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.
|1st||3684||Andy Davis||Chris Gould||Blithfield SC||-1||1||1||2|
|2nd||3685||William Warren||Chris Robinson||Shoreham SC||2||-3||2||4|
|3rd||3705||Matt Biggs||Ben Hollis||Blithfield SC||3||2||-4||5|
|4th||3727||Tim Fells||Chris Downham||Hayling Island SC||-5||5||3||8|
|5th||3703||Richard Whitworth||Lisa Scott||Hollingworth Lakes SC||4||(DNF)||5||9|
|6th||3691||Mike Calvert||Ian Garwood||Axe SC||7||4||-9||11|
|7th||3583||Chris Martin||Rob Kennaugh||Blithfield SC||6||6||(DNF)||12|
|8th||3722||David Hayes||Jonny Ratcliff||Hayling Island SC||-8||8||6||14|
|9th||3400||James M Stewart||Andy Young||Weymouth SC||-12||7||7||14|
|10th||3668||Mark Smyth||Jemma Horwood||Wembley SC||-21||13||8||21|
|11th||3663||Chris Haworth||Hannah Marsden||Blackpool & F SC||11||10||(DNC)||21|
|12th||3573||Simon Bond||Anna Carr||RYA||13||9||(DNC)||22|
|13th||3508||Colin Anderson||Sean Anderson||Redditch SC||-15||12||10||22|
|14th||3566||Jon Wood||Heather Wood||Earlswood Lakes SC||-16||15||12||27|
|15th||3571||Andy Jones||Maddie Jones||Parkstone YC||18||11||(DNF)||29|
|16th||3403||James Davies||Dan Morgan||Blithfield SC||-19||16||13||29|
|17th||3496||Martin Smith||Karen Beston||Blithfield SC||20||(DNF)||11||31|
|18th||3492||S Ward||L Wilson||Bartley SC||17||14||(DNC)||31|
|19th||3715||Paul Rayson||Julie Rayson||Fishers Green SC||9||(DNF)||DNC||35|
|20th||3634||B Archer||C O' Toole||Parkstone YC||10||(DNF)||DNC||36|
|21st||2997||John Steward||Nick Yannakoyorgos||Fishers Green SC||14||(DNF)||DNC||40|
|22nd||3371||Paul Dean||Nigel Della Porta||Wembley SC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||52|
|22nd||3528||Andrew Raftry||Nina Raftry||Redditch SC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||52|
|22nd||3543||Andy Beardshaw||Charlie Noakes||Redditch SC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||52|
|22nd||3548||Kieron Mason||Henry Mason||Banbury SC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||52|