Tamesis Club

Dinghy Instructor’s Course Winter 2018

We are very proud that Tamesis is holding its first Dinghy Instructors’ Course, with the help of Queen Mary SC.

Six students – Ben Ramage, Ellen Schwartz, Garry Mallen, Harry Harris, Howard Thatcher and Lucian Schwartz under the tutelage of RYA Chief Instructor Simon Winkley have been learning the RYA method of teaching dinghy sailing.  They all had to undergo an intensive assessment, and are now most of the way through the  instructor’s course.  The strong stream forced them to go up to Queen Mary Reservoir today.  The final day is next Saturday.

Photos below are 1) Saturday 27th at Tamesis, 2) Sunday 28th at Queen Mary Reservoir, showing Lucian and Howard obviously having a great time.  Thanks to Alan Green and Ian Ramage for yesterdays photo and Simon Winkley for todays photo.

photo Alan Green


photo Ian Ramage

photo Ian Ramage

Lucian and Howard at speed – photo Simon Winkley


Brian Saffrey Cooper

Sadly we have to announce the recent death of Brian Saffrey Cooper.  Brian was a longstanding member of Tamesis very successfully sailing two merlins – Buccaneer and then Racketeer.  He joined Tamesis in the 1950s.  His father was also a member and presented the Geoff Cooper Memorial Trophy which is raced for on the last Sunday of the Merlin Winter Series.

Brian went on to sail Finns, winning the English Nationals, the Finn Gold Cup, and representing Great Britain in Finn at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.

He started offshore racing in the 1970s, competing in the Fastnet Race in 1979 where they saved the boat by throwing out a sea anchor to slow the boat down.  He was twice a member of the Admiral Cup team, including the  winning team in 1982.

Thanks to Colin Stokes for the following:

Brian sailed, mainly, three Merlins, Joy, Racketeer and Buccaneer. He sailed Joy with his dad, Geoff, before and during his National Service in the Navy.

When the Merlin Association voted to allow reduced rig height and compensatory increases in sail area, Brian and Geoff chopped 2′ 6″ off the top of Joys mast and this became the Topmast Trophy, presented for inter club Merlin team racing.

After being demobbed he couldn’t afford a new boat so he bought an old one, Racketeer, off Bob Hoare.  He took the stem out, removed the transom, added an additional top strake and rebuilt the boat.  He now had a Merlin that was 8″ wider and more powerful on open water.

In 1958 Salcombe had agreed that the Merlins could have their own start in Regatta Week and Brian wanted to have a go, but he had no way of getting there.  So he and a mate filled Racketeer with camping gear and set off down the Thames and round North Foreland (!)

First stop was Rye Harbour for the Conquerors Pint, second stop was Bognor Regis for the Bognor Barrel – which they won!!!!

After adding a makeshift trapeze to the boat and having various adventures they arrived at Salcombe where they won the regatta !!  He won the regatta again in 1960.

In 1958 he took Racketeer to the Championships, having fitted a centre mainsheet, the first in the class, and came third.

Next came a period campaigning Finns. In 1964 he won the British Championships and the Olympic trials, thence representing the UK in the Tokyo Olympics, competing against Andre Nelis and Paul Elvstrom.

He then went into offshore racing and was a member of a British winning team in the Admirals Cup.

Latterly he and Pam spent most of their time cruising from their base in the West Indies. They would have the boat shrink wrapped (!) in the off season and return to, first, Blackheath and, later, their house, near Egypt Point, in Cowes.

His funeral was on the Island and attended by about 130 friends and family.

Fascinating talk on European canal cruise

Cochem on the Moselle in Germany – photo Jennifer Adams
Lock on the Seine near Paris – photo Jennifer Adams
Jennifer and Mike Adams did an excellent talk on their travels through the canals and rivers of France, Germany, Holland and Belgium last summer.  They keep their 50-year-old Nelson motor boat on the continent, and cruise through France and other European countries each summer, exploring many fascinating places and navigations.
Megan and Sophie provided a very tasty supper for 45 people, Jim Green assisted with the technology.

Christmas at Tamesis

There was no programmed racing on Christmas Eve (Sun 24th December) but a few enjoyed a sail, and more members and friends enjoyed sandwiches and the bar.  Thanks to Clive Mence and Chris in the patrol boat, and Nicky and Peter Johnson for providing food and doing the bar.

Eight boats turned out for the fun races on Boxing day and had a great time.  John and Jean Meredith assisted by Clive Mence and Peter Versey.  Members brought down food for a pot luck lunch, and a great time was had by all.

Laser Pot

1st Daniel Gerber

Firefly Fiddle

1st Mathew Dalton and Cathy Dalton

Merlins –

1st Jodok and Constantin Gerber

2nd Andrew and Tom Harris

3rd Sean Roberts and Joe Mclauglin

Fascinating Talk on Kempton Steam Museum

The Kempton Steam Museum can be seen from the A316

Peter Simpson who has volunteered at the Kempton Steam Museum since the 1990s gave a fascinating talk to a very interested audience on Thursday 7th December. This massive steam engine was responsible for pumping water all round London until 1980 when it was shut down and replaced with electric pumps.

Peter joined a group of volunteers who have slowly renovated the enormous ‘Triple’ shown below.  The engine is housed in the massive building shown above.  It is now up and running on certain weekends in the year.  The talk was a complete eye opener to the dedication of the volunteers on this massive project, and the amazing engineering involved.

Megan and her team provided an excellent meal of sausages and mash followed by a lovely Tart Tatin.

The enormous ‘Triple’

Young Stars Topped the Prize Giving

Ed Medcalf – youngest crew
Sixty members attended the Annual Prize Giving on Saturday 25th November, which took the form of a three course dinner interspersed with the giving out of the prizes.
Sailing Secretary Brian Timbrell had prepared the table beautifully, and was very ably assisted by Rear Commodore Sailing, Chris Pollard who announced the prize winners.  Commodore Carolyne Vines presented the prizes.
The proceedings were lightened up at the end by the presentation of the Ambassadors prize to Matthew Dalton, for attending Firefly Open Meetings during the year, Dom Chudleigh for his capsize drill, Constantin Gerber for his expert capsizing, and the youngest crew – Ed Medcalf for turning out to crew his dad.
It was great to see so many youngsters there.
The Commodore’s prize went to Peter and Nicky Johnson for their hard work and valuable contribution to the life and running of the club, as Harbour Master and Rear Commodore House respectively.
The Commodore thanked all the helpers from the House Committee, the Wednesday Working Party who prepared the clubroom and of course Anna and her team of helpers who prepared the meal.  We enjoyed mushroom soup, salmon with watercress sauce, new potatoes and veg, followed by a selection of desserts.
Please see the link below for a complete list of prize winners.

Help for Heroes Bridge Drive record turnout

The Tamesis Bridge Group held their annual charity drive in aid of Help the Heroes on Sunday 12th November.
They mustered 13 tables with 52 players.
They had an excellent raffle with prizes donated by players and non players.
After all expenses the net total was £791.00 for the charity.
This all took into account our their reputation for, always, giving really good prizes and a classy tea – also provided by the members.

Mason Brothers win the Trowlock Trophy 2017

Peter and Richard Mason sailing Bambusa were convincing winners of the Trowlock Trophy last Sunday 5th November.  The fleet of 18 boats enjoyed a pleasant sunny northwesterly – the course set downstream with the bottom mark being set at the lower end of Trowlock Island.  This year there was a single race in the morning followed by lunch and the prize giving.  Classes included Merlins, Lasers, Fireflies, National 18s, Wayfarers, Albacores, and Toppers.

OOD John Storey was ably assisted by Paul Jamieson, Jenny Finlayson, in the box and Robin Lince and Jim Hamilton in the patrol boat.

Commodore Carolyne Vines presented the prizes.

1st Merlin Bambusa – Peter and Richard Mason

2nd Wayfarer 9135 – Alan Hall and Garry Mallen

3rd Merlin Passing Cloud – Richard Harris and Emma Macdonald

4th Albacore Cobblers – David Baker and Jim Green

5th Merlin Sublime – Joe McLaughlin and Sean Roberts

6th Laser Road of Bones – Kaan Yargici

7th Laser Grebe – Stewart Colley

8th Nat 18′ Genevieve – Charles Fox and Robert Blakeborough

9th Laser Zhik – Peter Johnson

10th Nat 18′ Orion – Alan Green and Peter Konidaris

11th Merlin Precious – John Adams and Brian Corking

12th Merlin Shoestring – Tim and Ed Medcalfe

13th Merlin Omega – Rupert Fletcher and James Berry

14th Laser Buzz – Leonardo Forchini

15th Topper  37597 – Cherry Ehrlich

16th Merlin Hispanola – Johannes Wagner and Linda Redding

17th Merlin Avenger – Ken Duffel and Matthew Valentine


Annual Visit of RNLI stall

The RNLI ladies made their annual visit to the club on Sunday 29th October, bringing their copious supply of goodies and Christmas cards.  We spent £515.10 on the stall.  This includes the donation from the racers on the day of £65.  Thank you ladies and thank you to all the members who bought from the stall.



Ladies Night a great success

The guests – photo Stewart Colley
The team – photo Sue Yargici
The chefs – photo Sue Yargici

Thirty six​ ladies enjoyed a superb evening on 29th October ​co-ordinated by Alan Green,

​with a supporting cast of ten gentlemen (front of house team in black ties, chefs in whites)​
and two​ young ladies Hannah and Chloe in the bar​ and kitchen.​

We had a beautiful meal​ planned and arranged by Steve Katz and cooked by ​head ​chef Peter Mason

​with ​sous chefs Peter Johnson and Paul Jamieson.  We were ​diligently​ waited on by Charles Fox, Stewart Colley, Chris Pollard, Jim Green, Colin Stokes, John Harris​, John Adams and Alan Green.​
David Baker made sure the bar was well supplied.  John Harris compered ​a challenging​ table quiz provided by son Richard
​ ​
Chris Pollard ​serenaded us with guitar​ and song, and Colin Stokes ​set us charade questions that brought out drawing talent we never knew we had!
​What a talented membership.
All round an excellent evening – ladies, make a note of the date for next year’s event (to be announced shortly).​

​My thanks to all concerned.​