Commodore Musings June 2017
Published 20:35 on 13 Jun 2017
Late May and early June see a flurry of events particularly in the Rater fleet which are worth reflecting on.
Bourne End Week 2017 was dominated by two fleets; the Merlin Rockets and The Thames A Raters. There were 19 Merlins which is down a bit on last year, but it is generally thought the clash with a Merlin event in Carnac was the main issue. Rob and Jenny Cage, as well as Chris and Pip, represented Thames well and were highly competitive. It was a shame that due to a lack of wind 3 races were lost. The Rater fleet were there in numbers, with 14 boats on the cosy start line. Next year is set to be even more crowded with Champaign and Bonito looking to join in. Adventurer sailed By Simon Blake, Jock Wishart and James Warren won the Thames Champion Cup – Jock gave a very heartfelt vote of thanks to UTSC. Scamp sailed by Jon Smith, Mathew Dean and Adrian Hart won the delayed Queens Cup after a 3 and half hour sail in light wind and fading light. It was noticeable this year that competition was intense there were at least 8 boats with the pace for a race win. UTSC each year asks for feedback – so please feel free to send me your feedback and I will collate it.
Junior Bourne End Week – was equally if not more successful than the Adult version, there was good TSC representation, the weather was great and everyone that I spoke to thoroughly enjoyed their time. Particular thanks to Ben May who organised taking the TSC club boats to and from UTSC.
Three Rivers this year saw a classic Rater finish with three boats getting in before the wind shut down. Paul Browning, Justin Dunn and Graham Bartholomew in Osprey were again first home and even with a massive 27% handicap won the event overall – well done. It was also great to see Bonito (Thames A Rater 22 which is berthed at Wroxham) come in second on the water.
So finally, we come to the third weekend event in a row – the fabled trip to Paris and the Yacht Club I'lle de France (YCIF) and Cercle de la Voile de Paris (CVP). This year CVP hosted a weekend event on the Seine and welcomed 5 Thames A Raters and a single Merlin Rocket to their annual event. The team at the CVP were fantastic, the history is amazing, with tales of Monet having to pay his bar bills in the form of paintings, and of hosting of the sailing at the 1900 Olympics and 1924 Olympics which saw the introduction of single handed racing sailed on the Seine. This year the wind was light and the race officer created some form of pursuit race with the Raters going 19 minutes and 20 seconds after the 2.4m's on a fixed length course. Due to the conditions the Raters were already into the Solings by the first mark and it took 3 legs of the 4 leg course to pass the leading 2.4m. The local aspects that made this special were the massive commercial vessels that come down the river with a guard boat blowing a horn. The wash made for some interesting manoeuvres. Needless to say the Raters took the Podium, 1st Osprey (Miles Palmer, Justin Dunn and Graham Batholomew), 2nd Kingfisher (Martin Collen, Clive Hughes and Chris), 3rd Wings (Adrian Michelson, Carolyn Munday, Mel Hardman with a little help from other Crew Members). The Hospitality was fantastic, the location superb – I feel that there needs to developed some form of association of river sailing clubs. I would like to thank Mel Hardman for her tireless work in organising both teams to make this happen – we will of course need to reciprocate – but I fear that the weather and cuisine will not meet expectations!
Now moving into the future please note that this Sunday is our second Social Sunday Sailing (18th June – 10am ), please come down and have fun on the water– the main idea is to just enjoy the club play around in boats – maybe brush up on techniques. There will be a number of experienced sailors around to help rig boats and answer questions. Just come and have fun – it is for the whole family!
The Training courses are going very well this year with many trainees passing through the club, please make sure that you encourage them to join in club activities these are potential new members. We also have a few Junior week-long courses over the summer holidays – please book your space as places are going fast through the website Training section.
The weekend of the 24th and 25th June sees our next major social event The Summer Party on 24th June. The band is booked so get on your dancing shoes and come to the club for a big party. Also, please note guests are welcome so feel free to speak to Nick Fribbens about booking tickets. Sunday 25th is the TSC Open regatta where we see visitors from our neighbouring clubs joining the racing – if you have any sailing friends who want to bring their boat to take a crack at river sailing, there will be a Handicap, Merlin and Rater starts.
The Stand Up Paddlers have set up a "have a go day" on the 1st July, if you would like to give it a go or have friends that wish to please come down it might also be good to give Brian Johncey a call to ensure that you can join in.
Finally I would like to inform you that we sent a Birthday card for 96th Birthday of our patron HRH Duke of Edinburgh, we are also in early discussions regarding the next patron of Thames Sailing Club.
I look forward to seeing you on the water.
Commodore June 2017.