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Information for Prospective Members

Welcome to Thames Sailing Club (TSC) CIO

We are a registered Charity, and our objective is to promote sailing to those who are inexperienced and to provide a challenging and exciting sailing environment for those with modest and greater experience. In addition we encourage a wide Social membership who may enjoy and benefit from the great ambiance of our bar, wide variety of social events and the wonderful view from our balcony and upper lawns overlooking the river.

In any organisation today there are a wide range of considerations and the following is a full list. However, to make life easy we have highlighted in red those aspects of which all members should be mindful. Anyone applying for membership is expected to have taken note of the highlighted elements please.

TSC is the principal home of the Blue Chip Stand up Paddle-boarders (SUPers), and also the home of the Kingston University Watersports Club.

The official contact information is as follows:

Thames Sailing Club CIO, Portsmouth Road, Surbiton, Surrey, KT6 4HH, UK


TSC was founded in 1870 with the objective of promoting sailing on the Thames at Surbiton. Our club was possibly the first non tidal sailing club in the country and its members have been innovators in boat design including Langton Hope who designed one of our Olympic yachts to Beecher Moore who is believed to be the first to use a sliding seat in a racing dinghy and an early user of what is now the trapeze. Talking of Olympics Ossie Stewart a long time and current member received a Bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics. Other luminaries include Fred Sigrist, designer for the Sopwith Aircraft Co., as well as Tom Sopwith himself and Harry Hawker who founded the Hawker Aircraft Co. after the demise of Sopwith Co. We are proud to have HRH the Duke of Edinburgh as our Patron.

TSC was instrumental in establishing Rules of sailing, the first being 'no waggling of tillers' to propel boats in light airs. In the 1880's TSC joined other clubs and formed the Sailing Boat Association which merged with others to form the RYA.

TSC is known for its famous Thames A Raters. Since the 1890's these have been a regular sight at Surbiton. Around 12 of these, built between 1889 and 1922, exist and 7 still sail today; albeit with carbon fibre masts and the latest in sail design and materials.

Our Victorian clubhouse has been rebuilt once and modifications generally continue. As we enter our 150h anniversary we again look to make major improvements to our infrastructure thus proving a better sailing and social experience for our members, guests and visiting yachtsmen.


The 26ft long Thames A Raters (3 man crew) are a magnificent sight to see sailing as well as to sail in. Equally exciting are the other development class we sail which is the 14ft Merlin Rockets (2 man crew). All of these boats are owned by members; the Raters generally in syndicates.

TSC also owns a number of 15ft Omegas (2 man crew), 11ft Picos (1 adult or 2 Juniors crew) and 11ft Topper (1 Junior crew) which may be hired for a modest fee. (£10 the bigger boats and £5 the single handed craft). The club craft are available to all those that can demonstrate some proficiency and/or have passed their Level 2 RYA sailing course.

For sailing times please see Opening Times below.


TSC has been an RYA approved training centre since 2002. Many members past and present have benefited from the subsidised sailing courses which, generally are run in the spring and late summer. Power boat instruction is also available as is First Aid.

Full details of all these courses and how to book are available on our website here.


TSC, unlike most other clubs, has an open policy allowing members to make use of its powered craft outside of regular or regatta sailing times. A fee is required as is permission from an Officer before using any of the craft. Some demonstration of competent boats handling skills may be required.


As a Sailing or SUP Member you are free to sail or SUP at any time; however this is at your own risk. Our season runs from early April to the end of October and when the weather and stream are conducive we sail throughout the year. During the season we sail on most Sunday mornings (10am for an 10.50am start) and Tuesday evenings (6pm for 7pm start). We have also started having official sailing on Fun Fridays during the Summer when children can come and mess about in boats, novices may get practice and the more serious can get free advice and training. (5pm +/- onwards see website for programme.)

For Supporting Members the club is open as above and a light lunch may served during the season on Sundays and a sit down supper (£8.50-£10) is available on Tuesday evenings all the year round (See website to book your seat). There is usually a BBQ or take away after a Fun Friday event to which all are welcome.

The bar is usually open when the club is in use; as per the programme.


TSC has a wide range of social events from the fun cocktail party to the formal Summer Party, BBQ's and ad hoc events. Our Prize Giving event is well worth attending. It is unlikely that you will have seen such an excellent array of trophies and Prize Giving is usually followed by a party and dancing. A full list of trophies and their histories and winners may be found on our website. (Note trophies are taken home by the winners)


As a member of TSC you are able to hire the clubhouse for a private function; perhaps a children's family party or an anniversary or wedding reception. To make use of this please contact our Rear Commodore who can provide details of costs and availability.


The car park should be kept locked. Members may purchase keys a) to the car park, b) to the changing rooms and c) to the clubhouse. If you arrive and the car park posts are down do not assume the posts will remain down and unlocked. Contact the Rear Commodore for the keys you require which are usually supplied at cost.


We welcome all who are interested in sailing and/ or wish to enjoy the best riverside garden in Surbiton and the social side of the club. The joining process is easy. Print off a Membership Application form from the website and fill in the required details. Introduce yourself to a Trustee and ask him or her to countersign your application. Pay the membership fee due and you immediately become a Temporary Member eligible to enjoy all the facilities of that class of membership except vote at a General Meeting. Once processed, the Membership Secretary will send you an e-mail confirming your full membership.

Full details of the classes of membership may be found on the Application forms together with the current prices. Should you have a boat then you may bring this with you; however you may find more enjoyable sailing if you have a class of boat similar to the classes we already sail. Berthing is allocated by the Harbourmaster and Berthing Fees may be found on the Berthing Application forms; again available on the website.


These are approved each year by the membership at the AGM. Full details are provided on the Application forms which can be found on the website or on the back of the Programme which can be found on the club's notice board.


TSC is managed by a Board of Trustees who are elected at an Annual General Meeting by the membership and comprises of Flag Officers and other Trustees.

Details of the current incumbents and their contact information may be found on the club Programme and website.

All posts are voluntary and support is expected from all members. All members are requested to attend the work-parties one in the spring and one in the autumn for at least 2 hours. Your assistance may be requested to clean paintwork, paint lines or any simple task such as gardening etc. Some form of free lunch is usually laid on and with a little enthusiasm the time spent becomes rewarding within a party atmosphere. If you can't attend then we ask for a small donation per work party.

Sailing members are requested, and some supporting members volunteer, to assist with either manning the Race Box or assisting with the rescue boats. The tasks are simple and to start with everyone is deemed to be an assistant.


Until recently we operated under a simple set of Rules. However, legislation and current litigation practice has meant that we have had to embrace change. All members are required to have read the Constitution, Rules and Bye Laws and Club Policies. This is for the benefit and protection of individual members and also the benefit and protection of the club; which is all the members jointly.

Current legislation requires that TSC management take reasonable actions to protect the wellbeing of all members and any members' data held by club officials.

Please read the Constitution, Rules, Bye Laws and Policies for your protection and guidance. These may be found on our website.


It is important that everyone enjoys the club and its environment. This takes some organising and supporting effort. There are many small tasks that can help to make our club a better place to be and your contribution, however small, will make a difference. Do keep an eye out for an opportunity to give someone a hand. Those on the committees will appreciate your support.

We are here to have a good time and enjoy sailing and a pleasant social life. With your company we will have a better time.

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