Deep in the garden of England the river Medway is yet another spectacular East Coast estuary on this year’s Lark circuit. With all the ingredients that make these race-courses so addictive this ribbon of delight that flows through North Kent is truly a wonder to compete on.
In the race area this particular river has low banks that allow for a clear breeze, strong tides to challenge the brain and bright blue water that positively sparkles in the summer sun. All of this is set against the picturesque backdrop of Kingsnorth power station with its towering chimneys that seem to brush the very heavens themselves.
After a memorable day of racing, punctuated with short spells of watching the coal barges sliding elegantly into place, you will be more than ready for the hospitality of the Medway Yacht Club. To the casual observer this looks like it might be the kind of place that has a dress code and bar prices to make the average Lark sailor weep. Luckily, in this instance appearances can be deceiving and you would be pushed to find a more welcoming clubhouse anywhere in the country. With a large and thriving Dragon fleet, the bar is populated by rich men who will buy a drink for anybody in a short skirt (within reason Mr. Crooks!).
When thinking about the serious side of the racing, the Open meeting runs on Saturday with the first start at 12:00pm with briefing at 11:00. On the Sunday, the Larks are encouraged to take on the world once more in the prestigious Medway Marathon. This 26.2 mile course has only a few small hills and the rumour is that Paula Radcliffe is considering using it as a warm up for next year’s Olympic Games. I would be the first to suggest that this rumour must be considered of dubious origin as the race is for sailors not long distance runners. Still, if she needs a helm I am sure that Ally will be able to find her a slot providing she promises to complete the race.