Alan Green, Tamesis Rear Commodore Sailing, will be one of the people interviewed by Sue MacGregor in The Reunion on BBC Radio 4 at 11.15 am on Sunday 12 April. The programme brings together many of those closely involved in the Fastnet Race of 1979 in which a ferocious storm battered contestants, leaving 15 dead. Alan was Secretary of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and played a major part in the organisation of the race.
After five months, the Tamesis National 18 fleet’s appeal for funds to buy one of the new ‘Ultras’ has succeeded. The fleet has raised enough funding to buy the Ultra prototype ‘Odyssey’ … the boat that we have seen at Tamesis both for our trials at the club and when ‘parking between trips’ on her demonstrations odyssey around the UK. This was all made possible by contributions from fifteen far sighted people … the ‘Fab Fifteen’.
The deposit has been paid, with the balance due when we have received the boat at Tamesis; after some jib sheeting modifications (potentially at White Formula) to make her easier to sail on the river … not yet certain.
One thing is however certain. That is that there will be a celebration of having Odyssey (N18 400) at Tamesis. The idea is that all of the Fab Fifteen will be present and have a group picture taken with Odyssey and have an opportunity for a ‘ride’ or ‘drive’ that day, if wished. Others in the fleet and club will also be able to ‘have a go’. The planned date for this event is 2.00 p.m. on Sunday 14th June. Please put it in your diaries. This is the day after the National Eighteen fleet’s Queen Adelaide and Tamesis Anchor racing and the same day as the Commodore’s Cocktail Party. So the club and the whole 18 fleet, especially the Fab Fifteen, can properly celebrate the fleet’s success.
Odyssey is intended to kick start N18 fleet’s modernisation & rejuvenation; in terms of both boats and people. The average age of the active and ‘retired’ contributors to our Ultra appeal was about 74. So, whilst all fleet members are valued, the need for some fresh/young blood is self evident. All credit to the Fab Fifteen for recognising that need and looking to the future.
You will be hearing more over the coming months about how the N18 fleet plans to utilise Odyssey in its fleet rejuvenation & modernisation … and be an inspiration to all Tamesis juniors.
Rob Wilder and his young daughter Milly won the top prize Easter egg in their Merlin Rocket Flinkidink (1097) at the Tamesis Easter Regatta on Monday 6 April. The prize was awarded to the best placed boat in both the morning handicap race, in which there were 15 entries, started from the Tamesis line, and the afternoon pursuit, which was started from the Ariel line, with nine entries. Participating boats included National 18s, Merlins, Lasers, a Wayfarer and an Enterprise.
The morning race was won by Donald Forbes in Greylag (Laser 188044) and the afternoon pursuit by the National 18 Ocatillo (316) sailed by Charles Fox and Steve Katz. The rules provided that a boat which had won a prize in race one should forfeit her prize in race two to the next placed boat. Flinkidink was third in the morning and second in the afternoon.
Making the best of a strong and gusty NE wind, Race Officer John Meredith set a course with a downstream start to a Lensbury mark midway down Trowlock Island followed by an upstream run to a Canbury buoy just short of Steven’s Eyot.
Patrol boats were manned by Peter Simpson Jim Hamilton.
In the afternoon, RYA coach Ben Kimbell offered particpants advice on how to go faster from the Dory.
The regatta was organised by Tamesis Rear Commodore Alan Green, who also competed in the Tamesis Wayfarer, crewed by his wife, Susan, in the afternoon race and single handed in his National 18 in the morning.
There was a good turnout of spectators who, with the sailors, enjoyed a lunch of roast lamb with a choice of vegetables, soup and sandwiches, with tea and hotcross buns in the afternoon. Alan thanked the ladies in the kitchen for their contribution to and most enjoyable Easter regatta.
There was a nice drift on offer today. Even so the Wayfarer was rigged in anticipation of a nice sail. A good number of members turned up to drink at the bar and eat the excellent ploughmans lunch provided by Jo Carstens.
Some members took advantage and were tuning their boats in advance.
On chilly Easter Saturday, the Cadet team were out in force preparing our fleet of Toppers, Mirrors, Cadets and the Wayfarer for the first session of the year next Saturday 11th April. We were rewarded for our efforts with a slice of Easter cake baked this morning specially by Cadet Matilda Forbes. De-licious!
Fifty Tamesis members and guests heard Commodore Stewart Colley give a talk on Thursday 2 April on how he sailed across the Atlantic last year from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to London in the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s square rigger Lord Nelson, affectionately nicknamed Nellie by her crew.
Illustrated by many pictures, displayed on a large screen, following supper, his talk covered the 3,678 nautical miles Atlantic crossing with a crew of 47 that included a number of disabled sailors, some of whom were in wheelchairs. They left Halifax on Friday 20 August.
Stewart, who grew a beard during the crossing, could by identified on the pictures by the Tamesis burgee on his cap, wherever he was on the ship, from pulling ropes on deck to reefing sails on the topsail yards. He had hoped to visit Reykjavik and the Faroe Islands during the trip but expressed his disappointment when the Captain wisely decided on Wednesday 24 August to change course to the Azores to avoid a hurricane and volcanic eruption in Iceland. They arrived at Horta on Thursday 4 September.
He gave a vivid account of life on board with the variations in the watch system, from the middle watch from midnight to 4 am, to washing clothes, helping the ship’s cook prepare food in the galley, and maintenance and making music. The voyage ended with a sail up the Thames to Tower Bridge, arriving on Friday 19 September.
Stewart’s friend and bunkmate on the voyage, Bob Cotterill, was there to make sure he got the story right. Also present was Clive Mence, captain of the Tamesis Offshore Group, who had completed an earlier southern ocean passage on Nellie’s circumnavigation.
John Adams, Rear Commodore House, introduced Stewart and led the applause when he thanked him afterwards.
To view pictures of the Lord Nelson’s arrival in London taken by Michael Colley please click on the following link
Richard would have been nagging all you Merlin sailors, so I am now taking up the task on his behalf. “Real Magic”, a coffee table book, sets out, brilliantly, the first 70 years of the Merlin Rocket. Researched and written by David “Dougal” Henshall it is a tour de force, not cheap at £40 but, if your interest in Merlins goes beyond just steering them, it is a must have. Loads of hull lines, photos and drawings – from the end of WW2 to the present. To buy simply go on the MROA website Forum, scroll down to “Real Magic” and Dougal explains.
On Sunday 31st May the Tamesis Bridge Group will be running a Bridge Drive, the proceeds from which will go to the Club Maintenance Fund. We will be holding a Raffle and would be grateful for the donation of any prizes. Thank you.
Dave Baker and Jim Green won the Merlins’ Geoff Cooper Trophy in Andromeda (3259) on Sunday 29 March after a close race with Ken Duffell and Joe Woods sailing Harry (3599) in a strong, gusty westerly wind.
Race Officer Carolyne Vines, Tamesis Vice Commodore, set a course within sight of the clubhouse and a challenging east-west dogleg exposed to the full strength of the wind across the recreation ground. Competitors were unable to get across without at least one tack and several found it necessary to tack several times. In compensation, they had a reach both up and downstream.
There were some good planing opportunities, particularly downstream to the Lensbury mark mid-way along Trowlock Island, and it was approaching this that one Merlin capsized in a strong gust and had to be rescued by the Club launch manned by Peter Simpson and Daniel Gerber.
Most boats were taking between eight and nine minutes to sail each lap and what had been a seven round course was eventually shortened to five and a half with a downstream finish.