Tamesis Club

Topper Open a bit of a drifter

The start of race 1

Commodore Carolyne Vines presents the first prize donated by Rooster to  overall winner Leo Wilkinson

Matt Ramage – first non squad sailor receives his prize from Carolyne Vines (kindly donated by Rooster).

The third fun ‘race’. Almost anything goes!

Having experienced sunshine and strong winds the last couple of years, the Toppers this year were greeted by grey skies and an almost flat calm with the odd bit of interest being shown by the light south easterly.

The courses were short – a loop in front of the club.  Most of the seventeen strong fleet completed the one round of the first race and only four completed the half lap of the second race.  After the break for a very necessary hot lunch of spag bol, the competitors headed out on the river for the third race.  It was obvious as soon as they got on the water that a conventional race was unrealistic.  So we opted for a fun race in which any means of propulsion could be used apart from swimming, paddling or pushing along the bank.

Visitors came from HOAC, Island Barn SC, CMYC, Felpham SC, Hampton Pier SC, Silver Wing SC, Chipstead SC, NSBC, Datchet Water SC, Maidenhead SC, which is fantastic.

Winner Leo Wilkinson graciously thanked the Race team – Carolyne Vines, Sue Harris in the box Richard Harris, Ian Ramage and Ken Duffell in the patrol boat, together with the catering team – Lauren, Josefine and Grace

My thanks to Graham Evans from the SE Topper Area for organising the event from the Topper side, together with sending the report to Yachts and Yachting,  and to Rooster for the great prizes for the first three boats, and the non squad and first Tamesis prize.

See the following link for the Yachts and Yachting report:  http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/203428/Rooster-South-East-Topper-Travellers-at-Tamesis?source=email




1st Leo Wilkinson – Maidenhead SC

2nd Aaron Evans – Silver Wing SC

3rd Bill Hudson – NSBC

4th Oliver Watham – Felpham SC

5th James Smageasdale – HOAC

First Non Squad – Felix Sproehnle

First Tamesis boat – Matt Ramage

1st in the fun race – James Crossley

See the following link for all the results:               Tamesis Topper Traveller Results 2018


Jimmy Cornell’s Talk

A crowded Tamesis – members, and visitors including those from Twickenham YC, Lensbury SC and London Corinthian SC played host last Thursday to Jimmy Cornell, sailor and author.  Jimmy gave a truly impressive talk titled ‘Highlights of a Sailing Life 1974-2017’.  Jimmy started his sailing life during his stint working at the BBC.  He learnt how to sail at Ariel SC many years ago.  His sailing skills took him round the world several times on his yachts named Aventura I, II, III and IV.  His last trip was through the Northwest Passage which he went through from west to east, having been unable to get through from east to west! His photos were truly amazing including many taken from a rib on the Antarctic!

More information on Jimmy can be found on his website https://cornellsailing.com

Thanks go to Simon Thompson for introducing Jimmy, Nicky Johnson for overall organisation, Jim Green and Peter Johnson for organizing the technology and Joanna de Courcy-Ireland for providing a great meal, assisted by Josefine and Hannah.



The punters enjoying their meal – photo Nicky Chavasse

The lovely dessert


AGM Sunday 24th February 2018

Tamesis AGM this year was very well attended, a lot of enthusiastic members.  Once the main business was over we had three speakers – Kaan Yargici, Colin Stokes and James Berry on Development of the Website, The Cadet Room Development, and the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) respectively.

Hilarious Evening at the Vice Commodore’s Dinner

Vice Commodore Alan Green hosted the 2018 Vice Commodore’s Dinner with superb aplomb.  Over sixty members and guests sat down to a delicious meal which was followed by the presentation of the famous or infamous ‘Uffa Spoon’.

Ken Duffell as the previous ‘winner’ followed the longstanding tradition of presenting the Spoon to the person he considered to have committed the biggest faux pas since the last Dinner.

The worthy recipient turned out to be Ian Ramage for dumping his grumpy talented helm in the river at the end of the race.  Ken, having given a very amusing run down of possible culprits,  held us all in suspense while he carefully opened the brown A4 envelope in which he had secreted the piece of paper with Ian’s name on it.  Ian gave a short gracious acceptance speech which also had us in fits.

Alan Green closed the Dinner by thanking all who had been involved in the preparation of the evening – Nicky Johnson leading the House Committee who did the veg and fruit salad preparation and the Wednesday Working Party who had also helped lay the tables.  Tribute was paid to Chris Pollard for design and production of the menu cards on the table.  He also thanked the staff led by Anna Finney for cooking and serving the meal and drinks in the bar.  Staff included Megan, Emily, Natasha, Harry and Megan.  Commodore Carolyne Vines thanked Alan for arranging such an excellent evening and making the beautiful individualized place labels.


Ian receives the Uffa Spoon from Ken – photo Nicky Johnson

A rapt audience – photo Nicky Johnson

The fruit salad gang – photo Bonnie Green


RNLI Talk on a Chilly February Night

photo – Florian Krueger

Thirty members enjoyed an excellent meal and talk last Thursday 1st February.

Florian Krueger introduced Senior Lifeboatman Tim James  and his colleague Toby from the Teddington Lifeboat station.  They told us stories of past rescues and gave us information on how they operate.

They also very kindly donated the club two throw bags – used to get a line out to someone in the water.

More news to follow – watch this space!

Thanks also go to Megan and helpers for cooking the meal and serving in the bar


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