Tamesis Club

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.







Start times for the Cutty Sark Bolt and Kempton Nut on Sunday 27 June

The annual Cutty Sark Bolt and Kempton Nut long distance handicap pursuit races will be taking place on Sunday 27 June.  The Kempton Nut is a race specifically for our Junior sailors and we hope to see another good turn out from this enthusiastic group.  A meal will be available after the racing with a traditional chicken and leek pie and dessert for £10, with a junior option of sausages and vegetables followed by dessert for £6.  The bar will be open.

The Cutty Sark Bolt is a race staged on behalf of the Cutty Sark with all funds from the £5 entry fee being transferred to the charity.  Please don’t forget to bring your entry fee in cash.

The prize is for possibly the only remaining bolt that was removed from the Cutty Sark when it was restored – the rest were apparently melted down – so quite a trophy.

There is no fee for the Kempton Nut competition which has as its prize a particularly impressive nut that was part of the historic steam water pump at Kempton waterworks and was donated by a member who was an engineer involved with the restoration.

Finally, administering the start of a handicap pursuit and then recording the results can be an onerous task for even the most experienced team in the box.

If you are competing, please remember to bring a watch with which you can time your start (set it from the clock being used by the box team); there will not be any preparatory signals so you will need to have a good idea of when your fleet is due to start.

When the finishing signal is given, please remember to hold you position relative to other boats while the final standings are recorded.

Cutty Sark Bolt (senior race)

Kempton Nut times (junior race)

Centenary Cup 2021, a summer stunner!

After some organisational back and forth in the week prior, the Centenary Cup was run on Sunday afternoon with an excellently-sized fleet racing in glorious conditions.

The sign-on sheets register 26 entrants with a good mix of classes for this handicap pursuit event.

The club was particularly pleased to see seven of our Juniors giving racing a try and a sincere ‘well done’ is extended to Alex Hoo, Tom Harris, Leela and Arun Siebert-Patel, Edward Medcalf, William Balmbro, and Sara Krueger for giving it a go.

The box team of Colin and Margaret Stokes, supported by Jim Green, had ample opportunity to sound the hooter and gradually got the fleets under way.  Slowest boats depart first and a confident start is required to calm the nerves and stave off that daunting feeling of being pursued by faster craft.


The format can also lead to sailors who may not normally compete directly together coming into close quarters manoeuvring on the same part of the racetrack.  This resulted in some salty words of encouragement being exchanged on the water which appeared to be resolved later over a pint on the lawn.

Keeping a track on the finishing positions is never easy but the scoring team were confident that they had ‘counted them out, and counted them back in again’.

So to the prize-giving, where the Commodore awarded first place in the Senior Centenary Cup to Peter and Richard Mason in their Merlin Rocket 847 Bambusa.

In an unaccustomed second place came Andy Harris and Matty Key, followed by Berry Ritchie and debutante crew Nicola Siebert-Patel in third.

A clean sweep for the Merlin Rocket fleet in conditions that probably favoured the class.

The Junior Centenary Cup was won by Tom Harris, with Arun Siebert-Patel in second and Alexander Hoo in third, all racing Toppers.  Judging by the extensive plunging from the jetty into the river by a large group of Juniors, it had been a tiring and hot afternoon!

Congratulations to the race winners and to all who took part.

Thanks also to the all-important volunteers.  Colin and Margaret Stokes in the box with Jim Green, Florian Krueger and Onursal Soyer in the first patrol boat, and Charlie Morgan and Byron Hoo in the second.

Competitors were at least equally grateful to the apres-race team of Andrew and Deb Horwitz who served up much-needed cooling drinks that fuelled some convivial socialising on the lawns.

The handicap pursuit format obviously proved popular and there is an opportunity to reprise the experience on 27 June when the club will be running its annual Cutty Sark Bolt (Seniors) and Kempton Bolt (Juniors), long distance handicap pursuit event.  Always a cracking event with an interesting history so make a note in your diary!

Sunday racing with added special sauce 23 May

The forecast didn’t disappoint in that it was disappointing for anyone hoping to race in conditions that looked vaguely like the start of summer.  The wind pivoting between southwest and south resulted in a course that was set to take the fleet on a foray ‘above the island’ to have a look at Canbury Gardens.

Six Lasers were given a schooling by the ‘master’ Jon Redding who came home a clear winner seemingly entirely untroubled by the conditions.  Behind him there were varying degrees of challenge.  Congratulations to Bendan Hills for getting round in his new boat and showing signs of being a contender in the fleet, also to Alexey Anatskiy for having the resilience to make it to the finish.

The Merlin Fleet was slightly depleted but eight plucky crews braced themselves for the voyage upstream, and back down again, three times.  After some early close running with Joe Mclaughlin and Sean Roberts, Andy Harris and Matty Key proved to be the class of the field and were the clear winners by a very comfortable margin.  David Baker and Jim Green were in next followed at a distance by the survivors of an intriguing mid/rear-field battle which saw places swapped with regularity, every boat having its moment in the sunny (rainy/windy) uplands of success matched by a sharp dose of river racing reality.  Special mention to Peter Impey, crewed by late stand-in the ever-enthusiastic Sophie Harrison, who featured in the mix early on and persevered to finish – surely more to come here?

While some sailors felt that they had had to laugh in the face of some extreme conditions on the water, they were as nothing compared to the extreme BBQing challenges that the redoubtable Team Horwitz endured to produce their high quality gourmet burgers.  These tasty treats were welcomed by all who bought one and it is hoped that they will make a return, accompanied by lashings of sunshine, in the near future.

Along with Team Horwitz, the club would also like to thank the Commodore, Peter Bide, Garrie Mallen, and Florian Kreuger for running the patrol boats, Beatrice Russ for keeping the race box ticking along with German efficiency, and Nicky Johnson and team for bringing beverages to the masses despite the rain and wind coming through the doors!

The latest forecast for Thursday evening and next weekend suggests a band of more clement weather is on the way and we look forward to seeing some good fleets on those days and, maybe just maybe, the start of a beautiful summer!

Below is a selection of shots from the racing, thank you to Jonathan Key.



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: