Tamesis Club

Firefly Open – Elizabeth Cup – Results

What a great day we had on Sunday contending for the Elizabeth Cup at the Tamesis Firefly open meeting following the cancellation of the Junior Cup on Saturday (the result of squally conditions in the middle of Storm Hannah). But the Elizabeth Cup enjoyed amazing conditions – a fairly consistent (yes, for the river it really was!) F3-F4 North / North-westerly (under grey skies with the occasional outbreak of sun!) to test the abilities of helms and crews alike. Three visiting boats were in attendance along with four from the home fleet.

Results:

  1. Roger Morris & Finian Morris in “Horror” – representing Papercourt
  2. Nigel Wakefield & Pippa Wakefield in “Flo” – representing Spinnaker
  3. Tim Medcalf & Ed Medcalf in “Scallywag” – representing Tamesis

The deserving winners – Roger Morris and son Finian presented with the Elizabeth Cup by Carolyne Vines.

A huge thank you to the duty team for the day led brilliantly by Carolyne Vines.

We’d also like to thank Ronstan who sponsor the Firefly class open meetings for the additional prizes – wonderful!

Further reporting to follow – along with lots of pictures! Check back for updates on the Tamesis website – www.tamesisclub.co.uk.

Matthew Dalton – Firefly Class Captain

Firefly weekend – Junior and Elizabeth Cups – 27th / 28th of April

Tamesis will be hosting the Firefly Junior Cup and Elizabeth Cup open events (Saturday the 27th and Sunday the 28th of April) for the National Firefly Class. It would be great to have a good showing over the weekend. Here are links to the event pages along with NOR’s etc. – Junior Cup, Elizabeth Cup.

We have a number of boats lined up already for the home fleet – please do drop me a note on email mattandcathy at gmail.com if you can confirm you’ll be sailing.

We have a number of people who would be interested in borrowing a boat for the weekend and there are possibly Fireflies at Tamesis that could be loaned to be sailed over this weekend. Please can you send me an email if you would like to sail but have no Firefly, or have a Firefly and won’t be sailing!

Looking forward to seeing many of you over the weekend, either on the river bank or enjoying what we hope will be a weekend of warm weather and good wind on the river!

Matthew

(Firefly Class Captain)

August Bank Holiday Pursuit

Three Merlins, one Laser and a Firefly took to the water on the Monday of the Bank Holiday weekend in August to contest the Tamesis August Bank Holiday pursuit race. It was a grey morning, but fortunately free of rain and with the odd smattering of sun – and (at least from the boat park) some wind – a westerly. Course P was set by Steve Katz (OOD for the day) and the marks duly laid by Chris Pollard and Ian Ramage in the launch.

At 11:15 the first boat in the pursuit set off (Firefly – Slippery Skin, helmed and crewed by Matthew and Ruth Dalton). They were followed by Stewart Colley in his Laser and then at 11:28 the three Merlins then set off to try and chase down the boats further up the course. One of the Merlins (Emmeline, with Tim Medcalf and friend Andrew Mitchell) had been named ahead of the race and looked in super condition. She was joined by Rupert Fletcher, crewed by James Berry in his Merlin and Peter Impey and his wife Suzie crewing.

In true Tamesis style both the Canbury and Lensbury marks were approach on close hauled courses and there were good reaching conditions in the middle. The wind remained throughout though, but was “a little variable”.

Matthew & Ruth held off the chasing pack until 12:24, six minutes short of the finish bell, when they were masterfully caught and passed by Stewart in his Laser. Tim rounded out the podium in his new Merlin to create a good mix of craft in the top three positions.

The mornings sailing was nicely rounded off by a light lunch in the clubhouse along with many visitors enjoying the brief outbreak of Bank Holiday sun. All in all a lovely morning on the river. Thank you to all on duty who made it such an enjoyable morning.

Final positions:

  1. Stewart Colley – Laser
  2. Matthew & Ruth Dalton – Firefly
  3. Tim Medcalf & Andrew Mitchell – Merlin
  4. Rupert Fletcher & James Berry – Merlin
  5. Peter Impey & Suzie Impey – Merlin

Fantastic Firefly Elizabeth Cup 22nd April 2018

Following the success (despite the lack of consistent breeze) of the Junior Cup on Saturday the Sunday of the Elizabeth Cup dawned with a promising forecast but an absence of wind first thing. After an anxious few hours peering at various wind apps on the internet the organising committee headed off to Tamesis Club on the Thames hoping that the forecast was right. And so it was.

The home crews were joined by six visitors to the club (from Southampton, Surrey and Hitchen), racing three races (with two to count) for the much coveted Elizabeth Cup and first in the 2018 series for the M25 and the Vines trophy. With last year’s winner unable to attend there was much anticipation of who would end the day on the river crowned as the best of this season opener (with some quality crews present, and a couple of dark horses). This year we were pleased to see three new crews attending, Phil Bevan & daughter Laura Bevan (on her way back to university) from Grafham, Tim Medcalf & Ed / Henry Medcalf of Tamesis and Florian & Sara (also representing Tamesis). Following the consumption of bacon sandwiches and rigging of boats, the “P” course was set (upstream to Canbury, down to Lensbury, then a dog-leg on the return to the start line).

Race 1

The first race got underway at exactly eleven o’clock in a good F3 which was a little patchy (and swirly!) in places. The nine Fireflies set off for the windward mark spread across the width of the Thames. Within 90 seconds of the start the quality of the field was evident with a number of crews making excellent headway toward the mark despite the presence of a reasonably current running against the competitors. At the end of the first lap it was Lucy Boreham & Rachel Crebbin in Willow (F3739) who led the fleet across the line first, followed closely by Ed Smith & Kirsty Hawkes in Grendel (F2803) and then first Firefly open participants Phil Bevan & Laura Bevan in Purple Doris (F3671). But the first two thirds of the fleet were closely grouped and it was all to play for. At the back of the pack the stream was playing havoc, but after a couple of mark entanglements (and some frustration with shifty winds) good progress began to be made by all!

By the end of the second lap Ed Smith & Kirsty Hawkes had pulled out in front, Steven Greaves & Arthur Greaves in Cumulus (F1867) had climbed up two places and third saw the ominous appearance (for everyone else!) of Nigel Wakefield & Emily Saunderson in Tip Top Too (F3007).

Throughout the third lap the wind increased from a F3 to F4, but at the same time more holes and swirls appeared rewarding patience, consistency and smooth boat handling. Lower down the pack places were also changing regularly and close racing – especially up from the Lensbury mark – was in much evidence. At the end of the third and final lap for race one Nigel & Emily had continued their rise through the fleet having grown accustomed to the river conditions remarkably fast to take the win, followed closely by Steven & Arthur and Ed & Kirsty rounded out the podium for the first race.

The remaining contenders crossed the line within 5 minutes of the first finisher to bring to a close the first race.

Off for the first race… a clean start.
Not everyone was going the same way!
Quite a roll-tack…

Race 2

A few crew changes were made following the first race and the wind conditions had settled into a (broadly) westerly direction and built to a consistent (well as consistent as the wind ever is on the twisty Thames) F4.

Once again all nine boats lined up and set off for the windward mark at mid-day. This time Matthew Dalton & Ruth Dalton in Genesis (F3841) had a good start and rounded the windward mark in third. Unfortunately Tim Medcalf & Henry Medcalf in Scallywag (F2103) found themselves over the line and had to turn around and restart. In front, Nigel & Emily had started out race two as they finished the first and were hotly pursued by Steven & Arthur.

With the wind being alternately gusty, and then swirling through 180 degrees at times the racing was challenging, but all crews faced the same conditions. Those who were able to make best use of the shifts, patiently endure the holes and avoid the worst effect of the currents did well again – a recipe for river sailing at it’s best.

The second lap saw the Dalton’s early performance start to wain with the strong-ish breeze proving quite hard for Ruth on the jib. However, others were coming into their own and by the end of the fourth and final lap the dominance of Nigel & Emily, Steven & Arthur and Ed & Kirsty was challenged by Phil & Laura who managed to get in front of Ed & Kirsty to finish third.

All crews then returned to the pontoons to break for a well earned lunch and chance to relax from a hectic couple of races whilst catching up with old friends and making some new ones.

Race 3

Having let lunch settle a couple of the younger crews decided to call it a day and with the format allowing a discard, settled in to watch the third and final race and enjoy the spectacle of Fireflies in the sun on the Thames fighting it out.

Nigel & Emily put on a fantastic display through the starting sequence positioning themselves just to the right side of the inner distance mark on the start line and holding their position against the stream almost inch perfect for 4 minutes. The other crews jostled for position across the line and all got away cleanly. Whilst at the front of the pack the competition was one of Nigel & Emily holding off Steven & Arthur (despite the latter making every attempt to attack) the third and fourth positions were hotly contested throughout between Phil & Laura and Ed & Kirsty. Looking back at the records from the box their relative positions changed with every lap, but in the end Ed & Kirsty just got the better of the other crew to complete the podium for the third race.

Another bullet!

Results

The box were kept busy doing the math and making sure that all the positions were correctly accounted for whilst the visitors and home crews alike disassembled Fireflies ready for the trip home and the younger members of the visitors and home teams had ice creams on the lawn and relaxed after a hectic but enjoyable day on the Thames.

In the end the first two positions were never in doubt, but third was closely fought. Having checked and done the discard / countbacks the following results were published and announced with suitable formality by Commodore Carolyne Vines and Vice Commodore Chris Pollard.

Sail number Name of boat Helm Crew

R1

R2

R3

Points

Position

F3007 Tip Top Too Nigel Wakefield Emily Saunders

1

1

-1

2

1

F1867 Cumulus Steven Greaves Arthur Greaves

2

2

-2

4

2

F2803 Grendel Ed Smith Kirsty Hawkes

3

-4

3

6

3

F3671 Purple Doris Phil Bevan Laura Bevan

4

3

-4

7

4

F3739 Willow Lucy Boreham Rachel Crebbin

5

5

-5

10

5

F3841 Genesis Matthew Dalton Anna / Ruth Dalton

6

6

DNC

12

6

F1698 Ella Florian Kreuger Sara Altun

8

-8

6

14

7

F2103 Scallywag Tim Medcalf Ed / Henry Medcalf

7

7

DNC

14

8

F3119 Horror Amy Morris Anna Morris

9

9

DNC

18

9

All in all, a fantastic day on the Thames at Tamesis Club with Nigel Wakefield and Emily Saunders well deserved winners of the Elizabeth Cup in Tip Top Too.

The participants and Firefly Class Captain would like to thank all those who helped organise, provide support and make the club a welcoming place to be. In particular we would like to thank Peter Johnson for being OOD, Chris Pollard for manning the race box (helped by Kaan Yargici), and Sean Roberts & Jim Hamilton providing safety boat cover for the duration of the open.

We all look forward to seeing you next year, and don’t forget, the next Firefly Open takes place on the 12th of May at Rickmansworth – if you can make it you are sure to have a wonderful time competing in this great class of dinghy.

(Report written by Matthew Dalton, photography Cathy Dalton).

Firefly Junior Cup 2018 – Race Report

Saturday dawned – a fabulous day, simply perfect for the Firefly Junior Cup at Tamesis Club on the Thames. After several weeks of inclement weather, lacklustre winds and a raging stream on the Thames it looked set for a wonderful afternoon’s sailing. Unfortunately a large mass of grey cloud hovered menacingly over the Thames for much of the afternoon and left the river nearly windless! However, one full race was successfully run and a second completed the day (having released competitors from the restrictions of rule 42 – no rocking or other form of propulsion) and great fun was had by adults and children alike.

A record home fleet (at least for the last few years) took to the water, including Ed & Tim (F2103 – Scallywag), Josie & Griff (F3287 – Tin Bin), Sara & Florian (F1698 – Ella) and Anna & Matthew (F3841 – Genesis). They were joined for the afternoon by visitors making the journey up from the south coast – Jemima & Chris (F3095 – Mensonge) and Ludo & Paul (F2018 – Biscuit Buffalo).

Read moreFirefly Junior Cup 2018 – Race Report

Constantin Gerber wins Cutty Sark Bolt 2017

 

Competitors drifting downstream

Constantin Gerber receives the Cutty Sark Bolt from Peter Mason. 18.6.17  – photo Suzy Balmbro

Sunday 18th June 2017 dawned sunny with ne’er a cloud in the sky, and ne’er a hint of wind.  There was considerable discussion about what to do. The Cutty Sark Bolt was presented by then Commodore Peter Mason as a  tribute to the original races by the Tea Clippers.  The trophy is an actual bolt from the Cutty Sark.  This pursuit race is traditionally longer than the other pursuit races Tamesis holds as the Clipper races were very long. The Cutty Sark was designed to carry tea from China to England, and it was vital to be the first ship in.  More about the story of this fascinating vessel on http://www.rmg.co.uk/cutty-sark/history

In the end we opted for the shorter race and start times used for the Centenary Cup held two weeks earlier, so the slowest boats sailed for just over the hour.  This made for a much better race under the conditions.

Twelve boats braved the shorter race, some not making it to the 1230 finish.

The race is a fund raiser for the Cutty Sark restoration project, and we were able to collect £70.

Race officer Carolyne Vines, ably assisted by Cherry Ehrlich in the box, and Peter Simpson and Ken Thatcher in the Patrol Boat, set a short course in front of the club.  The two Fireflies started first, but were quickly caught by the five strong Laser fleet.  Laser sailor Chris Taggart led from the start but was caught in the last 50 metres by fellow Laser Constantin Gerber.  Peter Mason sailing Bambusa, crewed by brother Richard, was the leading Merlin, but unable to catch the two leading Lasers.  Chris Balmbro crewed by Clara Wade was fourth in Merlin Bad Company.

Ana, Jo and Lauren kept us going afterwards by doing the bar and serving up great lunches

The prizes – boxes of green tea – were presented by the donor Peter Mason.  Constantin – the first Laser sailor to win the Cutty Sark Bolt, graciously thanked his fellow competitors and the organising team.

1st Laser 135387 Constantin Gerber

2nd Laser 130773 Chris Taggart

3rd Merlin 847 Bambusa Peter and Richard Mason

4th Merlin 3062 Bad Company Chris Balmbro and Clara Wade

Stuart Hudson wins Elizabeth Cup in fireflies

 

Sunday 23rd April – Elizabeth Cup Open Meeting for Fireflies (adults)

With Sunday morning came the opportunity for the adults to show their stuff in the competition for the Elizabeth Cup at the Tamesis Firefly open meeting.

Once again dawn bought with it superb conditions. The wind was up a little (progressing toward a F3, occasionally F1) and direction a little more settled with a westerly. It’s all a bit relative on the Thames though.  Saturday’s protagonists were joined by Lucy & Rachel sailing Willow from Chichester. Again, Tamesis members and visitors were greeted with the club flags up, clubhouse open, and conditions looking excellent. Donald Forbes (Officer of the day) had organised things excellently and a straight-forward and comprehensive briefing was delivered at 10:30 (around which time those competitors who had failed to sign in were chased down and all bureaucracy completed successfully).

In celebration of the Firefly open (OK, that may be stretching credulity a little) the Queen’s rowing barge (Gloriana) was making her way from Hampton Court to Richmond. With her transit of the race-course set for 11am the first race was held on a postponement until the flotilla had passed. As she came into view cheers could be heard from the opposite bank and a glorious view was available to all stood on the Tamesis river front.

As soon as the flotilla passed furious activity took hold of the Firefly fleet in the rush to get in the water and onto the start line for the 11:30 start. All made it. The home ‘teams’ saw a slight change of configuration with the Dalton team being the adults (Matthew joined by Cathy) and the Harrises swapped out for Ken Duffle and grandson Matt, campaigning in Jim Hamilton’s ‘Fiasco’.

The first race got away cleanly and once again Stuart Hudson set the pace. His lead was put under considerably more pressure though. Had the chasing pack not converged quite so magnetically at the first mark it is entirely possible that his position could have been in doubt. Instead a most remarkable conflation of Fireflies clustered at the Canbury mark and consternation from many helms and crew could only further confuse the issue. But, once rounded the fleet then quickly got on with some tight racing and excellent boat handling to reach off toward the downstream mark at Lensbury before encountering one of the legendary Tamesis ‘lulls’ just short of the mark and having to make a snail’s pace around before finding clean air once more. Those with roll-tacking skills and experience used them to good effect to maintain momentum and draw out a further advantage over those more sedate teams.

As ever the rich got richer, and those who could read the shifts and make good use of them extracted the maximum advantage. Meanwhile toward the rear of the fleet great enjoyment was had and many tips and lessons picked up.

In the second race the stand out performance came from the McEwan boat with Jamie and Angus being a little over excitable at the start, resulting in a return to the line and therefore a first leg considerably behind the fleet. However, over the ensuing three laps they tenaciously clawed their way back up the fleet to finish a very respectable third.

Whilst the winner was never in doubt the remaining podium positions were hotly contested, and rivalries from the past swiftly emerged to drive competitors on. For the final race Stuart decided to take a breather and with the master of the river off the course the fleet was thrown into confusion with the need to remember the course and not play follow the leader. Improving on two second place finishes in the first two races Alex and Thomas Davey (Mustard) moved up to pole position. Another performance of note in the third race was that of the Morris crew, Roger and Anna, who finished the third and final race in a good third position. Thus an excellent weekend was rounded out.

The final positions were:

Overall Helm & Crew Boat Home club Race 1 Race 2 Race 3
1 Stuart & Robbie Hudson F3850 Fursty Ferret Spinnaker SC 1 1 6
2 Alex & Thomas Davey F2649 Mustard Royal Harwich 2 2 1
3 Jamie & Angus McEwan F3615 Skirmish Papercourt SC 4 3 2
4 Steven & Arthur Greaves F1867 Cumulus Rickmansworth 3 4 7
5 Roger & Anna Morris F3119 Horror Papercourt SC 5 6 3
6 Will & Polly Mason F4000 Walrus Papercourt SC 7 5 4
7 Lucy Boreham & Rachel Crebbin F3739 Willow Chichester YC 6 8 5
8 Matthew & Cathy Dalton F3841 Genesis Tamesis Club 8 7 RNS
9 Ken Duffle & Matthew Valentine F3179 Fiasco Tamesis Club 9 9 8

 

With the final positions claimed a wonderful weekend of Firefly sailing on the Thames drew to a close. It was a great turn out, with close racing and good humour throughout – thank you for all who made the journey to the Thames to join us at Tamesis Club, we really appreciated the opportunity to host such a great fleet.

As ever, there are many to thank for their efforts resulting in a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, both from Tamesis Club who laid on a great event and also to those who came from far and wide to make it such an enjoyable weekend of racing. We are grateful to all those who helped organise, welcome and ensure that everything ran smoothly. Thank you. Of particular note we would like to thank Sue Harris who after many years of leading the Firefly class at Tamesis as Class Captain has handed over the baton to Matthew Dalton (who will attempt to lead from the front – not something that he had much luck with over the weekend!).

We look forward to welcoming the Firefly class back to Tamesis in 2018. If you’re in South West London and like what you see and would like to experience the thrill and camaraderie of river sailing we’d love to see you – so please do come and visit.

 

Stuart thanked Race Officer Donald Forbes assisted by Peter Johnson, Brian Timbrell and Chris McLaughlin,

Sue Harris for organising the event assisted by new class captain Matt Dalton, not forgetting Ana, Jemima and Alicia for the catering and bar.

photo John Dunkley

photo Chris McLaughlin

 

 

 

8th Firefly Junior Cup a great success

Saturday the 22nd of April dawned with near perfect conditions, meeting sailors who awoke ready to head to South West London to take on the challenge of sailing Firefly dinghies on the Thames. On reaching the club visitors and home teams alike were welcomed with the excellent site of the club flags flying (all preparations having been excellently orchestrated by Commodore Carolyne Vines and outgoing class-captain Sue Harris), the sun shining and conditions looking generally benign but enticing. The stream in the Thames was light and the breeze similarly a relatively consistent F2 (occasionally F1) northerly.

Nine visiting boats were duly assembled.  The Daveys came from Royal Harwich, returning nearly to the scene of their now famous Firefly victory in the Bloody Mary, and Tamesis supplied two home ‘teams’ – Andrew and Tom Harris, sailing Sue Harris’ Firefly and Matthew & Anna Dalton in Genesis. All was set fair for an exciting and close-fought set of three races for the Firefly Junior Cup. A pleasant up and down course was set – with an eye to the younger helms.

As the five minute warning sounded activity on the start line rapidly gathered pace, and the promise of close tactical racing set hearts pounding and young helms navigating the closely contested waters rapidly got immersed in the concentrated focus of fighting for position whilst avoiding collision. It was with great excitement that the fleet crossed the line for the first beat down to the Lensbury mark (downstream towards Teddington Lock) and all got away cleanly. Stuart and Robbie Hudson (Fursty Ferret) the reigning National Champion (Stuart) almost immediately drew out in front – where he remained for the entire weekend, causing thoughts in the chasing pack that Fursty Ferret was a mythical Foiling Freddie. Much jostling went on in the pack, with positions switching rapidly and some great (and some awful) tactics playing out. The Harrises were considerably hampered by Sue’s boat’s attempt to drain the Thames into its bilges; none the less they competed valiantly and demonstrated some excellent local experience to make best of the conditions.

Over the next hour and a half (and three individual races) the wind shifted through 360 degrees and visitors and home teams alike were left scratching their heads at times. Moments of frustration with the shifting winds were punctuated with rapid tacks and gybes to avoid the water pistol wielding spectators on the bank adding to the ‘fun and excitement’ with the occasional drenching. Fortunately the warm and sunny conditions meant that cooling down was the order of the day.

Whilst the Fireflies fought it out downstream the Tamesis cadets and social sailors were also enjoying the delightful conditions and it is fair to say that the 22nd of April marked an excellent day for the younger generation to experience the thrills and excitement of close quarter racing and the exhilaration of steering craft perfectly suited to the conditions in a racing situation. Anna Dalton was delighted to have had the chance to helm – and although it was nerve wracking – demonstrated real seamanship and good sense as her father attempted to drive from the front (fortunately Anna drew on all her wisdom to avoid a Firefly rapidly approaching on starboard!). Many other children were also visibly excited to have had the chance to compete in the company of National Champions and winners of the Bloody Mary!

As the afternoon drew to a close there was a palpable air of satisfaction (not least from the box where Sue and Carolyne coped admirably with keeping track of the crew and helm changes throughout). With the boats out of the water and race sheets handed in, Jamie McEwan set about the challenge of working out prizes with a complex countback, forward and at times sideways strategy resulting in a three way tie for the Junior Cup – Maddie Greaves, Arthur Greaves and Matthew Mason! Prizes were awarded to all Juniors who helmed, with another category for those who crewed (won by Elizabeth Hudson), and excellent support from the river bank received due recognition with the now famous (and hotly contested) cheering competition leading to a very difficult decision for Jamie to arbitrate – in the end a tie was declared with Polly Mason, Veronica Bickford, Ruth Dalton and Sylvia McEwen all performing admirably.

So, with all prizes awarded and boats tucked up for the night the competitors basked in the glow of the evening sun on the Tamesis lawn to enjoy a picnic and catch up after a long winter of Firefly hibernation.

Many thanks to Matt Dalton for the above report

The prizes were split into three categories: Children Helming, Children Crewing, and Children Cheering. The cheering competition was too close to call so honours were shared evenly between Polly Mason, Veronica Bickford, Ruth Dalton and Sylvia McEwen. In the Children Crewing category results were:

1st Elizabeth Hudson
2nd  Stella Davey
3rd Zoe Mason
4th Ben McEwen
5th Anna Morris
6th Charles Bickford
The Junior Cup itself, competed for by children helming, had to be split between three as the results were so close:
1st Maddie Greaves, Arthur Greaves and Matthew Mason
2nd Angus and William McEwen
3rd Thomas Davey
4th Finn Morris
5th Tom Harris
6th Anna Dalton
7th Robbie Hudson
Carolyne Vines, Sue Harris and Andrew Forbes ran the racing assisted by our new Firefly Class Captain Matthew Dalton, who also took part with daughter Anna.  The catering was provided by Jo Carstens and Lauren. Jamie McEwen organised the prizes.

Close racing at the top mark

The prize giving line up

Daveys win Elizabeth Cup, Masons win Firefly Junior Cup

The start of the second race
The start of the second race

 

Rounding the bottom mark
Rounding the bottom mark

 

The run up from the Lensbury mark
The run up from the Lensbury mark

 

Alex and Tom Davey in the lead
Alex and Tom Davey in the lead

 

Sue Harris presents Alex and Thomas Davey with the Elizabeth Cup
Sue Harris presents Alex and Thomas Davey with the Elizabeth Cup

Alex and Thomas Davey of the Royal Harwich YC won the Elizabeth Cup at the Tamesis open meeting for Fireflies on Sunday 24 April.  This was the third time Alex has won it.

Sailing Mustard (2649) in a cold and blustery northerly wind, they fought off the competition from the 10 boat fleet, to win the first two of the three races and were second in the third. Nigel Wakefield and Emily Sanderson were second in Flo (3674).

Results: 1 Mustard (2649) Alex & Thomas Davey, RHYC, 4  points; 2 Flo (3674) Nigel Wakefield & Emily Sanderson, 7 points; 3 Tanglefoot (2631) Stuart & Jane Hudson, Keyhaven YC, 10 points; 4 Cumulus (186) Steven Greaves & Madelaine/Arthur Greaves, Rickmansworth SC, 14 points.

The event was organised by Sue Harris, Tamesis Firefly Class Captain, with help from Tamesis Commodore Carolyne Vines. Donald Forbes, the Race Officer, was assisted by Peter Johnson, and the patrol boats were operated by Chris Pollard Paul Jamieson and Robin Lince

 

Blustery start to the Junior Cup
Blustery start to the Junior Cup

 

Tom and Alex Davey in close race with Matthew and Will Mason
Tom and Alex Davey in close race with Matthew and Will Mason

 

Matthew Mason with his cup
Matthew Mason with his cup

 

Big smiles all round - the prizewinners
Big smiles all round – the prizewinners

12 boats made their way to South-West London for the annual Firefly Junior Cup at the Tamesis Club. This event is for the children – and there seemed to be quite a few of them!

The blustery northerly wind was strong enough that not many of the children managed much helming, but  every boat had at least one child crewing or doing other crucial jobs such as sticking heads in the water or shooting water pistols.

There were three close-fought races on a windward-leeward course up and down the river, giving lots of excitement for both the sailors and the enthusiastic crowd on shore. Special mention must go to Olivia Powell, who on one of her first competitive outings in a Firefly was capsized by her dad… luckily there was plenty of restorative tea and cake on offer in the ever-hospitable Tamesis clubhouse.

In the final race of the day two intrepid children took to the helm: Thomas Davey and Matthew Mason, both aged 8, and crewed by their dads (who have a long rivalry of their own). After a titanic battle all the way round the course, Matthew just held off Thomas to take line honours and the Junior Cup.

Results:

Junior Cup (children helming)

Place Helm Crew
1st Matthew Mason Will Mason
2nd Thomas Davey Alex Davey

 

Children Crewing

Place Crew Helm
1st Thomas Davey Alex Davey
2nd Arthur Greaves Steve Greaves
3rd Finn Morris Roger Morris
4th Robbie & Elizabeth Hudson Stuart Hudson
5th Olivia & Ana Powell Alec Powell
6th Zoe & Matthew Mason Will Mason
7th William McEwen Jamie McEwen
8th Ludo Kameen Paul Kameen
9th Pippa & Millie Wakefield Nigel Wakefield
10th Anna Morris Amy Morris
11th Luca Merriman Grandpa
12th Jack Dingwall & Joe Merriman Ben Dingwall

 

Cheering Competition

1st Finn Kameen
2nd Ben McEwen
3rd Sylvia McEwen
4th Polly Mason
5th Ella Simmonds

 

Brave Sailor – Stella Davey

Best Swimmer – Olivia Powell

Nelson Lookalike – Angus McEwen

 

 

OODs Sue Harris and Carolyne Vines, Patrol Boat Chris Balmbro and Andrew Forbes

 

Photos of the whole weekend by Robin Lince, Paul Jamieson and Carolyne Vines
 The following report was written by Steven Greaves:
After a great day’s sailing in the Junior Cup on Saturday an enthusiastic bunch of Firefly sailors turned up at Tamesis Club on Sunday 25th April to contest the Elizabeth Cup on the Thames.  Ten boats set about rigging in an unusually cold and gusty northerly and most got onto the water for a prompt start by the race officer and his team.  Those over the line (or still on the jetty) when the start gun went were soon back in the pack thanks to the vagaries of river sailing.  The Firefly once again proved what tight racing it can provide, with the younger crewed boats mixing and beating those of a more experienced nature.  When it all shook out it was Alex Davey crewed by son Thomas claiming the bullet in the first race, chased home by Nigel Wakefield and Emily Saunderson. Another pair of father / son combos of Roger and Finn Morris & Stuart and Robbie Hudson claimed the third and fourth spot. The experienced pair of Lucy Boreham / Rachel Crebbin sailed consistently into fifth. 
 
The second race followed a similar pattern with the same boats sailing well into first and second place.  Third place was picked up by local Jamie McEwen crewed by (previous day’s Junior Cup victor) Matthew Mason having shaken off their capsize from the first race.  Matthew’s dad and sister, Will and Polly, sailed a good race to come in sixth but a few enthusiastic gusts caused a couple of capsizes, most vocally from Ed and Sophie Smith.
 
After a suitable break for lunch and all races to count it was back on the water to decide the medals.  Multiple class champion and previous Elizabeth Cup winner Stu Hudson, this time crewed by his wife Jane, shot off the line to an impressive and unassailable lead while the rest of the fleet fought amongst themselves.  The consistent Daveys came over the line second and took the title, with Wakefield / Saunderson third to finish second overall.  Fourth across the line and fourth overall was Steve Greaves who’d been sharing crewing duties between daughter and son Arthur and Madeleine.  Progressing over the day to take fifth in the last race were Alec and Ana Powell.
 
An excellent and tiring days sailing was followed by welcome tea and cake to complement the prizes.  An excellent event run by the members of Tamesis – see you next year!