Tamesis Club

Thursday evening GW Smith Trophy series – update 5

Here is John Adams’ latest race report:

The last July race in the GW Smith Trophy attracted a very good entry of 21 starters, with a south westerly wind which although dying a little before we started still kept us moving fast enough for many of the fleet to complete 5 laps, up from the usual 2 or 3 on a Thursday evening.

With so many boats the start was interesting with a couple of eager contestants having to go back and then fight their way through the fleet.  The race itself was tight with plenty of place changing, Andrew Harris even losing his lead for a lap before normal service was resumed and he and Matty Key crossed the line first in Point Break followed by Joe Maclaughlin crewed by Holly Revear in his newly acquired Merlin Lady Anne, with John Adams and Sophie Harrison just managing to hold off a fast charging Tim Medcalf and Flora Laidlaw in Tim’s white and wide Merlin Seveneye to take third.  On the water it was a Merlin evening with the first five boats all Merlins before Matt P-J brought his Laser home in 6th place, but ominously close to the Merlins ahead of him.

And so it proved, Matt taking the evening on handicap followed by the 5 Merlins that finished ahead of him on the water with Stewart Colley the next Laser in 7th.  It was not a good night for the N18s, with Charles Fox and Robert Blakebrough the first of them in 12th place.

With 5 races sailed Matt P-J is still in the lead with Tim Medcalf second in his Merlins and Henry Defries and Carolyne Vines 3rd in his N18 Zephyr.  However there are still 4 races to go, 4 races to count and it is mathematically possible for Matt to be caught, particularly as some of the more successful contestants are still counting a DNC.

The evening was rounded off with a tasty trail supper from a new caterer, and thanks to those that helped serve the supper and drinks from the bar.  Jim Green and Eva Heap coped admirably in the box with the large number of contestants and Ian Ramage and Chris Wade ran the patrol boat.

The current standings are:

Thursday evening GW Smith Trophy – update 4

Here is John Adams’ latest report from another busy evening of racing.

Eighteen boats took part in the 4th race of the 2021 GW Smith series raced in a light southerly wind on a balmy summer evening.

Although slightly down on the previous week’s record turnout, there were plenty of boats on the water which led to a certain amount of discussion around the buoys, particularly Lensbury.  The light wind also gave plenty of opportunities for gaining or losing places and giving proof to the saying that the race is only over when you have crossed the finishing line.

This week Andrew Harris and Matt Key in their Merlin Point Break were not going to repeat the last minute loss on the line that they experienced the previous week and stormed into a lead they never looked like losing, adding colour to the evening with a well flown spinnaker.  Behind him places changed throughout the race but Tim Medcalf and Jennifer Falconer-Hall came through to second on the water, but with Matt P-J ominously close in third in the first Laser.

Andrew and Matt’s speed on the water also gave them the race on handicap ahead of the Lasers of Matt P-J and Jon Redding, with Tim and Jennifer finishing 4th.

After four races in this series, Matt P-J is beginning to take command at the top of the tree, but with 4 races to count and still another 5 races left in the series, there is still ample opportunity for that to change.

A wonderful evening gently subsided into the nigh lit by a golden moon as we feasted on a very tasty supper provided by team Horwitz with Chloe providing the drinks and celebrating the first use of Phil’s Bar for some time.  Thanks also to David Peregrine-Jones and Fleur Moree in the box and Chris Pollard and Stephen Lucas in the patrol launch.

Here are the latest results:

Junior BBQ 2021

Saturday 17th July was the date for the much anticipated Junior Sailing and BBQ  which takes place on the Saturday before the schools break up.

The sun shone, the wind fluked around, and great fun was had by all, both on, in and off the water.  Toppers, Lasers, Laser 2k plus numerous SUPs turned out to take advantage of the weather.

This was followed by home made cake, tea and juice after the water activities, then later the bbq.  Participants brought food which was very tasty and enjoyed by all, especially the beef burgers, sausages and  marinated chicken accompanied by salads.  Great secret recipe coleslaw.

Andy and Nim are handing over as Junior Captain, so were presented with some craft beer and an beautiful bunch of flowers.

Thanks to all who were involved in organising the afternoon which extended well into the evening.

Thanks to Chris Wade for the photos – a selection below, and more on the Facebook page.




Thursday evening GW Smith Trophy – update 3

Here is John Adams’ update about the GW Smith series accompanied by pictures from Jonathan Key:

The third race for the Thursday evening 2021 GW Smith trophy was blessed with a good NNE wind, apart from around the Lensbury mark, where it dropped and became very variable in direction.  This led to many place changes as competitors saw and played the shifts to round and get away fast, or didn’t and were stuck watching boats go past on both directions.

The massive entry of 24 boats, with a number of juniors and new competitors to the series, was very good to see and there were many battles throughout the fleet.

Not least of these was that between Tim Medcalf and Jennifer Falconer-Hall in their Merlin Samanda and Andrew Harris and Matt Key in their Merlin Point Break which was only decided in Tim and Jennifer’s favour in the last few minutes of the race. Third on the water was another Merlin, Avenger with Ken Duffell and Matt Valentine.

However while the Merlins had the glory on the water, it was the Lasers of Jon Redding and Matthew Peregrine-Jones that topped the handicap results with Tim and Jennifer in third.

The overall results are a little skewed as the discards have not kicked in and so benefit those that have sailed the three races in the series to date.  However the current leader is Matt PJ, appearing to be repeating his all conquering performance in the earlier Saga series.  However there is still time and races to change that.

Thanks to Rupert and the race crew for administering one of the biggest races in terms of numbers that we have had for a long time, certainly on a Thursday evening.  The balmy evening was rounded off with a very tasty curry  and pavlova provided by Nim and Helen washed down with suitable tipples served by Megan and Josefine at the bar.

The series standings are:

Bill Warren

Bill Warren sadly passed away aged 94 years last month. He raced a National 12 and a Merlin in the 50s and 60s at Tamesis. He then went on to sail an XOD from Itchenor Sailing Club when Jane & Bill moved down to Bosham.

They were both very fond of Tamesis as this is where they actually met and Bill went on to be an honorary member. My Father’s company built and provided the spiral staircase at the club, which is apparently still in use today!

Thank you to Bill’s daughter Lindy Mitchell for providing the eulogy and the photos.

Racing on Sunday 11th July

Competitors were greeted by a flukey Southerly on Sunday, the course set in front of the club, the upper mark just below the Island and the lower mark just in sight.  There were plenty of holes in the wind, leading boats suddenly passed by those they thought they had left far behind.

Thanks to Jonathan Key for the photos.







Hairy Salcombe Gin Merlin Rocket Regatta Week

Merlin sailors were treated to some very hairy conditions causing lots of thrills and spills together with some lighter winds.  The Regatta which took place from Sunday 4th to Friday 9th July.  One hundred and twenty boats took part – split into four flights, two flights starting in the morning and two in the afternoon, being rotated.

Three Tamesis Merlins took part – Joe McLaughlin and Sean Roberts in Sublime, Andrew Harris and Sarah Warren in Point Break, John Adams with Rupert Fletcher, Peter Johnson and Paul Jamieson in Precious.

Results were very mixed in the challenging conditions, the best single race result of 8th being obtained by Joe and Sean.

The competition was fierce, the majority of the boats were grp and very new, the helms and crews hotshots from other classes.

A great time was had by all despite the lack of sun, and several heavy rain showers.  Look forward to next year.

Full reports on https://www.salcombeyc.org.uk/

Start on Thursday afternoon


Andy and Sara


Joe and Sean


John and Peter


Thursday evening GW Smith Trophy – update 2

While many club members were away enjoying Merlin week at Salcombe, the home fleet remained strong with 19 boats taking part in the latest round of the GW Smith Trophy series.

A few new crews joined in this weekly dose of sailing fun and it was excellent to see.  Well done to Iris Crampton and her father Thomas for giving it a go and taking the opportunity to refine their starting technique.  Also to Johannes Wagner’s son Luzius aged 13 who took the helm of his father’s Merlin Rocket and brought her home to a fine (on the water) second place.

First home was the experienced pairing of Ken Duffell and Matty Valentine.  Third was our Commodore Chris Pollard in his N18 who capitalised on an absolute flier of a start (well, a pretty good attempt at a ‘flier’ considering the light winds) and left the other two N18s far behind.

Big thank yous this week to the late stand-in race management/patrol boat crew of Humphrey Dorrell and Jonathan Key.  Also to Josephine Wagner who lead the provision of a box dinner and drinks from the bar.

Courtesy of John Adams, here are the results:


Restless racing, highlights and heartbreaks, Sunday 4 July

A rather nondescript and drizzly early summer’s morning camouflaged the arrival of some good sailing conditions which saw a southerly swing sou’westerly as the day wore on.

Three compact fleets came to the line and everyone faced a range of conditions from the very light to some stronger interludes which saw the boats cresting along the river.

The OOD team of Ken Duffell and Joe Woods set a simple Canbury/Lensbury course but were careful to ensure the buoys were well located to avoid potential wind shadows.  This approach paid dividends as the racing was determined by sailing skill rather than the whirly wheel of windy (mis)fortune.

Seven Lasers set off at 10.30 with Kaan Yagici, Peter Impey and Marcus Chavasse setting the early pace.  It took five laps for Marcus to finally reach the head of the fleet and take a victory by a slim eight second margin ahead of Kaan, with Jim Hamilton coming in a more distant third.

The pair of N18s had a more clear cut outing with Charles Fox and his crew besting Mal Warner and Beatrice Russ by a distance.

The Merlin Rocket fleet was racing for the Restless Trophy which is awarded on the first weekend of Salcombe Week where a number of the fleet’s hotshots were ploughing the estuary.  Taking the opportunity to shine, it was the oldest Merlin at the club ‘Samanda’ that opened up a lead over the other four boats in the race.  However, the last leg proved to be decisive and, as in the Laser race, the long-time leader was overhauled when victory was at hand.  Congratulations to Peter and Richard Mason who retain the Restless Trophy having won by 43 seconds from your correspondent and Flora Laidlow, with Berry Ritchie and Nick James in third.

The bar welcomed the returning racers who enjoyed a couple of drinks and a light sandwich lunch.

Thanks to Ken and Joe for running the racing, Johannes Wagner and Alastair Banks for crewing the launch, and to Josephine Wagner for preparing and serving lunch.

Thursday evening GW Smith Trophy – update 1

Another large and  enthusiastic fleet took to the water at the start of the second of Tamesis Club’s regular Thursday evening summer series for the GW Smith Trophy.

A mix of boats included Fireflys, Lasers, a Laser 2000, N18s, an Albacore and a couple of Merlins.

The slightly strengthened stream caught a few boats out at the start as they found themselves pushed over the line before the gun.  Frantic manoeuvres designed to regain the correct side of the line ensued accompanied by the OOD’s commentary about who had made it, and who was still on the naughty step.


Tim Medcalf and Jennifer Falconer Hall managed to get a flier and broke free from the fleet and rounded the first mark with a comfortable lead only to misread the downwind leg and be caught by Henry Defries and Carolyne Vines in a N18, David Baker  and Ian Ramage in his Albacore, and a number of Lasers.

Some rather tense slow motion action followed as boats sought to balance the need to be mid-river for the better breeze but close to the bank to avoid the stream.

An attritional few laps saw the front three of Henry, Tim, and Matt P-J in his Laser put some distance between themselves and the rest.  This proved to be the on-the-water podium but the final result will only be clear once the handicap numbers have been crunched.

Once back on land, sailors and guests were treated to another tour de force from Team Horwitz lead by head chef Alden.  Copious servings of a rich bolognese were available and satisfied even the club’s band of ravenous ‘twosies’.  The selection of ice creams were a delightful end to the meal.

Many members lingered over a drink and chat while the sun set and evening drew in.

Thank yous to the OOD, this week Commodore Chris Pollard supported by Caroline Stilwell, for setting marks that could be navigated even in the light conditions.  Also to Geoff Malseed and Alexey Anatskiy for manning the patrol boat, and to Sophie Harrison, Andrew Horwitz, Alden Horwitz and others for providing food and drinks for hungry and thirsty racers.

Finally, thank you to Jonathan Key for the pictures that accompany this report.