Tamesis Club

Rob Wilder wins Sondown Cup

start of the third race
Commodore Carolyne Vines presents the Sondown Cup and Elizabeth Bowl to Rob Wilder and Ben Ramage
Flinkidink has a clear lead at the finish
Flinkidink has a clear lead at the finish


Start of the third race

More photos taken by Chris Wade – see link https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B9X8mVqpz_X9WmFqYV80SGxFdkk?usp=sharing

Report by Joe Woods, Merlin Class Captain

Sunday 9 October saw sixteen Merlins take to the water for this year’s Tamesis Merlin Open Meeting, which forms part of the Thames Series.

Competitors were to battle it out for the Sondown Cup, awarded to overall winner of the day, and the Elizabeth Bowl awarded to the highest placed vintage boat – both held by last year’s winner Martin Hunter in boat (774) Quiver.

Martin wasn’t available to defend his titles this year, but we were gladly joined by Sel Shah and Ben Marshall sailing (1596) Volente from Thames Sailing Club and Minima and John and Oliver Bell sailing (3652) Time & Tide from Hampton. We were also joined by our very own newest Tammy recruits, Rob and Joe Hatley sailing (3545) Smooth Operator – welcome guys!

With a favourable north, north-easterly wind ranging from a 2 to 3 – John Harris – race officer of the day was able to set an X course sending boats on a beat downstream towards Lensbury to port and back up on a run towards Canbury to port. Three races were scheduled with two in the morning back to back leaving a third finale after lunch.

With a prevailing north, north-easterly wind; it was soon apparent that whoever could read and react to the shifts on the windward leg would gain the advantage and first blood went to Andrew Harris and Sara Harris sailing boat (3088) Shanandoah.

Next, it was his brother’s turn, Richard Harris sailing with Harry Harris in boat (1079) Passing Cloud, to even the score; with Rob Wilder and Milly Chong-Wilder in boat 1097 Flinkidink coming second in both races to leave all three competitors even on 4 points after two races setting up an “all to sail for” decider.

Ben Ramage joined Rob as crew in the afternoon race and with the wind dropping managed to fend off both Richard and Andrew Harris to take the last race and win the overall event in what made up a very exciting and entertaining day’s racing.

Our congratulations to Rob Wilder and Milly Chong-Wilder and Ben Ramage sailing boat (1097) Flinkidink as winners of the Sondown Cup and Elizabeth Bowl; to Richard and Harry Harris in boat (1079) Passing Cloud in 2nd place; to Andrew and Sara Harris, sailing boat (3088) Shanandoah in 3rd place and to Joe McLaughlin and Sean Roberts and Tom McLaughlin in boat (1136) Shoestring in 4th place.

Our special thanks to: John Harris as officer of the day; to Colin Stokes in the box; to Caroline Stilwell and Margaret Stokes taking the entries and updating the score sheets; to the patrol boat crews; to Jo Carstens and her team in catering and to all the competitors, visitors and spectators for their support.



Jon Redding wins Laser Barometer for third year running

Merlin sailor Jon Redding won the Laser Barometer in a borrowed Laser for the third year in succession at Tamesis on Sunday 2 October.

In brilliant conditions with the north westerly wind giving long beats and runs Jon Redding may have won all three races for the Barometer Trophy but he didn’t win any of them without a fight.  In race one he and Donald Forbes reached the first windward mark side by side with Donald taking the faster course down wind to gain a lead which he held for the next two and a half laps.  On the final run Jon spotted a stronger breeze on the Middx bank, using this to draw level with Donald and be inside on the final mark to take the race with Andrew Harris third.  Carolyne Vines finished fourth and Constantin Gerber fifth.

Race two saw Jon away to another good start and Andrew Harris leading the pursuers.  Chris Taggart was up there and Donald was catching up after a bad start.  Andrew got close to Jon but couldn’t pass and was concerned to defend his second place from Donald, which he did.  Chris made it to a very creditable fourth place with Constantin fifth again.

Race three began as a runaway race for Jon after a third good start and Harry Harris leading his uncle Andrew for a beat at least but as the race went on the final lap leaders Jon, Andrew and Donald closed with Andrew getting the inside berth at the last mark.  Having lost the inside berth, Jon had stood out before rounding and then reached in at speed, tacking on the mark and then beat Andrew over the short beat to the finish line.  So the first five were Jon, Andrew, Donald, Peter and Carolyne

Final overall result: 1st Jon Redding, 2nd Andrew Harris, 3rd Donald Forbes, 4th Carolyne Vines, 5th Constantin Gerber.

Open the following link for photos taken by Chris Wade  https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B9X8mVqpz_X9TkZMSXZsVzJkdFE?usp=sharing

lining up for the start
Jon Redding receives the trophy from the Commodore and Constatin Gerber gets the young sailor’s prize
Jon Redding (centre) crosses the finishing line as other Lasers run upstream
Jon Redding (centre) crosses the finishing line as other Lasers run upstream
running upstream
running upstream

img_8502lineing up for the start of the third race

Alan Green wins N18 Inland Championship


Commodore Carolyne Vines presents the Maddison Cup to Alan and Peter


The over the line start

Tamesis Vice Commodore Alan Green won the National 18 Inland Championship at Tamesis on Saturday 18 September after a dramatic last race in which both his boat and the second boat were over the line at the start.  Crewed by Peter Konidaris in Orion (336), Alan did not hear the recall signal from Race Officer Matthew Peregrine-Jones.  Nor did Andrew Royce and Marcus Chavasse in Scorpion (340), who capsized trying to avoid Orion.

The gusty southerly wind, with gusts up to 23 knots, made sound signals hard to hear. The overturned Scorpion drifted slowly downstream and was assessed as clear to start only to find it difficult to right herself.  She was eventually disqualified after being helped to get upright by a patrol boat.  Orion eventually heard the calls about being over the line and returned to make an authorised start.

Alan and Peter had capsized in the first race but recovered in time to win.  Scorpion had broken her tiller in the second race and Andrew and Marcus spent most of the lunch break doing a repair.

Rhapsody (375), sailed by Michael Vasey and Luca Vitali, only took part in the first race.

As one spectator commented “It turned out to be a one boat race”.

Commodore Carolyne Vines presented the prizes.

Commodore’s BBQ was a great success




More than 80 people enjoyed the barbecue lunch.  The meal was prepared by Peter and Nicky Johnson and their son David and daughter-in-law with help from Jo Carstens and the catering team in the kitchen.

Peter and David cooked sausages, beef burgers, veggie burgers and veggie sausages and Nicky and her daughter-in-law, Charlotte, served the salads and took the cash.
For the Commodore’s Cocktail party Ollie served Pimms and fruit juices from the bar.

Richard and Harry Harris second at Bourne End


Richard and Harry Harris were second overall in the Merlin 70th anniversary silver tiller races for the Allen Challenge Cup at Upper Thames SC on Sunday 11  September.  They won the first race which was shortened after a delayed start waiting for the wind to arrive, were third in a very closely contested second race and fifth in the last (a discard). Mike Calvert won the day with firsts in the second and third races and Lawrie Smart was third overall with two seconds.  There were 22 competitors.

It was a lovely sunny day but the wind was light and from a difficult direction meaning the ideal position was creeping along the windward shore avoiding trees and weed on a close reach. Starting was problematic with everyone and his dog trying to start in the shallows on the windward shore!  Please see the link below for some photos.


Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris sailed sixty one year-old Crescendo (607) to second place in the De May handicap event for vintage Merlins held at Upper Thames SC on Saturday, 10 September.  In spite of heavy and persistent rain, over two dozen boats sailed two races before lunch in typical Bourne End conditions (very similar to those at Tamesis, it must be admitted), with boat builder Lawrie Smart the overall winner in his extensively and beautifully restored Flipside (1065). Andy Harris and his sister Sarah finished fifth in Passing Cloud (1079), with Matthew Peregrine Jones in Masquerade (995) a little further back in a strong fleet containing at least two past National champions.  Mervyn Allen in the class prototype, Kate, build in 1945, was a distinguished tail-ender.

Hot summer weather takes over Autumn Regatta


Carolyne Vines and Jon Redding

img_8448 img_8449 img_8437 img_8423

The crews of the 33 boats which sailed in the Tamesis Autumn Regatta on Sunday 11 September could be excused for thinking the weather was making a determined bid to have it renamed the Long Hot Summer Regatta.  Warm sunshine, temperatures in the mid-20s and a gentle southerly breeze and later westerly wind combined to make the racing as challenging as it was enjoyable.

A fleet of 13 Lasers made the running with Jon Redding, normally a Merlin helmsman, sweeping ahead of all the others with three firsts in (188044) borrowed from Nick Forbes.  Second, in Laser (130773) was Chris Taggart counting a fifth, sixth and third.  Constantin Gerber was third in Buzz (39245) with a tenth, fourth and second.

Only one of the five Merlins sailed the required three races.  Rob Wilder crewed by his daughter Milly in Flinkidink (1097) had three firsts.  Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris were second in the first race in Crescendo (607).

The race between three National 18s was won after the application of handicaps by Vice Commodore Alan Green crewed by Peter Konidaris in Orion (336), scoring a third and two firsts.  Chris Pollard and Jim Green were second in Antedote (348) with a first, third and second.

The Handicap class was won by Alex and David Cane, of Minima, in the Enterprise Alanah (E21439).  There was a six boat turnout of enthusiastic youngsters in Toppers.  The winner was Edward Mayley, from Minima, in Jester (20320), with three firsts.

Commodore Carolyne Vines, the OOD, set a modest course, with an east-west dogleg opposite the Clubhouse.  She was assisted by Angela Caldara, Susan Green, Caroline Stilwell and James Berry.  Chris Starr manned the patrol boat and the Club launch was operated by Daniel Gerber and Florian Krueger

The regatta was organised by Chris Pollard, Rear Commodore Sailing, who also presented the prizes.  Lunch was prepared and served by Jo Carstens with help from Lauren, Josaphine and Theo in the bar.



Chris and Alex Balding tenth at Mirror Nationals

Chris Balding and his son Alex were tenth overall in a 56 strong fleet at the Mirror Nationals at Itchenor from 21 to 25 August.  Sailing Don’t Know Yet (7079), they finished third in the penultimate race.

The following is the report by Chris:

Alex Balding crewing for his Dad, Chris Balding sneaked into the top 10 at the Mirror Nationals in Itchenor in a fleet of 55 boats. Competition was hot at the front of the fleet with a number of ex-Mirror sailors returning to the class with offspring shoved in the front! One Dad stepped off the Victorious flight from Rio to join in the action.

Alex won the super-crew trophy on the 20th anniversary of his Dad winning the overall trophy in 1996. Chris never won the super-crew so Alex is already ahead of the game.

To be Super-Crew Alex was the youngest to complete every race. He was determined to win but completing every race meant up to 5.5 hours a day in Chichester harbour, getting very cold on one day, very hot on another and needing a wee every day!

Alex and his Dad will be training for the Nationals and World’s in Cornwall next year in their new Bermudan rig Mirror (Dad is still getting used to this!).

Results: http://www.itchenorsc.co.uk/_results/results_2016/mirror_nationals/Mirror%20Nationals%202016.htm

Report: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/191936/Mirror-Nationals-at-Itchenor



Berry Ritchie wins Porteous Cup

The mysterious decision to change its date from mid-October, concurrent with Tamesis’s Merlin open for the Sondown Cup, may partly explain why no visitors arrived last Saturday, 20 August, to compete for the Porteous Cup, usually one of the best attended events in the de May series for vintage Merlins. However, most blame probably lay with the forecast of gale force winds, which for once proved justified. Only four boats took part in the two morning races, which the combination of ferocious gusts and Teddington Reach’s notorious backwinds turned into a contest for survival. Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris in Crescendo, Merlin 607, won the first race by a distance, but were narrowly headed by David Baker and Jim Green in Andromeda, 3259, in the second. Third in both races were Ken Duffell and his grandson in Avenger, 1004.  Sadly, damage to the wooden mast of Mervyn Allen’s Cindy, 723, forced her early retirement.

With the wind showing no signs of abating, only Ken and his regular crew Joe Woods came to the line in the afternoon for the Southcott Cup, sailing a token lap. The Porteous Cup was won by Berry and Sue on handicap.

Shen Shui back in Solent

Leonie Steer reports on 20 August that Shen Shui is back in the Solent.

“We are safely back in The Solent before these gales arrived which have disrupted the Bournemouth Air Show.  Didn’t our sailors do well at the Olympics. So proud to be part of a nation of skills.”