Wilsonian Sailing Club is located on the north shore of the River Medway close to the village of Hoo, near Rochester in Kent. It prides itself on being a very friendly club that welcomes visitors and new members. It is probably the largest club solely for dinghy sailors in the north of Kent.

The club is located in woodland on a south facing hillside next to a shingle beach from which you can launch and recover dinghies at any stage of the tide. We have a full racing and training programme and the river provides an excellent cruising area.

Where we sail

From our start line between Upnor and Hoo Marina, we generally head upwind and then downstream venturing as far east as the South Kent buoy situated at the mouth of the Medway. Using channel buoys we set courses based on the wind conditions enabling the Race Officer of the day to create a couple of great races every Sunday.

Club facilities

Wilsonian Sailing Club has facilities to allow all types of dinghy sailing throughout the year. The club has a development plan to ensure its facilities are kept up to modern standards.

  • Men's and ladies' changing facilities with hot showers
  • Changing, shower and toilet facilities for disabled persons
  • Fully serviced kitchen and bar area where meals are served on race days and at special club events
  • A sunny veranda overlooking the Medway
  • Car Park for over 140 vehicles
  • Trailer storage compound
  • Dedicated camping area
  • Space for over a hundred dinghies contained within a secure fence
  • Secure sheds for housing the safety boats

The tracks in the dinghy park have been recently repaved with block work to make it easy to move boats around the park

There are two slips that can be used to access the river through gates which are unlocked on race days. Each has a freshwater hose by the gate for washing down boats and sails. There is a motorised winch for pulling the heavier dinghies and safety boats up the slip.


The majority of weekend racing is held between the club and buoy 16 for the Fast Handicap, or buoy 22, near Kingsnorth Power Station for other classes, but a number of races go further afield. Starting is generally from the fixed club line set across the river from the Race Box in the Dinghy Park, but special events such as the 3-Race Regatta are started from a committee boat.

February and March

  • A Warm-Up Series runs for the five Sundays prior to the season proper, and generally attracts the hardiest or most sailing-addicted members!

April to October

  • This is when most of the club racing takes place.
  • Class Series Racing with separate starts for Fast, Medium handicaps and shorter courses for 2000s and the Short Course Fleet.
  • Club Events On five Sundays per season there is the Commodore's Series. These are longer races taking place in the afternoons around high water. At the same time there is the Bosun’s Race for those that don’t want to go so far afield. In the mornings of these races we hold special races for women, juniors and novices/improvers. There are other, one-off, events such as the South Kent Race downriver to near Sheerness and back, the Leigh Trophy, a long distance race exploring lesser-used creeks, a 3-Race Regatta, the season opening Ice Breaker and the end-of-season Laying-Up Cup, and pursuit races based on personal handicaps.
  • Saturday afternoon there are races for the novices/improvers and if you wish a chance to join in the dinghy racing at Medway Yacht Club - just up the river.
  • Over a weekend in July Wilsonian SC hosts the Medway Dinghy Regatta for the Medway Yachting Association. We have many visitors for this event and if numbers permit we have class racing. Recently we’ve had class racing for Vortex, Blaze and 2000.

November and December

  • The club runs an Open Winter Series, which is well-supported both by club members and visitors, and which offers the choice of Long, Medium and Lapping Courses.


  • The Winter Series is traditionally rounded off by the Chilly Willies Open Handicap Race on 1st January, which while it is a separate event from the Winter Series, tends to include the same competitors in a single race with entry fees donated to the RNLI.


The club organizes dinghy cruises in addition to the race programme. These cruises which are always timed around high waters are aimed to take members in their dinghies to places on the river where the normal racing does not venture.

This can include sailing up to Aylesford, the limit of tidal access on the river, and around the creeks of the estuary closer to the sea. The coastal environment of the Medway estuary is of international importance for many migrating birds and full of industrial archaeology not accessible except by boat.

All cruises are accompanied by a safety boat.


2000s have their own fleet, which the club supports with class prizes and by providing them with their own starts this class also organises events of their own and give a lot of assistance to their more novice members.

Within the handicap fleets, members are free to choose the fleet and hence the course they sail.  The following classes race regularly:

Fast Handicap

RS800, Musto Skiff, RS 600, AltO (we are the leading AltO club in the country!), and Osprey.

Medium Fleet

3000 (Laser and Vandercraft), Buzz, Blaze, Wayfarer and Laser (Standard rig)

Short Course Fleet

Streaker, Miracle, Topper, Laser 4.7 & Radial


Wilsonian SC is a RYA Recognised Training Centre and provides training in dinghy sailing and powerboating and is open to all members of the public.

National Dinghy Sailing Scheme - aimed at adults

  • Courses cover everything from start sailing for beginners through to seamanship, performance sailing and racing for those who already know the basics of dinghy sailing.
  • We typically programme in two courses each year.

Youth Sailing Scheme - for junior/youth members

  • A progressive scheme taking students from start sailing through to advanced racing skills and techniques
  • We also have RYA Champion Club status in recognition of our commitment to introducing our young members to dinghy racing and developing their sailing and racing skills
  • Junior training sessions are run most Saturday mornings.
  • Junior Training Week at the end of August when a fun week of intensive sail training is given in a friendly atmosphere

Powerboat Scheme

  • Courses range from Level 1 introduction through to advanced boat handling and navigation.
  • Our main focus is on Level 2 and Safety Boat modules to ensure we have a pool of qualified drivers for our safety boats
  • The Club enters juniors/youths in the annual RYA Honda Rib Challenge with its final at the Southampton Boat Show

Instructor Training

  • The club runs courses to train dinghy instructors and race coaches on an ad hoc basis
  • The club supports the local Medway Sports Leadership training programme

For more information on the training courses we run throughout the year, please user the enquiry form above


The club has a fleet of boats available for members to hire and are intended for:

  • Members who do not yet have a boat of their own
  • Members whose own boat is temporarily out of action
  • Your own boat is a single-hander but you want to sail a double-hander or vice versa

Boats available

Wayfarer, Laser 2000, Topper, Laser, Laser Radial and Optimists.


  • Saturday afternoons, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays during the main season
  • Sundays while the Warm-up and Winter series are running
  • Wednesday evenings when the Wednesday Evening racing is taking place

If you wish to hire a boat, see the Chief Duty Officer on the day and he/she will allocate the boat, explain the hire conditions and take the hire fee.

Current rates are £10 per single hander and £20 per double hander for the day.

Racing Juniors £5 each


The club takes the Health and Safety of its members and other users of the river and local environment very seriously.

During race days we have access to up to 3 RIBs which are used as safety boats for the different fleets that are sailing on any given day. The RIBs are skippered by members who have all completed the RYA Level 2 Power boat and Safety Boat courses.

The role of the safety boats is:

  • to come to the support of any dinghy crews that require it
  • to escort any large shipping down or up the river and ensure club members keep their dinghies well clear
  • to keep the race officer informed by radio of any developments on the river

Level 2 Power boat and Safety boat courses are run annually for members.

The club is keen to help maintain the river and its shoreline to a high environmental standard and participates in an annual rubbish collection along the Medway shore.

Off The Water

In addition to the sailing programme the club runs social and fund raising events for its members.

Hot and cold lunches are served between races every Sunday during the season.

Examples of special events include:

  • Annual Dinner and Dance and Prize giving
  • Medway Dinghy Regatta
  • Christmas Quiz
  • Lecture and Supper evenings
  • Sunday Evening Roasts and BBQ's
  • Children in Need sponsored sail and party

Whilst we encourage our members to sail, they do not have to, and some just enjoy the social events. The House committee work as a team to organize the volunteers needed to put on these events.

A major event is the Medway Dinghy Regatta in July when many visitors come to enjoy the challenges of competitive sailing on the Medway estuary. During the regatta there is a BBQ and disco on the Saturday night. There is catering throughout the weekend and free camping.