East Coast


Swale Match, 2020

Friday, August 14, 2020 to Sunday, August 16, 2020
Swale Smack and Barge Match, 2015
©Edward Mannering

The 48th Swale (Lena's) Smack & Sailing Barge Match, run by the Kentish Sail Association, will be held over the weekend 14 - 16 August 2020.

Sadly, the 47th Match was cancelled due to high winds and storms.

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  – you will all enjoy the experience!

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

David Pollock
Organiser email: