Tamesis Club

Sunday Thrills and Some Spills

Lasers planing upstream. Photo Ian Ramage


Andy and Matty in the lead. Photo Ian Ramage


View upstream. Photo: Ian Ramage

It didn’t look like there was going to be much wind early on Sunday.  The Kingston Royal Canoe Club held their marathon before we took to the water at 1130.  By that time the North Easterly  was strong enough to push us easily upstream against the current.  The sun was out which warmed a bit, and we had a glorious sail.

OOD Jon Redding sent us above Stevens Ait to a mark about halfway to Kingston Railway bridge.  There was some spectacular planing, with most merlins carrying their spinnaker.  The Lasers and lone 18′ National weren’t hanging around either.

Andrew Harris crewed by Mattie Key forged an impressive lead in the Merlins, and Matt Peregrine Jones had a very respectable lead in the Lasers.

Thanks to Jon, Valerie Hamill, Ian Ramage and Robert Blakebrough  for organising the racing and to Jo and team for keeping us fed and watered.

Photos: Ian Ramage

Prizegiving dinner

The Club hosted the annual Prize Giving Dinner on the evening of 23rd November.  As ever, the House Committee, headed by Nicky Johnson, created a convivial atmosphere in the clubhouse and attendees were all in good spirits as they sat down to a three course dinner prepared by our new catering team.

Commodore Chris Pollard and Rear Commodore Sailing Peter Johnson combined as an outstanding double-act presenting the awards from the last 12 months of series-based racing.

Chris and Peter shared some of the numbers behind the results which revealed Richard Harris’s dominance in the Merlin Rocket Winter Series, an outstanding 33 entrants for the Thursday evening Summer Series, and the mini renaissance of competition within the National 18 fleet.

The competitors in the club’s Topper Summer Series were all recognised for their participation and Matty Key received the first awarding of the new Mike Goldsmith trophy.  The club is committed to developing our existing group of junior racers and it was an opportune time to announce the purchase of a new Topper dinghy to join the Club fleet.

Henry Defries was a regular visitor to the trophy table, collecting prizes for his performance in his Laser and, latterly, his National 18.  A fact which suggests that the long-standing National 18 helms will need to hone their skills in the coming year!

Matthew Peregrine-Jones, Kaan Yargici and their National 18 crew’s travels around the country to compete were rewarded with the Ambassador’s Trophy and Tim Medcalf was awarded the Commodore’s Trophy for bringing several new initiatives to the Club.

A vote of thanks was extended to all those who had helped to stage the dinner, the staff who had kept everyone fed and watered and to Henry Medcalf for his photography.

While the dinner was attended by many of the faces familiar to the Club’s racing enthusiasts, it was also excellent to see many newcomers and their families.  The Club is keen to encourage more members to compete, regardless of their level of racing experience; look out for details in the coming Tammy Matters.


The series winners are:


Topper Summer Series – Matty Key


Firefly Summer Series – J Hamilton


Merlin Rocket Black Mark – R Harris

Merlin Rocket Winter Handicap – R Harris

Merlin Rocket Bridger Cup – R Harris

Merlin Rocket Summer Handicap – T Medcalf


Laser Frostbite Mug – M Peregrine-Jones

Laser Winter Handicap – S Colley

Laser Summer Shield – C Taggart

Laser Summer Handicap – C Taggart


N18 Winter Series – A Green

N18 Summer Series – H Defries

N18 Silver Boat – C Fox


Saga Trophy – C Morgan

GW Smith Trophy – T Medcalf


Handicap Series A – M Peregrine-Jones

Handicap Series B – J McLaughlin

Handicap Series C – H Defries

Handicap Series D –  H Defries


Battling the stream with little help from the wind

Joe Woods reports on Sunday’s racing.

Stewart Colley was the sole entrant for the 10:30 Handicap race and by valiantly battling upstream, hugging the Middlesex bank, managed to complete half a lap to achieve a finish on a shortened course.  The course was altered for the main races and both Merlins and Lasers started.  However, after about 20 minutes, no-one had managed to round the first mark and, despite there being a little wind, the stream appeared to have increased and the boats were struggling against it.  At this point the OOD decided to abandon the race.  Well done to those who tried, let’s hope for better conditions this week.

Tamesis Development and Technology dinner – 5th December 2019

Hi all,

We’ve decided to make use of Thursday 5th December’s Club Supper and Talk night to have an informal discussion about all things Development and Tech at Tamesis Club.

Tamesis Club already uses many bits of technology but some of these we use really well and some of these we simply don’t use enough!

So we thought it would be a good idea to share what we have, talk about how we can use it better, and come up with ideas on what we could be doing in future. We’re sure there are many ideas out there just waiting to be tapped in to make the club even more exciting for members and future members alike.

Kaan will keep the evening ticking along and with the help of others will provide demos and discussions on the following areas:

  • Dutyman, and looking at how we run it
  • Race Results and The Smithy – can we bring race results to the clubhouse TV before everyone has packed away their boats?!
  • Merlin class and Sailwave to calculate handicaps
  • The website, including Google Analytics to see where in the world people are viewing and site and how often. We’ll have a mini quiz on the most popular pages on the website! (Not including the home page!)
  • iZettle cashless vending, and the idea of adding iZettle eCommerce to the website. Could be very useful.
  • WhatsApp, and how it can help us, e.g. Merlin Group
  • Tamesis GSuite – where Tamesis Flag Officers write and keep club documents, or SHOULD keep club documents!
  • Tamesis Weather Station – getting the most out of it
  • …and more.

Lastly, this is a bit of a tester, and assuming we find it useful will be looking to do something similar again in February as we gear up to Spring and Summer seasons.

So please join us for this informal evening of looking in to the future, and of course dinner!

Many thanks.

Sunday 17th November – to race or not to race

We woke up on Sunday morning to glorious sunshine and … NO WIND together with a strong current.  We waited, and someone even rigged their boat, but to no avail.  There was a bit of wind at about midday, but that was it.  Better luck next week.

Thanks to David Baker, Jim Green, Daniel Gerber and Jim Hamilton for trying to run a race, and Jo and team for the enormous pile of sandwiches together with serving us the drinks at the bar.

Tammy Trains

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day, the combination of strong stream with a North Easterly wind promised to be ideal for the Seamanship Skills course where many of the skills relate more to sea sailing than river sailing.
In particular we hoped to do exercises like anchoring or picking up a mooring with wind with or against tide and lee shore beach landings.
Sadly on the day the current increased and the wind dropped badly.
We did manage to do some “rudderless” sailing at the cost of continually drifting down towards the weir  plus even more towing and being towed practise.
In addition we managed to complete a  Level 1 course, continue Assistant Instructor training and even do a bit on the in-house Safety Boat training.
Business as usual next Sunday?
Eric Finlayson

Racing Sunday 10.11.19

photo Jonathan Key


photo Jonathan Key


photo Jonathan Key


photo Jonathan Key



photo Jonathan Key

It was a huge relief that the weather changed overnight from the downpours on Saturday to a crisp autumn day on Sunday with wall to wall sunshine, and a light easterly.  The current had built up due to the rainfall in the last week, and the combination of light wind and stronger stream made life very interesting for the competitors.

Thanks to Jonathan Key for the lovely pics.

Drifty Trowlock Trophy

Photo: Jonathan Key


Photo: Jonathan Key


Photo: Jonathan Key


Photo: Jonathan Key


Photo: Jonathan Key


Photo: Jonathan Key

Saturday’s wind and rain gave way to sunshine and a flukey wind coming mostly from the West.  Eighteen boats turned out including four from Lensbury SC.

Race Officer David Jerram laid a figure of eight course on the stretch in front of the club.  It took a long time for the faster classes to catch up due to the holes in the wind.  Richard Harris and Emma MacDonald in Merlin Passing Cloud sneaked a huge lead almost lapping the National 18s just before the finish at 1230.  There was a lot of close racing in several groups, the Merlins taking advantage of the shifts.

Thanks to Race Crew David Jerram Jenny Finlayson, John Storey and Robin Lince, and to the Catering staff led by Lauren.

Photos:  Jonathan Key


Class Boat Nr Boat name Helm Crew Club
Merlin 1079 Passing Cloud Richard Harris Emma Macdonald Tamesis
Merlin 3625 Andrew Harris Matty Key Tamesis
Merlin 847 Bambusa Peter Mason Tamesis
Enterprise 23007 Iain McGregor Jo McGregor Lensbury
Merlin 1004 Avenger Ken Duffell Jo Woods Tamesis
Merlin 596 Samanda Tim Medcalf Maisie Key Tamesis
Nat 18′ 266 Genevieve Charles Fox Robert Blakebrough Tamesis
Nat 18′ 374 Zephyr Henry Defries Carolyne Vines Tamesis
Enterprise 23225 Hizelmro Chris Rowsell Alastair Stewart Lensbury
Enterprise 16412 Siona Peter Bide Brian Dennies Lensbury
Laser 206474 Matt Jones Lensbury
Merlin 3259 Andromeda Peter Impey Tim Ginn Tamesis
Merlin 3556 Make It So Constantin Gerber Felix Sproehnle Tamesis
Firefly 3179 Fiasco Jim Hamilton Tamesis
Wayfarer 9135 Blues Parkly Alan Hall Yan Tamesis
Laser 180963 Zwik Peter Johnson Tamesis
Firefly 3552 Slippery Skin James Berry J. Yu Tamesis


Spooky Cadet Bake Off

Participants and their scary cakes. Photo: Florian Krueger


More cakes – photo Claire


photo Jonathan Key


photo Jonathan Key


photo Jonathan Key


photo Jonathan Key


photo Jonathan Key


photo Jonathan Key

Several sailors braved the wind and the rain on Saturday, and where undeterred by the rain and fierce gusts.

The sailing was followed by the high point of the afternoon – the annual Cadet Bake Off! The cadets have to bake and decorate a cake.  The theme this year was Halloween.

The standard was very high, and Judge Nicky Chavasse had a hard time deciding.  The eventual overall best cake was made by Matty and Maisie Key – cake pictured on the cover.

This was the last Saturday sailing this year.  The sessions will start in April next year, date to be announced.

Many many thanks go to Andrew and Nim Harris for organising the afternoons together with various parents and grandparents.


Tamesis 2nd in windy Three Club Burgee Trophy

The Annual 3 Burgee Team Racing contest took place on Saturday 26th October at Minima Yacht Club.

Saturday 26th dawned with strong winds force 5 SSW with up to 25mph gusts and rain forecast during the afternoon, in the time for our racing at Minima in the 3 Burgees

There were 3 teams – Minima, Thames Sailing and Tamesis.  Our team, Matt P-J and Sean Roberts, Ken Duffell and Joe Woods, David Baker and Peter Johnson, decided to tow our 3 boats using Tamesis 3 plus 2 trolleys and masts to Minima – slightly regretted later for our return journey!

Racing started at 2:30 with Thames against Tamesis.  The course was a small sausage with two marks at each end, needing a beat up river and a run back with a noticeable current – 3 rounds -Thames had 3 top helms (Salcombe winner Alex Jackson) and came 1st, 2nd and 3rd, Matt P-J was 4th, Ken D 5th and David B 6th.

Our 2nd race followed 5 minutes later, just in time for the rain to start, this time against Minima. Again, Matt PJ came in 1st, David B 2nd and Ken D 3rd (a good result) with Minima taking up the last 3 places.

There was then a welcome tea break and cakes before starting the next session, by which time it was raining heavily and strong gusts were frequent. Once again Thames expertise prevailed and they took the first 3 places whilst Tamesis had Matt 4th, David B 5th and Ken D taking up the rear after picking up some weeds.

The final round against Minima was more challenging with Matt PJ 1st, Ken D 3rd and David B, after struggling with a large amount of weeds, regaining 5th place on the last leg which thankfully put us in 2nd place overall.

It was a great afternoon’s racing albeit wet, cold and windy but Minima were very hospitable and offered plenty of hot tea and the bar open after the racing.

We had an interesting tow back in the dark, with no lights, finally winding up at 19:00 at Tamesis all looking forward to a well-deserved hot shower.

Report by Peter Johnson