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A Tribute to Tim Foden

Published 16:52 on 24 Jul 2018

We were very sorry to hear the sad news that Tim had passed away but we are delighted to be able to share "A Celebration of Tim’s Sailing Life".

Tim bought his first GP14 sailing dinghy in the early 1970’s and sailed at Draycote in a fleet of about 70 GP’s.

Tim’s commitment to major projects was shown when he built his own wooden GP from a kit from Bell’s of Leicester.

In the late 1980’s Tim with his crew Howard Collerson attended a GP14 Open meeting at Banbury Sailing Club. B.S.C.

At Draycote boats were launched from the shoreline, at BSC from a pontoon. At the 1st launch Tim jumped onto the boat’s deck from the pontoon and it instantly capsized, turned over giving him his first taste of Banbury water. Luckily it was a vintage year and he became a member. He was soon known as Big Tim – as much for his personality as for his stature. He was a competitive racer, a formidable force at the helm of his GP, at times making it a contact sport. He was the winner of many trophies.

Tim soon became a BSC General committee member. Later GP class captain and chairman of the sailing committee. He promoted the introduction of average lap times so slower boats were no longer on the water long after the faster finishers.

As Publicity Officer he worked successfully to increase BSC membership. Open days – in his words – ‘are when we show the rest of the world what we are about and what they are missing!’

Tim was a conscientious Flag Officer for the club.

With an eye on the future as Rear Commodore Tim gave sterling support to the establishment of Junior sailing on Saturdays.

When Vice Commodore – in his words - ‘to raise our standard of sailing and increase participation in racing’ he set the club on the road to become a Royal Yachting Association Training Establishment. This was finally achieved when he was Commodore. Tim was it’s 1st Principal and Senior Dinghy Instructor.

Dave Cornish our President says:

‘The Club owes a huge debt to Tim's energy and enthusiasm during his years as Senior Dinghy Instructor, not only running the Training Courses but also maintaining the Training Fleet of boats. So much work done, without any fuss. There is still a daily reminder of his woodworking skills at the club, with his storage rack for Topper foils. Ann, his wife, supported Tim and the teams of trainers with a bite to eat at the end of his courses.’

During his time as Commodore Ann was social secretary and together they organized hugely enjoyable social events most months. Needless to say with delicious meals. Tim’s love of food was legendary.

Tim enthusiastically supported the Banbury Offshore Group. B.O.G. for short. B.O.G. skippers John Gallimore and Gerald Whittacker both found him to be an excellent 1st Mate. He was dependable, good company and mechanical failures were seen as opportunities to get out the gadgets.

Fellow crew members enjoyed the tasty emergency rations he always managed to smuggle on board just in case.

He went on to chartering yachts in Greek and Turkish waters with Ann, Howard and Sue. They were great holidays.

Tim is remembered as a real gentleman with a loud, distinctive laugh and a great sense of fun.

Howard recalls ‘If conversation during race day lunches became a bit mundane it was fascinating to watch Tim throw a few pebbles into the conversational pond and see where the ripples ended up’.

He is remembered as endlessly supportive and encouraging and for his welcoming smile.

He was a big man indeed. His enthusiastic plunge into the waters of life has sent positive ripples though time.

Last updated 16:10 on 21 August 2021

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