugal. John then sailed single-handed to the Caribbean via the Canaries, intending to reach the Pacific via the Canadian North West Passage. He then worked his way up the East coast of the USA. 

Unfortunately Covid struck and he had to abandon Aronele at a boatyard in Chesapeake Bay.  John made it back to the UK on one of the last flights, just before the lockdown. Once he had had both Covid vaccines, John flew back to the States to re commission Aronele. His original plan to sail through the North West Passage had to be abandoned as the Canadian Government had closed it off to all yachts. Some weeks ago John set sail for the UK across the Atlantic Ocean, again single handed.

RNSA get reprieve, moorings available

The RNSA Medway has agreed a lease with Homes England to remain at the Mast Slip in the Chatham Historic Dockyard until at least the end of 2022. This means that the RNSA can promote their moorings in the river Medway.

The RNSA has its roots in the Royal Navy and other associated groups such as the Royal Navy Reserves and the Sea Cadets. The membership is extended to the civilian community, who make up the majority of the members at Chatham. The membership encompasses like-minded souls with interests in sailing as well as motor boating, providing a warm and friendly atmosphere. 

The RNSA Medway is based at the Mast Slip at Chatham just down river from Turks Boatyard at the Chatham Historic Dockyard. The compound around the Mast Slip is secure with a dedicated access. The group owns and operates 28 swinging moorings in Chatham Reach, either side of Chatham Marina lock gates. The moorings are regularly maintained and can support yachts up to a maximum of 36ft in length. Access is by dinghy from the slipway

The facilities at the Mast Slip compound include an extended walkway into the river on the slipway along with secure storage for tenders and storage for outboards in a dedicated and secure container. Trailer dinghies can also be stored on site for those members interested in sailing of this type. There is a Ward Room where members can meet as well as a workshop. 

The moorings charges are £495 per year plus a membership fee to the RNSA Medway. For more information please contact Maurice Smith, Moorings Master, on 07973 404117.

CA Kent Section

Clifford Mickleburgh has handed over running of the Kent Section of the Cruising Association to Sue and David Long, who many of us have met at the popular Winter Warmer talks. They will be using the CA system for newsletters and Eventbrite for bookings for face to face meetings. This year’s Winter Warmer talks will be held as Zoom webinars to give some certainty. The CA Zoom licence allows up to 1,000 participants so numbers shouldn’t be a problem.

They are planning to resume face to face meetings when it is safe and financially viable to do so. Anyone who wishes to receive the programme flyer and newsletters and is not a CA member can contact Sue and David at kent@theca.org.uk to be registered as prospective CA members. They will need to agree to their name being on the CA list under GDPR regulations. The CA will contact them annually to check they are still happy to remain on the list. This will allow them to be invited to the face to face meetings when they resume.