Tamesis Club

Death of Yvonne Goldsmith

Almost 70 Tamesis members and other friends attended the funeral of Yvonne Goldsmith at North East Surrey Crematorium on Wednesday 3 May. Yvonne. wife of Mike Goldsmith a keen member of the Tamesis Laser fleet, died on Sunday 16 April.  She was in the same care home in Kingswood, Tadworth as Mike, who had been moved there from Epsom Hospital following treatment for a stroke.

Yvonne had suffered from dementia for many years but older members will remember her enthusiastic interest in computer technology in its early days.  She was also a keen participant in the management of the club’s gardens and organisation of the club’s plant sales.  She also crewed for Mike in his Merlin in earlier days.

The funeral service was conducted by the Rev. Chris Morley and tributes were read by members of her family. The funeral was  followed by a reception at The Derby Arms, Epsom Downs, Epsom.

Donations in memory of Yvonne can be made to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Stuart Hudson wins Elizabeth Cup in fireflies


Sunday 23rd April – Elizabeth Cup Open Meeting for Fireflies (adults)

With Sunday morning came the opportunity for the adults to show their stuff in the competition for the Elizabeth Cup at the Tamesis Firefly open meeting.

Once again dawn bought with it superb conditions. The wind was up a little (progressing toward a F3, occasionally F1) and direction a little more settled with a westerly. It’s all a bit relative on the Thames though.  Saturday’s protagonists were joined by Lucy & Rachel sailing Willow from Chichester. Again, Tamesis members and visitors were greeted with the club flags up, clubhouse open, and conditions looking excellent. Donald Forbes (Officer of the day) had organised things excellently and a straight-forward and comprehensive briefing was delivered at 10:30 (around which time those competitors who had failed to sign in were chased down and all bureaucracy completed successfully).

In celebration of the Firefly open (OK, that may be stretching credulity a little) the Queen’s rowing barge (Gloriana) was making her way from Hampton Court to Richmond. With her transit of the race-course set for 11am the first race was held on a postponement until the flotilla had passed. As she came into view cheers could be heard from the opposite bank and a glorious view was available to all stood on the Tamesis river front.

As soon as the flotilla passed furious activity took hold of the Firefly fleet in the rush to get in the water and onto the start line for the 11:30 start. All made it. The home ‘teams’ saw a slight change of configuration with the Dalton team being the adults (Matthew joined by Cathy) and the Harrises swapped out for Ken Duffle and grandson Matt, campaigning in Jim Hamilton’s ‘Fiasco’.

The first race got away cleanly and once again Stuart Hudson set the pace. His lead was put under considerably more pressure though. Had the chasing pack not converged quite so magnetically at the first mark it is entirely possible that his position could have been in doubt. Instead a most remarkable conflation of Fireflies clustered at the Canbury mark and consternation from many helms and crew could only further confuse the issue. But, once rounded the fleet then quickly got on with some tight racing and excellent boat handling to reach off toward the downstream mark at Lensbury before encountering one of the legendary Tamesis ‘lulls’ just short of the mark and having to make a snail’s pace around before finding clean air once more. Those with roll-tacking skills and experience used them to good effect to maintain momentum and draw out a further advantage over those more sedate teams.

As ever the rich got richer, and those who could read the shifts and make good use of them extracted the maximum advantage. Meanwhile toward the rear of the fleet great enjoyment was had and many tips and lessons picked up.

In the second race the stand out performance came from the McEwan boat with Jamie and Angus being a little over excitable at the start, resulting in a return to the line and therefore a first leg considerably behind the fleet. However, over the ensuing three laps they tenaciously clawed their way back up the fleet to finish a very respectable third.

Whilst the winner was never in doubt the remaining podium positions were hotly contested, and rivalries from the past swiftly emerged to drive competitors on. For the final race Stuart decided to take a breather and with the master of the river off the course the fleet was thrown into confusion with the need to remember the course and not play follow the leader. Improving on two second place finishes in the first two races Alex and Thomas Davey (Mustard) moved up to pole position. Another performance of note in the third race was that of the Morris crew, Roger and Anna, who finished the third and final race in a good third position. Thus an excellent weekend was rounded out.

The final positions were:

Overall Helm & Crew Boat Home club Race 1 Race 2 Race 3
1 Stuart & Robbie Hudson F3850 Fursty Ferret Spinnaker SC 1 1 6
2 Alex & Thomas Davey F2649 Mustard Royal Harwich 2 2 1
3 Jamie & Angus McEwan F3615 Skirmish Papercourt SC 4 3 2
4 Steven & Arthur Greaves F1867 Cumulus Rickmansworth 3 4 7
5 Roger & Anna Morris F3119 Horror Papercourt SC 5 6 3
6 Will & Polly Mason F4000 Walrus Papercourt SC 7 5 4
7 Lucy Boreham & Rachel Crebbin F3739 Willow Chichester YC 6 8 5
8 Matthew & Cathy Dalton F3841 Genesis Tamesis Club 8 7 RNS
9 Ken Duffle & Matthew Valentine F3179 Fiasco Tamesis Club 9 9 8


With the final positions claimed a wonderful weekend of Firefly sailing on the Thames drew to a close. It was a great turn out, with close racing and good humour throughout – thank you for all who made the journey to the Thames to join us at Tamesis Club, we really appreciated the opportunity to host such a great fleet.

As ever, there are many to thank for their efforts resulting in a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, both from Tamesis Club who laid on a great event and also to those who came from far and wide to make it such an enjoyable weekend of racing. We are grateful to all those who helped organise, welcome and ensure that everything ran smoothly. Thank you. Of particular note we would like to thank Sue Harris who after many years of leading the Firefly class at Tamesis as Class Captain has handed over the baton to Matthew Dalton (who will attempt to lead from the front – not something that he had much luck with over the weekend!).

We look forward to welcoming the Firefly class back to Tamesis in 2018. If you’re in South West London and like what you see and would like to experience the thrill and camaraderie of river sailing we’d love to see you – so please do come and visit.


Stuart thanked Race Officer Donald Forbes assisted by Peter Johnson, Brian Timbrell and Chris McLaughlin,

Sue Harris for organising the event assisted by new class captain Matt Dalton, not forgetting Ana, Jemima and Alicia for the catering and bar.

photo John Dunkley

photo Chris McLaughlin




8th Firefly Junior Cup a great success

Saturday the 22nd of April dawned with near perfect conditions, meeting sailors who awoke ready to head to South West London to take on the challenge of sailing Firefly dinghies on the Thames. On reaching the club visitors and home teams alike were welcomed with the excellent site of the club flags flying (all preparations having been excellently orchestrated by Commodore Carolyne Vines and outgoing class-captain Sue Harris), the sun shining and conditions looking generally benign but enticing. The stream in the Thames was light and the breeze similarly a relatively consistent F2 (occasionally F1) northerly.

Nine visiting boats were duly assembled.  The Daveys came from Royal Harwich, returning nearly to the scene of their now famous Firefly victory in the Bloody Mary, and Tamesis supplied two home ‘teams’ – Andrew and Tom Harris, sailing Sue Harris’ Firefly and Matthew & Anna Dalton in Genesis. All was set fair for an exciting and close-fought set of three races for the Firefly Junior Cup. A pleasant up and down course was set – with an eye to the younger helms.

As the five minute warning sounded activity on the start line rapidly gathered pace, and the promise of close tactical racing set hearts pounding and young helms navigating the closely contested waters rapidly got immersed in the concentrated focus of fighting for position whilst avoiding collision. It was with great excitement that the fleet crossed the line for the first beat down to the Lensbury mark (downstream towards Teddington Lock) and all got away cleanly. Stuart and Robbie Hudson (Fursty Ferret) the reigning National Champion (Stuart) almost immediately drew out in front – where he remained for the entire weekend, causing thoughts in the chasing pack that Fursty Ferret was a mythical Foiling Freddie. Much jostling went on in the pack, with positions switching rapidly and some great (and some awful) tactics playing out. The Harrises were considerably hampered by Sue’s boat’s attempt to drain the Thames into its bilges; none the less they competed valiantly and demonstrated some excellent local experience to make best of the conditions.

Over the next hour and a half (and three individual races) the wind shifted through 360 degrees and visitors and home teams alike were left scratching their heads at times. Moments of frustration with the shifting winds were punctuated with rapid tacks and gybes to avoid the water pistol wielding spectators on the bank adding to the ‘fun and excitement’ with the occasional drenching. Fortunately the warm and sunny conditions meant that cooling down was the order of the day.

Whilst the Fireflies fought it out downstream the Tamesis cadets and social sailors were also enjoying the delightful conditions and it is fair to say that the 22nd of April marked an excellent day for the younger generation to experience the thrills and excitement of close quarter racing and the exhilaration of steering craft perfectly suited to the conditions in a racing situation. Anna Dalton was delighted to have had the chance to helm – and although it was nerve wracking – demonstrated real seamanship and good sense as her father attempted to drive from the front (fortunately Anna drew on all her wisdom to avoid a Firefly rapidly approaching on starboard!). Many other children were also visibly excited to have had the chance to compete in the company of National Champions and winners of the Bloody Mary!

As the afternoon drew to a close there was a palpable air of satisfaction (not least from the box where Sue and Carolyne coped admirably with keeping track of the crew and helm changes throughout). With the boats out of the water and race sheets handed in, Jamie McEwan set about the challenge of working out prizes with a complex countback, forward and at times sideways strategy resulting in a three way tie for the Junior Cup – Maddie Greaves, Arthur Greaves and Matthew Mason! Prizes were awarded to all Juniors who helmed, with another category for those who crewed (won by Elizabeth Hudson), and excellent support from the river bank received due recognition with the now famous (and hotly contested) cheering competition leading to a very difficult decision for Jamie to arbitrate – in the end a tie was declared with Polly Mason, Veronica Bickford, Ruth Dalton and Sylvia McEwen all performing admirably.

So, with all prizes awarded and boats tucked up for the night the competitors basked in the glow of the evening sun on the Tamesis lawn to enjoy a picnic and catch up after a long winter of Firefly hibernation.

Many thanks to Matt Dalton for the above report

The prizes were split into three categories: Children Helming, Children Crewing, and Children Cheering. The cheering competition was too close to call so honours were shared evenly between Polly Mason, Veronica Bickford, Ruth Dalton and Sylvia McEwen. In the Children Crewing category results were:

1st Elizabeth Hudson
2nd  Stella Davey
3rd Zoe Mason
4th Ben McEwen
5th Anna Morris
6th Charles Bickford
The Junior Cup itself, competed for by children helming, had to be split between three as the results were so close:
1st Maddie Greaves, Arthur Greaves and Matthew Mason
2nd Angus and William McEwen
3rd Thomas Davey
4th Finn Morris
5th Tom Harris
6th Anna Dalton
7th Robbie Hudson
Carolyne Vines, Sue Harris and Andrew Forbes ran the racing assisted by our new Firefly Class Captain Matthew Dalton, who also took part with daughter Anna.  The catering was provided by Jo Carstens and Lauren. Jamie McEwen organised the prizes.

Close racing at the top mark

The prize giving line up

Cobblers wins Tamesis Easter pursuit

Alan Green presents Easter eggs to Jim Green and Dave Baker
Members watching the duck race
Cobblers and other boats in the race

Further photos by Chris Wade on the following link:     https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B9X8mVqpz_X9NHBLUnFGemFoUjA?usp=sharing

The Easter Sunday all class pursuit race was won by David Baker and Jim Green in Cobblers, Albacore 6183, in a 14 boat fleet on 16 April. They beat Matthew Peregrine-Jones, sailing Inxsive, Laser 122399, by only a few seconds after he had led for the first three rounds of the one and a half hour race in a moderate to fresh NW wind.
Race officer Alan Green, Tamesis Vice Commodore, sent the fleet off on a lengthy course down river to Lensbury, then upstream to the Canbury buoy just short of Steven’s Eyot. The course was set by Henry Defries and Chris Starr, who manned the patrol boats.

Cobblers had been fifth at the end of the first round but closed the gap to second on both the second and third rounds.

They all received prizes of chocolate Easter eggs.

The race was followed in the afternoon by the traditional duck race in which buckets full of numbered yellow plastic ducks were tossed overboard from the club launch and won by those who backed the leading duck after 10 minutes. Alan Green was assisted by many of the club’s younger members both in the club launch and in paddled boats on the water, who were rewarded with chocolates.  The winners of the duck race Easter eggs  were Bonnie Green and Rupert Fletcher.  Nim Harris and Anna Dalton helped to set up the ducks.

Jo Carstens and colleagues in the kitchen cooked a special Easter lunch of soup, sandwiches, roast lamb and vegetables followed by hot cross buns and ice  cream.

Successful First Trip on Ariel of Hamble

Two intrepid Tamesis members took a trip with our new Yacht Sailing providers (skippered by Tamesis’ Powerboat instructor) for a Solent Cruise.  Beating into a brisk, chilly force 5 Westerly, Ariel of Hamble caused a few nervous looks amongst the dinghy sailors as she heeled to the wind without tipping them into the water.  Visits to Beaulieu river, Lymington and Osborne Bay followed.  Next time France!

The Steers help to launch 52 yachts in a day

Tamesis members Tony and Leonie Steer, who sailed round Britain last year in their yacht Shen Shui, helped to launch their boat and 51 others after the winter layup at Gosport on Saturday 1 April.  This is Leonie’s account of a a very busy day:

“At 7.30 am three very large cranes arrived at our Gosport Club to launch 52 yachts. The first crane lifts the yacht from its cradle in the overflow car park and puts it on a low loader. The low loader transports the boat to a second crane that lifts the boat off and down into the sea alongside a launch pontoon. A third crane lifts the mast from a cradle in the main car park down into the yacht. When the mast is fitted the yacht moves off to its marina berth. Work teams are divided into Ashore and Pontoon parties, then sub divided into yard, hull and masts ashore and afloat. Each section has a yellow helmet in overall charge. For the past three years I have been a ‘Mast Marshall’ responsible for finding the mast stored around the overflow car park (also putting them away at lift-out) and getting it transported by my team of blue helmets to trestles in the main car park. I then locate the owner and ensure that the mast is prepared – spreaders, radar and rigging are all fitted back on ready to marry up with the boat. I try to be six masts ahead so that the mast is ready for the boat and we don’t keep anyone waiting. Tony was responsible for tying the top of the mast to the hoist so that it travelled vertically but could still be undone when fitted. If the mast swung horizontally someone could be injured badly. If we can launch 52 boats before 5.30 pm we save on hiring the three cranes for a second day. We finished just in time! The club ordered 90 fish and chip suppers for the workforce as everyone was too tired to cook!”

Laser Quiz sets challenge for 66

Kaan Yargici was Quizmaster

Laser Captain Donald Forbes thanked the question masters, the Rear Commodore (House) and the catering staff

Stewart  Colley won the Easter hamper

Sixty six Tamesis members and guests spent an equally challenging and frustrating evening at the annual Laser Quiz on Saturday 1 April.  Split into seven teams sitting at seven tables they verged between success and failure as Quiz Master Kaan Yargici bombarded them with a mix of easy and difficult questions.

The subjects ranged from politics to poems, Shakespeare to sailing, castles to constitutions and birds and birdsong.  Probably the most difficult was the most local.  A slightly angled shape on a picture was interpreted by some as a jellied eel.  It turned out to be the adjacent Trowlock Island.

A cuckoo was easily identified as a bird whose song matched its name but many competitors felt like April Fools’ Day cuckoos when they failed to identify Brexit as the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.  They knew Theresa May is the Prime Minister but could not remember the name of the first lady Member of Parliament.

After a break for a sausage and mash supper arranged by Rear Commodore (House) Nicky Johnson and cooked by the catering staff, the final tally showed team Simpson-Stokes were the winners. They were each given a bottle of wine. The task of thinking up the questions for next year went to the third team on the score card.  They did not want to disclose their names!

At the end of the evening, Laser Class Captain Donald Forbes thanked Kaan and Adrian and Sally Warwick-Haller for arranging the questions, and Nicky Johnson and Anna, Chloe and Josephine in the kitchen for preparing, cooking and serving the food.

The raffle was won by Stewart Colley, who took the top prize of an Easter hamper, and Ian Ramage, who won an Easter egg.

Sat 25 Mar Successful Race Night

Forty two race goers attended the Merlin fleet’s Horse Racing Night to raise funds for the Royal Marsden Hospital.  The filmed horse races included both National Hunt and Flat racing where the ‘punters’ laid bets on which horses would win and very loudly shouting words of encouragement to their favoured mounts.  The evening was organised by Merlin Class Captain Joe Woods and Jim Green, with Joe adding to the flavour of the evening by dressing up as jockey.  They were ably assisted by Bonnie and Brenda as ‘bookies’.  The main event of the evening was the Richard Mourant Stakes where the horse race winners had to answer a tricky tie-break question about the sugar content of Brut champagne.  Martin Adams was closest to the correct answer and Joe rewarded him with a magnum of champagne.

The excellent meal was cooked by Anna with help from Chloe, Jemima and Josefina.  Overall the evening raised £480 for the Royal Marsden Hospital.