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

The Website

The website is currently experiencing some problems, one of the effects of which is that the News section, amongst others, does not appear to be functioning.  Kaan is working to resolve these problems.

Whilst the News section is under repair, I am publishing the reports of John Adams, on the Saga races, and Tim Medcalf, on the Centenary Cup races, as part of this Newsletter.

Last Week  8th to 14th June

The Thursday evening Saga Trophy race was held in light variable winds.  5 Lasers, 4 Merlins, 3 N18s , a Firefly and a Topper challenged the conditions.  Following this race the positions in the series have altered, Tim Medcalf is leading the field with Ken Duffell challenging hard and Matt P-J now in third place.  3 more races to go and 4 of the 8 races count towards the Trophy!  See John Adams report on the Saga races to date at the end of this Newsletter.

A big thank you to Team Horwitz, Andrew, Debora and Alden, for putting on a great Chilli supper, distributed as a take-away, which had a good take-up and was clearly appreciated.  Thank you also Team Horwitz for running the Veranda Bar.

My thanks to David Baker and Jim Green for running the race and to Florian Krueger and Neville Upton for manning the Patrol Boat.

On Saturday, Andrew Harris oversaw Junior Sailing on another wonderful afternoon with light winds.  A big fleet was out with Laser 2ks, Lasers, Toppers and Optimists; the junior sailors all enjoyed themselves on a sunny afternoon.  There were also a number of paddleboarders out enjoying the sun and water.

On Sunday, there was no sailing in the morning as the Royal Canoe Club had a competition with a river closure until 2 pm.  Tamesis, however, ran the Centenary Cup in the afternoon.  This pursuit race was contested in a light and fickle south-westerly wind but had a large entry with the first start at 2:29 pm.    The Merlins triumphed in the Centenary Cup which was won by Peter and Richard Mason, with Andrew Harris, crewed by Matty Key, second and Berry Ritchie, crewed by Nicola Siebert-Patel, third, but Henry Defries, crewed by Carolyne Vines, in an N18 very nearly spoiled the Merlin clean sweep.

There was a separate, shorter, Junior Trophy race and seven of our young sailors took up the challenge.  This excellent turn-out is a tribute to the enthusiasm and competitive spirit imbued in our young sailors by Andy Harris in his Saturday sessions.  Fittingly it was won by Tom Harris with Arun Siebert-Patel second and Alexander Hoo, third.

See the News article by Tim Medcalf at the end of this Newsletter.

My thanks to Colin and Margaret Stokes, assisted by Jim Green, for running these two concurrent events and to Florian Krueger and Onursal Soyer for manning the Patrol Boat with Charlie Morgan and Byron Hoo supporting in the second Patrol Boat.

Looking Forward

The Saga Trophy Series will continue on Thursday evening, 7:15 pm start (7:17 for N18s).  This consists of 8 races with 5 to qualify and will be contested throughout May and June.

Andrew Harris’ regular Saturday Junior Sailing session will start at 2:30 pm.  There may be a break during the midsummer period, of which Andrew will give participants due notice, depending on how the various stages of lockdown are released and summer holidays are allowed.

The Summer Points Series will continue next week (20th June), using our previously established pandemic format.  This will mean that Lasers will launch first from about 10:10 for a start at 10:30.  They will remain on the water until after the Merlin start at 11:30.  The second wave to launch, from about 10:45 for a start at 11:00, will be Toppers, N18s and any boats intending to race in the Handicap Class.  The Merlins will launch from about 11:10 for their start at 11:30.  We have to wait and see how the emergence from Lockdown progresses to decide when we can revert to our normal Start sequence.

We are actively looking at how we can open up the Clubhouse in a way that will be certain to keep the Club compliant with the Regulations.  In the meantime we are able to run Barbeques.


Debora and Andrew Horwitz are planning to run the outdoor Barbeque on Sunday, 20th June. Also on Thursday evenings, 17th and 24th June, they will be preparing a simple menu.  This will be served from the window to the right of the Veranda Bar and, whilst the current restrictions are in force, Members will have to eat whilst seated outside.  We are looking to establish a means for publishing Menus and for Members to register their intent to partake of the BBQ and possibly to order ahead of events.

This Thursday evening (17th), after racing, the menu will be promulgated on the Tamesis Club Sailing WhatsApp group. The cost will be £10 and the food will be served in a box, like the bbq, and it will need to be consumed outside so please factor that in when making your decision. If you can give an idea of interest at the following link by Wednesday morning it would be useful.  https://andrewhorwitz.com/tamesis.html

Race Management

David Baker and Jim Green will be running Officer of the Day (OOD) and Box training/familiarisation sessions on Saturday 26th June and Saturday 10th July between 10:00 and approximately12:30.  Members wishing to attend these courses are asked to coordinate with Tim Medcalf at timothymedcalf@yahoo.co.uk as each course will be for 6 people.

Duties for July and onward will be allocated and appear in the Dutyman lists.  It will be the responsibility of individuals to find a substitute for any duty which they are not able to do on an allocated day.  The Club racing is entirely dependent on having Race Management teams to run events.

The Resumption of Sailing and Use of Club Facilities

Please remember to check into the Club using the Covid QR code or signing in the book in the Undercroft.

The Changing Rooms are now open but still with a limit of four persons in each at any one time.  There is sanitising spray available which must be used to clean down the benches before and after use.

The Veranda Bar is operating again but the Clubhouse veranda itself must be used only to collect pre-ordered drinks which may only be consumed when you are seated on the lawn or by the waterfront.  When suppers are provided on Thursday evenings, they will be served as ‘Takeaway’ meals in a box from the window to the right of the Veranda Bar.

We are not proving to be very good at complying with the distancing and grouping rules when using the Veranda Bar and socialising on the lawn and, until the rules are relaxed, I ask all Members to assist each other to comply with these rules.  We must, for the present, continue to comply with the Rule of 6 and 2 Households for all shoreside activity.  Please remember that we are easily seen from across the river.

The information on the Noticeboard and the Red Banner has been updated.  Use this link to read the Tamesis Noticeboard.

Car Parking

Now the Club is getting busier again the requirement for car parking is such that people can get blocked in by later arrivals.  We have had a number of queries as to where Car Park Tickets can be obtained and the answer is – at the Veranda Bar.  The Club has a stock of the Tickets and you are asked to put your name and any other helpful information, such as boat sail no. if you are likely to be out racing.  Members who do not have, or have mislaid, Car Park Tickets should ask for one at the Bar at the earliest opportunity and fill in your details.   Please could everybody put their Car Park Tickets in plain view so that blockages can be resolved as quickly as possible.

Club Boats

We now have a considerable number of Club Boats which are used for training and are also there for Members who have not yet bought their own boats, to use and to get more proficient.  Unlike most other Clubs who charge for hiring Club boats, we like to provide these free to Members to encourage newer sailors to hone their skills and to support our training courses.

The boats do, however, suffer from wear and tear, damage and bits falling off accidentally.  We rely on those who borrow our boats to let us know if a boat has suffered any depredations whilst they have been using it so that we can repair it and make it immediately available for the next person who wishes to use it.  If you are unable to tell somebody of any faults that have arisen whilst you were using a boat, then please report it on the Tamesis Club Sailing WhatsApp, or put a note in the Club letterbox, identifying the boat and the problem.  Also, please pack boats away properly when you have finished using them.  The boat fairy does not exist – they don’t mend themselves or put themselves away.

The Club Boats do incur costs to the Club in the form of Insurance Premiums, River Licences and general upkeep and we rely on you not to abuse the contribution that Club Members make to enable you to use the equipment.


Rear Commodore (House)

This Flag Office remains vacant.  A description of what this Office entails is available and I would welcome an approach from anybody who might be prepared to take on this responsibility.

We are also looking for volunteers, from both new and established Members, to assist with running the Veranda Bar and, when we are able to open the Club fully, with catering.  If you, or any friend who is not a Member of the Club but who might like to help with this please contact any Member of the Management Committee.

Masthead Buoyancy

Until the Covid social distancing rules are completely relaxed we will continue to mandate the use of masthead buoyancy for all sessions and boats racing without masthead buoyancy will be disqualified for that race.

Boat Licences

I would remind you that owners of all craft (including canoes and paddleboards) must have a river licence.  Quoted from the EA website:
‘If you’re paddling on the non-tidal section of the river (Cricklade Bridge to Teddington) yes, you need either a non-powered pleasure craft licence available from the environment agency here or join the British Canoeing here. Either of these entitles you to paddle on the non-tidal section of the Thames.‘  You might also want to check your insurance.

Advice on casual sailing, for those who wish to go on the river when there is no organised racing, is on the Tamesis Noticeboard.

A Warning

Two (at least) Members have been cautioned for driving past St. John the Baptist Junior School on the Lower Teddington Road during school entry and exit times.  A warning has already been put out on the Club Sailing WhatsApp.  I quote from the Borough website:

A School Street has been in operation since 12 October 2020 along Lower Teddington Road from junction with Seymour Road to the southern junction with Broom Park. Following feedback, the extent of this School Street is being amended in a northerly direction up to the junction with Normansfield Avenue from 16 November 2020.

When: The hours of operation are as follows: Monday to Friday 8.15 to 9.00am and 2.45 to 3.30pm, term time only.

Method: Retractable barriers and volunteer management at closure to begin and the possibility of shared ANPR cameras recommended as a permanent solution in future.

The fine for entering the School Street during prohibited times is £130 – £65 if you pay within 2 weeks.

Anyone wishing to go to the Club and coming from the direction of Kingston Bridge during the times of restriction should use Normansfield Avenue.

River conditions

For river flow and level readings at Kingston, which are relevant to our Reach, use Gaugemap at
https://www.gaugemap.co.uk/#!Detail/1249. or the Environment Agency site at
River Thames Conditions – Environment Agency.

Links for both these sites are also available via ‘Smithy On-line’, on the Home page of the Tamesis website.

Changes to the Racing Rules of Sailing, effective 1st January 2021

World Sailing has recently published changes to the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS).  If you would like to learn more, Chris Simon from the RYA gave the following talk which provides a very clear explanation.  This video runs just over 1 hour and can be viewed at  2021 racing rules explained by Chris Simon. Int judge & umpire. Member of RYA Racing Rules Committee.


Joanne Zorian, who in normal times runs classes at Tamesis, has a new Zoom Pilates time-table.   (The offer for 4 £10.00 classes at £35.00 remains).

Monday            10:30       60 mins     General           £10
Tuesday            8:00        45 mins     Level 2            £10
Wednesday       10:00       35 mins     General           £5
Friday               10:00       35 mins     Gentle & fun   £5
Saturday           10:00       60 mins     General           £10

If anyone would like any more information they can contact Nicky Johnson on nickyjohnsontamesis@gmail.com or joanne@joannezorian.co.uk

Chris Pollard

Report by John Adams on the Saga Trophy races:

The 6th race in this year’s Thursday evening Saga Trophy was sailed in a reasonable strength wind but one which varied in direction around a mean of SW.

The race attracted an unprecedented number of boats, 19 including a visiting helm and a couple of juniors, Iris Crampton and Matty Key.  In the shifty wind places were easily lost but Henry Defries and Carolyne Vines in their N18 Zephyr manged to harness the zephyrs and coasted round to finish first on the water and on handicap.  Behind them, Tom Bayliss helming his father’s beautifully restored Merlin, showed the rest of the 5 Merlins how to master the conditions and finished second on the water.  Third was Tim Medcalf and Jennifer Falconer-Hall in their Merlin Samanda trying hard to gain a few placed on Matt P-J in the overall results.

On handicap, Henry and Carolyne retained their lead, but with Charles Fox and Rob Blakebrough taking second in the N18 Genevieve and Matthew P-J taking a valuable third in his Laser.

This meant that with discards, Matt P-J goes back to the head of the table with Tim and Jennifer in second, but still capable of catching Matt if they win the next 2 races, and Matt finishes no higher than third.  Ken Duffell and Matt Valentine lie in third but also mathematically capable of winning the series of they win the next two races.  So still not a done deal and we look forward to the next 2 races with interest.

As Tim has mentioned, thank to the ODD crew and boat crew and also to Andrew, Deb and Alden Horowitz for providing the bar and a very tasty meal as well to round off a fantastic evening.


Report by Tim Medcalf on the Centenary Cup and Junior Centenary Bowl races

After some organisational back and forth in the week prior, the Centenary Cup was run on Sunday afternoon with an excellently-sized fleet racing in glorious conditions.

The sign-on sheets register 26 entrants with a good mix of classes for this handicap pursuit event.

The club was particularly pleased to see seven of our Juniors giving racing a try and a sincere ‘well done’ is extended to Alex Hoo, Tom Harris, Leela and Arun Siebert-Patel, Edward Medcalf, William Balmbro, and Sara Krueger for giving it a go.

The box team of Colin and Margaret Stokes, supported by Jim Green, had ample opportunity to sound the hooter and gradually got the fleets under way.  Slowest boats depart first and a confident start is required to calm the nerves and stave off that daunting feeling of being pursued by faster craft.

The format can also lead to sailors who may not normally compete directly together coming into close quarters manoeuvring on the same part of the racetrack.  This resulted in some salty words of encouragement being exchanged on the water which were resolved later over a pint on the lawn.

Keeping a track on the finishing positions is never easy but the scoring team were confident that they had ‘counted them out, and counted them back in again’.

So to the prize-giving, where the Commodore Chris Pollard awarded first place in the Senior Centenary Cup to Peter and Richard Mason in their Merlin Rocket 847 Bambusa.  In an unaccustomed second place came Andy Harris and Matty Key, followed by Berry Ritchie and debutante crew Nicola Siebert-Patel in third.  A clean sweep for the Merlin Rocket fleet in conditions that probably favoured the class.

The Junior Centenary Cup was won by Tom Harris, with Arun Siebert-Patel in second and Alexander Hoo in third, all racing Toppers.  Judging by the extensive plunging from the jetty into the river by a large group of Juniors, it had been a tiring and hot afternoon!

Congratulations to the race winners and to all who took part.

Thanks also to the all-important volunteers.  Colin and Margaret Stokes in the box with Jim Green, Florian Krueger and Onursal Soyer in the first patrol boat, and Charlie Morgan and Byron Hoo in the second.

Competitors were at least equally grateful to the apres-race team of Andrew and Deb Horwitz who served up much-needed cooling drinks that fuelled some convivial socialising on the lawns.

The handicap pursuit format obviously proved popular and there is an opportunity to reprise the experience on 27 June when the club will be running its annual Cutty Sark Bolt (Seniors) and Kempton Bolt (Juniors), long distance handicap pursuit event.  Always a cracking event with an interesting history so make a note in your diary!