Merlin Rocket Open at Shoreham Sailing Club
Photos © Warwick Baker / www.warwickpics.com
As predicted....nay, expected, the Merlin Rocket Shoreham Open was sailed under champagne conditions; again. Fifteen to twenty knots from the SW, chunky waves and more sunshine than you could shake a stick at. The Silver Tiller series is sponsored by Speed Sails.
The Race Committee headed by Peter Bennett and John Sheldon set four immaculate Olympic style courses over the weekend under difficult conditions. First out of the blocks were Simon Blake and Alex Jackson, rounding the windward mark first closely followed by John Gorringe and Richard Whitworth. Richard cut his way through the leading three boats to take the gun, Simon second and John third. As conditions freshened for the second race it was Simon and John again challenging for the first beat with Simon just sneaking ahead at the windward mark. Dalby sisters Andy and Phil rounded second and sailed over the top of Si and Alex with some excellent boat handling. As the race progressed it became clear that John and Richard had the boat speed advantage and battled it out for victory. Richard and Olly won again after an impeccable display of big weather sailing, John second, Si third and the relatively new to the fleet team of Ian Dobson and Andy Tunicliffe fourth.
The club put on a cracking evenings entertainment with a bbq on the grass lawns before competitors were given the choice of a relaxed night under the stars or hitting the Shoreham lights hard, with additional feeding at the Indian Cottage curry house and late night lager beers at the ever delightful (cough cough) Sovereign pub.
Sunday dawned and the weather gods threatened to deliver below par conditions with a measly five knots of breeze. This was quickly remedied as the sea breeze took full effect and normal service was resumed, force three to four, big waves and sunshine, ...standard.
Rich and Olly quickly made their intentions clear and nailed the first race, Ian and Andy chased hard and finished a well earned second, Jon and Pete continued their consistent form to take third and Si and Alex were fourth.
With the event now settled, Rich and Olly pushed the last start a little too hard and were caught black flagged leaving the racing open for the mere mortals. Si, John and Ian rounded within a few boat lengths of each other, local legend Willie Warren fourth and young Duncan Bell helming only his second ever meeting with father John rounded a brilliant fifth. Si and Alex got the shifts right on the first run to put them comfortably ahead while Ian just snuck John in taking second.
Overall we were definitely lucky with the weather, it really doesn’t get much better than that, in addition the race management, rescue boat cover and on shore support made for an excellent weekend’s competition.
The association’s next Silver Tiller event is Lymington (31st July and 1st August), before the Championships at Penzance SC (15th to 19th AUgust).
|1st||3703||Richard Whitworth||Olly Turner||HLSC/Starcross||1||1||1||(OCS)||3|
|2nd||3707||Simon Blake||Alex Jackson||Shoreham/Cookham||3||2||-4||1||6|
|3rd||3670||Ian Dobson||Andy Tunnicliffe||Burwain||4||-5||2||2||8|
|4th||3712||Jon Gotting||Pete Horn||Parkstone||2||-3||3||3||8|
|5th||3705||Matt Biggs||Ben Hollis||Blithfield||-11||4||7||5||16|
|6th||3685||William Warren||Sophie Mackley||Shoreham||5||-13||6||6||17|
|7th||370||Matt Mee||Pippa Taylor||Hollingworth Lake||(DNF)||9||9||4||22|
|8th||3661||Graham Scroggie||Ben Scroggie||Parkstone||7||8||-13||7||22|
|9th||3690||Andy Dalby||Ploppy Chops||H S C||6||7||-10||10||23|
|10th||3693||Will Rainey||Kelly Miller||Shoreham||8||-10||8||8||24|
|11th||3691||Mike Calvert||Jane Calvert||Axe||9||6||11||(DNF)||26|
|12th||3610||Richard Dee||Chris Gould||MIdland||10||(DNF)||5||14||29|
|13th||3696||Alan Warren||William Carroll||Shoreham||13||11||-16||9||33|
|14th||3611||Jen Taylor||Chris Dodds||Hollingworth||12||12||-14||11||35|
|15th||3676||Pat Blake||Jill Blake||Cookham Reach||14||(DNF)||12||13||39|
|16th||3539||Dan Alsop||Jennie King||Lyme Regis||-17||14||15||12||41|
|17th||3665||Ross Jackson||James Warren||Shoreham||16||15||-20||16||47|
|18th||3643||Alistair Glen||Moira Glen||Shoreham||15||(DNF)||18||15||48|
|20th||3625||Richard Bramley||Tony Cheal||Shoreham||19||16||-22||19||54|
|21st||3716||Steve Leney||Gill Leney||Blithfield||18||(DNS)||17||DNS||61|
|22nd||3645||Jeremy Deacon||Gareth Jones||CRSC||(DNS)||DNS||21||18||65|
|23rd||3569||Duncan Bell||John Bell||Hampton||(DNF)||DNS||DNF||20||72|
|24th||3442||Chris Iles||Kathy Iles||Locks/Portsmouth||(DNF)||DNS||23||DNF||75|
|25th||3644||Steve Mitchell||Polly Newman||Porthpean||(DNF)||DNS||DNF||DNF||78|