News 2009


Stephen Muller in Topper Zone Squad

We are delighted to report the news that club sailor Stephen Muller has been selected for the RYA South West Topper Zone Squad. Congratulations to Stephen for this considerable achievement.

Wall Climbing at Mill Adventure Centre

An adventurous group from the club signed up for a climbing session on the indoor climbing wall at the Mill Adventure Centre at South Molton. Simon (who it turns out is already a qualified climber) took one group, including Jorg and Katie whilst the rest of us were divided up into groups of three by Joe, one of the centre’s own instructors. We took it in turns to be attached to a top rope and after careful checking from Joe, attempted to scramble up the handholds, whilst the other two held the belay line in case anybody slipped. Everybody got some way up the wall and many made it to the top of the first climb, but found the next wall, which included a slight overhang, a bit beyond us. Probably the stars of the afternoon were the Higgs family: Rosie, Izzy and Hannah all made to the top of the overhang climb. An excellent afternoon at a good venue, with great encouragement from Joe and rounded off for some of u

s by coffee and cakes at the Centre’s cafe. Many thanks to David Higgs for taking the photographs (using Katie’s camera), a selection of which are shown below:

Wine Tasting at Camel Vineyard

The Rear Commodore, John Leveridge has provided this report on the visit, which was clearly a great success:

The visitors were Roger, Stephanie, Bob, Paul, Mike & Mona, John & Ruth, Jen & myself. The weather was just right, We learnt about the techniques for growing 22 km of vines and the process at Camel for turning them into wine. The largest vat held £500,00 of wine. We wondered how many times they filled it up in a good year! All parties sampled the wines, but John Savage helped Jen with hers and broke out into song. The sparkling wines were best, the red was a little harsh. The club went afterwards to the Boundary Inn (shades of the long walk) at Bodmin and had a good evening supper. Bob transported 8 merry clubbers back to Bude.

Pirate Day at August Bank Holiday

This year, there was a pirate theme for the fun sailing on the Saturday of the August Bank Holiday and club members responded enthusiastically to the suggestion that they should dress in costume. The pictures below give just a flavour of the day, but you had to be there to really experience it. Many thanks to Katie Leveridge for providing the photos… as they indicate, people had a great time….

Jane Anderson at Weir Wood

Jane has recently been away taking part with her brother in one of the Enterprise series held at Weir Wood, surviving 35 mph winds to finish in a very well deserved second place.  Click on the link below for the story in Yachts and Yachting.

Link to Yachts and Yachting story

Stephen Muller at Salcombe Regatta

Three photos of club member Stephen Muller at a recent Topper Open regatta he took part in at Salcombe.  Having to contend with a strong flooding tide at the same time as strong winds, plus having to negotiate numerous moored boats made it very different from Tamar, but he did very well to finish an extremely creditable 30th out of 55.

Weekend Sailing at Carrick Roads 6th/7th June

After a gap of several years when scheduled trips were cancelled, the club once again managed to get a group together for the traditional weekend ‘cruise-in-company’ to the coastal waters of Carrick Roads, just above Falmouth.  Since the excellent campsite we formerly used at Carnon Downs nowadays seems fully booked in advance, an alternative was found at Trewince Farm, on the eastern side of Carrick Roads.  As a result, it was no longer possible to easily reach the club’s traditional launching site at Loe Beach, so it was necessary to switch to St Just-in-Roseland, just below the picture-postcard churchyard.

After a week of excellent weather, Saturday morning was cool, breezy and threatening rain.  Slightly daunted but persevering, the group marshalled on St Just beach; in view of the conditions, those who had brought Lasers and Toppers left them in the car park and four of the bigger boats were launched into the sheltered creek, though Toby’s 4×4 was needed to get all the trailers over patches of soft shingle and into the water.  With four boats jogging out into the Roads (Toby’s Drascombe, Mike Ford in the club’s Laser 16, John and Nicky in the Falmouth Bass Boat and Derek Farnfield’s Wanderer), the Laser 16 led the way to view the seals around Black Rock and then headed for points north whilst the rest of the fleet opted for lunch on the beach at Place.  In the afternoon, coming out past St Mawes, the shelter from the stiff northerly breeze was so complete that outboards were needed to make reasonable progress against the incoming tide.  However, once past the point and beating up the estuary, the combination of wind against tide produced a sufficiently steep and sharp chop as to make the journey hard going. 

Once back at the beach, the boats were all retrieved without problems; unfortunately, despite advance advice that the way back off the beach would be clear until 4pm, the Spring tide meant that club members’ cars were marooned until freed by the receding tide at 7pm.  After a quick return to the campsite, nearly everybody headed at speed for the fish-and-chips at the St Mawes takeaway – and, by that time seriously hungry, proceeded to make a serious attempt on the world speed-eating record, with the fish-and-chips followed by ice creams.  On Sunday, faced with a further deteriorating weather forecast, the group disbanded and mainly headed for home, although John and Nicky were joined by late-arrivers John and Ruth Savage in spending a pleasantly ‘touristy’ day, taking the St Mawes ferry across to Falmouth and  for lunch in the Falmouth Watersports clubhouse overlooking the harbour, followed by gentle shopping.

Overall, it was a generally very enjoyable trip, as the pictures below show, with those who hadn’t been before greatly impressed by the sailing opportunities offered by the area, but warmer and sunnier weather would have been a plus.  A second trip in scheduled in the calendar for early July, with a number interested in making a return visit if the weather looks promising then – and perhaps looking at a return to Loe Beach as a launch site.

Thanks to Sheba and Toby Tobias and  Nicky Buckett for the photos.

Re-launch of Teatime Tankard Series

In recent weeks there have been at least half a dozen or more people coming up to the lake on Wednesday afternoons, both to sail and to tinker with boats.  As a result, it’s intended to re-launch the Teatime Tankard series on this coming Wednesday (17th June) with a race starting at around 3pm – so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we get some fine weather to attract a good number of people up.  As you’ll have seen from the Newsletter, Wednesday early evenings are now being taken by coaching sessions from Bob Hindmarsh; accordingly some club members may wish to conserve their energies for this – however, if there is sufficient demand, we could also maybe run a second Teatime Tankard race in later afternoon for those not wanting to do training.

Club’s Laser 16 on the Water

Club members may already be aware that the club now has a Laser 16 dinghy, as a result of very generous donation of the boat by David Tippett, together with a mast very kindly given by Mick and Mary Carter.  The boat is normally kept on a mooring on the lake; details of arrangements for use of the boat appear in the club’s May newsletter (the boat will also be used at times by the Lakes Trust, but advance bookings by club members have priority).

The photos below show the boat out on the water for a trial sail; there were still a couple of minor glitches with the rigging to be sorted out when the photos were taken, but in the admittedly light winds, it appeared to be a very stable, but nevertheless powerful boat that will be a huge asset to the club.

Publicity Photo for ‘Awards for All’ Grant

Somewhat belatedly, we’ve included below a publicity photo taken for the media in connection with the ‘Awards for All’ grant which the club was awarded this year (see further down this web page for details).  A similar photo to this appeared in an article about the award in the ‘North Devon Journal’ and also illustrated an article that appeared as lead story in the ‘RYA South West Newsletter’.  The photo shows Nicky Buckett with Meg, Izzy and Hannah Higgs and Joe Hedges, together with Graham Manchester, the RYA Development Officer for the South West, all  in suitably celebratory mood.  We are very grateful to photographer Ian Snell, who took an excellent series of photos, including this one (Ian can be contacted via his website: – currently, the whole series of pictures he took can be seen there via the ‘Online Albums’ link – and are available for purchase).

New Watersports Centre and Race Box – Spring 2009

Some photos of the new Angling and Watersports Centre being used by club members on a wet Sunday lunchtime, plus one of the new Race Box.

Report on Tarka Trail Walk on 7th March

John and Ruth Savage, John and Vicki Duncalf, Mike Ford, Bob Sampson and John Leveridge blazed the Tarka Trail from Fremington Quay to Instow for lunch (about 3 miles). We set out at 10:08 and arrived in Instow at 11:28. It must have been down hill all the way or the chat must have increased the speed of walking. We walked to check out the Bar Restaurant at the far end but choose the Boat House opposite the sand dunes. The fish chips and peas were good and we could all sit round the same table, while John D explained the finer points of Mirror Dinghy sailing with the aide of a knife and napkin. A small detour along the beach, strewn with drift wood and rubbish, brought us back to the trail. The journey back seemed a little longer after the meal and beer, and  was interrupted by discussions with cyclists. We arrived at 2:32. It was generally agreed that the event successfully met the walkers’ expectations.

Thanks to John Leveridge for the report and thanks to John Duncalf for the photographs below: John says that the if some of the expressions in the pictures look at little odd, it’s because everybody was furiously sucking on sweets – the final picture is of the Boat House restaurant where they stopped for lunch (and which provided an excellent meal…)

Look Back at Winter!

For those who didn’t get up to the lake during the coldest weather, three photographs showing a decidedly chilly-looking Tamar, with snow in the first picture and with ice across the lake in the second and third.  Many thanks to Stephanie Heasman for the photographs.

Successful Bid for ‘Awards for All’ Grant!

The Upper Tamar Lake Sailing Club is delighted to announce that it has been successful in being awarded a grant of £6,794 from Awards for All.  The award is aimed at increasing sailing opportunities at Upper Tamar Lake for juniors, over 45’s and women and girls.  The funding will be used in the 2008 season to purchase two Topper dinghies (with full racing rigs) to encourage wider involvement in sailing and racing at the lake.  It is hoped it will enable more people to participate in initiatives such as the successful Peter Pocock racing series for Junior Novices, which was oversubscribed last year, with more children wishing to take part than there were boats available.  The award will also be used to fund volunteers at the club to take sailing instructors courses, so that they can help facilitate sailing activities for juniors, the over 45’s and women and girls; in particular, these volunteers will help in improving racing skills, so that more people will feel confident and able to take place in the dinghy racing programme at the club and at other events in the region.  In addition, the award will also be used to provide financial support for juniors and other participants to take part in training days, thus directly providing greater confidence and increasing sailing skills.  In this initiative, the club will be working closely with the South West Lakes Trust, who organise watersports on the lake.  The club has been greatly aided in preparation of the bid by help and advice from Graham Manchester, who is RYA Regional Development Officer for the South West.  The club is also grateful for additional financial support it has received from the Royal Yachting Association.

The two Toppers have already been ordered and will be ready for use from early in the sailing season, in April.  A presentation ceremony will be announced nearer the time to which the media will be invited.

Anyone who would like further information about the award should contact the club’s Commodore, Nicky Buckett (tel: 01837-880142 or e-mail:, who will delighted to help.

 Will Pepworth wins RYA Regional Young Sailor of Year Award

Will Pepworth has been named RYA Regional Young Sailor of the Year Award, and awarded the Mike Copland Trophy.  Sincere congratulations to Will, who as well as being an tireless instructor at Upper Tamar last year, has of course been a long-standing member of the club, starting as a junior and becoming an extremely talented sailor.