Medway Council are holding the third river festival on Saturday, 12 July 2014. The Medway and Swale Boating Association (MSBA) supported by the Medway Yacht Club and the Wilsonian Sailing Club are supplementing the 2014 Medway River Festival with a Classic Boat and Ship Event.
The Medway Dinghy Regatta will take place on the Saturday and Sunday under the flag of the Wilsonian Sailing Club. If we can attract a sufficient number of classic racing dinghies, the club will offer a dedicated start.
Of particular interest are the classes that raced on the Medway in the classic era; when that was depends how old you are! These classes included; Flying Fifteen; 18ft National; Swordfish; Snipe; Hornet; 5-0-5; Firefly; Wayfarer, and; in smaller numbers within handicap fleets; W.E.C. Redwing; YW Dayboat; Heron; Mirror etc. etc.
In addition to the classic racing dinghies, we hope to have local historic tugs and a dockyard VIC on the water along with visiting ‘Gaffers’ by sea and road. Many historic vessels in the Medway area, that are not able to leave their berth will be open for interested visitors and, of course the Chatham Historic Dockyard has much of interest to offer.
At a meeting last Thursday, initiated by Gordon Henderson MP, the various groups involved in Queenborough Harbour came together to reach agreement on the way forward over ownership and management of the All Tide Landing which paves the way for immediate repairs to be undertaken to enable its use by Easter 2014 for both local yachtsmen and visitors.
This will also open the way for the Southern Water sponsored Sheppey Even Keel disabled yacht training project to restart in June 2014 something which local MP Gordon Henderson has been keen to see happen.
Mr Henderson said “We were bitterly disappointed that the Even Keel project was unable to take place last year because of problems with the All Tide Landing. I am delighted that local organisations have come together to ensure the necessary repairs can be made and I am hopeful that Even Keel will take place this year.”
The meeting was chaired by Hon Ald John Burke on behalf of the MP who said “I am pleased we were able to get all parties round the table and reach agreement so harmoniously on so many long standing issues and difference and I thank all concerned for their goodwill in doing so which made my role as Chairman so much easier.”
Geoff Reed- Director of QHT said “Queenborough Harbour Trust is delighted to work with Queenborough Yacht Club and other organisations in order to ensure the long-term viability of Queenborough’s All Tide Landing.” His colleague Patrick Moore thanked Gordon Henderson MP for his initiative and John Burke for his excellent chairmanship in achieving such a successful outcome.
Dave Price – Commodore of QYC said “ I am delighted with the outcome which I hope now puts to rest recent adverse publicity which inaccurately represented the position of Queenborough Yacht Club who have been seeking this outcome for some time.”
Queenborough Town Council and Swale Borough Council will now be monitoring progress and helping to ensure this potential boost to tourism on Sheppey is successful and that Sheppey Even Keel recommences in June under the sponsorship of Southern Water.
Sue Simpson – Mayor of Queenborough Town Council said “We are pleased to see that a compromise has been reached by all parties as the All Tide Landing is a great asset to Queenborough and we look forward to it reopening this Easter.”
Tim Bell of Sheppey Even Keel said “The disabled in Swale will be excited to learn that this much needed disabled yacht training scheme can once again start-up safely this June, I can’t wait to get going.”
Thanks to everyone for your replies, which you can read below. Cllr Kelly Tolhurst (Vice Chair of MSBA) is working with Medway Council to ensure that officials do not make rash promises regarding use of the pier by commercial operators with large vessels. The council will be drawing up some rules to ensure that the pier will remain available for all, especially recreational boaters for whom the restoration was carried out at significant public expense.
Queenborough Harbour Trust is purchasing a massive 60 metre long by 9 metre wide concrete pontoon, formerly used by the Gosport ferry in Portsmouth harbour. This will not only provide space for alongside moorings but will enable the trust to reposition the harbour lookout office and storage unit on the water. A fuel dock is also proposed. The pontoon will be anchored a few metres north of the existing All Tide Landing and linked to it by a bridge. The yacht club has promised that the ATL will be repaired and back in service by Easter. Discussions between the trust and the club over the long term future of the ATL are ongoing…
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