East Coast


Swale Match, 2019

Friday, August 9, 2019 to Sunday, August 11, 2019
Crossfield-built 'Bonita' racing back into the Swale
©Seamus Masters

The 47th Swale Smack & Sailing Barge Match, run by the Kentish Sail Association, will be held over the weekend 9 - 11 August this year.

David Pollock is stepping in to take on some of the responsibilities of Match Secretary, following the sad passing in January of Lena Reekie, who has been such an indefatigable supporter of the KSA and organiser as Secretary of the Swale Match for the past 45 years. David is keen to ensure that all OGA members know they are most welcome to join the event in 2019.

The Swale Match is unusual, some would even say unique. First established by Laurie Tester in 1973, it was intended to be a celebration and festival of all manner of sailing craft on the East Coast. It has continued, indeed developed this theme over the years. The assembled fleet comprises not only Thames sailing barges and smacks in several categories, but a variety of gaffers, classic and Bermudan yachts as well as Dutch barges, Baltic traders and historic powered craft. This provides a magnificent spectacle on the water for both participants and onlookers.

And that’s just the sailing and racing. Both at anchor in the Swale and on land at Hollowshore, crews and supporters gather in great comradeship for prize-giving and entertainment. As well as the Testers’ Boatyard, furnished for the weekend with food and drink stalls and live music, the shore venue includes the fabled Shipwright’s Arms, supplying cask ales and food. The weekend starts on Friday afternoon, the Match is on Saturday and the homeward voyage usually undertaken on the Sunday, but you can stay longer!

This is an event you really should not miss – put it in your diary and send us at least a provisional entry advice now and tell your sailing friends to do the same – you will all enjoy the experience!

To find out more about the Kentish Sail Association, visit their website.

David Pollock
Organiser email: