Tamesis Club

Merlin Open events at Tamesis Club, 2022

Report by Peter I.

Tamesis Club was a wonderful place to spend last weekend. The club hosted Merlin Opens on both Saturday and Sunday. The events went off smoothly, with only one general recall and a few over the line.

Chris Simon the on-water Rule 42 judge for the CraftInsure Silver Tiller may or may not have blown his whistle at the front of the fleet. As ever, like the Premiership table that was finalised the same weekend the competition was extremely tight while the results speak for themselves.

Congratulations to the winners and podium places, while the overall results are of intense interest to all competitors with close racing all the way down the fleet.

A huge thanks to the OOD team, Pauline and Peter Fryer, in place for both days. With a dog leg course P set on the Saturday, wind from the West and four races run. On the Sunday an up and down on course L and another four races in a light Southerly.

Drone shot: Mark B

More thanks are due, in particular to the catering and bar teams, the bbq chefs, the beach masters, photographers and patrol boat drivers and of course the sailors, sponsor CraftInsure, the publicity team at the MROA and of course the Commodore for prizegiving.


Saturday, 21 May 2022


On 21 May we welcomed competitors from Thames S.C., Chew Valley S.C., Hampton S.C. and Upper Thames S.C. At stake was racing for the de May Series, and the Classic Series as well as the Porteous Cup and Southcott Cup.

Sunday breakfast. Photo: Peter I

Following a fantastic breakfast spread ten Merlins raced twice before stopping for a superb bbq lunch with niçoise salad, strawberries and ice cream in the sunshine.

The amazing BBQ. Photo: Peter I


Vying for the best start. Photo: Peter I.

Two more races after lunch saw more close racing. At one point the Southern Belle steamed though the fleet just as they attempted to cross the stream between Cadet and Club. The lead boat passed ahead, and the chasing pack was forced around the stern of the paddling party boat. TC is restricted water after all. It wasn’t all over however and spectators including class legend Mervyn Allen were treated to fine close racing to the end.

Porteous Cup results (Vintage and de May series)

1st Rob Cage and Hatty Cage (Hullaballou, 1692), Thames SC

2nd Andy Harris and Matty Key (Crescendo, 607), Tamesis Club

3rd Ollie Houseman and Harriet Sandall (Luka, 3560).

The winners of the Porteous and Southcott Cups. Photo: Peter I
2nd in the Porteous Cup. Photo: Peter I
Third in Porteous Cup and second in Southcott Cup Photo: Peter I

Southcott Cup (winner of the last race)

1st Rob Cage and Hatty Cage (Hullaballou, 1692), Thames SC

2nd Ollie Houseman and Harriet Sandall (Luka, 3560),

3rd  Chris Martin and Ian Pratt (Blonde on Blonde, 2805). Thames SC

Third in Southcott Cup. Photo: Peter I

Special mention to Arthur, awarded for being the most junior participant

Arthur was youngest participant. Photo: Peter I

Sunday 22nd May

On 22 May, we welcomed racing visitors from West Hoe S.C., Upper Thames S.C., Chew Valley S.C. and Hampton S.C. Another amazing breakfast welcomed the fleet.

Sunday breakfast feast. Photo: Peter I

Sixteen boats with numbers ranging from 607 to 3684 raced for the CraftInsure Silver Tiller and the Thames Series. In addition, on the day racing was for the Sondown Cup and Elizabeth Bowl.

The racing remained tight despite some changes to participation in the fleet from the de May and Classic event the day before. All the way down the fleet there were snakes and ladders in the fickle and light Southerly winds of the restricted water of the Thames.

The fleet on the spinnaker downstream on Sunday. Photo: C Vines
Some very close racing. Photo: C Vines
Beat downstream this time. Photo: C Vines

Once again, a format of 4 laps allowed skilful sailors to assert themselves at the front of the fleet and to ensure sufficient separation to shake out the positions.

At one point the fleet did bunch right back up, except that was at the queue to lunch. We had a delicious con carne on rice with potato salad, tortilla chips, guacamole, and sour cream. The ice cream afters were very welcome in the ongoing May heat and sunshine.

Photo: Peter I

Back on the water after lunch however, results remained extremely close. In the end, after 4 races with one discard the top three were on 5, 5 and 6 points.


More close racing on the way upstream. Photo: C Vines

The winner was determined by countback.

Sondown Cup (Craftinsure Silver Tiller Series and Thames Series)

1st Richard Harris and Sara Warren (Passing Cloud, 1079) Tamesis Club.

2nd Andy Harris and Matty Key (Crescendo, 607) Tamesis Club,

3rd Ollie Houseman and Harriet Sandall (Luka, 3560),

4th Joe McLaughlin and Sean Roberts (Lady Anne, 1978) Tamesis Club.

Elizabeth Bowl (Winning vintage boat)

1st Richard Harris and Sara Warren (Passing Cloud, 1079) Tamesis Club

Tom Low and Ed Low won Silver Tiller, Silver fleet mugs (Keyser Soze, 3684).

Richard Harris and Sara Warren (Passing Cloud, 1079) won Silver Tiller, Bronze fleet mugs.

Winners Sondown Cup and Elizabeth Bowl. Photo: Peter I
Second Sondown Cup. Photo: Peter I.
Third Sondown Cup. Photo: Peter I
Silver Fleet mug winner Craftinsure Silver Tiller Trophy
A tranquil Thames. Photo: Peter I.

Lastly a final mention and deserved thanks to the unseen contributors. Committee members, Chris Simon, and other volunteers behind the scenes really are doing a great deal to keep the club and the Merlin Rocket fleet at the forefront. Thanks everyone, looking forward to next year already. Peter I. (TCMRCC) (Tamesis Club Merlin Rocket Class Captain)