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Merlin Rocket Open at Shoreham Sailing Club

by Ben Archer & Graham Williamson on 11 Aug 2011 6-7 August 2011
Great wave action at Shoreham © Warwick Baker / www.warwickpics.com

The sixteenth open meeting of the Craftinsure Silver Tiller was held at Shoreham Sailing Club on the weekend of 6/7 August. This was an important open meeting, not only is Shoreham a bastion of the Merlin Rocket class, which provides the best sea sailing in Sussex, but was the last sea event for the Merlin fleet before their much anticipated National Championships at Hayling Island SC in ten days time.

Race one started promptly at 14.05 hrs in a 12-15 knt SW/WSW breeze. John Ibbbertson/Alex Jackson made a good start, and took an early lead, nonetheless they were hunted aggressively by the pursuing pack of Judith Massey/Olly Turner, Simon Blake/Linton Jenkins, Ian Dobson/Andy Tunnicliffe and Geoff Carveth/Graham Williamson. The beats were very shifty and there was lots of MotoGP style place changing, but as the race officer had innovatively used a triangle/sausage/sausage/triangle format, initially to facilitate quick turnaround of races, the fleet didn’t really separate, so there was the added benefit of close tactical and exciting racing, from the fromt of the fleet to the back. Carveth/Williamson played the shifts well on the last beat and worked their way into the lead. New pairing Massey/Turner sailed a blinder from fourth to second, and Ibbertson/Jackson clung grimly onto third.

The breeze got up for Race two, and the conditions soon became more classically Shorehamesque, which suited Will Rainey and Kelly Miller who sparkled at the start and led the fleet around the windward mark, closely pursued by Ibbertson/Jackson, Jon Gorringe and Toby Lewis, Carveth/Williamson and Massey/Turner (who worked their way into third place only to lose it in a capsize). Gorringe/Lewis took the lead on the first reach, with Carveth/Williamson gaining second place on the last reach and Ibbertson/Jackson coming in third.

Races three and four, scheduled for the Sunday, were cancelled due to the extreme conditions which greeted the competitors upon their waking.

Overall Results:

PosSail noClubHelmCrewR1R2Pts
1st3652Hayling Island SCGeoff CarvethGraham Williamson123
2nd3712Parkstone SCJohn GorringeToby Lewis516
3rd3685Ranelagh SCJon IbbotsonAlex Jackson347
4th367Ian DobsonAndy Tunnicliffe459
5th3662Hollingworth Lake SCDavid WinderPippa Taylor7310
6th3693Shoreham SCWill RaineyKelly Miller8614
7th3728Hayling Island SCJudith MasseyOlly Turner21315
8th3707Simon BlakeLinton Jenkins6915
9th3656Hayling Island SCSimon LyttonJackie Lytton10717
10th3729BOORJohn TurnerRichard Parslow12820
11th3731Parkstone SCAndy JonesAndrea Ralph91120
12th3676Cookham Reach SCPat BlakeJill Blake111223
13th3665Shoreham SCRoss JacksonFran Gifford141024
14th3643Shoreham SCAlistair GlenMoira Glen151429
15th3708Felixtowe Ferry SCLaurie SmartKeith Callaghan191635
16th3555Hampton SCTim HarridgeBen Harridge211536
17th3727Hayling Island SCDavid HaynesPete Mitchell13DNF37
18th3644Fishers Green SCJon StewardNick Yannakoyorgus201737
19th3650Banbury SCL ToshJoe Tosh181937
20th3969Shoreham SCAlan WarrenAlex Warren16DNF40
21st3725Hayling Island SCOssie Stewart17DNF41
22nd3681Wembley SCDouglas MaxwellBeate Pohler231841
23rd3442Lock/PortsmouthChris IlesKathy Iles22DNF46

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