Merlin Rocket Open at Shoreham Sailing Club
Great wave action at Shoreham
Photos © 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.
|1st||3652||Hayling Island SC||Geoff Carveth||Graham Williamson||1||2||3|
|2nd||3712||Parkstone SC||John Gorringe||Toby Lewis||5||1||6|
|3rd||3685||Ranelagh SC||Jon Ibbotson||Alex Jackson||3||4||7|
|4th||367||‑||Ian Dobson||Andy Tunnicliffe||4||5||9|
|5th||3662||Hollingworth Lake SC||David Winder||Pippa Taylor||7||3||10|
|6th||3693||Shoreham SC||Will Rainey||Kelly Miller||8||6||14|
|7th||3728||Hayling Island SC||Judith Massey||Olly Turner||2||13||15|
|8th||3707||‑||Simon Blake||Linton Jenkins||6||9||15|
|9th||3656||Hayling Island SC||Simon Lytton||Jackie Lytton||10||7||17|
|10th||3729||BOOR||John Turner||Richard Parslow||12||8||20|
|11th||3731||Parkstone SC||Andy Jones||Andrea Ralph||9||11||20|
|12th||3676||Cookham Reach SC||Pat Blake||Jill Blake||11||12||23|
|13th||3665||Shoreham SC||Ross Jackson||Fran Gifford||14||10||24|
|14th||3643||Shoreham SC||Alistair Glen||Moira Glen||15||14||29|
|15th||3708||Felixtowe Ferry SC||Laurie Smart||Keith Callaghan||19||16||35|
|16th||3555||Hampton SC||Tim Harridge||Ben Harridge||21||15||36|
|17th||3727||Hayling Island SC||David Haynes||Pete Mitchell||13||DNF||37|
|18th||3644||Fishers Green SC||Jon Steward||Nick Yannakoyorgus||20||17||37|
|19th||3650||Banbury SC||L Tosh||Joe Tosh||18||19||37|
|20th||3969||Shoreham SC||Alan Warren||Alex Warren||16||DNF||40|
|21st||3725||Hayling Island SC||Ossie Stewart||‑||17||DNF||41|
|22nd||3681||Wembley SC||Douglas Maxwell||Beate Pohler||23||18||41|
|23rd||3442||Lock/Portsmouth||Chris Iles||Kathy Iles||22||DNF||46|