Tamesis Club

Merlin Horse Race Evening

It was a capacity crowd at the Merlin class Horse Racing evening on Saturday with 67 people enjoying a bet on the horses, complemented by good food and a busy bar.  With strong representation from all classes our numbers were swelled with guests from Lensbury SC and Probus, as well as friends and family. With the added incentive of a limited edition bottle of Barcelo rum (43%!) the Richard Mourant Stakes was a highlight, with the evening raising over £700 for the Royal Marsden hospital.  Joe Woods led from the front, generously donating the prize and dressing in full jockey regalia, in his final outing as Merlin class captain. Meanwhile Jim Green cleared every hurdle, batting away technology issues and fast paced maths questions, to compere the evening and run the book with the help of his wife Bonnie, Brenda Kick, Joe McLaughlin and Sean Roberts.

A big thank you to all and in particular to Joanna De Courcy-Ireland assisted by Megan, Josefine and Harry for feeding us all so well.

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.

Rob and Helen Wilder 7th at Bosham Classic Boat Revival

Rob and Helen Wilder sailing Flinkidink at Bosham, September 2017

Rob and Helen Wilder took part in the annual Bosham Sailing Club Classic Boat Revival on 2 and 3 September. Held for classic racing dinghies and now into its 7th year, it had 59 entries split into three fleets, slow fleet, medium fleet and Fast fleet. Helen and Rob took their Merlin 1097 Flinkidink and were in the fast fleet along with other boats such as National 18s, Osprey, Finn, 12sqm Sharpie, Jolly Boat, National 12, International Canoe and Albacore. There were 24 entries in the fast fleet.
On Saturday the start was delayed for an hour to allow the sea breeze to fill in, which then gave some champagne sailing in Chichester harbour with around 8-10 knots of breeze. In three races they managed a 6th, 2nd, and 5th. Rob says that in the first race they should have finished 1st but helmsman error “saw us going round the wrong windward mark as it was the medium fleet’s windward mark, this cost us a few places along with me misjudging the tide and then hitting the windward mark meaning I had to do my turns! Still the racing was fun and sailing just perfect.A lovely dinner in the evening was held at Bosham Sailing club along with a jazz band.”
“Sunday conditions had changed to rain and around 18-20 knots – not really our weather. With two races scheduled we sailed the first of the day finishing 15th which then mean’t we had qualified but then decided to call it a day and head back in. We finished 7th Overall. The event was won by Bosham SC sailor Will Reid sailing National 18 133 with Martin Hunter from Upper Thames second in his Merlin”.

Rob & Helen Wilder in Flinkidink at Bosham Classic Boat Revival

Masons win the Restless Trophy 2017

Peter and Richard Mason sailing Merlin 847 Bambusa won the Restless Trophy with ease on a gorgeous sunny beat down to a mark just beyond the cut. They had a clear lead from second boat Broad Scoter sailed by David Peregrine Jones and Fleur Moree.  Tim and Ed Medcalfe in Squirrel were third, and Johannes Wagner with Linda Redding were fourth in Hispanola.

The Restless Trophy is always sailed on the Sunday of Salcombe Merlin week.

 

Salcombe Merlins 2017

Tamesis arrives in sunny windy Salcombe.

Richard and Harry Harris already doing some capsize practice – witnessed but sadly (or happily?) not captured on camera.

Camilla and Stewart Colley already broken down trialling the fishmonger’s Dory. The support boat couldn’t get her going so we got towed back ignominiously to Whitestrand. Better luck tomorrow?

Constantin Gerber wins Cutty Sark Bolt 2017

 

Competitors drifting downstream

Constantin Gerber receives the Cutty Sark Bolt from Peter Mason. 18.6.17  – photo Suzy Balmbro

Sunday 18th June 2017 dawned sunny with ne’er a cloud in the sky, and ne’er a hint of wind.  There was considerable discussion about what to do. The Cutty Sark Bolt was presented by then Commodore Peter Mason as a  tribute to the original races by the Tea Clippers.  The trophy is an actual bolt from the Cutty Sark.  This pursuit race is traditionally longer than the other pursuit races Tamesis holds as the Clipper races were very long. The Cutty Sark was designed to carry tea from China to England, and it was vital to be the first ship in.  More about the story of this fascinating vessel on http://www.rmg.co.uk/cutty-sark/history

In the end we opted for the shorter race and start times used for the Centenary Cup held two weeks earlier, so the slowest boats sailed for just over the hour.  This made for a much better race under the conditions.

Twelve boats braved the shorter race, some not making it to the 1230 finish.

The race is a fund raiser for the Cutty Sark restoration project, and we were able to collect £70.

Race officer Carolyne Vines, ably assisted by Cherry Ehrlich in the box, and Peter Simpson and Ken Thatcher in the Patrol Boat, set a short course in front of the club.  The two Fireflies started first, but were quickly caught by the five strong Laser fleet.  Laser sailor Chris Taggart led from the start but was caught in the last 50 metres by fellow Laser Constantin Gerber.  Peter Mason sailing Bambusa, crewed by brother Richard, was the leading Merlin, but unable to catch the two leading Lasers.  Chris Balmbro crewed by Clara Wade was fourth in Merlin Bad Company.

Ana, Jo and Lauren kept us going afterwards by doing the bar and serving up great lunches

The prizes – boxes of green tea – were presented by the donor Peter Mason.  Constantin – the first Laser sailor to win the Cutty Sark Bolt, graciously thanked his fellow competitors and the organising team.

1st Laser 135387 Constantin Gerber

2nd Laser 130773 Chris Taggart

3rd Merlin 847 Bambusa Peter and Richard Mason

4th Merlin 3062 Bad Company Chris Balmbro and Clara Wade

Andrew Harris wins Centenary Cup 2017

The Centenary Cup was won by Andrew and Tom Harris sailing 50 Shades (Merlin Rocket 3723) in an inter-class pursuit race on Sunday 4 June. They beat Charles Fox and Steve Katz in Geniveve (National 18 266) by only seconds in a 14 boat fleet.
Race Office Rob Wilder sent the competitors off on a lengthy course in an eight knot west south westerly wind.
Results: 1 Andrew & Tom Harris (MR 3723), 2 Charles Fox & Steve Katz (N18 266), 3 Marcus Chavasse (Laser 197213), 4 Peter & Richard Mason (MR 847), 5 Paul Jamieson (Laser 170263).

Click on the following link to view photos by Chris Wade including some from the sailing instruction in the afternoon.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9X8mVqpz_X9T2FQbFlxLW5kdFU


Commodore Carolyne Vines presents the Cup to the winners

Rob was helped in the box by his daughter Milly and Sara Jamieson. Sean Roberts and Phil Abbey operated the patrol boats, and Anna, Jo and Lauren prepared and served lunch.