The Swale Match

42nd SWALE MATCH 2014 - Saturday 2nd August
More information follows soon...

41st SWALE SMACK & BARGE MATCH 2013
Saturday 3rd August -



41st Swale Match, 3rd August –what a day!

The inshore shipping forecast predicted “SW 4-5 occasionally 6 at first” and other wind sites also forecast strong winds throughout the day. And they weren’t wrong; it remained windy until well after everyone had finished.

The Open Gaffers sail their own course in the Swale and when they were getting ready about 10am, a particularly vicious squall passed over Hollowshore and they quickly decided that it would be foolish to continue. A number regular participants did not, for a variety of reasons, enter this year, and some who had then decided that the conditions merited the cautious approach and stayed on their anchors or mud berths. So the fleet was not as big as usual, though the barges were well represented, and there was, as always, a great variety of vessels on the Swale.

Due to the tide (HW 10:45) the bigger boats started late this year, the barges starting first at 11:00, followed by the smacks, then the gaffers and classic Bermudians.

The START: Committee Boat (HOOP OP ZEGEN) and SAND END;
COURSE: Sand End – Columbine (P)
Outer Mark: KSA marker buoy 1(Spaniard) (S)
KSA marker buoy 2 (Herne Bay) (S)
KSA marker buoy 3 (Sewer) (S)
Whitstable Street (P)
HOME: Receptive (S) and Committee Boat
One smack went aground just after HW on the very hard bottom on Whitstable Flats, not far from the start, and there was some anxiety that damage might have been sustained, but she got off safely on the next tide.

The contender for the fastest elapsed time for the gaffers snapped a spreader and retired as did two small gaffers, one loosing the rudder, the other breaking her tiller. Several other boats also retired. But luckily there were no injuries, nor major damage.

It was an exciting match and after the early squall it turned out to be a beautiful sunny day, with great cumulus clouds making their way across the summer sky. Afterwards, everybody agreed that it had been a fantastic race, and as usual good music, food and beer contributed to a great party at Hollowshore.