The British Kiel Yacht Club on Germany's Baltic coast, owned by the UK Ministry of Defence, has closed for the final time and the yachts brought back to Portsmouth

The Ministry of Defence’s Sailing Training Centre at Kiel in northern German has now closed.  Following the reduction of British Forces in Germany, the club’s fleet of 10 Halberg Rassy 342s have been transferred from Kiel to the Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Centre (JSASTC) in Gosport.

The yachts departed Kiel on 22 September 2016 and have been making their way down the North Sea over the last week. The majority of the fleet crossed the Channel on Friday 30 September. The yachts, which currently belong to the British Kiel Yacht Club Trust, aim to arrive at JSASTC by 1500 on Wednesday 5 October for a ceremony gifting the yachts to the Ministry of Defence.

The club has been running for 71 years. It was established at the end of the Second World War when Royal Engineers officer Colonel Fryer took a number of yachts as prizes of war at Kiel to form a yacht club. These yachts were later included in the reparations agreement and became known as the windfall yachts, with the club’s last windfall yacht Flamingo sold by the club last year. Other windfall yachts included well-known vessels such as Overlord and Sea Scamp, and formed the backbone of British Armed Forces offshore sailing in Germany for many years.

Anchored off Wangerooge

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