Merlin Rocket Open Meeting and Vintage Race at Tamesis Club
A close run race between Brown Sugar (3520) and Omega (1605)
Photos © John Dunkley
Nim and Andy Harris who were presented with the Elizabeth Bowl and Sondown Cup by Commodore Peter Mason
Paul Seamen and Eileen Barry with the Southcott Cup
Andrew and Nim Harris swept the board - but only just - winning the Sondown Cup, Elizabeth Bowl and Porteous Cup in a 14 boat entry at the Tamesis Merlin Rocket open meeting on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October. Their victory on Sunday was the result of a tie break with Jon, Joanna and Augusta Redding. Both had a first and a second from the best two of the three races but Andy and Nim took the trophies because they beat the Reddings in the last race. They won Saturday's races for vintage Merlins with two straight firsts.
Three boats started Sunday's final race with a chance of winning both the Sondown Cup, the main trophy, and the Elizabeth Bowl, for the best handicap result. The Reddings, sailing Brown Sugar (3520), were in prime position with a first and second from the first two races. Hotspot (3258), sailed by Richard Harris and Andy Douglas, had a third and a first, and Andy and Nim, sailing Omega (1605), had a second and a fourth. Jon Redding and his daughter Augusta scored another second in the last race to finish with three points after the discard, but with a fourth to discard from the second race Andy and Nim also had three points and by winning the last race were able to take advantage of the tie break rule.
A light southerly wind gave a good upstream beat to the Canbury mark just below Steven's Eyot with a run downstream to Lensbury, half way along Trowlock Island. The leaders favoured roll gybing across the stream downwind but others made good use of their spinnakers over the "sausage" course set by Race Officer Brian Southcott. Sunday's wind was slightly better than Saturday's light and fitful south easterly, which all the competitors agreed was a bit short of power. Saturday's first two races were followed by a handicap pursuit race for the Southcott Cup in which competitors started in the reverse order of their earlier placings and finishing times. The winner was Warrior (1952), sailed by Paul Seamen and Eileen Barry of Minima YC, with Omega second.
The Sondown Cup was also a Merlin Rocket Thames series event and the Porteous Cup was part of the MROA Vintage wing De May Series.
There were visitors from Brightlingsea SC, Hayling Ferry SC, Minima YC, Shearwater SC and Thames SC.