Just three boats braved the rain and Northerly gales (well, nearly up to to Force 1) for the soggy August Bank Holiday Pursuit Race. Commodore Stewart Colley really got his sailing skates on and not only managed to maintain his handicap start advantage but actually increased it through the race against two well sailed National Eighteens: Orion, Alan Green, and One over the Eight, Doug Pope. In spite of the rain, all three boats clearly enjoyed their race … an encouragement for others to turn up in future.
A select band of Tamesis Cadets and supporters took to the water on Saturday afternoon to collect the bottle of source water from Hampton Court Palace and take it safely down to Teddington Lock as part of the Totally Thames river festival. They mustered at lunchtime at Tamesis in pleasant sunshine, and two Mirrors and a Laser were towed upstream by Tamesis III the launch and Tamesis IV the Dory. On landing at the little beach by the Palace, they were met by Cat Buffrey, the Creative Programming & Interpretation Producer, Historic Royal Palaces, and three of the smartly uniformed State Apartment Warders, for the handover of the precious bottle of water. Rosalind in a Mirror crewed by Judith and Joe Richman accepted the bottle and did the first leg of the sail back to Teddington. The wind was a very light southerly so occasional assistance from the escort boats proved necessary to ensure we got back in time for (a late) tea!
At Thames Ditton the bottle was handed over to Ken Duffell and Matthew in the other Mirror who took it down to Kingston. There the bottle was carefully secured to Constantin Gerber’s Laser by a lanyard and he completed the delivery to Geoff, the duty lock-keeper at Teddington Lock. As the weather had deteriorated to a steady drizzle by this time we were pleased to get back to Tamesis for well earned tea and cakes, kindly provided by Judith Richman, and Sally and Rosalind Warwick-Haller. After tea, the Commodore presented all the participants with rosettes.
Peter Simpson, Daniel Gerber, Alan and Sue Green, and Stewart Colley manned the escort boats
- Pink wooden hull
- All carbon spares (mast, boom, poles)
- Twin spinnaker pole system
- 2x mainsail (1 Dacron, 1 Kevlar)
- 2x jib
- 3x spinnaker
- 1x fixed Winder rudder (carbon tiller)
- 1x lifting rudder (aluminium tiller)
- 1x Sovereign Standard Combi (8” wheels, 1x spare wheel)
- Cover and undercover
Tamesis members Tony and Leonie Steer, who have been are sailing round Britain in their Moody 33 Shen Shui, completed their voyage on Wednesday 2 September. Leonie reports “Shen Shui slipped into Hurst Narrows on the last of the tide and Tony anchored in the calm of the Solent for a nap before heading to Gosport, our home port, mooring up at 2.45 pm today.
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They had reached the Scillies on Friday 31 July and spent some time anchored at St Mary’s.
They began their circumnavigation from Cowes on 25 April having left their home port of Gosport earlier in April but had to back track to Chichester to resolve a problem with electronic charts. Shen Shui next reached Blyth where Tony moored up with help from a friendly harbourmaster. He found sailing single handed overnight made him hallucinate. Leonie reports that they diverted to Whitby on passage from Lowestoft to Scarborough because of an un-forecast gale. Leonie and Oscar, the ship’s cat, plan to re-join the yacht in Scotland after her daughter had returned home to Australia. Oscar has got his sea legs back thanks to a bag of prawns which cheered him up enormously.
Shen Shui arrived in Eyemouth, Scotland, at 18.00 on Sunday 17 May. Leonie reported on Thursday 21 May that Tony’s new engine stopped, going through the Farne Islands. It was so rough air got into the fuel pipe. He moored in Eyemouth with the help of the harbourmaster and waited there for his brother to join him. So no progress that week. But safe and sound!
On Thursday 28 May Leonie reported that Shen Shui had arrived in Fraserborugh and was gale bound, tied up among the local fishing fleet. Tony and his brother sailed into Inverness at midday on Saturday 30 May.
Leonie rejoined Shen Shui on Sunday 31 May for the sail across to the west coast through the Caledonian Canal. On Tuesday 9 June Leonie sent the following report: “Here we are in the Caledonian Canal. The pass costs £198 and covers the 8 days transit. We started at Inverness and came out at the sea lock Corpach on Sunday the 7 June (that’s Fort William). As you can see from the picture it’s snowy on the peaks and it was very cold still. We slept in socks and thermals moored to a buoy in Lock Ness. It was too deep to anchor. Amazing scenery. The locks go upwards towards Lock Oich, the highest point, then downwards towards Corpach. We pulled the boat through the locks as engines are switched off then, so three people on board are needed. The men pulled and I steered and fended off. Tony’s brother Derryk has crewed around Scotland with him. As you can see, Scotch tasting ranked high on leisure activities! ‘Neptunes Steps’ under Ben Nevis has nine locks, a road bridge and a rail bridge in succession, so victuals were ‘essential’.
She later added “After 29 locks and 10 swing bridges Shen Shui needed a good wash before heading out to the West Highlands and Corran Narrows. Tony and Leonie returned to London to see their grandchildren in mid-June and Leonie said at Tamesis on Thursday 18 June that Shen Shui had been temporarily left on moorings at Oban on the west coast of Scotland pending their return to sail south along the east coast of Ireland. They later berthed at Campbeltown.
Leonie reported on Thursday 2 June that Shen Shui had reached Bangor in Northern Ireland.
On Tuesday 4 August Leonie reported that Shen Shui had arrived in the Scilly Isles on Saturday 31 July after a 27 hour motor sail from Waterford, Southern Ireland. They left Waterford for Cork despite an unfavourable forecast and after seven hours beating to windward decided to put in to Dunmore East, a small fishing port on the south coast. The weather was dreadful in Ireland so Tony and Leonie became sightseers and hired a car to tour the country. Waterford Crystal, Tipperary, Limerick, The Wild Atlantic Way and Kilarney were all explored. “So now Shen Shui is chained to a buoy in St Mary’s, again being pounded by big seas. A spell of warm, settled weather would be much appreciated. We keep getting new leaks and have to air our clothes in every dry spell that we get!” See you soon. Leonie”
Sailing into Inverness
On an early Monday morning (on 17 August) Donald Forbes (my grandpa) and I headed down the A3 towards Hayling Island. On arrival it was clear that finding a berth for the laser was going to be difficult, due to the large array of boats, about 200, being rigged for racing. The first day was forecast to be light wind for Hayling, about 7 knots, but turned out to be more like 10, which was handy for powering through the waves and strong tide in the harbour. An average start and slower first beat put me back in around 15th but a quick couple of reaches won back some places. I stayed in around 11th until the last beat, where a small tidal error dropped me down to 13th.
The second day’s race started in light airs, and a good start followed by a classic Tamesis bank crawl against the tide meant that I was leading at the first mark. I held on to that lead for two thirds of the race until the wind picked up rapidly and my weight, which had been my advantage became my difficulty, and I dropped eight places, seeing me in to 9th on the finish line.
The Wednesday racing promised to be a challenge as the wind was forecast to be 16 knots, which was accurate. After capsizing and being thrown around in the boat like a rag doll, I decided to retire, and sailed back on to the beach.
After missing Thursday, Friday gave sun and a seemingly perfect wind for my size. A good start was fluffed up as I managed to tangle myself up with RS Aeros and their leeward mark, but good reaches and a quick recovery from hitting my own mark brought me back to 8th. A great week was finished off by stunning sun and a glorious race.
Photos by Donald Forbes
We’re thrilled to have a rather glorious cover photograph and a double-page spread about learning to sail at Tamesis Club in the August issue of the south west Residents’ Journal. On a windy Wednesday morning, instructor Eric Finlayson and club commodore Stewart Colley showed journalist Jennifer Mason the ropes and it appears she had a thoroughly good time (and even avoided a dunking). Turn to page 20 of the magazine to read the full feature (copy in the club house).
We arrived at Batson Boat Park for 10am on Saturday. After rigging the boats Ben and I sailed them over to Mill Bay ready for the race the following morning.
Race 1: The wind was a good strong 14 mph
As we approached the start line waiting for the start gun the wind died. I was a good 20ft from the line and had an average start whereas for Ben he was on the line and had a good start as you can see in the photo. The boat to the right is Ben.
As the race started the wind picked up and I caught up Ben and worked my way into first place. Which I managed to hold until the end of the race so I finished in 1st with Ben in 2nd. There were 8 toppers in the fleet but only 6 in that race.
Race 2: Very very windy
Before the start of the race I capsized 3 timed before the race. Ben capsized a few times before the race as well so decided to retire. As the race started we were sent up to mark number 1. I rounded the mark in second behind George (a local sailor) after capsizing 3 times on the beat up. The next mark was number 7 and it was a long run and reach up the bag. Outside the yacht club it was very windy and I turtled 4 times on the run one of them included a nose dive. However I remained in 2nd and rounded number 7 in second. By the time I had rounded it George was a good 400m ahead of me and Oli 100m behind. (Oli is a friend of mine who was also sailing a Topper) The next mark was number 2 then 3 then across the line. After rounding number 3 I realised George was quite close to me and after crossing the line on a windy beat against the tide George beat me by 45 seconds, despite me capsizing 8 times!
Race 3: light winds, strong tide
The course was 3,2,3,2. As the start gun went off it was a light beat up to 3. I rounded the mark in 2nd place. The run down to 2 was very light and I lost my position to George who took 2nd place. As I rounded 2 in 3rd it was another light beat against the tide. I caught George and Oli to take 1st place and rounded number 3 in 1st. Unfortunately on the run down Ollie and George both came past me holding those positions round number 2 and on the short beat to the finish. The results were Ollie 1st George 2nd Harry 3rd Ben 4th.
Race 4: windy 15mph tide strong. Course 7,2,3,2
It was a windy start and Ben decided to retire. We were beating up to 7 and I rounded 7 in 3rd. Oli who was in 2nd place capsized in front of me, unfortunately as it was low tide I ran aground up at 7 and got stuck in irons causing me to lose Oli. I capsized 6 times and crossed the line in 3rd place.
Race 5: light winds, course 5,2,3,2, tide very strong
Ben decided not to sail this race as gales were predicted. The start was very light but picked up closer to mark 5. I followed the local boats up the inside of the pontoons. Oli the 3rd boat decided not to go inside the pontoons and lost a lot of ground on us (George and I ) I rounded number 5 in 2nd place and held on to it to the line so I finished in 2nd place.
There was 1 race left and my results were 1,2,2,3,3
My friend Oli’s results were 8,1,2,2,3. So with a discard we had the same results. It was all down to the last race to see who finished 2nd and who 3rd.
Race 6: light winds, strong tide, course 7,2,3,2 but shortened to 7,2
As the wind was so light and the tide so strong I jumped out my boat and held it until the start. As the start gun went I jumped in my boat and had an okay start. As we were heading up to number 7, Ben sailed very well and left George, Oli and I far behind. I rounded number 7 in 2nd place 200m behind Ben.
As we got closer to the harbour we got closer to Ben. Unfortunately George and Oli overtook me near Snapes point were the wind had got very light and fluky. By mark number 2 Ben had been overtaken by Oli and George and was in 3rd place. On the beat to the line from number 2 I overtook Ben as he capsized and finished 3rd with Ben in 4th. The results were George 1st, Oli 2nd, Harry 3rd, Ben 4th.
We all attended the prize giving, Oli and I had exactly the same results but as he beat me on the last race he claimed 2nd place behind George who took 1st and in front of me who took third, Ben came 5th.
I had to go up in front of everyone to claim 3 prizes which included first race win trophy, 3rd place cup and a Henri Lloyd spot prize.
16 August 2015