Tamesis Club

Tammy Matters

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Last Week  1st to 7th September

On Saturday Andrew Harris ran the very well attended junior sailing session with the Toppers and Optimists joined by a Feva and one of the recently refurbished Laser 2000s.  Thank you to all those who assisted Andrew in the running of this session.

On Sunday a fitful and shifting Northwesterly breeze made for challenging conditions with anticipation of where the wind was going to be being key.  4 Lasers, 2 N18s and 9 Merlins raced on a beautiful sunny morning.  The Laser race was won by Jon Redding who, after a late start, managed to overhaul the rest of the fleet.  Jim Hamilton secured second place with Peter Impey third.  The N18s of Henry Defries and Charles Fox were swapping places all through their race with Charles just taking the race at the end.  In the Merlin race, Richard Harris appeared to find a private wind and put an ever increasing gap between himself and the rest of the fleet.  Within the rest of the fleet places were being swapped with great frequency but, at the finish, David Baker secured second place with Chris Balmbro third.

Thank you to Peter Fryer as OOD, assisted by Pauline, for the running of the races, Daniel and Katrin Gerber for manning the Patrol Boat and Tim Medcalf for organising it.  Debora Horwitz ran the Veranda Bar, adding coffees to the normal bar fare available.  As a footnote, if the Veranda Bar is being run by one person it will be helpful if one other person volunteers to assist as it operates much more easily and quickly if there are two running it.

A number of the Toppers and Tim Medcalf in his Merlin went up-river to Minima Yacht Club’s Annual Regatta.  A report on the Minima Regatta will follow.

Tim Medcalf and Joe McLaughlin took their boats to Ranelagh for their Merlin Rocket Down River Race and had a great day.  Tim has made a full report on this.

This Week  8th to 14th September

The Saturday Junior sailing session will start at 2pm.

Sunday racing to the now established Covid pattern is scheduled –
Starts for – Lasers 10:30, Toppers/N18s/Handicap 11:00 and Merlins 11:30 .

All start sequences will be notified by the low-pitched hooter.  All boat finishes will be notified by the high-pitched alarm.

During the period that we are running these abnormal race programmes, if you intend to race on the coming Sunday please could you inform Tim Medcalf in advance ,via one of the WhatsApp groups, so that we are aware of the size of the fleets which we will have to manage.

Next Week  15th to 21st September

Saturday 19th September: We will host our Merlin Rocket Thames Series Open Meeting which will comprise the races for the Sondown Cup and the three Vintage Merlin trophies, the Southcott Cup, Elizabeth Bowl and Porteous Cup.

There will be no Junior Sailing at 2pm this week.

Sunday racing will be to our established pandemic format – Starts for – Lasers 10:30, Toppers/Handicap 11:00 and Merlins 11:30.

Looking Forward

Saturday 3rd October: We are intending to run the National 18 Inland Championships Open Meeting and to incorporate the competitions for the Adelaide Cup and the Tamesis Anchor.

Sunday 4th October: We plan to hold the Laser Barometer Open Meeting.

From 11th October, we are intending to run the Winter Points Series for all Classes but with the current starting sequence rather than our normal one.

Running the Races – ‘Dutyman’ allocation of race organisation people

During the current Covid induced conditions, Tim Medcalf, who in addition to all the other things he has to do as Rear Commodore Sailing, has been finding and co-ordinating the Race Management people.  The staffing of the Race Management Team for the week was, in normal times past, notified by the ‘Dutyman’ system and we are returning to this.  Initially we will be doing this on a rolling month to month basis but eventually will reinstate it fully.  Under the Dutyman system, duties are allocated randomly to people with the right capabilities and if an individual finds themself allocated a duty on a day on which they cannot attend the Club, the system assists them to swap duties with someone who can.

We have quite a good pool of individuals capable of filling the various functions but, with the present pool, many of the more experienced sailing Members have to be allocated several duties over the year and thus miss, possibly critical to them, Series races.  Therefore, we need to expand this pool as much as we can and invite both sailing and non-sailing members who would like to get more involved to look at what the various jobs are and, after shadowing and some instruction, join the pool of individuals who can help run the races.  If you would like to help in this way please get in touch with myself or Tim and, in the short term, we will make the necessary arrangements on an individual basis.  For newer Members this could be a great way to get to know the more established Club Members and become a more integral part of the Club.

We plan to expand the Dutyman system to enable Members, who have indicated that they are willing to assist with race management but are not yet sufficiently experienced or confident, to be rostered to shadow particular functions so that they can gain the necessary experience and skills to perform them.  Initially we anticipate working towards introducing new Race Box assistants and Patrol Boat crews.

Available Services

Although the Clubhouse is still closed, Debora Horwitz, the Rear Commodore House, is working to introduce more catering possibilities.  This week there was coffee available at the Veranda Bar and she is working towards more ambitious goals in the near future.


David Baker recently went to the Chandlery in Ferry Road, near Teddington Lock, to buy some rope and was offered a 10% discount.  This discount had been negotiated by Andrew Horwitz.  This is the only remaining local Chandlery and if we use them it may encourage them to hold more sailing boat stock which some might need immediately.

Sailing Training

Eric is continuing to send out On-Line Training by e-mails to those who are signed up to his Training programme as the Social Distancing rules make training at the Club impracticable.  If anyone is not receiving these but would like to, please let Eric know via the Training contact on our website and he can include you on his address list.  Scroll to the bottom of this Bulletin to see his latest Training in News.


The recently started Paddleboarding section has been very active at the Club during the lockdown period and it is really encouraging to see such enthusiasm for this new facet of what the Club has to offer.


Although the Clubhouse and Changing Rooms are still closed, some use of Tamesis Club by Members is permitted by the partial lifting of the Covid-19 lockdown.  Please click on the Red Banner beneath the pictures on the website Home page and read the notice which will appear. This will reveal the current conditions and information for use of the Club and how to record your going there.

Please ensure that you sign yourself in every time you visit the Club – it’s easy to forget.  The preferred way is by texting your name(s) to 07547 691 416.  Alternatively, sign in the book in the undercroft.  This is required if we are to justify being able to have more than 30 people at any time.  Do not try to sign in using any of the WhatsApp groups.

In line with the RYA advice, non-family/bubble crews are permitted for double handed boats.  It is recommended that non-bubble crews wear gloves, masks and long trousers.  If infection rates take a turn for the worse we may revert to family/bubble crews only.

If you use a Club boat please wipe it down thoroughly after use.

The Red Banner

Please read the notice which you get when you click on the Red Banner underneath the pictures on the website Home page.

Since we are in a period where Government guidelines may be changed with unpredictable frequency, I will be using the Red Banner in the website header to present the latest information on any restrictions which have to be applied to activities at the Club and how we are proposing to comply with them.  Please look at this information, at least weekly and before coming to the Club to sail, to look for any changes in policy related to Covid-19.  I will flag up any future changes with a side-bar on the paragraph.


During this time of enforced Club closure we have adopted the use of WhatsApp groups for general contact and arranging sailing and Zoom for video contacts.  Since the WhatsApp groups have proved extremely effective for communication, their use will increase.


The WhatsApp groups allow us to pass urgent information to you.  Please join (or rejoin) any of the Groups by asking via the ‘General Inquiry’ category in the ‘Contact Us’ section on the website.

The currently available groups are:

The ‘Tamesis Club‘ Group. This is intended for broadcasting urgent information.  This Group currently has 91 Members signed-up.

The Tamesis Club Sailing Group.  When normal sailing has been resumed this Group is designed to help helms find crews and vice-versa.  This Group currently has 78 Members signed-up.

The ‘Laser’ Group has been started recently and Laser sailors are encouraged to join this Group.

The ‘TAMESIS SUP’ WhatsApp Group is now available for information on Paddleboarding.

If you do not have WhatsApp on your smartphone then you can download it for iPhones from the Apple App Store, or for Android from the Play Store.


A Reminder.  Joanne, the Pilates teacher who did the Monday classes at the Club, has set up an on-line class at 10:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays, £5 per person per session on Zoom.  If anyone would like any more information they can contact Nicky Johnson on nickyjohnsontamesis@gmail.com

Members are strongly advised to follow the Government advice on coronavirus avoidance techniques and to keep themselves fit  (Pilates group, Joe Wicks on U tube, etc.) for resuming normal life.

Chris Pollard