Tamesis Club

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

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

Jon Redding wins Laser Barometer for third year running

Merlin sailor Jon Redding won the Laser Barometer in a borrowed Laser for the third year in succession at Tamesis on Sunday 2 October.

In brilliant conditions with the north westerly wind giving long beats and runs Jon Redding may have won all three races for the Barometer Trophy but he didn’t win any of them without a fight.  In race one he and Donald Forbes reached the first windward mark side by side with Donald taking the faster course down wind to gain a lead which he held for the next two and a half laps.  On the final run Jon spotted a stronger breeze on the Middx bank, using this to draw level with Donald and be inside on the final mark to take the race with Andrew Harris third.  Carolyne Vines finished fourth and Constantin Gerber fifth.

Race two saw Jon away to another good start and Andrew Harris leading the pursuers.  Chris Taggart was up there and Donald was catching up after a bad start.  Andrew got close to Jon but couldn’t pass and was concerned to defend his second place from Donald, which he did.  Chris made it to a very creditable fourth place with Constantin fifth again.

Race three began as a runaway race for Jon after a third good start and Harry Harris leading his uncle Andrew for a beat at least but as the race went on the final lap leaders Jon, Andrew and Donald closed with Andrew getting the inside berth at the last mark.  Having lost the inside berth, Jon had stood out before rounding and then reached in at speed, tacking on the mark and then beat Andrew over the short beat to the finish line.  So the first five were Jon, Andrew, Donald, Peter and Carolyne

Final overall result: 1st Jon Redding, 2nd Andrew Harris, 3rd Donald Forbes, 4th Carolyne Vines, 5th Constantin Gerber.

Open the following link for photos taken by Chris Wade  https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B9X8mVqpz_X9TkZMSXZsVzJkdFE?usp=sharing

lining up for the start
Jon Redding receives the trophy from the Commodore and Constatin Gerber gets the young sailor’s prize
Jon Redding (centre) crosses the finishing line as other Lasers run upstream
Jon Redding (centre) crosses the finishing line as other Lasers run upstream
running upstream
running upstream

img_8502lineing up for the start of the third race

Hot summer weather takes over Autumn Regatta


Carolyne Vines and Jon Redding

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The crews of the 33 boats which sailed in the Tamesis Autumn Regatta on Sunday 11 September could be excused for thinking the weather was making a determined bid to have it renamed the Long Hot Summer Regatta.  Warm sunshine, temperatures in the mid-20s and a gentle southerly breeze and later westerly wind combined to make the racing as challenging as it was enjoyable.

A fleet of 13 Lasers made the running with Jon Redding, normally a Merlin helmsman, sweeping ahead of all the others with three firsts in (188044) borrowed from Nick Forbes.  Second, in Laser (130773) was Chris Taggart counting a fifth, sixth and third.  Constantin Gerber was third in Buzz (39245) with a tenth, fourth and second.

Only one of the five Merlins sailed the required three races.  Rob Wilder crewed by his daughter Milly in Flinkidink (1097) had three firsts.  Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris were second in the first race in Crescendo (607).

The race between three National 18s was won after the application of handicaps by Vice Commodore Alan Green crewed by Peter Konidaris in Orion (336), scoring a third and two firsts.  Chris Pollard and Jim Green were second in Antedote (348) with a first, third and second.

The Handicap class was won by Alex and David Cane, of Minima, in the Enterprise Alanah (E21439).  There was a six boat turnout of enthusiastic youngsters in Toppers.  The winner was Edward Mayley, from Minima, in Jester (20320), with three firsts.

Commodore Carolyne Vines, the OOD, set a modest course, with an east-west dogleg opposite the Clubhouse.  She was assisted by Angela Caldara, Susan Green, Caroline Stilwell and James Berry.  Chris Starr manned the patrol boat and the Club launch was operated by Daniel Gerber and Florian Krueger

The regatta was organised by Chris Pollard, Rear Commodore Sailing, who also presented the prizes.  Lunch was prepared and served by Jo Carstens with help from Lauren, Josaphine and Theo in the bar.



Nick Forbes wins Bank Holiday Pursuit


The Bank Holiday Pursuit Race on Monday 30 May took place under grey skies in chilly conditions with a Force 3-4 northerly wind blowing.  Three Lasers and a National 18 took part in the race.  The boats start times were based on their handicap so the slower boats started first.
Chris Taggart started first in his Laser with a radial rig which gave him an advance of 3 minutes (half a lap’s advantage) over Nicholas Forbes and Tom James who were racing their Lasers with full sized rigs.  Due to the handicap timings Doug Pope and his crew Jose Ugarte started in their National18 “One Over the Eight” 14 minutes after Chris Taggart.
The boats beat down the river to the bottom mark and then ran back up the river with the wind behind resulting in some exciting sailing.  The race was finished at 12.30 with Nicholas Forbes taking first place and was on his 9th lap when the race was finished; Tom James and Chris Taggart were 2nd and 3rd respectively and were on their 8th lap and Doug and Jose were 4th.
Alan Green, Vice Commodore, and James Berry manned the patrol boat but no rescues were necessary.  Angela Caldara and Race Office Rupert Fletcher managed the starting box and race timings.
Thanks to everyone who took part in the race and also to the catering team who provided an excellent ploughman’s lunch afterwards.
(This report was written by Rupert Fletcher. the OOD).
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17 boats compete in Spring Regatta

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Seventeen boats took part in the Spring Regatta at Tamesis on Sunday 22 May but, disappointingly, only nine competed in all three races. Of the 10 Merlins which entered, four did not sail in the second race and five did not compete in the third. One of the five Lasers withdrew after the first race. Both National 18s sailed in all three races.

With all three races to count, those boats which did not compete in the last two races lost any hope of winning a trophy. Rupert Fletcher won the Merlins in Omega (1605) with only a fifth and two thirds because Jon Redding, who won the first two races in Pikey did not sail in the third. Ken Duffell was second in Take it Easy (3606) with an eighth, fourth and second.

In the Lasers, Donald Forbes scored two firsts and a second in Storm (146120). Peter Johnson won the third race in Zhik (180963) and was second overall with a fourth, second and first.

The first two races were held in warm sunshine and a light south westerly wind which had welcome but short lasting gusts every now and again. Officer of the Day Brian Southcott set a double dogleg course with the upstream mark just north of Steven’s Eyot and the downstream mark about a third of the way down Trowlock Island. He was assisted by Cherry Erlich and the patrol safety boats were operated by Ken Thatcher and Joanna Rand.

Many spectators enjoyed watching the racing from the Clubhouse, the veranda, and the seats in front of the lawn.

The regatta was organised by Tamesis Commodore Carolyne Vines, who also presented the prizes.

Results: Merlins 1 Omega (1605) Rupert Fletcher & James Berry/Phil Abbey 11 points; 2 Take it Easy (3606) Ken Duffell & Joe Woods 14 points. Lasers 1 Storm (146120) Donald Forbes 4 points: 2 Zhik (180963) Peter Johnson 7 points; 3 (59700) Emilie Hall 9 points. National 18s 1 Orion (336) Alan Green & Peter Konidaris 4 points; 2 One over the Eight (349) Doug Pope & Jose Ugarte 5 points.

Racing and training Sunday 10th April

Racing took place in a gusty south easterly (ish) and lots of fun was had by all. Was hard work though! Photos below

by Robin Lince


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Racing took place in a gusty south easterly (ish) and lots of fun was had by all. Was hard work though! Photos above

Training continued on Sunday when even experienced racer did a bit of capsizing in the morning .
Despite force three southerly winds the young students had a great time on and in the water and the adults braved the elements in the Laser 2000s .  Photos below by Robin Lince and Eric
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Jon Redding wins Laser Barometer for second time

Commodore Colley presents the trophy to Jon Redding
Commodore Colley presents the trophy to Jon Redding

Jon Redding won the Laser Barometer for the second year in succession at Tamesis on Sunday 4 October.  Jon, normally a Merlin sailor, borrowed Rusty Old Bones (203991) from Mike Goldsmith and out-sailed 13 other Lasers in light winds, convincingly winning the first two races and deciding not to sail in the third.  In so doing he missed the best wind of the day.

His main competition came from 16-year-old Nick Forbes in Greylag (188044), who scored two seconds and a first. Nick had the misfortune to miss out the two east-west cross river doglegs while he was leading in the first race and then having to unwind, losing valuable time.

Race Officer Colin Stokes wisely set a short course to allow for the lightness of the southerly wind, with an upstream start to a turning mark opposite the Albany and a downstream mark close to Trowlock Island.  The competitors enjoyed the warm sunshine and made the most of the occasional gusts of wind it brought.

Nick’s closest rival was his grandfather, Donald Forbes, who had two fourths and a second in Storm (146120), finishing third overall.  Fourth place went to visiting helm Mark Sancken, from Queen Mary SC, in (204678), with three thirds, scoring the same six points as Donald Forbes.

The prizes were presented by Commodore Stewart Colley, who had also taken part in the racing.  Colin Stokes was assisted in the starting box by Fiona Bolwell and the club patol boat was manned by Ken Duffell and Richard Mason.


The fleet approaching the downstream mark

Jon Redding leading Nick Forbes
Jon Redding leading Nick Forbes


Nick makes the most of a welcome gust of wind