Tamesis Club

Tammy Matters

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Last Week  29th June to 5th July

The first G.W.Smith Trophy race of the year was held on Thursday evening in a very light breeze which, as is traditional, faded as the race went on.  An excellently large field of entrants included 8 Lasers, 2 Merlins, 2 N18s, 2 Fireflies, an Albacore and a Training-rigged Laser 2k.  Henry Defries, crewed by Carolyne Vines, stormed through the field to build an impressive on-the-water lead over Tim Medcalf, crewed by Jennifer Falconer-Hall, and everybody else.  However, on the last lap, Tim pulled up to challenge strongly at the final mark but Henry just held on to finish first, with Matt P-J in his Laser coming in third on the water.  Charles Fox had the misfortune to fall foul of a fishing line which robbed him of the fruits of a good start.   See Tim Medcalf’s report on the race in News.

A big thank you again to Team Horwitz, Alden and Andrew, who provided a splendid Bolognese followed by ice cream which was very well received.  Thank you also to Sophie Harrison who ran the Veranda Bar.

My thanks to Caroline Stillwell for assisting me to run the race and to Geoff Malseed and Alexey Anatskiy for manning the Patrol Boat.

The Junior Sailing session on Saturday was followed, as is becoming normal, by some social sailing.

Sunday saw the Annual running of the Restless Trophy for those Merlins not away at Salcombe, as a part of the normal Sunday Class races, in a variable South westerly wind.   Seven Lasers entered with Marcus Chavasse winning from Kaan with Jim Hamilton third.  Two N18s raced with  Charles Fox, crewed by Robert Blakebrough, beating Mal Warner, crewed by Beatrice Russ.  Five Merlins contested the Restless Trophy where Tim Medcalf, crewed by Flora Laidlow, having led for almost the entire race was overhauled by Peter Mason, crewed by Richard Mason, who took the Trophy with Berry Ritchie , crewed by Nick James, third.  See the News article by Tim Medcalf.

My thanks to Ken Duffell and Joe Woods for running the race and to Johannes Wagner and Alistair Banks for manning the Patrol Boat.  Thanks also to Josefine Wagner for providing lunches and running the Veranda Bar.

Looking Forward

This coming Sunday, 11th July, Ben Kimble will be at the Club for a refresher session with those interested in assisting with sailing instruction.  He will be at the Club from 10:00 but those who are racing are welcome to join in after they have finished.

The G.W.Smith Trophy Series races will continue to be contested on Thursday evenings, 7:15 pm start (7:17 for N18s) through July and August.

Andrew Harris’ regular Saturday Junior Sailing session will start at 2:30 pm and for the next three weeks will be looked after by Griff and Matt P-J.  There will be a break during the midsummer period, which Andrew has indicated will be from the end of July, with the sessions re-starting in September.

The Summer Points Series will continue this Sunday (11th July), using our previously established pandemic format.  We have to wait and see how the emergence from Lockdown progresses to decide when we can revert to our normal Start sequence.

Summer Camps

Owing to one candidate being unable to attend there is possibly a place for one child on the camp starting on 9th August.  In any case, if you would like to register interest to fill places which become available in any of the camps, please contact Tim Medcalf at timothymedcalf@yahoo.co.uk .


Nicky Johnson has been arranging for volunteers to provide as much catering as is possible and if anyone who has not been approached would be able to assist, please get in touch with Nicky.  Food will be served in a box from the window to the right of the Veranda Bar whilst the current restrictions are in force and 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 food and possibly to order in advance of events.

Race Management

David Baker and Jim Green ran an Officer of the Day (OOD) and Box Training/Familiarisation session last week and will be running a second on Saturday 10th July, for which there is still one place available, between 10:00 and approximately12:30 and a third on 17th July.  Any member wishing to attend this third course is asked to coordinate with Tim Medcalf at timothymedcalf@yahoo.co.uk .

Race Management 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.  Club racing is entirely dependent on having Race Management teams to run events.


Leah Fraser has expressed an interest in running Paddleboarding instruction and Paddleboard Yoga from the Club.  She has been invited to run some trial sessions and we are currently determining the terms and conditions for her to run this enterprise.  We are hopeful that this can be resolved in the very near future.

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 drinks which may only be consumed when you are seated on the lawn or by the waterfront.  When food is provided on Thursday evenings or Sunday lunchtimes, it will be served as ‘Takeaway’ meals in a box from the window to the right of the Veranda Bar.  Once Members have collected their drinks or meals they must leave the veranda to avoid any crowding there.

We are still 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.

With the imminent lifting of all Covid related restrictions, we will be looking to move towards what was normality in a measured way.  The information on the Noticeboard and the Red Banner will be updated nearer that time.  Use this link to read the Tamesis Noticeboard.

Car Parking

If you do not have a Club Car Park Ticket, or have mislaid yours,  please get one from the Veranda Bar – they are free to Members – just ask!  Now the Club is getting busier again the requirement for car parking is such that people can get blocked in by later arrivals.

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 on the water.

Club Boats

We now have a considerable number of Club Boats which are used for training and which are also available for Members who do not yet have their own boats, to use and to get more proficient.  Unlike most other Clubs which 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 which 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 more volunteers, from both new and established Members, to assist with running the Veranda Bar and with catering.  If you, or any friend who is not a Member of the Club, would like to help with this, please contact a 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.

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.

Chris Pollard