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236. Top Tips Tuesday - A Chip Off The Old Block

My love affair with the Rick Tomlinson Portfolio Calendar started over thirty years ago and each year there are always a couple, if not more, images which really stand out for me; again this year is no exception. One of my all time favourite shots from years gone by (1989 to be precise) is the one that he took of Jameson Whiskey, the Irish one tonner, with its keel almost completely out of the water. One thinks that he ‘just happened to be in the right place at the right time’  Tis a shame however that Rick wasn’t in his rib up in Scotland some years ago during Tay week when I was helming a J24. Perhaps if he had 'happened to be in the right place at the right time,’ he could have got a picture of the helm, me, after our wild kite ride (wind over tide and blowing hard which ended in a massive broach) standing on the keel trying to right the capsized keelboat dinghy fashion along with the other rather wet crew members, imagine yours truly starring in one of his calendars! I did learn after the event that if you push them hard enough, J24’s can sink!


Rick, as well as a very talented photographer, is also a very experienced yachtsman. His CV includes four Whitbread Round the World races as a crew member where he somehow managed, on his off watch periods, to take some amazing shots. Rick has in the past used chase boats and helicopters, and this coupled with his sailing skill has meant that he can be found exactly where the action lies!

Not only is Rick a very talented photographer but he is a very approachable guy. He has travelled North to Newcastle on at least two occasions to help our company raise funds for our local RNLI station. ‘An evening with Rick Tomlinson’ was the theme during which he showed slides and talked about his various assignments. The last time in the area he devoted half the evening to talking and showing slides on one of his Round the World Races and the second part was from when on assignment on the superyacht Adele; fabulous images of the yacht amongst the icebergs and some enchanting shots of the wildlife. Whilst on assignment to the RNLI in Ireland some years ago, he was involved in the rescue of two fisherman and was subsequently awarded their bronze medal! To the best of my knowledge the last time Rick was up North, which was earlier this year, was not to film or show slides/lecture but to obtain his commercial drone licence. Maybe in future years we will be seeing some images shot from one of them. This year my favourite image(s) have to be January’s, shot at Cowes week during the windy Friday and is of Redshift Reloaded just before all racing was abandoned and of DSP about to come down with a thump!

Be Prepared is the scouts motto, however were the scouts on the DSP (Discovery Sailing Project which is part of the scout association) prepared for the troughs they encountered whilst sailing over the ‘Falls’ in the Round The Island Race this year? I hope the guys on board had taken some Stugeron or were using our Boarding Ring Glasses! Once again Rick’s intimate knowledge of the performance of sailing boats in various states of tide and wind has enabled him to come up with another superb image!

An aspect of the calendar that I particularly like, apart from the piccys, is the notes that accompany each one. Whilst reading one of them I was intrigued to see that Rick’s son, James, has contributed with photographs of his own. My favourite of his in the 2019 edition is the photo of CQR. James is a student at Southampton University studying on the Yacht Design and Production course and like his dad is a talented sailor. He was competing on CQR in the RORC Atlantic Anniversary Regatta from Lanzarote to Grenada as the onboard media person to earn some pocket money. In his fathers own words "my son James has a great eye for photography and I am very proud of him" Yes, a chip off the old block!

Not to be outdone, however, is James' mum Annika who is the driving force behind Chart Art. She has developed a way of printing genuine UKHO (Admirality) nautical charts onto canvas. These charts can be customised to feature, for example, a plot of the track of your cruise round Britain. We supplied a Chart Art  for HM Customs and Excise of  St Helier, another was of the Gulf of Thailand for a company that had floating production vessels, photos of the FSO vessels, of course, featured on the chart. My favourite was the Chart Art of the English Channel swim, you can certainly tell on this canvas when the tide turned!

Beware, however, if you think a Chart Art would make a unique Christmas present there is a cut off date of the 12th December so get your order in soon to avoid disappointment.

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