Tamesis Club

Jodok Gerber qualifies for RYA London & SE region virtual sailing finals

This afternoon’s tense qualifying races were watched live by a number of club members as Jodok Gerber sought to win through the initial qualification stage in the RYA’s Spring Virtual Sailing Club Championship.

Lining up in a flight against 13 other club champions, including those from Maidenhead SC, Ranelagh, QMSC, Whitstable YC, Welsh Harp, Wembley, and RTYC, the quality of the field was strong.

Supported by representatives from the Tamesis Club virtual sailing strategy brainstrust, Jodok set about the competition in the businesslike manner that saw him triumph in the club qualifiers.  However, this was to be no walk in the park.  A combination of savvy competition, and a couple of bloopers while leading the second race robbed Jodok of the chance to challenge for a podium spot.

However, he did enough to finish a creditable fifth in his flight with a net score of 13, and twelfth out of 19 qualifiers for the regional final on Friday 15 May.

There is only one spot available from Friday’s racing for the national final so the racing will be all about skill, fine margins, keeping one’s head out of the boat, reading the shifts, improvising, and staying calm under pressure.  Sailing on the river at Tamesis Club will have been an ideal training ground!

To watch the action live, join as a spectator on the Virtual Regatta Inshore app.  The first race is due to start at 1pm and you can expect to receive updates from Jodok between races on the Tamesis Club Sailing Whatsapp group.





Tuesday Junior and Masters virtual sailing welcomes new helms

The fleets for both the Junior and Masters series were both joined by new helms for this evening’s racing; Sebastian and India in the Juniors, Brian Corking and Jim Green in the Masters.

The Juniors raced a warm-up followed by two points races in the Stars.  New venues including New York and Auckland provided the backdrop to a series of tussles which showed a strong competitive streak within the fleet.

As Constantin Gerber was sidelined due to academic demands, Henry Medcalf seized his opportunity and scored two bullets.  Matty Key, despite racking up a significant number of infringements also made hay as did Arthur P-J.

The final race ended with an incredibly close five boat photo finish, again highlighting that the Star class, despite its simplicity, delivers the most competitive racing.  Next week, the Juniors will be on J70s and we look forward to seeing them take on the challenge of spinnaker handling.

The Masters raced the Offshore Racer class, again taking advantage of the new scenery within the Virtual Regatta game.  However, one suspects that there wasn’t much time to admire the view as cagey upwind legs were topped off with competitive mark roundings and aggressive downwind sailing.

Jonathan Key reveled in the conditions with a first and a second.  Mike Blackledge salvaged a poor opening race by winning the second, with Jim Hamilton taking a third.  Our newcomers did not disgrace themselves with Brian Corking on the podium twice and Jim Green keeping two boats between him and the wooden spoon in his only race of the evening.

Our new entrants mean that the club now has 35 registered virtual sailing competitors and anyone else who has an interest will be more than welcome to join in.

New Sunday virtual racing series off to a flying start

Capacity ‘full house’ fleets took to the water for the first round of the May Sunday morning virtual racing series.  Once again, six races were sailed across three different competitions, a pair of races each in Stars, F50s and then a reprise of the Pot Luck Pot where the class sailed changes with each race.

The action in the Stars class, despite being one of the more majestic and sedate sailing options, was the pick of the day with a plethora of penalties and infringements as helms go to grips with the unique challenges that the class offers.  At one point, nine out of 20 helms had a penalty flag against their name.

The F50 races flashed past and the morning was rounded off with more tactical, three sale fare in the form of J70s and Offshore Racers.

In a bold statement of intent, Tom Low has taken out an early lead in all three series, no doubt hoping to build on his one series win from April.

A number of other results caught the eye with Daniel Gerber taking a maiden win, Jonathan Key a podium, Joe Woods breaking well in to the top half of the fleet on occasions, and newcomer Graham King showing early promise.

While youth still features in the results, it is clear that experience is catching up fast!

The standings after two races for the Sunday series are:

Second Thursday evening virtual sailing series gets underway

The new Thursday evening series sees the fleet take on the challenges of the Offshore Racer class.  Bigger, slower and casting a more significant wind shadow, the Offshore Racers series lit up the penalties board from the off.

Close racing was the order of the evening with significant argy bargy at the windward mark followed by some punchy downwind manoeuvres.

Despite all that was new, the standings after three races show that some things stay the same.  Jodok Gerber is at the head of affairs followed by a number of the usual suspects.

However, further down the scoreboard, it is clear that a number of racers have been working on their skills and starting to score low points here and there as a result.

With nine races to go and only 50% to count, this series already looks like it will go down to the wire.

The standings after the first set of three races are:

Tuesday evening virtual racing starts for Juniors and Masters

The new Junior and Masters virtual sailing series both started on Tuesday evening.

Nine Juniors took to the line to race in Stars and then F50s.  Penalty flags galore adorned the start of race one with a lot of opinions being shared via the chat board. Race two was equally competitive with carnage at the first mark.  At the end of two races, the series is being led by Constantin Gerber with Arthur P-J at the head of the 10s and younger category.  Some helms have already made a strong request that more races are included each evening and the OOD will consider this for the next series’ NOR.

The Masters fleet saw a varied selection of eleven wily sea dogs at the controls of the Offshore Racer class.  While some were busy discovering their sea legs after many weeks of lockdown, others were benefiting from having tasted action in the lower reaches of the April race series.  A technical glitch knocked out race the scheduled second race but a full house reappeared for a re-run.

Again, a Gerber is at the head of the early leader board and rivalries are being established throughout the fleet.

In summary, a good start to the Tuesday evening series.  As there are still six races left in each series and only four required to qualify, it is hoped that any waverers will give it a go and swell the numbers further.


Virtual racing series go down to the wire followed by shootout drama!

The final week of the April virtual sailing series saw capacity fleets, exotic locations, competitive racing, and photo finishes.  The culmination of activity being a three race shootout for the opportunity to represent Tamesis Club at the RYA’s Spring eSailing Club Championship

Thursday’s final three rounds of the J70 (formerly Day Boat Racers) series featured some really tight action.  21 helms qualified for the series which was won on countback by Richard Harris from Tom Low with Peter Impey in third.

Sunday morning’s racing was again very close as the J70, 49er, and Pot Luck Pot series were concluded with two races being sailed in each.

The J70 class had 20 helms who qualified with Jodok Gerber winning, having posted a near perfect score.  Second was Tom Low and in third Peter Impey.

The next pair of races saw fast and furious action in the 49er class.  Alden Horwitz did enough to reinforce his good results from the first three races of the series to edge Constantin Gerber who beat Richard Harris for second on countback.

Finally, the Pot Luck Pot challenge came to a close with the contrasting demands of Offshore Racers and Nacras.  Demonstrating the all-round skill that this series demanded, Tom Low came out victorious with a clear lead over Constantin Gerber in second and Matty Key in third.  21 helms qualified.

Sunday afternoon saw a three race shootout between the 12 helms who had scored lowest average points in the four race series.

Jodok Gerber continued his J70 form from the morning session by posting a pair of bullets in the first two races.  However he was denied the triple when equipment failure (broken internet connection) dropped him to last place in the final race.

When the points had been tallied, Henry Medcalf emerged victorious having finished consistently well in all shootout races.  However, having seen the fate that had befallen Jodok in the final race, Henry gallantly stepped down from the RYA racing as he felt that Jodok should have been the clear winner and go on to represent the club.

So, after four series and 39 races, Jodok Gerber has earned the Tamesis Club slot in the RYA’s Spring eSailing Club Championship.  Updates will be provided to members about when Jodok will be racing and we can all join the races as spectators to see how he gets on against the 230 other competitors.  We wish him well!

Thank you to Henry and Edward Medcalf for their help in the eSmithy and also to Zoe Adams for hosting a post-race Zoom drink and chat.

The consensus is that eSailing is proving to be a worthwhile activity and so the next four week series will broaden the appeal.  The club will continue to run Thursday and Sunday fleet races and there will be an additional series for Juniors and also a Masters series for our more mature members.

NORs and all race information will be published via the Tamesis Club Sailing Whatsapp group.  If you are not already a member, contact Kaan Yagici or Tim Medcalf to be added.

The final results for all qualifying helms are below:

Virtual sailing, great fleets and close racing (again!)

The third week of our current four series saw that the club has taken to virtual racing as an outlet for its competitive instincts.  Two dozen racers took part with the fleet maximum of 20 being reached on many occasions.

The Virtual Regatta Inshore (VRI) game has also been developed in recent days to make it easier for spectators to watch the action.  Just go to the ‘Custom Race’ button on the VRI dashboard, click the green tab with the video camera icon and select the live Tamesis Club race from the list.

Thursday evening’s racing saw some thrilling contests with Jodok Gerber scoring two bullets and surging up the leaderboard.

Sunday’s six races regularly saw the maximum possible fleet of 20 boats take to the start line.  Venues included San Francisco, Newport and Marseilles.  The Pot Luck Pot saw contrasting sailing fortunes as helms had to adapt to firstly sailing Offshore Racers and then the F50s.  The penalty count was massive in both races.

The final round of races in the current series will take place on Thursday (first sign-on at 20.05) and Sunday (first sign on at 10.30).

Sunday will also see the selection of the Tamesis Club representative who will take part in the RYA’s Spring eSailing Championship.  The selection will involve the 12 top performing sailors from the current series who will compete in a shootout series of three races.  The first sign-on is 3pm.  Spectators are very welcome!

Notices of Race will be issued early in week commencing 4 May and will detail the next four weeks of racing.  The racing will continue the current format of activity on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings but there will be a few changes to add a little variety and make at least on of the series more attractive to those members who have more sailing than computer game experience.

Updates to follow here and via the Tamesis Club Sailing Whatsapp group.

In the meantime, here are the series standings following the last week of sailing.

eSailing latest, experience catching youth?

The second set of Thursday and Sunday races were completed with a continuation of strong fleets in all series.

Venues included picturesque San Francisco and Sydney but it is likely that helms were too preoccupied by the racing to notice.  The action is often fast and furious!

The latest standings tell an interesting story.  After an early surge to the leading places by the club’s more youthful contingent, it is clear that the saltier sea dogs are starting to find their virtual sea legs and applying the pressure.

Gaining a better understanding of Virtual Regatta’s interpretation of the RRS is also helping.

A number of experienced heads are starting to score well and moving up the rankings as a result.  As we go deeper in to the series and discards start to play a part, the leaderboard may shuffle further.

Tamesis Club will be sending a representative to the RYA’s Spring eSailing Championships and our selection shootout will happen on the afternoon of 3 May in a three race series drawing together the 12 best helms from across our current racing.  Information will be sent about how spectators can login and watch.

Thanks again to Zoe for setting up a post-race Sunday lunchtime drink and chat at her Zoom Bar!

The latest standings are below: