Merlin Rocket Open Meeting at Starcross Yacht Club
With the horrible weather forecasts for the weekend it was a pleasant surprise that 17 boats entered the Starcross Silver tiller event, sponsored by Speed Sails. In fact, Saturday provided us with perfect conditions, a steady force 3 in a southerly direction with lots of sunshine!
Consistent conditions and a P course meant that boat speed was of paramount importance.
Three races were sailed back to back on the Saturday and in true Merlin style, it took more than one start to get going! The black flag was put to use after the first recall. First around the windward mark was Mike Calvert, followed by Matt Biggs and then Richard Whitworth. Unfortunately for Calvert he went round the wrong mark on the second beat. Biggs took first and Whitworth second. With some excellent maneuvers Calvert clawed his way back up to third for the finish.
Race two was a bit of procession, with most of the fleet going up the right hand side of the beat. Whitworth led with Calvert second followed closely by Biggs. The finish between the three leaders was incredibly close with everything still to play for on the following day.
Saturday evening was spent in the club house relaxing with a few drinks and a band which all the Starcross widows enjoyed dancing to. The wind and rain had set in, and everyone was getting worried about the likelihood of sailing the next day…
By Sunday morning the wind had blown out, leaving a fickle westerly force 2. This lead to a lot of horrible shifts inshore at the windward mark. For most it seemed to be purely a game of snakes and ladders, but Dan Alsop managed to show us that there was definitely a quick way around the course, winning both races with a fantastic lead. Richard Dee was also very consistent in these conditions with two seconds. Whitworth scored a third and a fourth, perhaps Olly Turner’s inside knowledge of the shifty river Exe playing a part. Biggs got more of a handle of the shifts for the final race, gaining a third. Sadly Calvert was unable to sail on the Sunday due to loosing his crew to a very good party on the Saturday night...
|1st||3703||Richard Whitworth||Olly Turner||Starcross YC||2||1||1||3||-4||7|
|2nd||3705||Matt Biggs||Ben Hollis||Blithfield SC||1||3||2||-5||3||9|
|3rd||3539||Dan Alsop||Jennie King||Lyme Regis||4||-5||4||1||1||10|
|4th||3610||Richard Dee||Chris Gould||Midland||-5||4||5||2||2||13|
|5th||3716||Steve Leney||Gill Leney||Blithfield||6||-7||6||4||5||21|
|6th||3691||Mike Calvert||Chris Downham||Castaways||3||2||3||(DNS)||DNS||26|
|7th||3660||Dave Lee||Lewis Turner||Starcross YC||7||6||7||-8||7||27|
|8th||3471||Mike Mackie||Matt Buckle||Royal Dart YC||-11||8||8||6||6||28|
|9th||3719||Nick Barnes||Scott Hampton||Brightlingsea SC||8||9||10||-13||10||37|
|10th||3626||Andy Hay||Jo Marlow||Starcross YC||9||11||-12||7||12||39|
|11th||3628||Robin Charles||Ian Smith||Starcross YC||-15||10||11||10||9||40|
|12th||3644||Steve Mitchell||Polly Newman||Porthpean||10||-15||13||12||8||43|
|13th||3721||Nick Turner||Carly Turner||Starcross YC||13||14||9||-16||11||47|
|14th||3544||David Downs||Ros Downs||Corus||12||12||-15||11||15||50|
|15th||3576||Colin Lee||Dave Parry||Starcross YC||14||16||(DNS)||9||14||53|
|16th||3713||Steve Harling||Eleanor Thomas||Starcross YC||-16||13||14||14||13||54|
|17th||3622||Justin Eddy||Dan Newman||Starcross YC||(DNF)||DNF||DNS||15||16||67|