A sailor and volunteer from Sunbury-on-Thames has been presented with one of the RYA’s most prestigious awards by HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA in recognition of his commitment to Queen Mary Sailing Club (QMSC).

Tony Woods received an Outstanding Contribution Award after being nominated by his club and selected as a winner by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel. He was presented at One Great George Street, London on Friday 22 November.

The RYA is boating’s national governing body and the Volunteer Awards are considered the ‘MBEs’ of the sport, honouring people throughout the UK for their outstanding contributions across all the disciplines the RYA represents, including sailing, windsurfing, motor cruising, inland waterways and personal watercraft.

Watch a video of the awards here

Tony has been Fleet Captain at QMSC for nine years and organiser of the UK Laser Nationals for two years running. His own mentoring scheme gets the fleet to work together to improve sailing standards, provides support when things don’t go well and gives every Laser sailor at QMSC a sense of being on the same team.

He has introduced training sessions after racing on Sundays as well as professional coaching sessions from top Laser sailors. He initiated the Big Sunday series to get as many Laser sailors on the water as possible and has set up the QM Laser website and Facebook page. As a result, his resurrected QM Laser fleet is now as big as it was in the 1980s.

The UK Laser Association has persuaded Tony to bring his considerable organisational skills and energy to organising the Laser Nationals, and in Plymouth in 2018 he was responsible for creating the whole social programme. His consistent support for Laser sailors locally and nationally is outstanding.

Tony said on receiving his award: “I was both thrilled and honoured to receive the RYA award. Thanks to QMSC for nominating me and for being such a great team to work with! My wife and I enjoyed the awards ceremony very much.”

Youth Winter Training – Lasers, RS Feva, Windsurfing and Topper-Tera

We’ve had an incredible season at QMSC and we hope you have enjoyed getting out on the water developing your sailing skills. Now that the nights are drawing in it’s time for us to look forwards to the winter and our Youth Winter Training Programme.

Winter Windsurfing:
We are excited to release our Winter Windsurfing Squad and would love all of you to become a part of this. Many of you have been showing your continued interest in Windsurfing, not only at Queen Mary but across the region and even some of you representing the country abroad. Our Winter Windsurfing will be one day per month and available to those of you who are Stage 3 and above; looking to keep progressing your skills throughout the winter. The focus will be enjoyment, whilst learning new skills along the way! It would be fantastic to have you along for the ride so if you are interested then please get involved and keep the buzz going!

Winter Dinghy Training:
This year sees the return of our popular Laser Coaching led once more by Andy Kerr, running for five sessions on a mixture of Saturdays and Sundays throughout the winter. These sessions are aimed at honing your Laser sailing technique and will look at rigging, tuning, boat handling and some racing. We will also be running Topper/Tera training on five Saturdays from November-March. Run by senior QM instructors, these sessions are aimed at sailors looking to do more sailing specifically in these boats, who are potentially keen to start looking at racing in the Topper or Tera circuits. For the first time this year we are offering winter training in RS Fevas. A fun and dynamic double hander – this boat is seeing rapid growth in training and racing throughout the Western Hemisphere. If you’d like to sail with a friend this course is for you! We will look at boat handling, including sailing with spinnakers, as well as preparing you to start racing in Fevas. Please note in order to join this session you will need to hold a RYA Stage 4 certificate as a minimum.

BOOKING – Youth Training

Parents – we also have plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy the winter breeze! Please see our website for our Adult Winter Training Programme, including dates for Double Hander, Laser/Aero, Racing and even Sailfoil training.

We look forward to seeing you on the water over the coming months, Team QM

Cherub Inland Championship at Queen Mary Sailing Club

Seven Cherubs made their way to Queen Mary in London for some sailing, trialling the new Great Lakes handicaps; 970 for 97 rules, 903 for current rules and 750 for foiling Cherubs, but first the rugby… well that was a shame.

Saturday was rather fruity with gusts of 45+ knots recorded on the club odometer. The Race Office made the brave, but wise decision to abandoned all racing, but with the provision of bringing Sunday racing forward and increasing the number of races to 4.

Decisions were made to head off to the ice skating ring, great fun with those with the skills showing them off and those that were rusty getting in the way of everyone.

Andy and Jill were as usual excellent hosts for the fleet, a guided tour of some Sunbury-On-Thames pubs and a fine Italian dinner were the order of the evening before retiring to the house for many, many Dark ‘N’ Stormies.

Sunday heralded a bright, brisk and breeze-free morning. Not exactly what was planned? Racing started early yet still on time.

Race 1: All boats pushing the line with many loosing and 3 winning. Poppy, Usagi and King Tubby rolled away upwind with light and shifty wind causing many, if not all to lose out at some point. Poppy probably losing out the most hitting out left with Usagi who managed to hold her speed and height with Poppy losing all speed despite only being 2 boat lengths away; so much so that King Tubby got passed allowing for some epic tactical decisions for the downwind leg to the line allowing Poppy to roll king tubby with a few boat lengths to go, but Tubby had the last laugh as the handicap allowed them to come 2nd after Usagi. EJ had to retire early due to a fully wrongly rigged kite so we’re seen blasting through the course at times.

Race 2: Poppy pulled a fast one with a port end flyer. Usagi allowed her through but having to avoid King Tubby. Rumours are King Tubby held the fleet off on the left hand side while Poppy snuck up the right, but with Andy Peters being who he is (maybe Jill is the brains?) Usagi got passed with King Tubby in hot pursuit. Also passing, funnily enough at about the same place as race one. EJ’s bad luck continued as they had to head home early after a cringle in the head of their main pulled out.

Race 3: a delayed start as a front came in, the wind swung and picked up. A&E so far has been in submarine mode. But with the added wind she really went like a horse with some ginger rubbed somewhere. During the wait the temperature dropped, the barometer was getting low. The Flying Kipper fended off Poppy at the start but managed to squeeze inside of the committee boat, Usagi covered the whole fleet, Ronin getting fully stuck in with King Tubby being covered before tacking off. The front had left so we were back to sub 10 knots. A&E was back to submarine mode so didn’t play a big part in the race.

Race 4: With the temperature drop before race 3, Ronin, Poppy and the Flying Kipper called it a day and headed in using up their discards. Hot showers were amazing. King Tubby followed Usagi around the race course for 45 minutes.

Overall Results:

Pos Sail No Helm Crew Club PY R1 R2 R3 R4 Pts
1st 3202 Andrew Peters Jill Peters Queen Mary Sailing Club 903 ‑1 1 1 1 3
2nd 2650 Martyn Denchfield Jay Williamson Derbyshire 970 ‑3 2 2 2 6
3rd 3216 Jamie Pearson Georgie A Draycote Water Sailing Club 903 2 3 3 (DNC) 8
4th 3215 Jonny O’Connor Alex Harris Dee Sailing Club 750 4 6 4 (DNF) 14
5th 2659 Oliver Goolden Pierce Cook Covenham Sailing Club 970 5 5 5 (DNC) 15
6th 3206 Emma Pearson Jimmy Ruddiman Stokes Bay SailingClub 903 (DNF) 4 DNC DNC 20
7th 2698 Julian Bradley Helen Cafferata Queen Mary Sailing Club 903 6 (DNC) DNC DNC 22

by Jamie Pearson

Winter Racing and Winter Training Programme – Opportunities to start Sail-Foiling

Don’t stop sailing in the winter months!

We have our ‘Winter Training Programme’ to keep you on the water and developing your skills until the 2020 Training Programme starts back up in Spring. And we keep on racing every Sunday, week in week out, with of course the two highlights of the season: Our Christmas Fun Race on Dec 15th and The Bloody Mary on Jan 11th!

This winter you could take advantage and try something new… Dinghy Foiling, RS Aero training and RS200/400 training:



We are very excited to launch an entirely new discipline of sailing to QMSC: Sailfoiling! Take to the skies in our foil adapted RS Aero and Laser and experience exhilarating speed and an entirely new sensation as your boat lifts out of the water. Suitable for any sailor with Dinghy Level 2 or above who has experience sailing a Laser or Aero this completely new skill offers rapid improvement and progression. The RYA Sailfoil scheme comes in three parts, of which we are currently offering the first two: First Flight (a 4 hour taster session aimed at achieving take off), Sustained Flight and Performance Flight. FIRST COURSE THIS SATURDAY

Training for intermediate to advanced adult sailors with Dinghy Level 2 or above who are looking at fine tuning their single handed performance. Sessions will look at rigging, tuning and boat handling specific to the Laser and RS Aero, as well as some introductory race training if desired. Helping you get ready to join the Sunday start line if you wish!

Intermediate and advanced training for adult sailors in any of our double handed fleet working on refined boat handling, sailing with spinnakers and some race training. The sessions would aim to progress from our training fleet to our performance RS200 and RS400 making you comfortable sailing a variety of double handers. Again… helping you get ready to join the Sunday start line if you wish!

We can also offer Personal Tuition at any time: just give us a call on 01784 248881 for more details. Note: Nearly all of our adult courses are FREE if you join our QM Select Membership scheme

The Winter Youth Race Training programme is very close to going live, If you would like information please email sailingsecretary@queenmary.org.uk



Minutes of AGM of Queen Mary Reservoir Sailing Club Ltd – Held at the Clubhouse on 13th October 2019 at 2pm


1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Chris Simon and Steven Fowles


2. Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as being a true record and were signed by the Commodore.

Proposed by Charles Wand Tetley and seconded by Bob Joce and passed unanimously.


3. Matters arising

There were no matters arising.


4. Commodore’s Report (Richard Steele)

Hello Everyone. I think you will agree that what follows is a very positive report for 2019, so far. QMSC is also in good shape financially as our Hon Treasurer will explain later. A successful appeal to HMRC regarding VAT payments, resulted in a major rebate. This has allowed us to make significant investments in time for the 1st April start of season and beyond:

Projects completed – Led by our Council, GM Tony, Volunteers & Staff

  • New club balcony & splendid glass fronted balustrade – RC Steven Fowles
  • New wet flooring on the entire ground level – GM Tony Bishop & all of us
  • Computer Room & Servers rebuilt & commissioned – CM Paul Johnson
  • Booking System & System 365 Distribution Groups – VC Chris Stanton
  • New Club Boats, foiling kits & equipment etc – GM Tony & SP Paul Adams
  • Prudence must prevail now, but more to come – Council & Hon Treasurer

Club Racing  Results – As a new ARO , I’ve been deeply impressed with Club Racing

  • The Bloody Mary was back: Monique Vennis-Ozanne (& crew John Mather) at 16 yrs  3 mths the youngest overall winning helm by a month. “It’s great, I’ve done BM twice in an RS Feva & Topper and I can’t believe I’ve just won!
  • Wednesday SEVEN30 Cup Series won by Howard Farbrother and Louise Hosken, RS400 V’s RS200 closely fought racing, Andy & Jill Peters 2nd.
  • Wednesday Series Cup overall was won by Howard Farbrother & Louise.
  • Club Championships won by Markus Bird, the Laser fleet remains King.
  • RTYC’s big event this year was the J80 British American Cup. Astonishing winds/racing and to top it all RTYC won on the last race and the last lap.
  • British Keelboat League finals RS21s – Astonishing winds x2 & racing again
  • QMSC testing & pondering acquiring RS21’s for club & Select programme
  • Boat owning membership has stabilised this year, beating industry trends
  • Join us at the Christmas Lunch, Sunday 15th December, for the full annual prize-giving, Xmas Fun Race, RYA awards to celebrate & special prizes too

Circuit Racing Results –  QMSC Prestigious visibility, we always race from the front

  • Bjorn Handley wins Topper 4.2 Nationals & 2nd Worlds & joins the GB squad
  • Team 15 windsurfers (Skimmers) deliver great national results and go to the Europeans, Millie Searle 12th Junior Girl & Elektra Day-San 35th Youth Girl; T15 Interclub event – QM 3rd overall for the series & won the QM hosted event
  • RS400 Fleet: QM top travelling club in the southern circuit. Strong club presence both at the nationals & Europeans at Garda. Highlights: Special Endeavour prize to QMSC. Howard and Lou for a 2nd to Steve Cockerill southern circuit sponsor & overtaking Nick Craig in the nationals to win a race
  • RS200 Fleet: SEA Series: Last races for final results at Island Barn on Saturday, currently 8 QMSC boats in this series: David & Sophie Harris 1st, Alex Curtis & Raffi Gracie 4th Mike Calvert & Sophie Harris 6th, Andy & Jill Peters 18th
  • RS200 Nationals: 104 boats, David Jessop & Sophie Mears 23rd, Alex Curtis & Raffi Gracie 44th/2nd in Bronze Fleet Rooster
  • RS200 HISC Rooster Summer Regatta: 42 boats, David & Sophie Harris 5th, Alex Curtis & Raffi Gracie 24th
  • RS200 Inlands: David & Sophie Harris 5th, Alex Curtis & Raffi Gracie 30th
  • Laser Fleet: Roger O Goreman 3rd in masters National Championships. Mark Lyttle 4th. Mike Hicks 3rd in masters world championships. Big Thanks Tony Woods, who is an Industry legend for all he does for the Laser fleet
  • Cherubs: Andy & Gill Peters 2nd in the Nationals, previously won the Worlds!
  • QMSC wins the team cup at National School Sailing Association, retaining it.

Saturday Club – The trend Setters in many ways – Led by Andrew  & David

  • Excellent growth this year – With 6 Saturday Club sessions to go, we have 67 members sailing 461 times – will be similar to Wednesday evening numbers
  • Strong trends linking Select to Saturday Club, Coaching, Club Racing next
  • New younger members joining are building the Saturday Club community
  • Skiing in March, Messini Sailing Holiday, Weymouth Weekend led by the dynamic Peter Caselton. What next for what is now a QMSC Phenomenon

Sailability – ‘Sailing for the disabled – Evolving into big business  – Led by Andrew’

  • last 12 months QMS has had 60 sailors who sailed 570 sessions, plus our 30 support team with them of course around 120 times in total
  • On any term time 65-75 people involved 6X schools 9-14 students + adults
  • New faces volunteering and on the water too – QMSC best kept secret
  • Thursday racing going strongly, we even had the club GM mixing it up

Sailing School – The astonishing jewel in our crown nowadays – Thanks to:

  • Two new chief instructors Ross & Ben, also lead instructor Oliver – wow.
  • We broke last year’s totals with another record year 733 little people on our Summer Camps, together with more than 30 new staff members this year.
  • Trends: Courses & coaching has now overtaken membership turnover/profit
  • Select, Pay & Play tuned to modern requirements – skills, experiences & fun
  • Foiling: windsurfs, Lasers, Aero’s now integrated into Select membership.
  • A really big thank you to the team lead by Paul Adams, Ros, Benn, Oliver & Matt, Will, Flossy etc etc

Events – QMSC Community Support at its best – QMSC team, Volunteers & Guests

  • Fourth London Youth Games – Fabulous fun, impressive LYG team
  • Open Day – Totals for the day 150, Longboats took 40 family members out
  • Charity Lap-the-Lake day still to come: Eric Twiname Trust Bruce Aitken, one of the Trustees c/o Chris Simon & our club gets a signed Americas Cup flag!

Plastic Education – Peerless Community Support – The quiet success story – GM Tony

  • 110 schools from around the country have signed up for the Ocean Guardian Challenge. This year we produced Plastic Education Assembly with help from Freddie and developed the Ocean Guardian Accreditations, in Bronze Silver and Gold levels, for schools to achieve. plasticeducation.com
  • 12,500 Children getting educated about plastic is something we can be proud about – the project’s goal to get more people using water ways as their playground. Help us by getting your local school involved.
  • QM has also had record year for school groups, nearly 300 on activity days.

Looking to the future – Some thoughts to consider:

  • RTYC special relationship both at QM & their prestigious London site
  • RS21‘s trialling, programme & Circuit Race – a fantastic coup
  • Drought Mgnt Project – FF15, J80, RS21’s, Longboats etc – CM David C
  • QMSC currently enjoying Financial & Quality Staff Stability – Prudence!

Further Big Thank you – We have never had a stronger team in recent times

  • Tony GM & Club Sec, Janet Sailing Sec Caroline Office M, Petra, Charlie & Susan.
  • The Catering team Debbie, Tracey, Sue and their team – Always flexible
  • Paul Sailing Principal – The Race Officers, the Instructors and safety crews
  • Finally -Thank you to Tony GM & the QMSC Council for their good work


5. Treasurer’s Report (David Bithell)

Thank you, Richard, for your review the Club’s year – it’s been another busy and exciting year for QMSC. Before we go to the numbers, I want you all to look at the floor! Now it might look like just some very nice new grey flooring to you, but actually you’ve all been walking on VAT for the past 6 months!

If we turn now to Page 3 of the accounts, the Income Statement for the year ended 31st March 2019, you’ll see that, in contrast to last year’s small loss of £3,581, the Club made a profit this year of £99,381.

We are, of course, a non-profit-making members’ club but it is precisely that status which enabled us, earlier in 2019, to take advantage of the opportunity to correct a number of past years’ VAT Returns and successfully claim from HMRC a back-dated refund of £92,142 of previously overpaid VAT. That refund accounts for £92k of our profit, the remaining £7k arising mainly because the Club had a very successful and busy 2018 with courses, particularly for the summer junior courses.

The VAT story goes back a number of years to when QMSC acquired the former Queen Mary Sailsports sailing school and merged this into the Club and, more particularly, to a change in VAT law in 2015 and a reinterpretation of previous VAT law. A couple of non-profit-making golf clubs successfully brought cases against HMRC arguing that their supplies of sporting services, both to members and to non-members, should be VAT exempt and not VAT standard rated.

Having picked up on these cases, I thoroughly researched the VAT status of non-profit-making sports clubs and the application of these rules to QMSC’s situation, including guidance on VAT published by our sport’s governing body, the RYA, and concluded that there was an opportunity for QMSC to VAT exempt its fees for all sailing courses.

In August 2018 we submitted to HMRC corrections to our past four years’ VAT Returns, underwent a thorough VAT audit by HMRC during two visits by them to the Club and got our refund in February.

Going forward, what this means for the Club is that, when we charge say £250 for a weekend course, we are no longer giving away £42 of this to HMRC and only retaining £208, but we’re now able to retain the full £250. The downside is that it severely restricts the Club’s ability to claim back VAT on expenditure, especially capital expenditure, but there is, nevertheless a significant net gain for QMSC.

So, the profit is something of a windfall and we will be back to hovering around break-even in future years.

As a non-profit-making Club owned by you, the members, our constitution requires us to invest any profits in the future of our Club and I hope you have all already seen some of the benefits from our new investments this year:-

  • £17k on the much-needed replacement of the ground floor flooring, especially the changing rooms
  • £22k on the stunning refurbishment of the balconies – the timber decking needed replacement anyway, but we hope you all agree that the new steel and glass balustrades have transformed the appearance of our Club House.
  • £55k on some much-needed replacement of dinghies, windsurfing boards and powerboat engines.
  • £4,500 on upgrading and protecting our IT infrastructure
  • £3,500 on extending, and adding fendering to, the black pontoon – variously described as the “bumble bee” or “caterpillar” pontoon during the past few days!
  • Various smaller items – additional hand-dryers (£1,100) and Shower Mixer Valves (£1,000).

Page 4 – Balance Sheet – Overall Net Assets improved by the profit from £424,241 to a very healthy £523,622

  • Tangible Fixed Assets – reduced by £35,287 from £580,964 to £545,677. Mainly due to the annual depreciation charge of £78,060. Most of the new investment just mentioned happened shortly after 31st March and will feature in next year’s accounts but there were £42,773 of additions in the year to 31 March 2019, the highlights being:-
  • £16,700 on 3 power boat engines
  • £3,500 to purchase the black pontoon
  • £1,600 on a new dishwasher and £1,100 on the hand-dryers.
  • Part of the balcony works (£9,600) and part of the IT works (£2,100) were prior to the year-end.

Cash in Bank position was a very healthy £107,956, reflecting the receipt of the VAT monies just before the year-end, but much of this has subsequently been reinvested in the Club. Council adopted, a number of years’ ago, a policy of aiming to keep a cash reserve through the winter of 7.5% of turnover, i.e. about £55,000. We are on target to achieve this and the purpose of the policy is to try to make sure we can get through the lean winter months without needing to take a loan and can cope with unexpected expenditure, like having to replace the boiler 2 years’ ago. This policy, reaffirmed by Council at its most recent meeting is noted in the Directors’ Report.

Notes to the Accounts: Note 5 (Page 7) explains the effect of theVAT refund.

Debtors and creditors (Refer to Notes 9, 10 & 11 on Page 8) – I would just draw members’ attention to:-

  • Bank loans (included in creditors, split between amounts repayable within 12 months in Note 10 and amounts repayable after 1 year in Note 11) – reduced in total by £12,759 from £25,809 at 31st March 2018 to £13,050 at 31st March 2019, continuing the policy of recent years to reduce the Club’s reliance on borrowed money. Club will be debt-free in less than 3 years’ time as remaining loan continues to be repaid by £427 per month.

Detailed Profit and Loss Account (Pages 9 & 10)

  • Turnover up from £707k to £909k, an increase of £202k, but £167k of that is the back-dated VAT and a further £63k is being able to retain the full amounts charged for courses in the year to 31st March 2019. Underlying turnover was therefore actually £28k down on the previous year.

That £28k decline breaks down into:-

  • Membership income down £25k from £328k to £303k
  • Underlying training income up £43k to £306k, after stripping out the VAT effect.
  • Racing Income up £5k from £18k to £23k entirely because the Bloody Mary had to be cancelled in 2018
  • ClubHouse Income down £1.5k
  • Other Income down £48k from £76k to £28k – mainly because there was grant income for the Plastic Bottle Boat challenge in the 2018 number.
  • Decline in Membership Income of £25k was a £29k reduction in income from traditional Standard Memberships and a small reduction in Day Sailing Fees offset by £8k growth in Select Membership income. The decline in Standard Membership income has been a matter of concern for Council at its recent meetings and follows the trend of the past few years. However, so far, in the summer of 2019 it looks like Standard Membership has held up better whilst the growth of Select has continued.
  • The underlying £43k increase in training income reflects the very successful season of courses in 2018 which was coupled with the long hot summer for the junior courses. However, the record number of participants on courses in 2018 has been surpassed in 2019 so we are looking at another very successful result for the training school in next year’s results too.

Expenditure was overall £102k higher than for 2018 but again the VAT reclaim had an effect, with £89k of this being additional non-recoverable VAT on expenditure (mostly backdated), so the underlying increase in expenditure was £13k.

That is made up of a back-dated rent review on the Thames Water lease, increased property maintenance costs, some higher staff wages and training costs necessary to deliver the additional courses sold and depreciation on the new powerboat engines but also offset by some savings in other costs.

Looking forward – we’ve just had another very good summer of training income and I would expect the Club will make a small profit in its March 2020 accounts. The new investment in the ClubHouse and boats and boards, together with reduced borrowing and a cash reserve in the bank account sets your Club up well for the coming few years

A few thank you’s:-

The office team – Caroline, Janet and Charlie for their continued drive to sell courses and memberships and management and continued enhancement of the booking and membership systems.

The Watersports Team, led by Paul, Ben, Ross and Ollie for delivering all those courses and turning those bookings into real income for the Club.

Thank you to Petra, our book keeper, for her hard work helping with what can only be described as an “accounting archaeology exercise” to uncover the past mysteries of QMSC’s VAT accounting to facilitate our successful claim and to help with a number of other improvements to our accounting system.

Thank you also to Amersham Accountancy for  your work on preparing these accounts, for casting an independent eye over them and over what Petra and I are doing – Martin Hunt, present at this meeting is ably assisted by Helen Hadfield.

And thank you to Tony for your overall management of the Club and your support with getting us into a healthier financial position.

The Accounts were proposed by David Bithell and seconded by Neil Beaton and passed unanimously. The AGM approves and adopts the accounts for signature by Richard Steele & David Bithell and by Martin Hunt (independent accountant).


6. Appointment of Amersham Accountancy as Reporting Accountant

David Bithell proposed that Amersham Accountancy be reappointed as Reporting Accountant.

The motion was seconded by Andrew Craig and passed unanimously.

The Commodore then presented David with a set of Whisky tumblers as a token of appreciation for his work, undertaken as a volunteer, not only to achieve the VAT repayment but also for overhauling the Club’s accounting more generally.

7. Honorary Life Membership Nomination: Les Everett

The Commodore asked the AGM to confirm QM Council’s recommendation that Les Everett be appointed an Honorary Life Member of QMSC with the following citation:

Les was one of the original Queen Mary members in 1972 along with Brian Willis and Mike Evans. He had been sailing a 505 since 1965 and was the fleet captain at QM for many years. Indeed he started sailing the boat internationally and was national and international secretary to the fleet assisted by his wife Janet and sailing all over the world. As fleet captain he expanded the club fleet and some weeks there would be 20 505s racing.

But in 1999 he sold his 505 and since then (20 years) he has regularly helped young and disabled sailors at the club. He was part of the group which was the driving force behind securing the Youth Group as an important part of the club’s future, with all the success of so many young sailors in different classes. His enthusiasm has inspired so many of the club’s rising talent and they have benefitted from sharing his wide experience.

He helped with his time and generosity in assisting Sailability to become one of the country’s leading providers of sailing for the physically and mentally handicapped.

Les has been an important contributor to the success of the club. An unsung hero whose love of sailing has always been paramount and to whom the gift of Life Membership is a small thank you for so much time spent in helping.


8. Election of Officers

The Commodore read out the list of those standing for election as Flag Officers or Council members and also confirmed those members remaining on Council or retiring.

Standing for Re-election as Officers:

Richard Steele                        Commodore

Chris Stanton                          Vice Commodore

Robert Joce                            Rear Commodore

Steven Fowles                        Rear Commodore

David Bithell                            (Hon) Treasurer

Standing for Election as Members:

David Casale                          Council Member

Angus Davies                         Council Member

Martin Pue                              Council Member

Peter Caselton                        Council Member

Remaining on Council:

Mark Handley                         Council Member

Paul Johnson                          Council Member

Max Tosetti                             Council Member

Tony Bishop                            Council Member ex officio

Retiring Members:

Andrew Craig                          Council Member

The proposal to elect all Officers and Council members was carried unanimously

The Commodore welcomed the new members to Council and said a special thank you to retiring member Andrew Craig, who said a few words.


9. Presentation of the B&S Trophy

Richard Steele took great pleasure in announcing the award of the B&S Trophy as follows:

We have a club member who has been with us for nearly 40 years and he is indeed a QM National Treasure, loved by all who meet him it’s long overdue that we allow him to drink tea from the infamous volunteer’s teapot. It is my privilege, as Commodore, to announce that this year the ‘B and S Trophy’ is going to Paul Stainsby.

In 2014 he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the Royal Yachting Association’s most prestigious awards, by HRH the Princess Royal, in recognition of a decade of commitment to Team15 and Race Management at Queen Mary Sailing Club.

Five years on and he is still supporting Team15 windsurfing, volunteering on Saturday mornings, making sure youth windsurfing continues and inspiring the next generation of ‘Queen Mary Skimmers’. Paul has been an integral part of Team15 for more than 15 years, on the water almost every time Team15 has been operating, driving a powerboat and providing safety and race management support. And we would like to celebrate this!

Although not a windsurfer himself, he is always very encouraging, helping newbies to climb the learning curve rather than give up. He is a magician on the race courses and uses his own racing experience to help the top end of the fleet become high achievers. QM have a regular and enthusiastic group of youth windsurfers with some windsurfers making RYA national squads, travelling and representing the club with great success as I spoke about earlier in my report.

Paul is a keen RS400 sailor, he was European Champion in the Tasar and still difficult to beat in the right conditions. He’s done everything at the Bloody Mary from car park to Race Officer. He has served on the club council and was Vice Commodore in 1984.

He is a Regional Race Officer and is particularly keen to support youth classes. He is very encouraging in his approach to youth events from the manner of the briefing through a flexible approach to race management to acting as rules advisor.

Please join us in celebrating over 15 years of Team 15! A huge thank you for everything you do for the club. Congratulations to Paul… Paul said a few kind words of thanks, but mostly talked about not liking tea and getting into trouble in Russia because of it.


10. Any Other Business

Rob Trufitt raised two points:

  1. To reduce water waste, please can members consider not showering before sailing, only showering once on a Sunday after sailing at the club. If other clubs also adopted this policy there could be a significant reduction in water use and he will be writing to the RYA to recommend this.
  2. Taxi drivers don’t know where the reservoir is and are very interested to know. Rob is telling everyone where the club is -please can we all do the same.


The Commodore thanked everybody present and declared the meeting closed at 15:15

National Match Racing Championship Qualifier 2 at Queen Mary Sailing Club

Eight teams gathered last weekend at Queen Mary Sailing Club for the final chance to secure a place at this year’s National Match Racing Championship Grand Final.

Day one was a very light wind day with significant shifts keeping the sailors on their toes as it was all too easy to see a comfortable lead fade away very quickly.

The teams fought their way through a single round robin and while Blowers was the clear leader having lost only one race all day to George Haynes, the rest of the fleet was tightly compressed with Miles Jones and Sophie Otter tied on four wins a piece. Four teams, Ali Morrish, George Haynes, Sophie Taylor and Josh Adams followed just behind all tied on three wins.

With the lack of wind making completing a second round robin impossible, the race team concluded racing early to work out the best plan for day two racing.

As the battle for the final semi-final spot was so tight, it was decided to amend the schedule so that the top two teams of Blowers and Jones would carry on to the Semi-finals but that that remaining six teams would compete again in a repechage with the top two taking the remaining spots in the semis.

After a poor showing in the first day’s light winds it was Niall Myant who was the star of the show in the big breeze winning all five of his races. George Haynes regained his usual form in the stronger winds and completed the line-up in the semis.

The first attempt to get the semi-finals under way was thwarted when a gust of over thirty knots streaked across the race course forcing Alexis Dogilewski, Principle Race Officer, to abandon racing to avoid any damage to the boats or sailors.

It wasn’t long before the breeze had settled and racing was under way. With time pressure becoming a factor the semis were shortened down to the first to win just one point so Blowers would race Haynes and Jones would face Myant in a sudden death shoot out.

Blowers lead Haynes around the race track to secure his place in the final. In the other match Myant and Jones had an even start but Myant had a slight advantage by the first mark. Jones thought he could sneak through inside at the top of the course but the umpires disagreed leaving Jones having to take a penalty straight away to reset the order.

Undeterred Jones hunted Myant down again on the run and before long was pushing him away from the leeward mark. An attempt to keep Myant from gybing left Jones with a penalty for overlapping too close. The race was nip and tuck all the way around the race track and on the final run Jones was again pushing Myant away from the finish line and indeed they sailed beyond the line. Jones tacked around to take his penalty and try and lead Myant back to the finish but did not sail low enough and so the penalty remained and Myant crossed the line ahead to take his place in the final.

While the knock out stages were under way a “King of the Hill” was being run for the lower place finishes. A “winner stays on” format where eighth races seventh with the winner racing sixth, and so on, saw Sophie Taylor climb from seventh to fifth but it was match racing newcomer, Josh Adams, who held off her charge to take fifth overall and with it a place in the Grand Final for highest placed, not already qualified, skipper.

The petit final saw George Haynes taking third place ahead of Miles Jones in a one race playoff and the finals saw Blowers secure the win with a fairly convincing 2-0 victory over Myant.

After racing Blowers said “National Match Racing Championship Qualifier 2 was great for us to get our first event win on the circuit, the event was full of tricky conditions and matches throughout the weekend in varying breeze. Automatic qualification to the semi-finals after a great round robin meant we were confident heading into the next round. Where we then were able to be consistent to take straight wins in both the semi-final and the final. We will be back at Queen Mary Sailing Club for the Grand Final in four weeks, where will hope to have a similar performance at the season finale against the country’s highest performers.”

Thanks as always go to our sponsors, Moody Decking & Services, Marlow Ropes and Harken.

Next up is the National Match Racing Championship Grand Final on the 15-17 November where the winners of each event this year will fight it out to be crowned UK National Match Racing Champion.

by Richard Aspland


Cherub Autumn Blast at Queen Mary Sailing Club

Boats started arriving on Saturday to a slightly damp and grey Queen Mary and a gentle 8 knots of breeze, EJ with Emma and Jimmy, Poppy with Jamie and Georgie, King Tubby with Martyn and Oliver, and The Spanish Inquisition.

We launched for a pleasant afternoon’s sailing, initially just familiarising ourselves with our boats again before tracking down a couple of buoys on the lake and doing a very short windward leeward where we had to do a minimum of two tacks and gybes. Needless to say our boat handling is now greatly improved.

After a few of these we did a little bit of crew swapping between boats and helms swapping with crews to give experiences of different boats and to help crews realise just what helms have to go through – it’s not all just sitting there and pointing the boat in the right direction!

We all came off the water very happy, bid farewell to The Spanish Inquisition, before heading off for a curry and a few drinks.

On Sunday we arrived down at the club to find that whilst it was still raining the wind had increased to a fairly steady 28 knots with gusts exceeding that. Usagi with Andy and Jill and Ronin with Julian and Helen joined us. We all stood bravely on the shore whilst we watched Usagi launch and decided that actually we would rather do some boat tinkering and drink tea instead.

by Martyn Denchfield


The 11th edition of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series kicks off in a few weeks’ time, starting with the Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash on 23 & 24 November 2019. The same seven events are back, along with a new one, the King George Gallop on 26 January 2020.

The Seldén SailJuice Winter Series aims to appeal to as many classes as possible, with typically almost 100 different types of boat represented across the season, from fleets as diverse as the traditional Norfolk Punt and National 18 to emerging classes like the Hadron H2 singlehander.

Some fleets choose to use some of the events as their class championships, such as the RS Aero which typically brings up to 50 boats for the concluding event of the season, the Oxford Blue, which has served as the Aero Winter Championships. This November’s Draycote Dash, for example, will also be the Inland Nationals for the Hadron H2 fleet.

Over the years the Great Lakes Handicap Group has set its own variation of the standard RYA PY numbers to produce very close competition for pretty much every kind of boat that takes part. The more a class takes part in the Winter Series, the more accurately the Great Lakes handicap can be established for that type of boat. However, nothing is ever set in stone, and the Great Lakes is one of the most dynamic handicapping systems in the world.

Seldén Mast Ltd is back as title sponsor for the second year. Steve Norbury, Seldén’s managing director, commented: “We produce masts for the vast majority of dinghy classes in the UK, so it’s great to be able to support this series which reaches out to all forms of small-boat racing across the country.”

Previous title sponsor, GJW Direct, stays on as media sponsor – helping fund the tireless work of Tim Olin, the photographer who drives up and down the M1 to cover the events and provide some of the most colourful images from the UK dinghy racing scene, bringing light and colour to the gloomiest months of the British year.

The Seldén SailJuice Winter Series offers prizes for a number of special categories, including Youth, Women and Families. With organised youth racing in the UK focused on singlehanded or youth sailing with youth in doublehanders, the Winter Series offers a place for parents and their children to compete side by side. Good examples of this are the regular competitors like RS800 father and daughter duo, Ralph and Sophie Singleton, and father and son team in the Norfolk Punt, Colin and Oly Murray.

Among the special category rankings and prizes are….

    • Sailing Chandlery top class
    • Speed Six Speed Challenge
    • Trident Top club
    • GJW Direct best improver
    • Top Lady
    • Top Youths


All events in the Series are being GPS tracked by SailRacer and also serve as the early season rounds of the 2020 edition of the Great British Sailing Challenge (GBSC)

If previous seasons are to go by, there will be approximately one thousand competitors taking part in up to a hundred different types of boat, ranging in speed from the RS Tera up to the International Moth. The willingness of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series and the Great Lakes Group – who run the handicap numbers for the Series – to accommodate virtually any kind of sailing dinghy into the competition is very attractive particularly to those fleets that struggle to establish a number on the RYA PY system. Equally, the Series has also proven popular with big fleets like the RS Aero who have the strength in numbers to run their separate events, yet still enjoy competing alongside other types of dinghy in mixed handicap competition.

For the overall winner, they will be awarded the perpetual trophy created in 2018 by Seldén, and which will be presented at the prizegiving at the Dinghy Show. The prizegiving has become the biggest opening event of the Dinghy Show weekend, and attracted almost 200 people to the Saturday morning ceremony. Last year’s popular winners were Simon Horsfield and Katie Burridge in their 2000 doublehander, but will they be the first team ever to successfully defend their Winter crown?

Entry for the events is now open at www.sailjuiceseries.com



The following events constitute the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series 2019/20):


  • Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club 23 & 24 November 2019
  • Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club  – 7 & 8 December 2019
  • Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club – 27 December 2019
  • Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club  – 29 December 2019
  • Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club  – 11 January 2020
  • King George Gallop, King George Sailing Club – 26 January 2020
  • John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club – 1 & 2 February 2020
  • Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club – 15 February 2020


You can find out more about the Series here: www.SailJuiceSeries.com

Further Information for media:


Current and previous winners of the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series

2018/19 Simon Horsfield & Katie Burridge (2000)

2017/18 Alistair Goodwin (Laser)

2016/17 Matt Mee & Emma Norris (RS200)

2015/16 Ian Dobson & Andy Tunnicliffe (GP14)

2014/15 Nick Craig & various crews (Merlin Rocket)

2013/14 Michael Sims (Solo)

2012/13 Tom Gillard & Simon Potts (Fireball)

2011/12 Peter Gray & Rachael Rhodes (Scorpion)

2010/11 Andy Peake (Musto Skiff)

2009/10 Olly Turner & Richard Whitworth (Merlin Rocket)

SailJuice.com is the ‘how to sail and race faster’ website, with hundreds of articles and exclusive interviews with National, World and Olympic Champions. Professional sailing journalist and editor of SailJuice.com, Andy Rice, came up with the concept of the SailJuice Winter Series (originally known as the SailJuice Global Warm-Up) as a way of increasing participation levels in dinghy racing during the off-season in the UK.

SailRacer manages event websites and processes online entry for major National, International, Youth and training events, providing online scoring, analysis and advanced sports presentation including GPS tracking and live video.

Seldén Mast Ltd is the world leader in dinghy spars. More races are won by Seldén Spars than any other brand. Dinghy spars are made using our unique XPS aluminium with CNC cut tapers, automated welding and heat treating resulting in the highest quality and most consistent dinghy spars available. Seldén produces about 400 carbon masts per year for boats including high performance dinghies and race yachts using state of the art Mandrel Filament Moulding Technology.



Notice Of Queen Mary Sailing Club A.G.M 2019

Dear Members,

The Annual General Meeting of Queen Mary Sailing Club will take place in the Clubhouse on Sunday 13th October 2019 at 2pm and last about 45 minutes.

It will take place downstairs in the large training room and we do hope as many Club Members as possible will be able to attend. This is an important date in the Club diary and is your chance to hear from your Commodore Richard Steele and Treasurer David Bithell as to how the year has gone and what plans there are for the coming year. It is also an opportunity to ask any questions of your Council.

The meeting will be followed by tea, coffee and cakes.

We hope to see you there

Richard Steele

British Keelboat League Final 2019 at Queen Mary Reservior

The finest teams from every corner of the United Kingdom battled it out this weekend at the British Keelboat League 2019 Finals. 88 sailors, making up 22 teams, from 22 different British based club were tearing up the racecourse at Queen Mary Reservoir. Royal Thames Yacht Club hosted the British Keelboat League Finals with their usual professional flair and PRO Keith Sammons and his team absolutely smashed through the races scheduled.

After a busy registration on Friday morning, teams had the opportunity to get out on the water for some training in the supplied RS21’s before they got down to the racing. Conditions were really challenging with the gradient breeze fluctuating between 5 and 25 knots and with the biggest gusts piling down the lake at 35 knots, teams had to be on their toes. Darker clouds were bringing in the punchier breeze, with favoured sides of the beat flicking between laps. Choosing the right mode downwind was essential, with sailors making massive gains by catching gusts or simply soaking down to the mark dependant on the breeze. Consistency was key with Ullswater Yacht Club and The University of Bristol leading overnight. Teams who carried OCS scores or had a pin-down or two with their kites were lower down the field but after 11 races it was very much still all the play for on day 2.

Sailors arrived on Saturday morning to find the gradient breeze consistently higher but with fewer fluctuations and lower top gusts, therefore the feeling amongst the sailors was that it would be a slightly easier day on the water. The breeze stayed between 15-25 knots all day but the gusts were still punchy enough to lay a few unprepared RS21s on their side downwind. Teams worked hard to keep their boat speed up in the changing conditions and hunted for pressure across the course.

After another packed day of racing and 32 races in the bag, sailors quickly piled out of the club to travel into central London for the British Keelboat League Gala Dinner, hosted at the distinguished Royal Thames Yacht Club. Suits and dresses at the ready the teams looked forward to an evening of great food and great chat. Big wipeouts, epic starts, punchy port tack approaches and one team doing so many turns the umpire had arm ache – there were plenty of stories to share.

Glasses of bubbly were handed to teams on arrival at the Royal Thames Yacht Club and Rear Commodore of Sailing, Jennifer Woods from RTYC made a lovely introduction before the teams tucked into some fabulous food. With the drinks flowing and the forecast looking fresh to frightening first thing on Sunday morning, PRO Keith Sammons made the popular decision to postpone racing for an hour on Sunday morning. Cheers from competitors could be heard throughout the club when he shared the news, with many of them taking the opportunity to have a slightly later night than originally planned.

Teams arrived at Queen Mary Reservoir on Sunday morning to another breeze filled racecourse, but with the biggest breeze already blown through early that morning conditions mirrored Saturdays offerings. The Race Committee was absolutely on it and headed out on the water to kick start the final day of racing but some teams in the first flight were not as punctual and they were seen running down to the change over ribs under a lot of pressure to make the start!

Racing under way, it was another day of snakes and ladders, with pressure scattered across the course it was all about keeping boat speed up through the lulls and knowing where the fleet was around you. With crews becoming more confident with handling the RS21s, decision making was starting to get punchier, with close calls whilst ducking and at windward marks. Many teams fell foul of rule 18.3 and red flags were regularly being raised by jurors. Downwind saw teams mixing between kites and two sails dependant on what had been displayed at the committee boat that start. Trying to keep a clear air on your tail whilst two sail sailing and working down low with the gusts when the kites were flying seemed to be getting teams ahead. Eight RS21s rounding the leeward mark within 15 seconds of each other was a common feature, with quick clean drops and tidy exits from the mark being key to allow teams to have options up the second beat.

With 5 races to go, there was no clear winner. It was going to go down to the absolute wire with the top five teams; Royal Thames Yacht Club, University of Bristol Sailing Club, Haversham Sailing Club, Ullswater Yacht Club and Grafham Sailing Club. With the conditions building up from 20knots and the gusts getting more feisty, teams needed to ensure their last couple of races were low risk so that they could post some consistent scores.

With two 4th places and an OCS, Bristol University bowed out gracefully from the top three and they were clinched by Royal Thames Yacht Club who finished the series with a 3rd, 2nd and 1st for fourth place. With a 6th place two races before the close of play, it looked like Ullswater could be knocked out the top three but they finished the series with a first place which bagged them third overall. Nail-biting to the finish, Haversham Sailing Club were still in with a chance to win in the last two races if they posted two first places but sadly they didn’t get close and with Grafham Sailing Club posting a 2nd and a 1st they were untouchable.

“This is the closest final I’ve ever seen in all my time with the British Keelboat League. It went right down to the wire, in some of the toughest conditions we’ve raced in and teams controlled the RS21s in a really confined space. I’m looking forward to seeing the teams return to compete in the league next year” Jack Fenwick, RYA Keelboat Manager.

Royal Thames Yacht Club delivered an eloquent a punctual prize giving, with thanks given to PRO Keith Sammons and his awesome team, the umpires, change over rib drivers, Queen Mary Sailing Club, RS Sailing and all the sponsors involved in the league; A-Plan, GJW Direct, PA Consulting, Kingfisher Yacht Ropes, Epropulsion, MDL Marinas, Hyde Sails, PFK, Bainbridge International, Draper Tools and Rooster.

Special mentions were given to sailors who had earned themselves the title of ‘tool of the day’, they walked away a little red-faced but with a snazzy Draper Tool kit. Ullswater Yacht Club, Haversham Sailing Club and the 2019 Final champions Grafham Sailing Club all came forward to receive their prizes. The young team from Grafham Sailing Club gave a short speech thanking the Royal Thames Yacht Club and all the people who had made the event happen.

Overall Results:

1 Grafham Water Sailing Club
2 Haversham Sailing Club
3 Ullswater Yacht Club
4 Royal Thames Yacht Club
5 University of Bristol Sailing Club
6 Royal Windermere Yacht Club
7 Newcastle University Alumni
8 Royal Corinthian Yacht Club
9 Budworth Sailing Club
10 Bournemouth University Sailing Club
11 Oban Sailing Club
12 Royal Torbay Yacht Club
13 Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club
14 Royal Southern Yacht Club
15 Wessex Sailing Club (Exiles)
16 Lymington Town Sailing Club
17 West Hoe Sailing Club
18 Dundee University Sailing Club
19 Royal Western Yacht Club of England
20 Carsington Sailing Club
21 Royal Lymington Yacht Club
22 GBR Blind Sailing

Check out the full results here.

by Lynn Billowes