Tamesis Club

Training from Home 41

Lockdown Christmas

It’s hard to know what’s best to do about Christmas but here is one safe option
“ I had everything from a miniature Christmas tree to tinsel and plastic farm animals and a tiny lantern .
But the best thing was a conference call fo all my friends , it was an odd feeling to have people drop in and out and it was only after twenty minutes that I discovered Mum and Dad had been there the whole time .
I heated Gran’s Christmas Pudding then sprinkled the tiny bottle of rum onto it .
Although I could not have been physically much further away from them I felt very close to everyone that day .
A real Christmas “
That wasn’t a Covid positive student stuck in her Halls of Residence but actually Ellen McArthur on the Vendee Globe
Here is how Tammy usually do it
A less pleasant option ( which includes being “ embayed” is here 
Short version of Christmas at sea
Shared via the Google app
Lobscouse and spotted dog
O’Brian describes various Christmas dinners with Aubrey and Maturin . Menus usually include Sucking Pig, Roast Pork Christmas Pudding and mince pies
with real mince meat !
Christmas Quiz

If you get bored watching repeats on TV try this quiz.

The answers should be in the handbook somewhere.


The three sides of a sail are 

A    luff leach and cringle 

B    head tack and clew 

C    luff foot and leach

D    leach roach and clew 

The mast is held in place by 

A     halliards and stays 

B     shrouds and forestay

C     pintle and gudgeon

D     shackles and hounds 

3     The luff of the sail is the side 

A     at the front

B     at the back 

C     at the top

D     at the bottom

The sails are raised and lowered by 

A     shrouds 

B     sheets 

C     haliards 

D     stays 

The difference between a centre board and a daggerboard is 

A   there is no difference 

B    centre board controls drift daggerboard controls lean

C    daggerboard pivots centre board slides up and down

D    daggerboard slides up and down centreboard pivots 

The knot that is tied at the end of a sheet is  

A   bowline 

B   sheetbend 

C   reef knot 

D   figure of eight.

I’d like to send special thanks to all the students instructors and others who helped in the past and look forward to better days next year



Incompetent crew
I absolutely hated sailing round Leuwarden with its innumerable locks and bridges but it’s actually a great place with lots of restaurants museums and places of interest .
I also found a mural of HM Queen (who is allegedly delaying recording her Christmas speech to see how Covid/Brexit is going ! )
We’ll come back to the trip next year but in the meantime
merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Stay safe
Eric Finlayson

Saturday 19th September – Merlin Sondown Cup

Report by Sean Roberts – co Class Captain

Jonathan Key

Saturday 19th September was a busy day for the Merlin fleet with the Sondown Cup, Southcott Cup, Elizabeth Bowl and Porteous Cup up for grabs. The fleet was keen to return to racing after such a disrupted summer and we were at capacity with twenty boats, with representatives from Hampton, St Edmundsbury, Upper Thames, and Medley. The home team also put in a strong showing with ten boats.  Fortunately the weather was kind and it was a beautiful late summer day, giving consistent sunshine and a not so consistent, but always sufficient, breeze.

(c) Jonathan Key

Launching into an onshore breeze kept the fleet on its toes and social distancing meant that all of the river access was in use.  With two races in the morning, a break for lunch, and then two in the afternoon the fleet were kept busy with a windward, leeward course which took them off Trowlock Island and up to Kingston bridge. With twenty boats the start line was action packed and the windward mark was certainly busy with the fleet spreading out during each race.

(c) Jonathan Key 07949 053695

John and Livvie Bell in Grand Teton took line honours in the first race, with Stuart Jenkins and Nicola Scaddan finishing thirty seconds behind in Flinkydink. Sadly a parting shroud put Stuart and Nicola out of the racing for the rest of the day. A sudden gust in the second race presented more challenges for the fleet, with two capsizes and more near misses. Line honours went to Andrew Harris and Matty Key in Crescendo, with John and Livvie Bell in Grand Teton second and Richard Harris and Ian Ramage third.

(c) Jonathan Key 07949 053695
(c) Jonathan Key 07949 053695


With the “rule of six” in force picnics on the lawn were the order of the day and the fleet were back on the water for the third and fourth races at 2pm. The breeze was a little more settled in the afternoon but the racing was no less intense. John and Livvie Bell in Grand Teton took line honours, with Andrew Harris and Matty Key in Crescendo and David Baker and Jim Green in Chimp coming in second and third. This set the stage for a thrilling final race in which Andrew and Matty needed to come in first to clinch the Sondown cup, which is awarded to the overall winner.

(c) Jonathan Key 07949 053695

A tight race saw Ollie Houseman and Matty Valentine take an early lead but this was eroded mid race when a following breeze condensed the top of the fleet.  A nail biting finish followed with Andrew and Matty in Crescendo edging ahead of John and Livvie in Grand Teton as the line approached. John and Livvie fought back, catching a favourable gust at the critical moment that put them just ahead.  With the shore team running to the line to catch a close finish Andrew Harris and Matty Key caught the puff moments later and accelerated, but John and Livvie crossed the line two seconds before, clinching the race and the Sondown cup. An exciting finish to a fantastic day of racing! Special thanks to Peter and Pauline Fryer for running the race box, to Chris Simon for acting as our on the water judge and to the whole Tammy team for an enjoyable day of racing.

Finish of the last race – 1st and 2nd right down to the wire! photo Carolyne Vines.


John and Livvie Bell displaying their tropies. Photo Carolyne Vines

It was a beautiful day for taking pictures and we’ve included some of our favourite images, with more here: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPJwZd7_tmqwzYheApj6rMlEROwOnOLOQqRj-7RXw3r3XNV1tbFnawYV70x7stJrg. (Link can only be opened if you have a gmail account. Sorry) Album images courtesy of Carolyne Vines.


Racing with extra special sauce – Sunday 13 September

In a particularly welcome new development, racers were greeted on Sunday morning by the alluring smells of bacon cooking on the club’s new BBQ.  It even appeared irresistible to the passing RNLI crew whose masks could not entirely block out the tempting aromas.

While the bacon butties and coffee hit the spot pre-race, Team Horwitz surpassed themselves by serving up a lunch of gourmet burgers.  While it might seem unusual to start a race report with a culinary update, this new initiative was a triumph and members are encouraged to look out for new of the next time when the BBQ will make an appearance.  Many thanks to the Horwitz family for delivering this new initiative so successfully.

Turning to sailing matters, OOD John Adams set a cunning dogleg course for competitors to negotiate with the Lensbury buoy in a tricky patch and a tight turn close to the bank at Club which brought the boats close to the socially-distanced spectators.

The Handicap Fleet saw a David and Goliath situation as Ed Medcalf in an Optimist took on three N18s.

Unfortunately for Ed, it was a day when size mattered and the race was won on handicap by Charles Fox and Robert Blakeborough, from Henry Defries and Carolyne Vines, with newcomer Malcolm Warner and Garry Mallen in third.

The Laser fleet welcomed new entrant Alexey Anatskiy, and also the return of ‘irregular regulars’ Jon Redding and Richard Harris.  On this occasion, it was Jon and Richard who showed the fleet how it is done with Jon taking the win, Richard in second, and perennial front-runner Marcus Chavasse having to settle for third this time round.

(c) Jonathan Key 07949 053695

Nine Merlin Rockets graced the start line with the trio of Andy Harris, Peter Mason, and Tim Medcalf forming an early breakaway group.  However, the peloton was not to be denied.  While Andy and Peter pulled away to finish in that order Chris Balmbro and Matt P-J moved in to third and fourth.

The racing was a good workout for everyone, particularly those with an eye on the upcoming Merlin Rocket Open (19 September), N18 Inland Championships (3 October), and Laser Barometer Open (4 October).

Thank you to John Adams and Sue Harris who ran the box, and Paul Jamieson and Martin Adams who were in the patrol boat.  Also to Sara Jamieson and others for helping to run the Veranda Bar, and Jonathan Key for the photos.


Training from Home 23

In an article about outside broadcast programmes made by Pebble Mill at One I read that a Dreadnought nuclear submarine can “aquaplane “ which I assume is similar to what we know as planing .
This happens when a boat goes fast enough to rise up on its bow wave and skim across the water instead of plowing through it so going twice as fast.
You shouldn’t be doing that on the river in a power boat and wouldn’t find it easy in a dinghy .
The first time I managed it was in Osborne Bay during a weekend at the National Sailing Centre organised thru my old club .
After a hard morning doing race training the instructor said we could have half an hour fun sailing so I bore away onto a broad reach and let the sail out meaning just to have a gentle sail .
Instead the boat  sped off like a shot much to the delight of my companion “Ruthless Ruth “

Sailing can be fun
You may wonder why the instructors give up their time to run training sessions.
It’s hard work but mostly good fun and every now and then you  realise a student has “got it “.
Sailors Sayings “splice the main brace “
This video covers sailing on a run ( you can skip the advert ) if you couldn’t open last weeks Reaching you can probably get it here .
The Oppie book recognises that it’s easier for beginners to get round on a gybe rather than a tack
On a Topper it’s trickier
Big Boat Stuff
Incompetent Crew
Arriving in Monnickendam we moored in the canal beside the Marina .
The name means Monks Dam and the town is really attractive
Heading back to the boat after an evenings ramble I heard live music coming from the hotel in the Marina .
Roger wasn’t interested so I went back to check it out and found a young American couple jamming in an old ships boat set up as a smokers “howf “
After watching thru the window I was asked in and invited to play .
This lead to a fantastic evening with a fast growing audience providing free beer as we passed the guitar back and forth switching from folk to Country and Western and even
Country Joe and the Fish’s Woopee we’re going to die .

Yachtmasters Quiz

Answer from last week:  The wake from single propeller between twin rudders doesn’t wash over the rudders so they have no effect till speed builds up,

This weeks’s question:  At sea at night what does it mean if a vessel shows an all round  red over an all round green

Stay safe

Eric  Finlayson

Tammy Matters

Welcome to any new readers of Tammy Matters

Scroll to the end of this e-mail to see the News articles


Club Position on the Freedom to Partake in Watersports

Although the Clubhouse and Changing Rooms are still closed, some use of Tamesis Club by Members is permitted by the partial lifting of the Covid-19 lockdown.  Please read the Red Banner on the website home page and use the link on it to read the current conditions for use of the Club.

For those who wish to access the boatshed for boats or masts, there is no accessible key to the boatshed double doors in the Clubhouse.  Do not go into the Clubhouse to look for it or for any other reason The boatshed small door can be opened using the old Clubhouse key and the key to the double doors is housed with the race equipment.  If you wish to open the double doors and don’t know how to access that key, call any Flag Officer or the Harbourmaster.  If you do open the double doors, make sure they are bolted and locked when you leave and that the key is returned to where it came from.

Last Week   9th to 15th June

This week saw the resumption of the Wednesday Working Party which does all those small jobs (and some quite big ones) which keep the Club in the best state for Members to enjoy.  A number of projects to enhance the Club are in hand.  The planned Paddleboard storage has been completed and is already practically full.  As a result, plans are being formulated to extend the rack, as the newly formed Paddleboarding fleet appears to be growing fast.

Charles Fox continues to tackle some of the major jobs around the Club and has recently been restoring the roof of the Changing Rooms to a waterproof condition.

Tim continued the Virtual Regatta racing on Tuesday evening for Juniors and ‘Masters’.  These were well attended and a good training ground for the more vigorous Thursday and Sunday series.

John Edmondson, who has taken on the Laser Class Captaincy from Chris Taggart, has instituted a Laser WhatsApp group similar to that of the Merlin group.  The invitation to join that group is given in the WhatsApp section below.

Sunday 14th June.  Another Sunday lost to real sailing although the Virtual Racing series was continued with enthusiasm.  See the full report by Tim in News.

This Week  16th to 22nd June

At the most recent Club Management Committee we discussed a proposal to reinstate some competitive sailing.  Accordingly, the Sailing Committee met this Monday and agreed a structure for a resumption of racing.  The first trial racing will take place in the usual Sunday morning period on 28th June and will be for Lasers and Merlin Rockets.  If this trial is successful, the Committee hopes to expand the programme.  A Notice of Race containing all information will be published in next week’s Tammy Matters and also via the various WhatsApp groups.  The return to racing is an exciting prospect and all Members who plan to race are encouraged to make sure that their boats are shipshape and Bristol fashion.


Eric is continuing to send out On-Line Training by e-mails to those who are signed up to his Training programme.  If anyone is not receiving these but would like to, please let Eric know via the Training contact on our website and he can include you on his address list.  Scroll to the bottom of this Bulletin to see his latest Training in News.


The newly started paddleboarding section has been very active at the Club during the lockdown period and it is really encouraging to see such enthusiasm for this new facet of what the Club has to offer.

Andrew Horwitz, our SUP Captain, has set up a WhatsApp group for fellow SUP enthusiasts to join. They are planning their first get-together to coincide with the Summer Solstice this Saturday, 20th June. It will most likely be by way of a fairly modest trip to Kingston Bridge and back.  This is to allow as many people as possible, including children, to participate. Experienced SUP adventurers can then use the group to make plans for bigger challenges if they like.  Depending on the weather and importantly the river flow, the group is planning to depart around 5pm from Tamesis. They will paddle to Kingston and return to Tamesis in time for a picnic on the lawn.  Social distancing will, of course, need to be observed in-line with current guidelines.

Open this link to join and share your thoughts with the TAMESIS SUP WhatsApp Group:



During this time of enforced Club closure we have adopted the use of WhatsApp groups for general contact and arranging sailing and Zoom for video contacts.


The‘Tamesis Club Sailing’Group.  When normal sailing has been resumed this Group is designed to help helms find crews and vice-versa.  This Group currently has 71 Members signed-up.



TheTamesis Club Group is intended for and restricted to use by Officers to broadcast important and urgent information to all Members.  I strongly encourage all Club Members who can to join this WhatsApp group as this is the fastest way that you can receive urgent information.  This Group currently has 83 Members signed-up.


The ‘Laser’ Group has been started recently and Laser sailors are encouraged to join this Group.

https://chat.whatsapp.com/JdRQxAmO7ApIl81IIi6a1u w


The ‘TAMESIS SUP’ WhatsApp Group is now available for information on Paddleboarding :


If you do not have WhatsApp on your smartphone then you can download it for iPhones from the Apple App Store, or for Android from the Play Store.


Next Sunday’s ‘Tammy Natters’ informal Zoom social at Phil’s Bar will be initiated by Zoe Adams as is now customary.  If you would like to catch up with some people you haven’t seen for a while, do join in. Here are this coming Sunday’s joining details:

Tammy Natters:  Time: 21st June, 2020 at 1pm

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 728 392 2113
Password: 069218

A Reminder.  Joanne, the Pilates teacher who did the Monday classes at the Club, has set up an on-line class at 10:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays, £5 per person per session on Zoom.  If anyone would like any more information they can contact Nicky Johnson on nickyjohnsontamesis@gmail.com

Members are strongly advised to follow the Government advice on coronavirus avoidance techniques and to keep themselves fit  (Pilates group, Joe Wicks on U tube, etc.) for resuming normal life.

Chris Pollard

Second Thursday evening virtual sailing series gets underway

The new Thursday evening series sees the fleet take on the challenges of the Offshore Racer class.  Bigger, slower and casting a more significant wind shadow, the Offshore Racers series lit up the penalties board from the off.

Close racing was the order of the evening with significant argy bargy at the windward mark followed by some punchy downwind manoeuvres.

Despite all that was new, the standings after three races show that some things stay the same.  Jodok Gerber is at the head of affairs followed by a number of the usual suspects.

However, further down the scoreboard, it is clear that a number of racers have been working on their skills and starting to score low points here and there as a result.

With nine races to go and only 50% to count, this series already looks like it will go down to the wire.

The standings after the first set of three races are:

Tuesday evening virtual racing starts for Juniors and Masters

The new Junior and Masters virtual sailing series both started on Tuesday evening.

Nine Juniors took to the line to race in Stars and then F50s.  Penalty flags galore adorned the start of race one with a lot of opinions being shared via the chat board. Race two was equally competitive with carnage at the first mark.  At the end of two races, the series is being led by Constantin Gerber with Arthur P-J at the head of the 10s and younger category.  Some helms have already made a strong request that more races are included each evening and the OOD will consider this for the next series’ NOR.

The Masters fleet saw a varied selection of eleven wily sea dogs at the controls of the Offshore Racer class.  While some were busy discovering their sea legs after many weeks of lockdown, others were benefiting from having tasted action in the lower reaches of the April race series.  A technical glitch knocked out race the scheduled second race but a full house reappeared for a re-run.

Again, a Gerber is at the head of the early leader board and rivalries are being established throughout the fleet.

In summary, a good start to the Tuesday evening series.  As there are still six races left in each series and only four required to qualify, it is hoped that any waverers will give it a go and swell the numbers further.


eSailing latest, experience catching youth?

The second set of Thursday and Sunday races were completed with a continuation of strong fleets in all series.

Venues included picturesque San Francisco and Sydney but it is likely that helms were too preoccupied by the racing to notice.  The action is often fast and furious!

The latest standings tell an interesting story.  After an early surge to the leading places by the club’s more youthful contingent, it is clear that the saltier sea dogs are starting to find their virtual sea legs and applying the pressure.

Gaining a better understanding of Virtual Regatta’s interpretation of the RRS is also helping.

A number of experienced heads are starting to score well and moving up the rankings as a result.  As we go deeper in to the series and discards start to play a part, the leaderboard may shuffle further.

Tamesis Club will be sending a representative to the RYA’s Spring eSailing Championships and our selection shootout will happen on the afternoon of 3 May in a three race series drawing together the 12 best helms from across our current racing.  Information will be sent about how spectators can login and watch.

Thanks again to Zoe for setting up a post-race Sunday lunchtime drink and chat at her Zoom Bar!

The latest standings are below:


More Gusty Sunday Racing on 8th March


Stream on the Distance Mark


Andy Harris and Matty Key. Photo Jonathan Key


David Baker and Jim Green. Photo Jonathan Key


Ken Duffell and Joe Woods. Photo: Jonathan Key


The Laser start. Photo: Jonathan Key
Lasers planing away. Matthew Jones and Alden Horwitz. Photo: Jonathan Key


Chris Taggart


Kaan Yargici and Ellen Schwartz


John Edmondson
Sean and Joe

The current was still running fast on Sunday, but the South Westerly was strong enough to keep the boats flying along most of the time.  The 1030 race was cancelled, but four Merlins and six Lasers turned out for the main points races.

The Merlins started in a bunch, Andy Harris slipping into the lead under brother Richard’s lee, but the tables were turned by the first mark, and Richard crewed by Emma Macdonald developed a huge lead, leaving the other three to compete for the rest of the places.  Andy crewed by Matty Key was second, David Baker and Jim Green third, Ken Duffell and Joe Woods fourth.

The Lasers also had a tight start, Chris Taggart leading for much of the first part of the race.  There was a lot of place changes throughout the race, one minute the leader well in front only to be last in short order.  Alden Horwitz, John Edmondson and Ellen Schwartz all had their moment.  Matthew Jones eventually won with Chris Taggart not that far behind and Kaan Yargici in third place.    The others found sailing against the strong stream a bit more of a struggle.

Thanks to OOD Chris Balmbro, helpers Lindsey Martin, Joe McLaughlin, Sean Roberts, Paul Jamieson and Alfie for running the racing, and Jo Carstens and team for keeping us fed and watered.

Cover photo: Jonathan Key


Tammy Trains

Just when I thought we were going to have a nice quiet Sunday, we had a last minute rush of students,  and a force three offshore wind.
All the students did well with no actual capsizes but quite a lot of business for the lee shore.
Sadly we were too busy to take many photos but thanks to John Edmundson for a few .

Business as usual next Sunday.

Eric Finlayson