Tamesis Club

Tammy Matters

Welcome to any new readers of Tammy Matters

Scroll to the end of this e-mail to see the News articles

New Restrictions

New legislation is coming into force this week and we are trying to understand what this will mean for the operation of the Club.  It is almost certainly more restrictive and introduces fines for non-compliance.  I am awaiting clarification of the full impact of the new Regulations.  The Red Banner on the website has not been changed yet but it will be worth checking regularly as I expect to update it soon.

From Monday, 14th September, the previous set of new rules on gatherings came into force.  This is law rather than guidance and we must observe them very strictly.  Please observe the rule of having groups of no more than 6 people who must be at 2 metres separation, 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.

Please ensure that you sign yourself in every time you visit the Club – it’s easy to forget and now it’s imperative.  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  15th to 21st September

Saturday 19th September: We hosted the Merlin Rocket Thames Series Open Meeting which comprised the competitions for the Sondown Cup and the three Vintage Merlin trophies, the Southcott Cup, Elizabeth Bowl and Porteous Cup.

Joe McLaughlin and Sean Roberts, as joint Merlin Captains, did a superb job organising the event in difficult conditions and the meeting was fully subscribed with 20 boats.  It was a beautiful day with a reasonable Northeasterly breeze which promised good racing conditions.  Peter Fryer, as OOD, set a straight up and down course with the leeward mark beyond Stevens Ait.  The wind, although fairly strong, proved highly variable in direction, leading to challenging conditions.  Four races were completed with specific races allocated to the Trophies competed for.  This one day competition took the place of what is usually a two day event but it seemed generally agreed that this was a better format for future Merlin Opens at Tamesis.  Thank you to Peter and Pauline Fryer for running the races and to Mal Warner, Sean Roberts and Robert Blakebrough for manning the Patrol Boats.  A full report from Sean Roberts is in News.

On Sunday the Northeasterly breeze was still blowing and 5 Lasers, 3 N18s with a lone Topper and 3 Merlins raced on a beautiful sunny morning.  The Laser race was won by Marcus Chavasse, Henry Defries taking the N18 race and Tim Medcalf winning in the Merlins.

Thank you to Simon Thompson as OOD, assisted by Sally and Adrian Warwick-Haller, for the running of the races, with Clive Mence and Ian Wyatt manning the Patrol Boat.  Sadly there was no catering or Bar.

This Week  22nd to 28th September

For Saturday we will see how things related to the Covid conditions develop to allow us to determine whether 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 find out – we will run this if we possibly can.

Sunday racing will be to our established pandemic format: Starts for – Lasers 10:30, N18/Toppers/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 please do not sign-on to race at the Smithy (Race Box) if you rig your boat in the main Dinghy Park.  The OOD or their assistant will take the entries in the Boat Park as you rig your boats.  If you rig your boat in the area by the changing rooms or in the N18 area, please notify the OOD verbally that you intend to race.  Please do not notify Tim Medcalf in future.

Next Week  29th September to 5th October

Depending on any serious effects from changes in Government policy:

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.

Looking Forward

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 – Return to ‘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’ experience 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 to enable them to 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.

Available Services

Although the Clubhouse is still closed, Debora Horwitz, the Rear Commodore House, has been working to introduce more catering possibilities.  Because of the new legislation, we did not operate the Barbeque or Bar last week but we will try to reintroduce them at the earliest opportunity.


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.


The Clubhouse and Changing Rooms remain closed but other use of Tamesis Club by Members is permitted.  Please click on the Red Banner underneath 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 current 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.


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