Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller at Hayling Island Sailing Club
by Graham Williamson on 20 May 2010
15-16 May 2010
The cognoscenti of the Merlin Rocket class headed to Hayling Island for the weekend of the 15th and 16th in the knowledge that there would be excellent racing on both days. The Saturday was the Glyn Charles Pursuit race and the Merlin's were the largest competing class with 23 entries.
After a tour of Chichester Harbour which reached from nearly as far as Itchenor to Emsworth in a breeze which was strengthening progressively throughout the race, the highest placed of our contingent were Richard Whitworth and Ollie Turner who finished 17th in 3703, Faithless.
For the Silver Tiller, sponsored by Speed Sails, on Sunday, racing was out at sea. With a forecast for substantially increasing breeze, heavy rain, and with the prospect of a difficult return into the harbour over the Bar, Mike Dawe, the PRO opted to hold racing in Hayling Bay east which is quicker to get to and from.
In the event all fears were groundless and three terrific races were held in a 15 – 20kt south westerly; which provided some great reaching conditions. Sickness held three boats ashore, including David & Fiona Sayce who took delivery of their new vessel on Saturday, and were literally sick as a parrot at not being able to compete. With these the entry would have topped 40 for that critical extra Silver Tiller discount.
The Whitworth/ Turner combo hit the fast button in race one and quickly established a comfortable lead. However, at the second leeward mark it became apparent that there were navigational uncertainties in the good ship Faithless as they headed for the leeward finish line to see if they would get a gun. When they heard nought they rounded the finish pin and headed off upwind again, still safely ahead.
Inexplicably at the next leeward rounding they ignored the finish and shot off upwind again, permitting Mike Calvert and Chris Downham (3691, Quick Fix) to pounce and gain the bullet while Whitworth and Turner hoisted the kite to run back to the finish arriving just before Rich Adams and Rob Kennaugh could get in on the act.
For race two the navigation was solid and Faithless made sure of her just rewards. The hunting pack was closer this time, and at the final leeward mark, there was place changing between Simon Blake /Alex Jackson, Calvert/ Downham and David Winder/ Pippa Taylor who gained the inside berth for the advantage on the reach to the finish.
As the ebb tide gathered strength from behind the line; starting the third and final race became more difficult leading to a postponement, a few recalls and some black flag victims including Whitworth, John Pink (competing away from his 49er Olympic commitments) with Rachel Williamson, and Willy Warren/Chris Robinson. It was the turn of Matt Biggs & Ben Hollis to score the bullet ahead of Winder/ Taylor in the race.
This gave the day to Whitworth/ Turner, and the Calvert/ Downham 3rd place gave them 2nd overall ahead of Winder/Taylor with their two second places. Fourth overall were Blake/ Jackson who had been very consistent throughout the day; another excellent open race day at Hayling Island, venue for the 2011 national championships and a classic not to be missed.
|1st||3703||Richard Whitworth||Olly Turner||Parkstone/Starcross/HLSC||2||1||(DSQ)||3|
|2nd||3691||Mike Calvert||Chris Downham||Axe||1||-4||3||4|
|3rd||3662||David Winder||Pippa Taylor||Holingworth Lake||-6||2||2||4|
|4th||3707||Simon Blake||Alex Jackson||Shoreham||-5||3||4||7|
|5th||3705||Matt Biggs||Ben Hollis||Blithfield||-19||7||1||8|
|6th||3652||John Bell||Graham Williamson||Hampton/HISC||4||6||(DNC)||10|
|7th||3684||Andy Davis||Tom Pygall||Chase||7||-20||5||12|
|8th||3655||Richard Adams||Rob Kennaugh||Midland||3||11||(DNC)||14|
|9th||3685||William Warren||Chris Robinson||Shoreham||10||5||(DSQ)||15|
|10th||3701||Alan Bax||Liam Dempsey||HISC||-16||12||6||18|
|12th||3696||Alan Warren||William Carroll||Shoreham||11||9||(DNC)||20|
|13th||3610||Richard Dee||Chris Gould||Midland||12||-14||9||21|
|14th||3653||Judith Massey||Jeremy Williamson||HISC||-14||13||10||23|
|15th||3641||Mark Waterhouse||Claire Langhole||Parkstone||-26||15||11||26|
|16th||3583||Chris Martin||John Huckutt||Blithfield||9||18||(DNC)||27|
|17th||3656||Simon Lytton||Jackie Lytton||HISC||-22||21||7||28|
|18th||3711||John Pink||Rachel Williamson||HISC||20||8||(DSQ)||28|
|19th||3693||Will Rainey||Kelly Miller||Shoreham SC||18||-19||12||30|
|20th||3676||Patrick Blake||Jilly Blake||Cookham Reach SC||(DNC)||23||8||31|
|21st||3665||Ross Jackson||Pete Horn||Shoreham||15||16||(DSQ)||31|
|22nd||3702||Duncan Salmon||Ian Garwood||Wembley||-21||17||16||33|
|23rd||3660||David Lee||Lewis Turner||Starcross YC||-28||22||13||35|
|24th||3716||Steve Leney||Gill Leney||Blitghfield||13||25||(DNC)||38|
|25th||3400||James Middleton-Stewart||Andrew Young||Weymouth||23||-26||18||41|
|27th||3571||Andy Jones||Mari Shepherd||Parkstone||-31||24||20||44|
|28th||3650||Laurence Tosh||Liese Scott||Banbury||-29||28||17||45|
|29th||3697||Richard Page||Peter Page||Hampon SC||-32||31||19||50|
|30th||3618||Terry Curtis||Tom Preston||WSC/UTSC||30||-33||21||51|
|31st||3661||Graham Scroggie||Ben Scroggie||Parkstone||25||27||(DNC)||52|
|32nd||3715||Paul Rayson||Julie Rayson||Fishers Green SC||24||29||(DSQ)||53|
|33rd||3692||Marcus Zilvold||Julie Nuttall||Whistable||17||(DNC)||DNC||57|
|34th||3625||Richard Bramley||Tony Cheal||Shoreham SC||33||32||(DNC)||65|
|35th||3645||Jeremy Deacon||Joanne Deacon||Cookham Reach||34||34||(DNC)||68|
|36th||3591||Terry Bridgewater||Estelle Bridgewater||Earlswood||35||35||(DNC)||70|
|37th||3532||T. Charle Gyrad||Anna Chestorman||HISC||36||(DNC)||DNC||76|
|38th||3491||Stephen Storey||Patrick Harding||HISC||37||(DNC)||DNC||77|