Welcome to any new readers of Tammy Matters
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From Monday 14th September, the new rules on gatherings will have come into force. This is law rather than guidance and we must observe this very much more strictly than we have up until now, otherwise we could be fined and probably shut down for a period. As we do not want this to happen, please observe the rule of having groups of no more than 6 people at 2 metres separation very strictly, ensure that all groups are a considerable distance apart and that people do not go from one group to another. I will repeat, we are very visible from the far bank. We have, previously, had a complaint that we have not been socially distancing properly and there will be people who will be ready to report perceived breaches of the law. I am awaiting clarification of the full impact of the new Regulations, particularly with respect to spectators but it looks like they are not permitted.
Please ensure that you sign yourself in every time you visit the Club – it’s easy to forget and now it’s vital. 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 comply with the law. Do not try to sign in using any of the WhatsApp groups.
If we are to keep the sailing going, I am afraid that we are going to have to be very much more careful about how we appear to others. I realise all this goes very much against the whole ethos of our Club as a welcoming and friendly place to spend time and meet friends. We will try to be as open as we can be, but please give us time to be sure what we can do.
Last Week 8th to 14th September
On Saturday Andrew Harris again ran an extremely well attended and joyous Junior Sailing session with the Toppers and Optimists joined by three Fevas and the Wayfarer – 17 boats in all. Thank you to all those who assisted Andrew in the running of this session. Let us hope that the new law will enable us to continue our Junior Sailing sessions.
On Sunday a reasonable Southwesterly breeze made for generally good racing but with the usual holes and eddies. 8 Lasers, 3 N18s with a lone Optimist and 9 Merlins raced on a beautiful sunny morning. The Laser race was won by Jon Redding, Charles Fox again just taking the N18 and Andrew Harris leading in the Merlins. A couple of masthead buoyancies came adrift – please make sure yours are securely tied on.
Thank you to John Adams as OOD, assisted by Jim Green and Sue Harris, for the running of the races, with Paul Jamieson and Martin Adams manning the Patrol Boat. Debora Horwitz ran the Veranda Bar assisted by Sara Jamieson, and Andrew Horwitz ran the new gas barbeque producing pre-race bacon sarnies and a variety of fare for lunch. It’s really good to get some form of catering back and our thanks to the Horwitzs for getting this running.
This Week 15th to 21st September
Saturday 19th September: We plan to 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.
This meeting will be a pioneer for Open Meetings under the new law and will severely test our organisation in the light of the latest legal restrictions. Whilst the racing itself should pose no issues as it meets the classification of organised sport, what happens shoreside may be regarded by uninformed viewers to be a gathering. Because of our high visibility we have to ensure that, while the crews are rigging, de-rigging and lunching, it is apparent that we are staying within the law related to gatherings. The meeting is fully subscribed with 20 boats which means that, even with no spectators on site, we will have at least 50 people to keep visibly distanced.
This will be very difficult, even without any additional Members who might like to watch. It seems that the new Regulations forbid spectators at sporting events and consequently any who would like to watch the racing must do so from the Kingston bank, from which they should get a very good view. If I find that there is a possibility that spectators are allowed I will communicate it via WhatsApp.
There will be no Junior Sailing this week.
Sunday racing will be to our established pandemic format: Starts for – Lasers 10:30, Toppers/Handicap 11:00 and Merlins 11:30.
Next Week 22nd to 28th September
For Saturday we will see how things related to the Covid conditions develop to see if we can continue to run the Junior sailing session. Similar to the Open Meeting situation, once everyone is afloat we will be operating within the law, but getting the children afloat and ashore with the helpers in the mix will make clear distancing almost impossible. We shall see – we will run this if we possibly can.
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.
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, in addition to all the other things he has to do as Rear Commodore Sailing, has had the burden of finding and co-ordinating the Race Management Teams. 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. Duties have been allocated right through to the end of March 2021 to allow for swapping, as allocating duties for the month ahead only does not allow sufficient flexibility. The duties are allocated according to peoples’ capabilities and if any individual finds themselves allocated a duty on a day on which they can’t do it, 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 us via the general enquiry contact on the website 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.
We will also, when conditions permit, run some Race Management courses.
Although the Clubhouse is still closed, Debora Horwitz, the Rear Commodore House, has been working to introduce more catering possibilities. In addition to coffee being available at the Veranda Bar, this week the new gas Barbeque was brought into action, providing hot food for Members both pre-sailing and at lunchtime. Debora is planning to expand the range of food available to be as wide as possible.
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.
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. 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.
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 greater turn for the worse we may have to revert to family/bubble crews only.
If you use a Club boat please sanitise it thoroughly after use with a disinfectant wipe, boxes of which are available.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.