The Swale Match

The 42nd Swale Match – Saturday 2nd August 2014

The 42nd Swale Match takes place over a weekend of early tides. The start for the first classes, at the Sand End Buoy, will be at 6am. The skippers' briefing at Hollowshore on the Friday will commence at 4pm.

As usual, we expect a high turn out. Regular participants will receive letters of invitation in early July. If you are ne to the event, then please email Lena Reekie: lenareekie@talktalk.net
















41st Swale Match 2013 Report

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.