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Merlin Rocket Open Meeting at Rutland Sailing Club

by Louisa Archer on 16 May 2011 1 May 2011

For this, the seventh Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller open meeting, only 22 competed at Rutland Water but it was still a rip roaring event. The wind turned up for a change and was described as, “blowing in the upper limits” by Andy 'Taxi' Davis. Open meetings that have been held at Rutland in recent years have been very flat; in saying that, the Rockets’ held their annual big training event here for the weekend and quite a few of the trainees braved the weather, taking their valuable lessons into the chaos that is fast-wind-speed Merlin Rocket racing.

In the first race the boats launched into 15 knots of wind, coming in from N/NE - straight over the fens to Rutland. The race officer, Will Geoffcoat, set out a very good course in the shifty conditions with broad reaches, and they were all off to a clean start. Taxi, sailing with Chris Gould in Keyser Soze, reached windward mark first followed by William Warren and Chris Robinson, Tim Fells and Chris Downham, Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis, Richard Whitworth and Lisa Scott who were all in hot pursuit of second. Warren bagged it with Biggs third.

Second race the wind increased significantly to make for some very exciting racing, and it was here that Taxi showed fantastic boat handling in high speed winds; Biggs, Warren, Whitworth battling for second place; Matt just pipped William to the post.

Third race the committee boat (looking at recordings of 30 knots) still allowed the fleet to continue to race in such intense conditions with Taxi, showing yet again incredible speed to lead all the way round to win the meeting; Warren and Robinson showing judicially sound judgement to move up the fleet to second, (and second overall). Tim Fells and Chris Downham revelled in the windy conditions to take third. Mike Calvert was a comfortable second in this race but in his excitement and with the extreme conditions, missed out the wing mark for the second set of reaches… which allowed Warren his second place. Matt Biggs took third overall. So as usual the contention for one of the most heavily contested trophies is hot, hot, hot and it’s only May.

Overall a great sail was had and was quoted to be, ‘the best sailing ever had at Rutland, and what could be the best sail of the year’. Taxi was just to fast to pin down for any feedback for this report, but let us face it when you’re 100/150 metres ahead of the fleet - who has time to turn around to check out the dirty winders? But still the sun was shining brightly and it was nice and warm.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1st3684Andy DavisChris GouldBlithfield SC-1112
2nd3685William WarrenChris RobinsonShoreham SC2-324
3rd3705Matt BiggsBen HollisBlithfield SC32-45
4th3727Tim FellsChris DownhamHayling Island SC-5538
5th3703Richard WhitworthLisa ScottHollingworth Lakes SC4(DNF)59
6th3691Mike CalvertIan GarwoodAxe SC74-911
7th3583Chris MartinRob KennaughBlithfield SC66(DNF)12
8th3722David HayesJonny RatcliffHayling Island SC-88614
9th3400James M StewartAndy YoungWeymouth SC-127714
10th3668Mark SmythJemma HorwoodWembley SC-2113821
11th3663Chris HaworthHannah MarsdenBlackpool & F SC1110(DNC)21
12th3573Simon BondAnna CarrRYA139(DNC)22
13th3508Colin AndersonSean AndersonRedditch SC-15121022
14th3566Jon WoodHeather WoodEarlswood Lakes SC-16151227
15th3571Andy JonesMaddie JonesParkstone YC1811(DNF)29
16th3403James DaviesDan MorganBlithfield SC-19161329
17th3496Martin SmithKaren BestonBlithfield SC20(DNF)1131
18th3492S WardL WilsonBartley SC1714(DNC)31
19th3715Paul RaysonJulie RaysonFishers Green SC9(DNF)DNC35
20th3634B ArcherC O' TooleParkstone YC10(DNF)DNC36
21st2997John StewardNick YannakoyorgosFishers Green SC14(DNF)DNC40
22nd3371Paul DeanNigel Della PortaWembley SC(DNC)DNCDNC52
22nd3528Andrew RaftryNina RaftryRedditch SC(DNC)DNCDNC52
22nd3543Andy BeardshawCharlie NoakesRedditch SC(DNC)DNCDNC52
22nd3548Kieron MasonHenry MasonBanbury SC(DNC)DNCDNC52

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