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Racing season starts this weekend at Medway Yacht Club

by Tim Townsend 21 Apr 2023 10:08 BST
Graeme Oliver - Musto Skiffs at the Medway YC Regatta © Lucian Stone / Bryony Sharpen

Racing starts at Medway club this coming weekend. The Club has been a hive of activity over the past few weeks as the Bosun's team and members prepare their yachts for launching and dinghies are returned to the dinghy park.

Located at Lower Upnor on the banks of the tidal River Medway just down river from Chatham's historic dockyard, Medway Yacht Club is only 35 miles from Central London and is easily accessible from the M25.

The Club offers a mix of racing for cruisers and one design yachts and dinghies.

The cruisers usually race on Sundays with the first race of the Spring Series due to start on 30 April. The calendar includes several different Series and Trophy races as well as the annual Keelboat Regatta and the popular Autumn Series.

Saturday racing for one designs starts this year on 22 April. These classes include the International Dragon, National Sonata, Squib and Wayfarer. Racing goes through to the end of October on most Saturday afternoons with a mix of round the cans and windward/leeward racing scheduled this year. These fleets can be strong. Two of the top three Sonatas at their 2022 National Championships race from our Club including the National Champions and the top under 25 team. You can expect to see several of the Wayfarer fleet in the top ten at its National Championships.

There is a Wednesday evening series starting on 24 May for a couple of months providing less formal racing for cruisers and dinghies. The Let's Go Sailing initiative for less experienced sailors and youth sailing will take place on Sundays. Club dinghies, a Sonata and Squib are available for hire to those with suitable experience.

The Club also offers a fantastic base for those who do not wish to race. Uffa Fox once described the area as perfect for both racing and cruising. The various creeks between the Club and the mouth of the river offer secluded unspoilt anchorages for a picnic or overnight stay. The cruising programme for 2023 also includes trips to Red Sands Fort, Queenborough, Heybridge Basin and London. Many of our members will cruise up the east coast or to Ramsgate and beyond.

As well as the on the water activities, members take advantage of the traditional clubhouse overlooking the river and enjoy excellent catering from the galley and a well-stocked bar. The social programme includes coffee mornings, a Quiz Night, live music, an open air theatre, class suppers and more formal black tie dinners.

In addition to Club activities, the club also hosts several open events each year. The highlights for 2023 are as follows:

  • Keelboat Regatta 26-29 May
  • Sonata Eastern Championships 26-29 May
  • Medway Marathon 11 June
  • Wayfarer Eastern Championships 17-18 June
  • KSSA camp 1-2 July
  • Topper training and Open Meeting 2-3 September
  • Cruiser Autumn Series 29 October-26 November
If you're interested in knowing more about sailing at Medway Yacht Club please visit

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