Tamesis Club

Burns Lunch at Tamesis 25th January

The Tamesis club house reverberated to the sound of Scottish music after sailing on Sunday 25th January as a kilted yachtsman led 22 enthusiastic members in a bevy of Scottish dances from the Gay Gordons to the Dashing White Sargeant.

A ‘Burns Afternoon’ was arranged by Vice Commodore Carolyne Vines with the help of Eric Finlayson of Ariel.  The latter was wearing a full highland kilt complete with sporran Farquaharson tartan tie and knee length socks.

The celebration followed a specially arranged lunch of haggis, neeps and tatties carefully prepared by Anna Finney, Jo Carstens and Rosalind Warwick-Haller.  Eric performed a magnificent traditional ‘Address to the Haggis’ which was followed by the sampling of the same.  Alan Green, Rear Commodore Sailing read the toast to the lassies.  The responding toast ‘to the Laddies’ was rendered by Carolyne Vines.

Great fun was had by all.  It will hopefully be repeated next year.

Report and photos by John Dunkley


Eric and Jenny Finlayson show us the ropes!
Eric and Jenny Finlayson show us the ropes!

Dinghy training at Tamesis from early March


Dinghy training is coming to Tamesis Club this year starting in March, including RYA affiliated L1 and L2 courses!

As arranged by Rear Commodore Sailing, Alan Green, and run by Chief Instructor from Ariel Eric Finlaysone, the following courses will be taking place:


Assistant Instructor Course

For Tamesis members wishing to assist in RYA sailing training courses (as will be offered by Tamesis in 2015). Assistant Instructor is the first stage towards becoming a qualified Instructor, for which a season’s practical training work will be required after the Assistant Instructor course.
Dates: Sunday afternoons 08/15/22/29 March
Cost: no charge for instruction


RYA Level 1 Sailing Course

For members and in particular non-members who are interested in training to start sailing. This course begins just 2 weeks after the Tamesis/RYA “Push the Boat Out” Open Day when the club hopes to welcome members of the public new to sailing.
Dates: Sunday afternoons 24/31 May, 07/14 June
Cost: to be advised


RYA Level 2 Sailing Course

For members and in particular non-members who are interested in consolidating basic sailing skills taught at Level 1. This course is a natural follow-on from Level 1.
Dates: Sunday afternoons 28 June, 05/12/19 July
Cost: to be advised


For all the above courses, please apply by email to Eric, details in the poster (click to download).

For any further questions please contact Alan Green.

To download the poster click here.

Further training

It is the intention of the club to offer RYA courses in seamanship, spinnaker work, sailing racing, and powerboat handling. Announcements will be made on the web site and at the clubhouse.


Alan Green, Rear Commodore (Sailing). January 2015


Odyssey, 40knot gusts, and a Bloody Mary

On Saturday 10th January, the Phil Morrison designed National 18 Prototype ‘Odyssey’ took part in the 42nd Bloody Mary at Queen Mary Reservoir.

The gales of the night before saw no real sign of abating with wind speed on the raised reservoir blowing constantly above 20 knots and frequently gusting over 40 knots. Usually the hunting ground of International 14’s and Foiling Moths, the Bloody Mary saw neither of these as out of 235 entrants only 69 completed the course. Very windy, very choppy, and as a result pretty cold.

In the boat was me on wire, Ollie Houseman middle, and Fred Cudmore at the helm. We launched on the far side of the Queen Mary Reservoir spit and had time to try out a few points of sail before heading to the start on the other side. The wind, to be conservative, was hectic.

We started at 47 minutes past the start time (which had already been postponed to allow the wind to die down a little), straight in to a beat, and then just 1 minute in a huge gust turned up and knocked us over. Great start! Apart from getting completely soaked early on, and a little loss of time, it wasn’t a problem as two on the centreboard brought the boat up relatively quickly with Ollie being scooped up inside, he grabbed the helm and once all three were inside off we went again.

The sailing was fast with a lot of planning. When reaching 5 or more feet of the hull from the bow must have been held out of the water as the three of us were sat back as far back as possible. Certainly the fastest I’ve ever been in a dinghy and very exciting. Although quick it all felt quite steady and secure.

For the second half hour the wind died down a little so we started to plan the use of the spinnaker for some of the longer legs. However, as soon as an hour had passed the wind ramped up again and sent us speeding on a reach to a gybing mark. Gusts were back up to 40 so we chose to double tack only for a bad gust to hit us again and send us over, again. To add to the melee the top batten had also popped out and the mainsail window was split in two. We were also pretty soaked and cold by now and shivers were kicking in quite badly, so we decided to call it a day and joined the procession of other boats sailing back to the clubhouse, passing on the way a collection of capsized boats some with crews sat on their upturned hulls waiting for the rescue boats. One last go at a fast reach and we were back having hot showers and drinking coffee.

Very exciting event with fairly extreme wind, but of course never enough for the Bloody Mary organisers to call it off. A quite hairy outing at times at times, but ignoring the cold it all felt pretty steady and comfortable despite the two capsizes.

Tamesis Club

Windy day at Queen Mary
Windy day at Queen Mary
Queen Mary system for launching larger dinghies
Queen Mary system for launching larger dinghies
Rigging up
Rigging up
See you before the end of the race!
See you before the end of the race!

National 18 News #47

Here is the latest  National 18 News from Julian Berney:

National 18 News (click to open)

Topics inside include:

  • Progress with National 18 Number 40
  • Orders for new boats
  • Progress with the Foils
  • Dinghy show 28 Feb/1 Mar at London’s Alexandra Palace
  • Odyssey and the Sailjuice Series
  • National 18 Championships at Cork in 2015
  • RYA involvement
  • Identifying New National 18s


Replacing the old flag pole

At last, the club has sorted out what to do about replacing the 80 year old flagpole which had become dangerously rotten in places. The new pole will be a close replica of the old one and will be made from Douglas Fir by shipwrights and riggers from the Cutty Sark. It is being fabricated now and should be installed at the end of January. The photo shows Ian Bell (ex Cutty Sark) safely lowering the old pole for it to be used as a pattern for the new one.

The plan is to have this raising-and-lowering system to hand in the future so that the flag pole can be more easily accessed for routine maintenance.




Making a splash!

The new year got off to a much drier if colder start for Tamesis in 2015 than it did in 2014. Remember last year? The attached photo will remind you. The dinghy park, lawn and passageways round the Clubhouse were flooded, on and off, and the river was running so fast that sailing was impossible for 11 weeks. Wellies were worn by all but a brave few who walked across the car park in bare feet or drove home in soaking shoes and socks!