Upper Thames Sailing Club Latest News
An Upper Thames SC sailor was among dedicated volunteers from across the UK who had their endeavours recognised by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal at the annual RYA Volunteer Awards on 18 November.
Bruce James received an RYA Lifetime Commitment Award for his exceptional generosity and commitment to boating at the awards ceremony and exclusive luncheon held at One Great George Street, Westminster.
Watch a video of the day watch
The RYA Awards are presented to outstanding individuals for their commitment and services to boating and to the RYA, at either a Regional or National level. A total of 44 volunteers were recognised across four categories, the RYA Awards, RYA Community Awards, Francis Elkin Award and the RYA Family Award.
The RYA Community Awards consisting of Lifetime Commitment, Outstanding Contribution and Youth categories, were presented to individuals nominated by their sailing clubs and class associations and selected by the RYA Awards Panel for their contributions to sailing at grassroots level.
RYA Director of Sport Development Alistair Dickson explains: “The RYA Volunteer Awards are all about celebrating the hard work and dedication of the many volunteers who put so much in to support our sport.
“It’s really important we take the time to say thank you. These volunteers are making our sport happen and without them we wouldn’t be getting out on the water and enjoying all the activities which we do today”.
Bruce said of the award: “I am very pleased to have received this award, which was described by the RYA's Chief Executive, perhaps a little tongue in cheek, as the MBEs of our sport.
“There are many members at our club whose voluntary commitment contribute to the club's success and I thank the club for putting me forward.
“The day itself was a model of how to run a successful award ceremony, pleasant, well organised, slick and overall highly enjoyable. My thanks to all concerned.”
In nominating Bruce for the award Upper Thames Sailing Club (UTSC) said: “Bruce has served the sport of sailing for over 50 years and UTSC since 1975. “He has fulfilled most roles in the club, including Training Principal, Rear Commodore, General Secretary and Commodore.
“He has always been the voice of reason within committees, applying pragmatism and subtle humour to remove the heat from debates and move things forward.
“He has also served as Race Officer for Bourne End Week and other major regattas. These are complex sailing events, often with 70 boats on the water, and Bruce has discharged his duties with good humour while managing a demanding set of competitors.
“In his mid-60s he retook his Instructor qualification, which he held for another six years, only recently stepping back to Assistant Instructor.
“Since standing down as Commodore, he has freely offered his insurance industry expertise to the club by assisting with several insurance claims, most recently following the 2014 storms when the Thames Valley, and the clubhouse, were flooded.
“From starting Fun Sailing on Saturdays in the 70s, to using his wealth of experience to lead induction sessions for new members today, Bruce has been a much revered cornerstone of the club for four decades.“
Do you know a volunteer who always goes the extra mile? Nominations for the 2017 RYA Volunteer Awards are now invited. For more information and to make a nomination visit ryavolunteerawards
Squire Furneaux Volvo has created bespoke offer for UTSC members
To celebrate our third year of partnership with our local Volvo dealer Squire Furneaux UTSC members can take advantage of some exclusive offers which can be found on our very own specially created website http://affinity.volvocarcorporation.com/partners/Ut16sC
Once again, Squire Furneaux is sponsoring Bourne End Week and will have vehicles on display.
Squire Furneaux has extended the RYA Affinity offer to all members of UTSC whether or not you have RYA membership. Our commodore Alan Markham took advantage of the Volvo Affinity scheme last year which saw him sat behind the wheel of a brand new Volvo V60 on a special deal for sailors.
Affinity deals include list price discount, finance offers and three-year service plans.
Take a look at the offers available and we look forward to seeing even more Volvos in our car park soon!
Adventurer wins the Queen’s Cup for the first time at Bourne End Week
Bourne End Week Regatta has been taking place on the Thames at the end of May for a hundred years and this year there was a mixture of both windy and calm days to test the river sailing skills of participants.
The regatta was sponsored this year for the first time by Squire Furneaux Maidenhead, the local Volvo dealer, who were promoting the Volvo RYA deal and Aberdeen Asset Management who provided sailing kit which was awarded as race prizes and awards for volunteers. The week was also supported by Andrew Milsom Estate Agents, and online chandler Virtual Rigger, who sponsored Junior Bourne End Week as well and provided useful on-site support throughout.
The Thames A Rater National Championships took place over the five days. Thirteen boats took part with some vintage boats dating back to the early days of the regatta.
The highlight and final race of the week was for the prestigious Queen’s Cup, which was presented to the club in 1893 by Queen Victoria. The race was won by Adventurer, a new Thames A Rater, which led each lap of the race. She was helmed for the first time by Simon Blake with Jock Wishart and Jamie Stewart as crew. This crowned off a magnificent week for the new boat which had been repainted and had modifications made over the last year.
Thirteen boats competed for eight significant trophies and six of the Thames A Raters went home with a cup to round off an enjoyable and spectacular week with the honours being shared widely. The Rater winners were:
Queen’s Challenge Cup – Adventurer (Simon Blake, Jock Wishart, Jamie Stewart)
Vintage Rater Trophy – Scamp (Jonathan Smith, Matt Dean, Adrian Hart)
Thames Champion Cup – Spindrift (Martin Hunter, Roger Stafford, Jeremy Kearns,)
Dunn Cup – Kingfisher (Martin Collen, Clive Hughes, Richard Stent)
Clayton-Jackson Cup – Adventurer (Simon Blake, Jock Wishart, Jamie Stewart)
Scamp Cup – Lady Jane (Ben Palmer, Sam Eversfield, Tom Kinver)
Commodore’s Cup – Kingfisher (Martin Collen, Sarah Collen, Clive Hughes)
Wokefield Challenge Cup – Osprey (Paul Browning, Justin Dunn, Mark Staite)
The 20 Merlin Rockets competed hard for the Yves Challenge Plate over 6 races. The Commodore of Upper Thames, Alan Markham, and his wife, Sue, were trying particularly hard in their Merlin and managed to recover from a very exciting moment (pictured) gybing at the home mark in front of the clubhouse.
The Merlin series was won by Upper Thames’s Laurie Smart and Vanessa Pilon with Simon and Gemma Davis (also UTSC) in second place, followed by Alex and Gareth Jones of Cookham Reach SC.
Peter and Beth Brewer won the Wayfarer Founders Cup, and Terry Curtis, currently of Weymouth SC and formerly of UTSC, won the Yeatman Trophy for the OKs. In the Fast Handicap youngsters Alex Pausey and Jacques Hunter held off the challenge of more experienced sailors to win the Candlesticks.
As usual a full social programme was enjoyed each day by the attendees of the Regatta, with the ever popular cocktail party being particularly well attended.
Many more photos of the action are i the gallery
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On 18th November the young sailors from Woodside School gave an assembly attended by the whole School, parents, teachers, and members of the Amersham Rotary Club following their very successful and exciting two-day sailing course at the Upper Thames Sailing Club in Bourne End during the summer.
They gave a confident talk illustrated by pictures and answered questions from their school friends. President Roger Wyborn of Rotary was delighted to present them with certificates from the Upper Thames Sailing Club.
Thanks go to the Sailing Club and their instructors who worked hard to give these novice sailors an enjoyable and rewarding time.
Congratulations to Deborah Hughes who’s qualified for the National Junior Laser 4.7 winter squad. This is the RYA Team GBR programme, and Deborah was selected after competing at Weymouth and Grafham Water.
Congratulations too to Lizzy Markham on her selection for the Topper Class ITCA (GBR) UK Racing Squad.
The Club now has a Twitter account – our handle is @upperthamessc
The club applied for a grant of £50,000 National Lottery funding from the Sport England Inspired Facilities fund.
This is part of the ‘Places People Play’ Olympic legacy programme.
We are delighted to tell you that our application has been successful.
The application was made to enable us to update our changing facilities and energy supply and the funding will make a significant contribution to the overall costs of the updating.
The improvements will include new showers and non-slip flooring, significantly improved insulation of the ground floor and a heat pump to supply renewable energy for heating and hot water. The opportunity will also be taken to improve access for ambulant disabled and to provide baby changing facilities.
Only one in four of the applications were successful and it is no mean achievement that ours was one of the successful ones and at the first time of asking.
We would like to thank Alan Markham and his team of Sarah Percival, Clive Hughes, Chris Chacksfield and Alastair Paterson for putting together a well thought through, detailed and successful application.
It is intended to make a short presentation on one of the September Wednesday evenings to give members more detailed information.
New Club Partnership with Virtual Rigger
We are pleased to announce a new benefit for club members. Virtual Rigger is an online chandlery that also has a shop at Queen Mary Sailing Club. VR offers club members a 10% discount on online orders plus free delivery to the club. Have a look at www.v-rigger.com to see the full range of boat bits and clothing.
Pictures of Pirate Day holiday Monday by Tony Ketley are now in the gallery, more to be added later.