Spectators welcome. Plenty of room to anchor near the start line.
Mandy Bruce from Magellan Yacht Surveys will be talking on the role of the Yacht Surveyor.
Mandy is professionally trained through the International Boatbuilding Training Centre at Lowestoft, with a background of racing and cruising yachts in the Solent, on the North Kent Coast and in the Mediterranean. She is an accredited member of the Yacht Designers and Surveyors Association (YDSA) and a full member of the MSA (Marine Surveyor Associates). This is a group of professionally trained surveyors communicating via a live forum, sharing knowledge and experience on a daily basis. She is a sailor as well as a surveyor and currently owns a Westerly Fulmar which she races around the Swale and has been Racing Commodore at Conyer Cruising Club for the last five years and helps with the Swale Regatta.
These talks start at 7pm and it’s wise to log in a few minutes earlier. Click on this link to join the webinar: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-8M2x9pySeGLw97mqxfrTw
The MSBA supports Faversham Creek Trust in their campaign to restore the swing bridge, which would allow craft such as sailing barges to use the basin at the head of the creek. On Friday 10 December Helen Whately MP met with representatives from Kent County Council, Faversham Town Council, the Faversham Society and the Faversham Creek Trust to discuss progress since their last meeting in June. The Town Council kicked off the meeting with an update on their legal advice. It said the Secretary of State has the power to issue an Abatement Notice under section 43 of the Medway Ports Act 1973 to compel the party with obligations to maintain this bridge, sluice gates and associated works so as to permit navigation again. The Town Council has written to the Secretary of State for Transport asking him to issue this notice. The meeting agreed that supporting the Town Council to achieve this objective was the best way forward. Money currently pledged by Kent County Council, Swale Borough Council, and Faversham Town Council and raised from the community by the Faversham Creek Trust, is not enough to cover the cost of restoring the bridge. We need Peel Ports to play their part to get the bridge back into working order, this would go a long way towards plugging the funding gap for making the creek basin usable again. KCC confirmed that the Faversham community funding is safely held in a separate account except where individual donors have requested and received their donations back. Kent County Council is helping the Town Council to provide the Department of Transport with further information about the bridge and creek. Helen Whately will press the Secretary of State to take this course of action. While this is a positive step forward there is still a long way to go. KCC confirmed that design work on the bridge and sluices is completed and tender documents are ready. Both Helen and KCC have agreed to update residents about progress so far including future designs for the bridge.
We are having a Festive Open Day on Saturday 18 December from 12 noon till 4pm. Social distancing and masks will be required but it will give you a chance to see how Raybel is progressing. Access to the Raybel display in the museum will be available but small groups only. The windows will be open so please wrap up warm, and sensible shoes only on Raybel. There will be music from 1pm – 3pm and festive pizza from 3.30 – 5pm made in our own oven. Bring a torch if you are coming late as some parts of the site can be dark. If you can’t make it, you can catch up with the latest restoration blog on our webpage
The Swale Smack and Sailing Barge Match, organised by the Kentish Sail Association, has been changed to Saturday 25 June 2022 (not as published on the KSA website) because of a clash of dates for 20 August with other East Coast events, which would have prevented many of the usual entrants from being able to take part. Next year is the 50th Anniversary of the very first Swale Match inspired by Laurie Tester, Lena Reekie and Richard Hugh Perks.
There will be distinct advantages with the change. The later tides mean a very civilised later start than usual and, although this also means that the evening events will have to start later too, the long hours of summer daylight will mean that the prize-giving and party can go on for longer and without crews having to rush to catch a falling tide at Hollowshore.
More details about the Match will follow in the New Year.
David Pollock, KSA Swale Match Secretary
phone: 07831 200 018
Hollowshore Cruising Club at Faversham are holding a boat jumble on Sunday November 7 from 11 a.m., to replace their usual one in May, cancelled this year because of Covid. “With boats being laid-up, the change of date could actually work in our favour,” says secretary Mike Riches. “People will be throwing out redundant boat gear, and looking to what they need for next year,” he said. The event will be beside the HCC clubhouse at the Youngboats yard, at the head of Oare Creek, Oare Road ME13 7TX. The bar will be open, with hot snacks available. If the weather looks threatening a large gazebo will be erected. There is no entry fee, and non-members and other clubs are welcome to run their own stall, at £10 a stall, and they keep all proceeds from sales. For more information, contact Mike Riches at email@example.com
Report by Julian Mannering
Last Saturday witnessed the 48th annual Swale Smack & Sailing Barge Match and the magnificent sight of some thirty traditional vessels racing in the River Swale off Faversham and Whitstable. The organisers, the Kentish Sail Association, were delighted that, having had to cancel the event for two years due to gales and the pandemic, they were finally able to fire the starting cannon for the 22-mile race out into the Thames estuary and back to the finishing line off Faversham Creek.
Strong winds on the Friday had prevented some entrants arriving from Essex, but there were plenty of vessels to make a great spectacle. The newly-built Thames barge Blue Mermaid was one of the few craft to make it over from Essex and she went on to win the Bowsprit Class. A good turnout of Kent barges – Repertor, Orinoco, Marjorie, Niagra, Edith May and the beautifully restored Cambria – had a fine day’s racing with Repertor winning the Staysail Barge Class, and Cambria the Restricted Class. There were prizes for other craft with the smack William & Mary, the smack yacht Bird of Dawning, the large gaffer Almita and the small gaffer Fifi all taking line honours in their classes.
The Swale also welcomed two traditional Dutch sailing vessels, Albatros and Johanna, the Humber keel Selby Ellen,and Lilian, the beautiful gentleman’s motor yacht, built in Stockholm in 1916, which this year acted as the Committee Boat and added another layer of old-time elegance to the day.
The Swale Match is the largest such traditional boat event on the East Coast, possibly in the country, and offers a vital celebration of these beautiful craft that still play a part around our coast and in our maritime story.
- 40-mile clockwise circumnavigation of the Isle Of Sheppey
in north Kent organised by IOS Sailing Club
- The UK’s longest annual dinghy, cat & board race!
- Established since 1959 as an endurance event
- Open to all classes of dinghy, catamaran & sailboard
- Sea, river & estuary sailing with tidal conditions
- In popular years 100-300 competitors have taken part
- Every competitor successfully completing the course receives a circumnavigation certificate signed by the Commodore
- SailRacer Live GPS Tracking
- Part of the2021 Allen Endurance Series
Please note: the race will be limited to 50 boats, pre-entry online will only be accepted beforehand due to covid restrictions and numbers in IOSSC club house. Please refer to web site www.iossc.org.uk
Nigel Stevens writes, “The Swale Regatta is a long standing local event traditionally held over three days, starting on a Friday in the Swale off Harty Ferry, and finishing in the Medway on the Sunday. It caters not just for regular racers but also especially for cruisers who would just like to give sailing with others a go. The Covid restrictions saw last year’s event cancelled but this year fifteen boats from various Medway and Swale clubs managed to get together for the regatta.” See Nigel’s full report below…