Tamesis Club

Racing Sunday 14th November

The turn out was good this morning despite the low cloud and gentle breeze northerly breeze. The course was set in front of the club.

Nine Lasers crossed the line at the usual start time of 1030.  Matty Valentine led in the first round, to be overhauled by Stewart Colley and then Henry Medcalf.  Stewart won convincingly with Matty chasing Henry.

The Laser fleet led by Stewart Colley

The two minutes silence was observed at 11am, and the Ensign was lowered to half mast.  The Lasers stopped where they were and held station for the two minutes.

The two 18′ Nationals started at 1115.  Charles Fox and Robert Blakebrough  in Genevieve led from the start.  Unfortunately Mal Warner and Beatrice Russ in Orion had to retire.

The merlin start was nail biting – all seven right on the line, but no one over.  Big sigh of relief all round.  Joe McLaughlin and Sean Roberts in Lady Anne led from the start, Richard Harris and Emma Macdonald in Passing Cloud only nearly overtaking them at the end.  Andrew Harris and Chris Martin in Point Break came an easy third.

Joe and Sean led all the way


Richard and Emma creeping up behind Joe and Sean on the last run upriver


My thanks to my helpers – Henry Defries in the box and Florian Krueger and Jennifer Falconer Hall in the Patrol Boat.  Thanks also to David, Yann and Jack in the bar.

Photos by the author.

Please also scroll down to the end of the website and look at Chris Wade’s fantastic pictures on the Facebook page.





18′ National Inlands won by Mary Henderson

Six boats turned out for the delayed 18′ National Inland Championships on Saturday 30th October.  The event had been postponed from the 2nd October due to an adverse weather forccast, and there was a lot of concern in the week before whether it would be possible to run it on Saturday. One visitor had pulled out on Friday, another first thing Saturday due to torrential rain.  It was still very wet when boats were being rigged, but the rain stopped, and the wind dropped to a sensible strength, but still enough to propel boats against the now strong stream.

The fleet encompassed a range of 18′ from Genevieve (number 266), the first GRP hull designed by Ian Proctor to Ultimates Antedote, Zephyr and Rhapsody (the latter being the last Ultimate built) and almost newest Ultra designs Second Chance and Optimus Prime.

This year we combined two events – the Adelaide Cup and Tamesis Anchor are sailed for in the spring, early summer, but delayed again this year due to Covid 19 restrictions.  The Inland Championships comprises of two trophies – the Eighteen Cup and the Maddison Trophy, the former on PYS handicap and the latter on first on the water.

We were delighted to welcome Mary Henderson with brother Rob, and Rupert White back to the club.  This was Mary and Rob’s first race at the club since they were Juniors learning on a Saturday afternoon and going on to race very successfully in several classes, including Mary’s recent win crewing Olympian Luke Patience in the prestigious invitation Endeavour Trophy.

Jim Green (morning OOD) set a starboard hand sausage in front of the club which stayed the same length for the first two back to back races.  Our visitor – Mary Henderson crewed by brother Rob and Rupert White pulled away fast from the start and led to the end of both races.  The subsequent places were closely fought for by Kaan Yargici crewed by Theo in Optimus Prime, Henry Defries and Carolyne Vines in Zephyr, Chris Pollard and Peter Bide in Antedote, Garrie Mallen and Alistair Banks in Rhapsody, not forgetting an off form Charles Fox and Ron Williamson in Genevieve.

A welcome break for a sandwich lunch and drinks from the bar, and we were back to business.  Two more races for the Inland Champs and one more for the Adelaide Cup/Tamesis Anchor.

Mary led from the start of both races, with the rest of the fleet chopping and changing positions throughout.    The wind had dropped some more, so Martin Thomas the afternoon OOD shortened the course for the third race, and even more for the fourth.  Kaan crewed by Peter Impey in Optimus Prime started making inroads on Second Chance, but not enough to beat them.

The tired crews came in for drinks, tea and cake, and the prize giving.  The prizes were announced by Commodore Chris Pollard, and given out by Class Captain Henry Defries.

Our thanks go to the Race Team of Jim Green, Martin Thomas and Caroline Stillwell in the box and the George and Matthew Barber in the Patrol Boat.  Great sandwiches and drinks were provided by Nicky Johnson, with help from Peter Johnson in the bar.


Inland Championship – Eighteen Cup (Portsmouth Yardstick) and Maddison Trophy (first on the water) – best three of four races

1st Second Chance  4171  Mary Henderson, Rob Henderson and Rupert White

2nd Optimus Prime 421  Kaan Yargici, Theo and Peter Impey

3rd  Zephyr Henry Defries and Carolyne Vines

Adelaide Cup (Tamesis members only) handicap based on PYS  – first three races

1st  Zephyr  374  Henry Defries and Carolyne Vines

2nd Optims Prime  421  Kaan Yargici, Theo and Peter Impey

3rd Genevieve  266  Charles Fox and Ron Williamson

Tamesis Anchor (Tamesis members only) first on the water.  First three races

1st  Optimus Prime  421  Kaan Yargici, Theo and Peter Impey

2nd Zephyr  374  Henry Defries and Carolyne Vines

3rd  Genevieve 266  Charles Fox and Ron Williamson

Photos – Stewart Colley

Cover photo – Carolyne Vines

Patrol Boat Training 30th October

Simon Thompson ran a Patrol Boat training session on Saturday to familiarise members with the different skills necessary to drive and crew.  This included capsize drill.

He will be running another session on Saturday 27th November

photo Stewart Colley

Talk on Thursday 28th October – A Very Happy Little World

We were very pleased to welcome Mark Laity, Thames A Rater sailor and author to do his excellent and very informative talk on Thursday.

Mark Laity. Photo Matt Kyte

Mark wrote the book with the title ‘A Very Happy Little World – 150 Years of Sailing on the Thames’ to mark the 150th Anniversary of Thames Sailing Club in 2020.  However, the book and his talk encompassed all the clubs on the west Thames area as so many had a huge influence on the growth of dinghy sailing nationally.  He used many of the pictures that appear in the beautiful book plus more that didn’t.  Tamesis got a big mention as the club was founded by a split off group from Thames.

His audience of thirty plus members and friends was spellbound and had many questions at the end.

To find out more you need to read this excellent beautifully written, designed and produced book.  Copies of the book are on sale at the club for £20 each.  They are going fast, so don’t leave it too long.

Diners enjoying an excellent meal for the first time since March 2020. Photo Brian Harper Lewis

This evening also marked the first gathering where we sat down and had a proper two course hot meal arranged by Nicky Johnson and served with help from Sally and Adrian Warwick Haller.  A big thank you goes to them  and to David and Jan in the bar.


Richard Harris wins the Trafalgar Trophy 2021

The Trafalgar Trophy was donated to the club by John and Rita Dunkley in 2005 – the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.  This handicap pursuit race always takes place on the Sunday closest to the date of the battle 21st October.

Thanks to Jonathan Key for the pictures.   Cover photo Richard Harris and Emma MacDonald in Merlin Passing Cloud.  See a fuller report in Tammy Matters.

The Solo was first to start in lighter winds.
Lasers were the next class to start
One of the gusts
The Merlins starting
Peter and Richard Mason were second in Bambusa
Another gust


Matt Peregrine Jones and Kaan Yargici were third in their Ultra18′ National Optimus Prime



Southeast Area Topper Open a Real Drifter

After last year’s Topper Open had to be cancelled, we were all looking forward to a forecast perfect Southerly.  Unfortunately this didn’t materialise, and competitors were greeted with no wind and a strong stream.

We were delighted to welcome five visitors from clubs including Desborough SC, Shoreham SC and Papercourt SC.

The fourteen doughty sailors were not deterred, and set off for the first race, but all found the conditions very difficult, even the very experienced visitors from Desborough SC which is much further upstream.  There was a bit of wind just after  the start, but it disappeared and they all drifted downstream.  The race was shortened, and everyone came in for lunch.

The second and third races were better as the wind increased and most were able to make it against the current.

Fuller report with results to follow.

Many thanks go to the race team of Andrew, Nim and Tom Harris, Rupert Fletcher and Mark in the Patrol Boat, the latter two having to do quite a lot of towing. Carolyne Vines took the entry money and ran the bar.

A big tribute goes to Griff Tanner for encouraging the Juniors to take part.  Many had never raced before.  Their enthusiasm and perseverance was very impressive.  All those who went out received some sweeties, and all those who finished a race received a Tamesis glass.


Osprey wins Braganza Bowl for third year in a row

Tamesis welcomed seven Thames A Raters to celebrate the 150th (plus 1) anniversary of the founding of their home club Thames Sailing Club.

The first day of the event proved very disappointing as these magnificent craft drifted around the course. Osprey led almost from the start and opened up a big gap.  Scamp was over the line, but able to catch up into second and Vagabond third.  They decided not to do the second race of the day which should have been for the Yates Cup.

Sunday dawned brighter with a much better wind, though it proved very fitful and flukey in the first race which was started at 1015.  The course was set downstream to Lensbury  to avoid the morning rowing regatta above Stephens Ait. The second and third races which took place after lunch were much better – the course was set above the Stephens Ait where the wind was a southerly giving a great beat and run.

Start of the last race


Wings nr 19
Vagabond nr 13
Osprey Rater nr 16
Lady Jane nr 20
Scamp nr 12


It was all to go for in the final race – Scamp had two firsts and a second, Osprey a first and two seconds.  Osprey clinched it by winning the final race with Scamp in third.

Our own Andrew Harris came fourth overall – first time helming an A Rater.

The Yates Cup was sailed for in the second race on Sunday and won by Scamp closely followed by Osprey and Vagabond.

Mark Laity, now Rater Class Captain has written the stunning ‘One hundred and fifty years of sailing on the Thames’ which includes Tamesis, Upper Thames SC, Minima YC and Henley SC.  Matt Kyte, Commodore of Thames SC presented a copy to Peter Johnson, Vice Commodore of Tamesis at the prizegiving.

Justin Dunn, Paul Browning, Graham Bartholomew, Peter Johnson
Jonny Smith, Adrian Hart, Al Smith and Peter Johnson.

Braganca Bowl

1st   Osprey        Paul Browning, Justin Dunn, Graham Bartholomew

2nd Scamp         Jonny Smith, Adrian Hart, Al Smith (Sunday), Steve Bartlett (Saturday)

3rd  Vagabond  Miles Palmer, Nick Fribbens, Mark Laity

4th  Lady Jane  Andrew Harris, Adrian Dyball, Alec Bond (Saturday) Griff Tanner (Sunday)

Yates Cup

1st   Scamp         Jonny Smith, Adrian Hart, Al Smith

2nd Osprey        Paul Browning, Justin Dunn, Graham Bartholomew

3rd  Vagabond  Miles Palmer, Nick Fribbens, Mark Laity

Huge thanks go to the organising force.  Race teams:  Saturday –  Mal Warner, Alastair Banks, James Berry, Nicola Siebert Patel, John Edmondson and Brendan Hills. Sunday – Marcus Chavasse, Peter Impey, Brian Harper Lewis, Geoff Baylis, Peter Bide and John Kemp.

Great ploughmans and sandwiches and drinks at the bar provided by Nicky Johnson, Carolyne Vines, David Altun, Jan, Beatrice Russ and Nicky Chavasse.

Racing Sunday 19th September

The forecast was for light winds and included a yellow rain warning.  Turnout was light for this reason and because many merlins had sailed in the opening meeting on Saturday.

The National 18s were competing for the Claude Russell Cup which was to last for two hours.  Unfortunately they didn’t finish before the very heavy rain shower, so came ashore very wet indeed.  The Commodore crewed by Alistair Banks got away very quickly and was not caught despite the best efforts of the other three National 18s.

Thanks to Jonathan Key for the photos.




Racing on Sunday 29th August

A flat calm greeted the competitors on arrival so the Laser race was postponed by 15 minutes, by which time the wind had come a bit and sailing was possible.  Come 11am and the National 18 start the wind had filled in well, was even a bit frisky.  It got friskier by the time the Merlins started at 1130. Thanks to Jonathan Key for the pictures taken in the five minutes of sunshine!







Racing on Sunday 15th August

The day dawned rather cloudy and there was some drizzle despite no rain being forecast.  Competitors enjoyed a variable south westerly – thanks to Jonathan Key for all the photos.


Places were swapped several time in the National 18′ race, the eventual winner being Zephyr sailed by Henry Defries and Carolyne Vines followed by Charles Fox and Ron Williams in Genevierve (on the right) and Chris Pollard and Tim Ginn in Antedote.



Merlin 1079 sailed by Richard and Maddy Harris won though there was a lot of place swapping with Peter and Richard Mason in Bambusa. Alastair Banks in the Laser led from start to finish.