Saturday 7 August 2010

This year’s annual Swale Smack and Barge Match takes place on Saturday 7 August.

The event, organised by the Kentish Sail Association, is a showpiece for an impressive display of traditional boats including Thames barges, Dutch barges, smacks, bawleys, gaffers, classic bermudans and traditional powered vessels.

The races start at 11.30am at Harty Ferry, Oare. The bigger boats will compete on an offshore course, along the coast past Whitstable and Herne Bay, to an outer mark near the London Array wind farm.

The smaller boats will race on a course within the Swale Estuary. Boats from all classes are expected to cross the finish line at Harty Ferry by around 4.30pm.

2010 marks the 38th year of the Swale Smack and Barge Match. It was begun in the early 1970s by Laurie Tester, owner and shipwright of Hollowshore Boatyard, who formed the Kentish Sail Association.

Laurie’s legacy is an established Association which has a lively membership of traditional boat enthusiasts, owners and spectators alike.

In addition to the annual Match, many of the barges, smacks and other traditional boats are a common site in Oare Creek and alongside Standard Quay, Chamber’s Wharf and the Iron Wharf in Faversham.

Nick Relf, Chairman of the Kentish Sail Association said: ‘This is one of the biggest traditional sail rallies in the country and this year we are expecting up to one hundred traditional vessels of all types; it will be a tremendous spectacle.’

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Contact: Jo Walpole, Editor ‘On The Mud’ newsletter of the KSA

Mob: 0754 765 7550