Photos © Mark Mortimore
Mermaid Trophy at Guildford
This end of season Marblehead open event attracted entries from 6 clubs from as far away as Middlebrough. 16 races were sailed in ideal conditions to decide the winner of the beautifully sculpted bronze Mermaid, at Guildford MYC’s Abbey Meads lake near Thorpe Park, Chertsey on 7th November.
The Northerly 3-8mph wind blew straight down the lake and was just strong enough in the biggest gusts to add a bit of excitement with planing offwind. Race Officer Mark Mortimore laid an 600-metre long upwind/downwind course with a leeward gate parallel and close to the west bank control area and this was gave some excellent racing.
Big shifts towards both NW and NE kept skippers on their toes and those who could read the variations in the wind direction gained both up and downwind. Strategy at the leeward gate gave the chance of gains or losses and the lack of ‘follow-my-leader’ resulted in some very tight finishes only centimetres apart!
Last year’s winner, Peter Stollery made his intentions clear in Race 1 by beating Hugh McAdoo into 2nd place, with John Cleave 3rd. The other ‘Crazy Tube’ sailed by Roger Stollery won Race 2 with Hugh second again, but he made no mistake in Race 3 getting his ‘Prime Number’ across the finishing line first and pushing Roger into second. In Race 4 there was another new race winner, Roy Stevens, beating Hugh into second place.
Hugh’s lead overall was gradually whittled away by Peter, who had a run of wins only interrupted by John Cleave in Race 6 and Hugh in Race 11. There was another new race winner, Roy Pearson sailing a ‘Rok’, keeping Peter in second place in Race12. Roger only just won Race 13, a few centimetres ahead of Alf Reynolds, sailing one of the first ‘Paradox’ designs. Martin Crysell, who had a series of good results sailing a ‘Rok, but no wins, finally made it in Race 15, leaving Peter to finish the event as he started it with a win.
At the prize giving Peter thanked Mark and the Guildford team of Peter Miles and M&S chairman, Gordon Edmondson for running another good Mermaid. As well as prizes for the winners, GMYC awarded the Vic Cooney trophy for the best veteran to Martin Crysell and the Ted Gearey award to Roy Stevens for the best improver, which is awarded for the best improvement on the results of the early races. New member Terry Rensch with a ‘Prime Number’ on its first outing had a few tethering problems, but his perseverence was rewarded with the ‘Tail end Trophy’ for finishing last.
1st Peter Stollery (Guildford) ‘Crazy Tube Too’ 21pts
2nd Hugh McAdoo (Guildford) ‘Prime Number’ 39pts
3rd Martin Crysell (Guildford) ‘Rok’ 44pts
4th Roger Stollery ‘Crazy Tube Too’ 49pts
5th Roy Pearson (Guildford) ‘Rok’ 54pts
6th Roy Stevens (Tri Services RSA) ‘Prime Number’ 67pts
7th Alf Reynolds (Chelmsford) ‘Paradox’ 73pts
8th John Cleave (Ryde) ‘Skalpel’ 84pts
9th Hugh Cripps (Canterbury) ‘Monarch’ 90pts
10th John O’Brien (3 Rivers) ‘Roar Edge’ 114pts
11th Alan Viney (Guildford) ‘Prime Number’
12th John Townsend (Guildford) ‘Roar Edge’ 139pts
13th Terry Rensch (Guildford) ‘Prime Number’ 169pts
Ted Gearey Award for Best improver – Roy Stevens
Vic Cooney Trophy for best veteran – Martin Crysell