Tamesis Club

Zoe’s non stop charity walk in Scotland

Zoë Adams gave an excellent talk on her experience of walking with partner Sapna from Glasgow to Edinburgh back in the middle of the heatwave last July.

Zoë had come across walkers in Morden Hall Park who obviously had purpose, and on enquiring found out they were walking for charity.  Zoë loves walking so it seemed a bit of a no brainer to do one herself.  She persuaded Sapna to go with her.  When she found out the British Heart Foundation were organising  a walk in Scotland, this seemed the obvious place to be, as she loves Scotland.

Zoe took us through her training regime, and then the walk itself, with lots of pictures, including some fairly graphic ones of the blisters they suffered.  The star turn was a mole she came across and rescued.

She was full of praise for the organisers and gave us a run down of what the charity does.  They each raised over £1000 from friends, family, colleagues, and £300 from Tamesis members.

Thanks to Jim Green for assisting with the technology

Thanks also to Sophie, Harry and Josefine for feeding and watering us.


In Memory of John Harris

John Harris’ funeral was held yesterday at Mortlake Crematorium and the wake was at the club.  Both the crematorium and clubhouse were absolutely packed.

The service was very moving with tributes from Brian Southcott, Sara, Maddy and Andrew.  Andrew’s and Sara’s tribute are below.

There were family flowers only.  We are asked to make donations to the RNLI.

Dad – A Tribute

I grew up in Kingston-upon-Thames in a house on Park Road, number 98, with two elder siblings Richard and Sara, my mother Sue and father, John.   We have grown as a family since then adding a new generation, but have also lost a few along the way, that is the nature of family life.   Today we mark the passing of my father, John, Grandpa, Grandad John, Dad.

Early memories include greeting him when he came home from work, always great excitement, games in the garden after a short nap, swimming at weekends and bags of crisps and Bovril after Little League on a Saturday, he always came to watch the game as he did for his grandchildren.


Dad was first and foremost a Merlin Rocket sailor, there is a rich family history in the class.   He had great success, but the Champs of 75 was his demon and I often saw him wince at the memory.   But there are other memories; Salcombe was Dad’s favourite place, it is the Harris family holiday and he wouldn’t miss it.   Taking the children out of school to attend the week was considered part of their education!    We have so many friends from those days and really special memories of the times spent on Mill Bay.  There is also a competition during the week and winning  Merlin Week six times were some of Dad’s greatest achievements, my earliest memories were watching him win races, it seemed to be the norm, but actually so much harder than it looks.


Dad, wasn’t just a sailor, he was a true all-round sportsman, he played club level squash at Wimbledon and Mid-Surrey Squash clubs and he was a single figure handicap golfer.  As a father he passed on his love of sport and golf to the whole family, caddying on a Saturday morning was a serious business, but it paid well.


Arcoelectric was his place of work, mysterious and noisy, with machines pumping out plastic moulds, oddball chararcters and the smell of grease, but, I always got the feeling he would rather be doing something else.  He used to renovate boats during his lunch break!


Dad owned many boats, I remember going with him to rescue Passing Cloud, he needed a boat and had the idea that Passing Cloud could be competitive on the river.   The boat at the time was in the racks at Ranelagh and looking a little bit sorry for itself.  We were in the process of extracting her, when a member came along and asked us what we were doing?   “You can’t take that boat away, there are mooring fees to pay”.   “Try and stop me” came the response.

The rest is History, and I think some of the success of the Merlin Rocket vintage scene is down to the example set by Dad in Passing Cloud.  There may have been other enthusiasts renovating boats and sailing them, but Dad showed us that you could win.


The weekend after Dad died Richard and I raced at Tamesis, Berry had lent me Crescendo and Richard was sailing Passing Cloud, it seemed appropriate because even though Dad had great success in Passing Cloud, Crescendo was always his nemesis.   It was a Southerly breeze and the course was set with a leeward mark above the island toward Kingston Bridge.  That is a lovely stretch of river and when the wind is in the right direction not unlike the beat from Yalton, like a conveyer belt if you get it right and a total mystery if you get it wrong, Dad always got it right.


It was a nip and tuck race as it always is, until the moment I managed to sail into a tree, which ended up being a tricky situation trapped between two moored boats, a lee shore and the top of my mast stuck in very sturdy Y shaped branch. Richard sailed away without offering any help.    For me the race was over and after 20 minutes or so once I had extracted myself, I was able to sail out under jib, reached the middle of the stretch and hosted my mainsail and sailed toward the mark, it was a lovely moment; we were all alone, there was a nice breeze and the winter sun was shining I shared it with Dad.

There are many other stories and I welcome you to share your memories with us later.

Andrew Harris

My Dad


Sitting in his chair, fire alight,

Watching Mid Summer Murders or Poirot,

The odd snore here and there,

I will miss my Dad.


At the dining room table,

Dictionary open,

Pen poised,

The Daily Telegraph cross word at the ready,

The cogs are turning,

Perhaps a coffee and bacon sarnie.

I will miss my Dad.


Salcombe, always a place in our hearts,

Merlin, Town and Sailing Regatta,

Old wooden clinker motor boats,

Wind the handle to start.

Spot the Bloomer, gave some laughs.

And crabbing on the pontoons was always a big part.

But the dam busting on Millbay, will always win the day.

I will miss my Dad.


Tamesis is where we learnt to sail,

And where we followed his steps,

From Cadets to Merlins, old and new… the river has taught us well.

The swimming, the water fights, the laughs and our friends,

I will miss my Dad.


So now Dad you can watch from the Passing Cloud

And be sure, when we are were sailing by, to give us… that magic puff.

I will miss you Dad.


Maddie Harris Speech


I wanted to speak today in memory of my grandpa. He was a very special man and was loved dearly by us all. I would like to think he is here today listening and smiling to all we have to say.

I have such lovely memories of the time we spent together from when I was little on Salcombe beach playing with his expensive watch, to only a couple of months ago, making him one of his favourite puddings, apple crumble, when he came round to ours for dinner.

For those who don’t know, I was grandpa’s favourite granddaughter. I could get him to do anything I wanted. When I was younger I used to sit him in his chair and I would pretend I was the doctor. I would wrap bandages around his arms and measure his legs . Why I’m not sure? But grandpa would just sit there and smile.

The first Saturday after grandpa died felt very strange and sad in our house, because for as long as I can remember Grandpa has spent every Saturday with us, whether it was to watch Harry and I  play football when we were younger, or to more recently grandpa came around to our house for his weekly lunch.

Words can’t describe how much I will miss grandpa, but I know from being with him in the hospital, he is now in a better place.

He died peacefully just after we all said goodbye to him.

Thank you

Maddie xx



Tammy Trains

photo Eric Finlayson


photo Eric Finlayson
On Sunday a couple of our students joined in the morning racing crewing for Alan Green aboard National 18′ Orion .
Sadly she was the only 18 on the day but there was a lively wind and lots of boat on boat incidents giving John and Alden some great racing experience.
They are keen to carry on racing and I’m sure will be welcomed into the fleet as will any other students interested in having a go.
Training will start again in the new year subject to demand.
Eric Finlayson

Early December Sailing

Racing was delayed today to avoid clashing with a new Kingston Royal Canoe Club event. Photo of the one of the starts above.

Once started, our  racing was good and close.  The gusts made at the start and finish provided ample opportunity for planing – just how we all like it.



Tammy Trains

The sun was sadly absent on Sunday but a brisk 9 knot North Easterly set us up for a great Start Racing session.
After an intensive morning going through the theory three students went on the water crewed by the training team.
After a session of boat handling exercises , including penalty turns we held a couple of fun races.
The benefit of previous sessions was obvious with tight starts ,hard fought nip and tuck races and neck and neck finishes .
The instructors then ensured best practice lee shore landings and made sure the boats were put away properly.
Training is now more or less complete for this year but students are being encouraged to take part in Sunday racing , in particular the Christmas Pudding race on the revised date of 16th December.
My thanks to all students and Instructors for a fun and productive year.
Eric Finlayson

Prize Giving 2018


photo – Zoe Adams
photo Zoe Adams
The catering crew – photo Zoe Adams
60 members attended our annual Autumn Dinner and Prize Giving last Saturday.  The prizes were presented to the winners by our Commodore, Carolyne, during breaks between courses at the dinner.  Many thanks to Brian Timbrell for organising all the splendid cups, trophies and prizes and to Caroline Timbrell for her invaluable assistance.
Thanks also to Nicky Johnson and members of the House Committee for organising the three course dinner and setting up the Clubhouse for the occasion.
Zoe Adams designed the poster and took photos (keep a look out on the website) and Chris Pollard designed and printed the menus and table plan.
Dinner was cooked by Joanna de Courcy with help from Caroline and Chris.  Tamesis staff were Sophie, Harry, Dylan, Josefine and Amy.
A super evening much enjoyed by all.
Nicky Johnson
Rear Commodore House, Tamesis Club

Tammy Trains

Yet another beautiful autumn day at Tammy.
Our priority this weekend was to finish off the Powerboat Level 2 course.
Sundays activities included close quarters maneuvering and, with a bit of help from the Dinghy team, various methods of towing.
We plan to run a Safety Boat Workshop in the new year including capsize and total inversion recovery and lee shore rescue.
All welcome , no charge first come first served.
Next Sunday we plan another Start Racing session starting at 11.
Eric Finlayson
Conventional tow 






John Harris

It is with great sadness we have to announce the death of John Harris, renowned Merlin sailor, and very long time member of Tamesis.

John had a very serious stroke two weeks ago, and never recovered.  He slipped away on Thursday 15th November in Kingston Hospital.

We will remember him for his winning ways in his merlin Passing Cloud. He won six Salcombe Merlin Weeks- a remarkable achievement. He also won the Silver Tiller circuit one year.  When he stopped sailing he always ran the Sondown Cup which is the merlin open meeting. He was a massive font of knowledge about merlins and sailing in general, an inspiration to many.

He was also one of the founders of the Tamesis Bridge Club.

More information and memories of John to follow.

The funeral will be on Tuesday 4th December at 2pm in Mortlake Crematorium, Kew Meadow Path, Townmead Road, Richmond TW9 4EN Tel: 020 8876 8056, and afterwards at Tamesis Club, Trowlock Way, Broom Road, Teddington, Middx, TW11 9QY.

The cover photo was taken from the banner originally sited on the changing rooms, clearly visible from the club entrance.  Thanks to Tom McLaughlin for finding the original, and thanks to the photographer who ever they are for taking such a fantastic shot.

John at grandson Tom’s christening
John having a chat with Ken Duffell in September


John at one of the parties




Stormy Remembrance Sunday

The weather was much better than expected, though we had a lot of rain overnight. Many parts of the boat park were waterlogged. There was close racing throughout the fleets.

The two minute silence which marked the centenary of the end of World War 1 was observed at 11am.

Thanks to Jenny Finlayson for the cover photo of the amazing rainbow which followed the after lunch rainstorm.  More photos to follow.

Tammy Trains

neck and neck – photo Eric Finlayson
photo Eric Finlayson
photo Eric Finlayson
Another Sunday of bright sunshine and a southwesterly wind which wasn’t quite as strong as Windguru predicted.
The students who joined the 11.30 handicap learnt quite a lot but in particular it’s not nearly as simple as the regular racers make it look.
After lunch they went back on the water practicing close hauled sailing , mark rounding and the Snap technique  finishing with a short fun
Meantime Simon was running a powerboat course which will continue next Sunday.
He is looking for Guinea pig volunteers to help practice towing.
Race training will revert to the normal pattern of morning dry land training and afternoon on the water.
Eric Finlayson