Upper Thames Sailing Club



Thames Valley Challenge

Frequently Asked Questions about the







What is the Thames Valley Challenge?

The Thames Valley Challenge is a 3 boat junior team racing event sailed in Fevas. It's an exciting competition between clubs but it Is also great fun!  Last year we had 10 teams and over 60 children sailing. It is an annual event, this year held at Upper Thames Sailing Club.


When is it?

Saturday 24 June.  Entries to made as soon as possible – see the Notice of Race for details and the entry form.


Do I need any particular experience?

You need to be able to sail competently around a course but no particular racing skills or team racing experience is needed. This is the perfect first event to do away from your home club or even a good introduction to racing.


So what is team racing?

Three crews sail together as a team. They race against similar teams in a series of short races, usually around 10 minutes, on an S shaped course. The aim is to beat the team you race against by scoring more points for the positions in which you finish (so 1st, 2nd, 3rd beats 4th, 5th, 6th obviously but lots of other combinations win too!)


Sounds complicated

Not really - if you can add up to 10 you can work it out. But we will have live scores on display on the day so you can see how you are doing. And there will be a briefing on the day so you know how it all works. 


Do I need to bring a boat?

No, all boats are provided on the day and we tell you who is to sail in which boat in the different races. But don't worry, they will all be rigged the same so nobody gets an advantage. 

If you have Fevas at your club, and can lend them for the event, that will be really helpful. Please contact us to discuss, or let us know via the entry form.


So what do I need to bring?

You will need to bring a buoyancy aid and your usual sailing kit (wetsuit, swimming trunks, wet shoes etc.), a change of dry clothes.  The galley will serve tea, coffee and soft drinks to buy, as well as snacks and there will be a barbeque.  However you may bring your own food.  

We would also encourage teams to bring their own gazebo as space in the club house is limited – this will allow teams to have some shade if it’s too sunny, or shelter if it rains.  There are toilets and showers located in the clubhouse.


What's the age limit?

You need to be 16 or under as of 31 August 2017.


Can we enter more than one team?

Entrance is limited. You can enter more than one team although we cannot guarantee additional spaces at this stage.  See the Notice of Race and entry form, available  for details.


Where is it?

This year it’s at Upper Thames Sailing Club which is situated on the River Thames at Bourne End.

The address is: Upper Thames Sailing Club, Riverside, Bourne End, Bucks, SL8 5RF

However, if you are using satnav, use SL8 5PT to avoid ending up in the marina.  Aim for Coldmoorholme Lane, once past the Spade Oak pubturn left into Upper Thames Way and follow the track to the car park at the end.  After parking, please be careful crossing the railway it is in use daily.

Detail of how to find us are on our website at http://www.utsc.org.uk/index.php?id=60


Sounds great - how do we enter?

First get together your team, six sailors plus up to two reserves.  You also need an adult to be Team Manager to organise you on the day. Then complete the entry form and send it to us.  Let us know early because there will be a limit on the number of teams.


How much does it cost?

The entry fee is £90 a team.   We also ask for a deposit cheque for £300 a team in case of any boat damage 


Can I volunteer to help?

Absolutely.  If you are not competing then there are lots of roles which we will need help with.  Upper Thames Sailing Club is running the event but we also ask that all competing clubs provide a couple of volunteers to help on the day - whether that's as a race officer, in safety boats or marshalling teams.   All help gratefully received!


Need to know more?  

Please see the Notice of Race and the UTSC website here or contact:

Alan Markham (thamesvalleychallenge2017@gmail.com)